European residents react to COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus Watch

(WEHT)- As the battle against COVID-19 rages on across the world, several European countries are taking steep measures to slow the spread of the virus. Eyewitness News has a personal connection to this story. Grace Hayba’s sister, Erin lives in southeastern France, near the Swiss and Italian border while my brother, Sean lives in Berlin, Germany.

Erin Hayba Buisse says the recent shutdown in France has impacted her family’s planned home renovation. “Stores are closing,” Hayba Buisse says, “including hardware stores and you don’t really think about that.”

German citizen Lukas Herrmann is pursuing a master’s degree at a university in the western German city of Mainz and mentions “all the bars are closed, the clubs and whatever. Basically right now only supermarkets are open here or pharmacies, just the really basic stuff.”

The Bundesliga, Germany’s popular soccer league, recently postponed all games in response to the German government’s efforts to curb large gatherings. “I’m a big soccer fan of the local club here in Mainz as well,” Herrmann comments, “you know things get serious when the Bundesliga has to be delayed.”

In the German capital of Berlin, Sean Witry explains “I’m a Type 1 diabetic, from that perspective, that also gives a lot of concern. I contacted my doctor and they’re like ok, cases in Berlin are still quite low, no need to panic yet.”

So far, Germany has twelve reported deaths from COVID-19, out of nearly 8200 reported cases. France, meanwhile, has nearly 9200 reported cases since late January.

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(This story was originally published on March 18, 2020)

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