Montana, Europe, World Health Organization discussed on Weekend Edition Sunday
If they wanted schools and businesses to remain open. And now you are seeing cases rising and you're having to close the schools. I'm wondering what you think is behind this. I mean, obviously, there is some politics at play here. Some people simply don't believe the Corona virus is a problem. I think that we have an attitude in Montana of local control and independence. And so the use of masks and restrictions and so forth doesn't set well with a large portion of our population. And the public debate that's been going on about the science and what we understand about this virus in particular. That debate is raging across the country, and Montana is no exception to that. But I think that for the most part in our schools across Montana and here in great falls Because of the strict protocols that we put in place in our schools for sanitation, physical distancing the worrying of masks. We haven't seen The outbreaks in our schools. But I am curious because people do take cues from their elected leaders, and it has taken on Lee until now from Montana to put in new restrictions, including a statewide mass mandate. Do you think this should have happened sooner? And when you talk about a sort of debate about the science, that debate seems to be happening within one sector of society, and I'm not really at large. We had a debate at the board of Health. We had a public forum where we took him put on tightening the restrictions and my encouragement all along to our community is let's do the right things for the right reasons on a person by person basis instead of having Have our public officials imposed restrictions and so forth and appeal to People's personal sense of responsibility to take care of others. And maybe that appeal came a little too late. What is your biggest way right now for your district? Oh, I think overall obviously the health and safety on the mental health and well being of our staff so that they can Teach our Children and the stress that they have been under this fall. They worry about mental health and the overall well being of our students when we're not able to meet with him face to face and The fact that as a isolate and become more distance from their peers and from their teachers that has an effect on their psychological, and you know they're effective growth and development. And I can I'm concerned about that. Sounds like you have a lot on your shoulders. Yeah, It's uh It is a concern and in a, uh, an issue that I take seriously daily. Ah, lot of lot of prayer and a lot of concern for others in our community. I have an excellent team of people here. Tom War is the superintendent of Great Falls. Public schools in Great Falls, Montana. Thank you very much, and we'll be thinking of you. Thank you, Lulu. I appreciate it. Thank you to the listeners. Europe, like the U. S, is again reeling under a coronavirus resurgence. But unlike the U. S, most European countries introduced lockdowns and other tight restrictions after the pandemic picked up speed in October. The World Health Organization, says that the region faces a tough six months ahead. But experts say the restrictions are beginning to produce some results. Joining us now to talk about the situation in Europe is NPR correspondent Eleanor Beardsley in Paris. Hello. Hi, Lulu. How bad is it? Louis bad, you know, huge rise in cases and deaths. Health systems are being pushed to the limit in France. ICU beds are at 95% capacity for the last two weeks, and even Germany is showing signs of strain Here is Hans Clue. He's the head of the World Health Organization. Europe, speaking on Thursday last week Europe registered over 29,000 new Covet 19. That's That is one person dying every 17 seconds in European region from covert 19. That's a shocking statistic. But tell us what's being done. I mean, there is a lockdown in France. What's the situation for a long time, The French government said they would not institute a second locked down. But then French President Emmanuel Macron went on television in at the end of October, and he laid out different possible scenarios to curb the virus. And he said, Actually, a full lockdown was the on Lee way to keep the country's health. System from collapse. But I will say it's not a strenuous his last time bars, restaurants and nonessential businesses are closed. But this time schools are in session. You still have to fill out a form every time you want to go out, stating the reason you know you have one on your phone, and I was actually stopped by police Today. I usually go out twice a day once for my walk and to the grocery store. Elsewhere. You know, Spain has a national curfew and is in a health state of emergency. Italy has a nationwide curfew and regions are classified 12 or three according to the gravity of the situation. If you're in Naples, a red zone, you can't leave your region and you're supposed to stay home except for you know necessary outings, and even Germany has a federal lockdown through the end of November. And is it producing results? It is producing results. Slight results. French health officials have talked about it. And the W H o so they don't want to let up too soon. But it does seem to be working. And is anyone protesting the measures. You know, Lulu? We don't see anything like we see in the US we did see, you know, the police in Berlin break up thousands of anti lock down protesters this week. But, you know the majority of Germans support the restrictions. Even Ah, poll recently in Spain showed that people are ready to go into a national lockdown. If it will help despite you know, devastation to the economy. So let's talk about that. Why is there not more fear of economic devastation in the U. There is fear of it every day you hear about businesses closing, but European governments are spending billions. To keep companies going, You know, from major companies like Air France to mom and pop stores, and it keeps the unemployment down and people from losing their skills. Listen here to what the French economy minister said this week. New petition is until please it. Is that all you so basically, he said. Our goal is to reassure French citizens We're gonna get through this. We're gonna protect companies and people through the duration of this virus. But still, stores and businesses have lost so much and they're clamoring to reopen in the holiday season, and the French and other Europeans have a lot of hope in the vaccines coming up, and frankly, they're just hoping to get this under control enough to be able to salvage some sort of Christmas this year. NPR correspondent Eleanor Beardsley in Paris. Thank you very much. Thank you, Lulu. Now loons Linds.