How the narrative shifts, how the narrative has to shift. Just a short while ago, the Balearic government was telling the world that the islands had the lowest incidence in the country. Buoyed by such a low incidence, the government could say that the islands were the safest destination in the Med. Then came the rise in infections.
By Monday this week, the Balearics had the seventh highest 14-day incidence in the country (and rising). The reason is principally the soaring incidence among the youngest adult age group. The Spanish students influenced this incidence to an extent, but the greater contributions have been from large and homegrown gatherings – the Botellón, both over the fiestas for Sant Joan and in more general terms.
But however one seeks to explain the incidence by pointing to specifics, the fundamental reason lies with the lifting of restrictions. Increased social contact, increased mobility, masks not needed outdoors (albeit they are still meant to be worn in situations where social distancing cannot be assured); the virus can flourish.
Is it now about having to learn to live with Covid, as Boris Johnson would say? Living with but also dying with, even if deaths are way lower thanks to the vaccines. The UK’s living with is being taken in some quarters as an opening to travel to all who have been fully vaccinated. No quarantine, even if a destination is amber. If this is the case, the incidence rates will nevertheless continue to mean something. Amber can turn red.