每日英語跟讀 Ep.K270: Europe’s COVID Culture War Plays Out in Pockets of Germany
Sven Müller is proudly unvaccinated. He thinks COVID-19 vaccines are neither effective nor safe but a way to make money for pharmaceutical companies and corrupt politicians who are taking away his freedom.
Under state rules to stem coronavirus infections, he is no longer allowed to go to restaurants, to the bowling alley, to the cinema or to the hairdresser. From next week, he will be barred from entering most shops, too. But that has only strengthened his resolve.
“They can’t break me,” said Müller, 40, a bar owner in the town of Annaberg-Buchholz, in the Ore Mountain region in the eastern state of Saxony where the vaccination rate is 44% — the lowest in Germany.
Müller personifies a problem that is as sharp in some parts of Europe as it is in the United States. If Germany had red and blue states, Saxony would be crimson. In places like this, pockets of unvaccinated people are driving the latest round of contagion, filling strained hospital wards, putting economic recoveries at risk and sending governments scrambling to head off a fourth wave of the pandemic.
Western European governments are resorting increasingly to thinly veiled coercion with a mixture of mandates, inducements and punishments.
In many countries, it is working. When President Emmanuel Macron announced in July that vaccine passports would be required to enter most social venues, France — where anti-vaccine sentiment was strong — was one of the least vaccinated countries in Europe. Today it has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy followed Macron’s lead with even tougher measures. There, and in Spain, too, attempts by populist parties to stoke a broad-based anti-vaccine backlash have largely been snuffed out.
But regional resistance against the coronavirus vaccine remains. In Central and Eastern Europe — and in the German-speaking countries and regions bordering them — the problem is more stubborn.
In Italy, the northern province of Bolzano — bordering Austria and Switzerland, where 70% of the population is German-speaking — has the country’s lowest vaccination rate.
“There is some correlation with far-right parties, but the main reason is this trust in nature,” said Patrick Franzoni, a doctor who spearheads the inoculation campaign in the province. Especially in the Alps, he said, the German-speaking population trusts fresh air, organic produce and herbal teas more than traditional drugs.
在該省率先發起疫苗接種運動的醫師派崔克．佛蘭佐尼說：「這與極右翼政黨有些關係，但主要原因是對自然的信任。」他表示，尤其在阿爾卑斯山區，說德語的民眾更相信新鮮空氣、有機農產品與花草茶，而不是傳統藥物。Source article : https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5919791