Where greed has caused untold deaths
An Austrian ski resort that failed to close despite having numerous Covid-19 cases helped spread the disease all over Europe, said Thomas Mayer. On March 5, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist warned that the Austrian town of Ischgl was a coronavirus hot spot, after several Icelandic skiers vacationing there returned home sick. Many of the infections could be traced to a bartender in a crowded après-ski bar. Iceland immediately notified Austria, but officials there did nothing for nearly a week, allowing dozens more guests from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany to catch the disease and take it back to their home countries. For Austria, too, the consequences have been enormous. An anesthesiologist from the University Hospital Salzburg was apparently infected at the bar, and now more than 100 of his colleagues—including doctors, nurses, and rescue helicopter crew—cannot be deployed in the fight against the coronavirus. His partner also tested positive; she is a neonatal nurse and has had contact with infants. “Greed has prevailed over responsibility for the health of citizens and guests.” Ischgl authorities “wanted to let the cash registers ring for one last week of the tourist season.” Already, the dozens infected by the bartender have infected hundreds more across the continent—and those are just the known cases. How many will die because of Austrian negligence?