ROME—There was a moment late last spring when Europe was gloating about beating the COVID pandemic after several long hard months of lockdowns and sacrifices. New infections were down across the continent and life was pretty much back to normal. They even balked at the United States for not taking the pandemic seriously and opening up too soon.
Summer brought with it a mini wave of cases as Europeans took their summer holidays and spread the virus among countries, but it was still manageable and intensive care wards and mortuaries were mostly empty.
But now, more than a month after schools have reopened across the Eurozone, the COVID wave has turned into a tsunami and governments are threatening lockdowns once more. In northern England, field hospitals that had been shuttered after the first wave subsided are being readied for the overflow of new patients.