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The second wave of coronavirus has arrived in countries around the world. Countries that had fended off the first wave in the spring and summer are now having to impose tougher restrictions as the number of daily cases has begun to spiral out of control. In Europe, countries are seeing far higher cases each day than they had during the first wave. In France, the highest number of daily cases during the first wave was 7,578. On October 18, 2020, the newest record was 32,427 in one day. New records have been set on an almost daily basis since the beginning of September.

France has now introduced night lockdowns in nine cities. As part of the lockdowns, the government has introduced a curfew from 9 PM – 6 AM in those cities. All businesses must close before 9 PM and all people must be in their homes at 9 PM. The new rules show the reluctance that the French government has to introduce lockdowns that are as strict as the national one in the spring. In the first national lockdown, people in all of France were told to stay at home. People could only leave their homes for a few reasons, such as to buy food. Even if they did leave their homes to buy food, they had to take a signed document with them to show to police upon request. Anyone who was out of their house without the document or for an invalid reason could be fined hundreds of euros.

Governments across Europe have been reluctant to reintroduce restrictions that devastated their economies in the first half of the year. The UK has introduced a three-tier system to classify different areas of the country. The tiers are “Medium”, “High” and “Very High”. The restrictions vary between the tiers with the “Very High” tier meaning that all pubs and bars are closed,  people are not allowed to meet in indoor venues and people are not allowed to travel from those areas to other parts of the country. All workers in these areas also have to work from home if possible. However, these restrictions are still relaxed compared to the UK’s restrictions at the beginning of the year. Many governments across Europe have had similar reactions to the second wave, although they don’t rule out having the same lockdowns as before, they are very hesitant to do it.

The spikes in Europe are being mirrored around the world. The US recently had their highest daily increase since July, Argentina just recorded their highest number of daily cases since the beginning of the pandemic and Canada also recorded their highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic. The situation is similar in many countries. On the other hand, New Zealand recently became completely COVID-19 free once again, South Korea is considering re-opening schools after getting their number of daily cases to an acceptable level and Singapore has had fewer than 10 cases per day for more than a week. Despite the fact that many governments are struggling to get a grip on the virus, some areas of the world have been able to successfully navigate both the first and second waves.

Difficult words

Fend (v): To keep away or at a distance.

Impose (v): To put a restriction in place.

Spiral (v/n): To go out of control in different directions.

Curfew (n): A time that you must be home or stay indoors.

Fine (v/n): To make someone pay for breaking a rule.

Devastate (v): To completely ruin.

Venue (n): A location where an event takes place.

Spike (n): A sharp and sudden increase.

Mirrored (v): To copy or replicate something.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Match the Synonym!

1. FendA. Uncontrollable
2. ImposeB. Copy
3. SpiralC. Pay money.
4. CurfewD. Location
5. FineE. Keep away.
6. DevastateF. Increase
7. VenueG. Time restriction.
8. SpikeH. Force
9. MirroredI. Ruin

True or False?

1. A fifth wave of coronavirus is now occurring around the world. T / F

2. The daily cases are higher than they were during the first wave. T / F

3. France had more than 30,000 cases in one day. T / F

4. The French government has created a day-time lockdown for the morning and afternoon. T / F

5. During the first lockdown, French people had to take a signed note with them to buy food. T / F

6. If French people didn’t take a signed note with them when leaving their home, there was no punishment. T / F

7. Governments across Europe are happily welcoming strict restrictions in their countries. T / F

8. There are is a four-tier system in place in the UK. T / F

9. New Zealand is now COVID-19 free. T / F

10. Singapore has been hit hard by the coronavirus and is under strict lockdown. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. of / has / second / arrived / countries / The / in / coronavirus / wave

2. countries / cases / are / In / far / higher / seeing / Europe,

3. lockdowns / France / nine / cities / has / now / in / night / introduced

4. could / for / a / few / leave / homes / reasons / People / their / only

5. spikes / in / Europe / The / are / mirrored / being

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

ReintroducePubsSigned
BasisDailyReluctance
ComparedTougherAcceptable

The second wave of coronavirus has arrived in countries around the world. Countries that had fended off the first wave in the spring and summer are now having to impose (1)____________ restrictions as the number of daily cases has begun to spiral out of control. In Europe, countries are seeing far higher cases each day than they had during the first wave. In France, the highest number of daily cases during the first wave was 7,578. On October 18, 2020, the newest record was 32,427 in one day. New records have been set on an almost daily (2)_________ since the beginning of September.

France has now introduced night lockdowns in nine cities. As part of the lockdowns, the government has introduced a curfew from 9 PM – 6 AM in those cities. All businesses must close before 9 PM and all people must be in their homes at 9 PM. The new rules show the (3)______________ that the French government has to introduce lockdowns that are as strict as the national one in the spring. In the first national lockdown, people in all of France were told to stay at home. People could only leave their homes for a few reasons, such as to buy food. Even if they did leave their homes to buy food, they had to take a (4)__________ document with them to show to police upon request. Anyone who was out of their house without the document or for an invalid reason could be fined hundreds of euros.

Governments across Europe have been reluctant to (5)_______________ restrictions that devastated their economies in the first half of the year. The UK has introduced a three-tier system to classify different areas of the country. The tiers are “Medium”, “High” and “Very High”. The restrictions vary between the tiers with the “Very High” tier meaning that all (6)_______ and bars are closed,  people are not allowed to meet in indoor venues and people are not allowed to travel from those areas to other parts of the country. All workers in these areas also have to work from home if possible. However, these restrictions are still relaxed (7)_______________ to the UK’s restrictions at the beginning of the year. Many governments across Europe have had similar reactions to the second wave, although they don’t rule out having the same lockdowns as before, they are very hesitant to do it.

The spikes in Europe are being mirrored around the world. The US recently had their highest (8)_________ increase since July, Argentina just recorded their highest number of daily cases since the beginning of the pandemic and Canada also recorded their highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic. The situation is similar in many countries. On the other hand, New Zealand recently became completely COVID-19 free once again, South Korea is considering re-opening schools after getting their number of daily cases to an (9)_______________ level and Singapore has had fewer than 10 cases per day for more than a week. Despite the fact that many governments are struggling to get a grip on the virus, some areas of the world have been able to successfully navigate both the first and second waves.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Has your country experienced a second wave of coronavirus?
5. If your country has had a second wave, how did your country handle it?
6. Do you think countries should be locking down again?
7. Have people in your country followed the government’s COVID-19 regulations?
8. What do you think about France’s night lockdowns?
9. Have government regulations been different for different areas of your country?
10. How has your country been protecting the economy during COVID-19?
11. Do you think it’s right for UK cities to be arguing against “Very High” regulations?
12. Did everything in your country stay open during the summer?
13. Are you worried about an increase in cases over the winter?
14. Do you think there will be more waves of coronavirus in the future?
15. Why do you think some countries have been successful in fighting the virus?
16. What has been the biggest change for you this year?
17. Do you think governments should prioritise protecting their economies?
18. What has the economic impact been in your country?
19. Do you think life can return to normal before there is a vaccine?
20. What do you think life will be like in 2021?