The Madrid metropolitan area of the Spanish capital is home to about the same number of people as Finland. However, the differences in corona statistics are startling.
To date, 10,929 infections have been diagnosed in Finland, and 346 people have died of COVID-19. In the Madrid economic area of about six million inhabitants, the same figures are 247,575 and 9,502.
With the fall, the epidemic has only tightened its grip on the Spanish capital. Corona patients already fill more than 40 percent of hospitals’ intensive care capacity. Madrid’s borders are now closed and residents can’t get out to spread the virus.
There are no newcomers to Madrid now either.
– The difference is like night and day. Currently, the city is deserted with tourists, having been an ambassador at his post for three years Tiina Jortikka-Laitinen start.
“Coming big bill”
Madrid’s attraction has been long dinners, morning parties and events where thousands of people have gathered. Now, none of them provide a counterbalance to the gray everyday life.
– A happy and lively Madrid resident has to spend his time indoors. It can be seen from people’s moods that such joy in life has dwindled away. This is going to be a pretty big drop, Jortikka-Laitinen says.
Audience restrictions dilute the atmosphere of concerts. Professional sports now take place in front of empty stands.
– After all, they do not have the joy of sports that has been essential to the city through the ages.
At the individual level, no one can be absolutely sure to avoid infection. Of course, its probability can be minimized.
– However, it is considerably higher than in Finland. This is a step you have to go through. I follow the instructions and wear a face mask on all occasions. I really only move between work and home and on mandatory shopping trips.
– The coronavirus has completely changed the way I work in everyday life. I personally take care of my own fitness on long runs. They are personally the best medicine, Jortikka-Laitinen decides.
The story continues after the picture.
Winter is scary
At the end of the summer, Berlin was still one of Finland’s favorite travel destinations. The epidemic situation in Germany remained under control for a long time, but now the capital is threatened with a new corona locomotive into the country.
The traffic light in Berlin is already flashing red on the border, and the situation in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, which is popular with young people in particular, is worrying.
– It was a wonderful situation. Everyone doubted each other a little, himself living in Friedrichshain Paula Koski described the first corona restrictions.
– This is a really lively city. It changed completely.
Berlin’s nightclubs have been stuck since the spring. In the summer, however, life almost had time to recover before the second wave rose.
– There are so many creative groups here that some of them come up with ways to circumvent the rules. Now we are all excited about whether a new full barrier is coming into town.
The Berliners have quite conscientiously adopted the masks. They have to be kept at risk of being fined on the means of transport and virtually all shops also demand them from their customers.
Nevertheless, the infection curve in Berlin looks sharply upwards. There are currently more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients in the city. Although the majority of new infections are in the 20-29 age group, the number of infections over the age of 80 is also increasing.
It, in turn, is feared to be correlated with delay in mortality statistics as well.
– For the first time, I have corona depression. The epidemic has become a topic of eternity that is discussed with neighbors and friends, Koski sighs.
– Yes, this is gradually getting tired.
During the worst weeks of spring, getting out didn’t go for a walk with just one person.
– It was awful. It’s a little awful what happens here during the winter if this gets even worse.
– I love Berlin, but the reasons why I moved here are going on a break.
The closure worries
Even in Paris, an approaching winter is expected with fearful feelings. Prime minister Jean Castex’n the government has already decided to put the capital in a state of emergency when a new record number of new infections were registered again on Saturday.
Everyone is trying to avoid a complete closure of the city, and for this purpose, for example, restaurants are no longer accepting customers in groups of up to six people, but the gyms, for example, remain completely closed and alcohol can no longer be sold after ten o’clock.
– The bars closed for two weeks. Naturally, their owners protest the decision, but as the mother of such small children, it has not affected our daily lives, the Finnish Embassy’s Head of Communications Johanna Unha-Kaprali says.
– All shops are still open. A reasonably normal life is celebrated, with caution and restraint. For example, I wear a face shield almost anywhere other than at home or while cycling.
The most worrying situation in Paris is that more than a third of hospital intensive care units are already reserved for coronary patients.
– Many have been really relieved that the government is trying to avoid total closure. Of course, it is not completely ruled out if the situation only gets worse, Unha-Kaprali decides.