EU officials now want to do a “Disney” on the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission has now suggested that European Union nations adopt a clear “green, orange, red’ system and not a kaleidoscope of individual measures” to defeat the virus. You read that correctly.
According to the report from GTP, the European Commission now (finally) adopted a proposal to ensure that any measures taken by member states that restrict free movement due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic are coordinated and clearly communicated at the EU level. One key way the Brussels geniuses propose doing this is by adopting a Disney Word style color-coding system to indicate how safe or unsafe countries are at any given moment.
One has to wonder why an interactive and up to date mapping and coding system was not developed and agreed upon back in March or April? But the commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen illuminates the current situation with this stroke of brilliance:
“Our priority is to ensure that Europeans can travel freely in EU while limiting the spread of COVID-19. With various restrictions, it is now hard to know where we can travel & how. Today we propose to make it clearer, easier and safer, with a common colour code and set of measures.”
Sorry for the tongue in cheek cynicism, but the EU pays a lot of people a lot of money to sit around and organize stuff. Does it seem unreasonable or stupid even, that the leadership of the bloc has just now decided to work together in an emergency? I mean, what if Russia had just invaded or a meteor was rocketing its way toward Berlin? Come on.
The real reason EU President Ursula von der Leyen and her colleagues are coming out with this latest rocket science in policy creation is that the whole travel to and from system is now mixed up spaghetti. The fragmented system of checks and controls, the diverse policies adopted by this nation and that, have created a soup sandwich of border controls and COVID-19 strategies that nobody is able to sort out. In short, if something does not happen fast, the pandemic will reemerge with a vengeance and nobody will have a handle on it. The image of The image Disney’s Magic Kingdom above is probably where the EU commissars got their ideas.
Yes, the leadership of the EU (and the world) is in knee jerk mode reacting to disasters of their own making. Take Greece, for instance. A gigantic vacation 2020 redux campaign was launched in large part due to pressure from tour companies like the giant TUI, so that investors would not panic and dump the stocks of large concerns. Now, COVID-19 cases are surging and governments are scrambling to prevent total disaster. In Greece, interestingly, the marketing and sales of rooms and airplane seats is still full bore. That said, Brussels finally coming out with good ideas for the organization comes a bit late.
Meanwhile, the UK serves as the perfect example of a mucked up system where even the quarantine system is a mess. This story from The Telegraph reveals that disorganization is not just EU bloc problem. Even within countries officials seem to be walking like mindless pigeons to cope. In Hungary everything about their borders seems to be up in the air depending on which way the wind blows. Yes, the free movement of goods and people across Hungary’s and the EU’s borders are about to be in chaos, and COVID labels are going to be useless.
The buck stops in Brussels though. At the end of the day, Europe is being slammed by a new wave of the coronavirus cases across the continent. The bloc and the various countries are currently in a state of semi-organized confusion. Here in Greece, it’s heading to mid-September and authorities do not have in place definitive rules even for school reopenings. And Greece is super organized on COVID compared to other EU nations.
Finally, in Germany, supposedly the EU’s most table democracy, tens of thousands affiliated with far-right extremist groups are taking part in mass demonstrations over wearing mask mandates and other coronavirus restrictions. I know the reader gets the point. But to help further, imagine our plight here in Greece when officials enforce tough COVID restrictions and tourists visiting seem to care less about spreading the virus. I have yet to see a tourists wearing a mask anywhere here on Crete.
I guess we could all blame leaders like President Donald Trump, for not setting the proper example. You get it, right? Seeing the leader of the free world romping around with no mask, bragging about how the virus is a hoax, and predicting it will go away like magic – this is reflected in the bad behavior around the world. Half the people here in Greece think COVID-19 is a hoax, but somehow they still wear the confounded masks. I know from speaking with people in France, Germany, Hungary, Russia and elsewhere, that the incongruity is as bad as the virus itself. My point here is, the EU leadership is a day late, and a dollar short for stopping this second wave.
I wish I had a solution for you, at least one better than creating COVID labels. I wish there were some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. I am just not seeing it. All I can think of is the first time I visited Disney World outside Orlando. The voice over the tram said; “Visitors headed for the Magic Kingdom, please exit and follow the yellow line to Cinderella’s Castle.” Now things are coded using Disney names like Dopey, Pluto, Mickey, or Minnie. Maybe Brussels will next label Portugal and Spain – Dopey, Greece and Romania – Pluto, and France and Germany can be Mickey or Minnie, depending.