Spain lives a strange situation: vaccination is progressing at a good pace and everything seems to indicate that April is going to be a fundamental month; “pandemic fatigue” is eroding adherence to public health restrictions that are beginning to be strongly questioned; and, against this, the epidemiological trends of the last days They point to the fact that the new wave is starting to pick up steam.
But the public conversation is very skewed towards certain issues and it is difficult to focus on key issues in the evolution of the pandemic, such as the accumulated incidence at 14 days in the different regions of the country. Today, there are seven autonomies on high or very high alert because precisely this indicator, a true semaphore of pandemic risk, is triggered above 150 cases. By cons, only one is in the low risk zone.
This is Spain
For weeks, as we were coming out of the third wave, the proximity of the San José bridge (a holiday in some communities) and Holy Week worried the health authorities and public health experts. After all, the debate about reopening the economy and removing restrictions is on the table. Holidays could only increase the pressure on governments to make decisions. Even more so in a context of an electoral campaign that has placed social health measures at the center of the political debate.
If we stop to think about it, the risk that a small regrowth will turn into a fourth wave grows as the “epidemiological ground” on which it rises (the number of cases from which it starts) is higher. To have 503 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in IA14 As is the case of Melilla, it exposes the city to a more explosive growth than the 29 in the Valencian Community.
The top graph is a still photo comparing areas that, paradoxically, are sometimes difficult to compare. And it is that one of the constants of these last months of pandemic is that homogeneity (at the national level) does not exist. Neither in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, nor in measures or restrictions. In this sense, the aggregate data looks bad; but if we examine each autonomic trend in particular, the situation becomes much less sustainable.
Although there are some communities that endure, most of them either worsen their numbers or stabilize at very high cumulative incidence levels. In other words, we come from such high incidences (it is enough to remember that a little over a month ago we were with most of the country closed) that the current situation seems a success, but it is far from being a good situation. And it still remains to see the effects of the San José bridge and Holy Week.