The leaders of the 27 EU countries held a video summit on the 25th to discuss and coordinate anti-epidemic matters. At the meeting, countries agreed to launch a “vaccination passport” before this summer, and warned vaccine manufacturers that they would prohibit vaccines from leaving the European Union if they were not delivered on time. According to the European version of the US political news website, EU leaders appear to be quite exhausted due to repeated setbacks in efforts to deal with the crisis. The most critical issue is the slow speed of vaccination. Some diplomats said that Europe has fallen into the “new crown trap”, highlighting the gap between the EU’s ideals and reality.
According to the report, the proposal of “vaccinating passports” was originally proposed by Greece and supported by countries that are highly dependent on tourism, such as Cyprus, Spain, Malta, Portugal and Italy. But Romania, Germany and France expressed opposition. They believe that such travel documents can only exist if all EU citizens have equal access to the vaccine.
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the meeting that countries have agreed to launch a “vaccination passport”, but it will take three months to set up a technical framework. It has not yet determined how to use it, and emphasized that this does not mean that only vaccines are available. Only a passport can travel. European Commission President von der Lein said that this passport still has many scientific, technical and political obstacles. At the same time, the leaders of the EU member states agreed that the current priority is to strengthen the approval, production, distribution and vaccination of the new crown vaccine. They also concentrated their firepower at the meeting to approve vaccine drugmakers for failing to keep their promises. Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said that these drugmakers did not abide by the agreement signed with the European Union, but exported vaccines to the UAE or Israel as usual. Von der Lein asked EU leaders to rest assured that if suppliers such as AstraZeneca do not deliver on time again, the vaccine will be banned from leaving the EU.
After the meeting, the EU issued a statement requiring pharmaceutical companies to accurately provide production capacity estimates and comply with commercial contracts. Von der Lein said that the EU has so far received more than 50 million doses of the new crown vaccine, and 29 million doses have been used as of the 25th, which shows that about 6.4% of the EU’s population has been vaccinated. The Austrian newspaper “Standard” criticized that the EU’s epidemic prevention steps are still too small and the vaccination process is slow. This is a manifestation of the frustration and ineffective decision-making of Europeans.
In addition, the meeting also discussed the issue of virus mutation. At present, 26 of the 27 member states of the European Union have confirmed the discovery of the mutated new coronavirus that was first discovered in the United Kingdom. Michelle, President of the European Council, said that Europe needs to face the reality of the arduous task at hand, but at the same time it can foresee that hope is coming. The Spanish newspaper “Nation” reported that vaccination is a “top priority”, and the economy and society need this “signal of hope”.
Fasting didn’t seem to help much. Pierre Veraguth was hunched up in his bed, the teacup standing by it untouched. He was left in peace as much as possible, since he did not answer any salutations and was reluctant to start every time someone stepped into his room. For many an hour his mother sat by his bed, muttering half-sung caresses and words of reassurance. She felt worried and eerie; it seemed as if the little sick man was stubbornly obsessed with a secret pain. He gave no answer to any question, request or offer; he stared straight ahead with evil eyes and did not want to sleep, play, drink or read aloud. The doctor had come two days in a row; he had said little and ordered tepid body wraps. Pierre lay in a light half-slumber a lot,
Veraguth had been painting outside for several days. When he came home at dusk, he immediately asked about the boy. His wife asked him not to go into the sickroom any more, since Pierre was so very sensitive to all disturbances and now seemed to be asleep. Since Frau Adele said few words and since the previous morning conversation had felt disgruntled and embarrassed towards him, he didn’t ask any more, but went to the bathroom without worrying and spent the evening in the pleasant restlessness and warm excitement that he always felt when preparing a new job felt. Now he had painted several studies outside and wanted to tackle the picture himself tomorrow. He selected cardboard boxes and canvases with satisfaction, mended on loose stretcher frames, Knowing nothing better before going to bed than lovingly thinking about tomorrow and laying out every little thing for it.
He then looked comfortably at the evening mail over a glass of wine. There was a joyful, loving letter from Burkhardt, and enclosed was a list, compiled with housewife care, of everything that Veraguth had to take with her for the trip. Amused, he read through the whole list, on which neither woolen waistbands nor beach shoes, neither night clothes nor gaiters were forgotten. At the bottom of the note was written in pencil: “I’ll take care of everything else for both of us, including the cabins. Don’t let any seasickness chemicals or Indian travel literature talk you into it, it’s all my business. ”
Smiling, he turned to a large role in which a young Düsseldorf painter sent him a number of etchings with a respectful dedication. Today he found the time and mood for that too, he looked through the sheets carefully and chose the best of them for his portfolios, the others could have Albert. He wrote the painter a friendly note.
Finally he opened the sketchbook and looked for a long time at the many drawings he had made outside. None of them really satisfied him, he wanted to try another, wider section tomorrow, and if the picture still wasn’t right then he would just continue to paint studies until he got it out. In any case he would be hardworking tomorrow, the rest of the matter would be covered. And this work would then be his farewell to Roßhalde; it was undoubtedly the most haunting and enticing piece of landscape in the whole area, and it should not have been in vain, he hoped, that he had kept saving it up until now. That could not be dismissed with a dashing study, it had to be a good, delicate, balanced picture. The quick, fighting painting in nature,
He lay down early and slept well until Robert woke him. There he stood up, shivering in the tight morning chill, in a happy hurry, stood up and drank a cup of coffee, and urged the servant to bring him canvas, field chair and paint box after him. Soon afterwards he left the house and disappeared, Robert behind, into the meadow, which was still pale in the morning. Before that he had wanted to ask in the kitchen whether Pierre had had a quiet night. But he had still locked the house and found no one awake.
Frau Adele had sat with the little boy until late at night, as he seemed to be a little feverish. She had listened to his slurred murmur, taken his pulse, and straightened his bed. When she said goodnight and kissed him, he opened his eyes and looked into her face without answering. The night was calm.
Pierre was awake when she came to him that morning. He didn’t want breakfast, but asked for a picture book. The mother went to get one herself. She stuffed a second pillow under him his head, opened the window curtain and put the book in Pierre’s hands; it was opened to a picture of a tall, radiant, golden-yellow woman, Sun, which he was particularly fond of.
He lifted the book to his face, the bright, happy morning light fell on the sheet. But immediately a dark shadow of pain, disappointment and discomfort flew over his delicate face.
“Ugh, that hurts!” He exclaimed, tormented, and let the picture book sink.
She caught it and held it in front of his eyes again.
“It’s your dear wife, the sun,” she said encouragingly.
He covered his eyes with his hands.
“No, put it away. It’s so hideous yellow! ”
Sighing, she picked up the book again. God knows what that was with the child! She knew all kinds of sensitivities and moods about him, but he had never been like that before.
“Look out,” she said gently imploringly, “now I’ll bring you a fine, warm tea, and you can add sugar and a nice rusk with it. ”
“I do not want!”
“Try it once! It is good for you, you will see. ”
He looked at her, tormented and angry.
“But if I don’t want to!”
She went out and stayed away for a long time. He blinked into the light, it seemed excessively bright and hurt him. He turned away. Was there no consolation, no more pleasure, no more little joy for him? Defiantly and tearfully he pressed his face into the pillow and reluctantly bit into the soft, bland-tasting linen. It was an emerging reflection from his very early childhood. As a very young boy, when he was put to bed and unable to fall asleep, he had the habit of biting into his pillow and chewing on it with a certain tact until he got tired and fell asleep. Now he did that again and worked slowly into a silent numbness that did him good and in which he lay quietly.
The mother came back in after an hour. She leaned over him and said: “So, does Pierre want to be good again? You were very naughty before and mom was sad. ”
That was a powerful remedy at other times, which he seldom resisted, and now when she said the words she was worried, he would like to take it too much to heart and cry. But he didn’t seem to pay attention to her words, and when she asked a little sternly: “You know that you were naughty before?”, He twisted his mouth almost mockingly and looked completely indifferent.
Immediately afterwards the medical council came.
“Has he vomited again? Not? Nice. And was the night good? What did he have for breakfast? ”
When he straightened the boy and turned his face to the window, Pierre winced again, as if in pain, and closed his eyes. The doctor looked carefully at the strangely strong one Expression of defense and pain in the child’s face.
“Is he so sensitive to noises too?” He asked Frau Adele in a whisper.
“Yes,” she said softly, “we are never allowed to play the piano, otherwise he will act very desperately.”
The medical council nodded and half closed the curtain. Then he lifted the little one out of bed, listened to his heart and tried to beat him on the tendons below his kneecaps with a little hammer.
“It’s okay,” he said gently, “now we’ll leave you alone, my boy.”
He put him carefully back in bed, took his hand and nodded to him with a smile.
“May I come in for a moment?” He said to Frau Veraguth in a gentlemanly tone and allowed himself to be led into her room.
“Now tell me more about your little one,” he said encouragingly. “It seems to me that he is very nervous and that we have to take good care of him for a while, you and me. The stomach story is not worth talking about. He absolutely has to eat again. Fine, invigorating things: eggs, bouillon, fresh cream. Try egg yolk once. If he prefers it to be sweet, beat it in a cup with sugar. And now, did you notice anything else about him? ”
Concerned and yet reassured by his friendly, confident tone, she began to report. Most of all she had frightened Pierre’s indifference, it was as if he never loved her. It didn’t matter to him whether he was asked or scolded, he was indifferent to everything. She talked about the picture book and he nodded.
“Let him have his way!” He said as he stood up. “He’s sick and can’t help his bad habits at the moment. If possible, leave him alone! If he has a headache, he can get ice packs. And in the evening you put him in a warm bath for as long as possible, that makes you sleep. ”
He said goodbye and did not allow her to accompany him down the stairs.
“See that he eats something today!” He said as he was leaving.
Downstairs he stepped into the open kitchen door and asked about Veraguth’s servant.
“Call Robert here!” The cook ordered the maid. “He has to be in the studio.”
“It is not necessary,” called the medical council. “I’m going over there myself. No, leave it alone, I know the way. ”
He left the kitchen with a joke and, suddenly serious and thoughtful, walked slowly under the chestnut trees.
Frau Veraguth reconsidered every word the doctor had said and couldn’t come to terms with it. Apparently he took Pierre’s malaise more seriously than before, but he hadn’t really said anything bad and had been so matter-of-fact and calm that there was probably no serious danger. It seemed to be a state of weakness and nervousness that had to be waited with patience and good care.
She went into the music room and locked the piano so that Albert wouldn’t forget himself and suddenly start playing. And she thought about it decide in which room the instrument can be moved, for example, if that takes longer.
Every now and then she went to check on Pierre, carefully opened his door and listened to see whether he was sleeping or moaning. Each time he lay awake and looked apathetically straight ahead, and sadly she went away again. She would have preferred to nurse him in danger and pain instead of seeing him lying so closed, sullen and indifferent; it seemed to her that there was a strange, dreamlike chasm separating him from her, a disgustingly tenacious spell that her love and concern could not break. There was a mean, hateful enemy in ambush, whose nature and evil intentions were unknown and against whom one had no weapons. Perhaps some fever, scarlet fever, or some other childhood disease was preparing.
Sadly, she rested in her room for a while. A bouquet of spirals caught her eye, she bent over the round mahogany table, the red-brown wood of which glowed deep and warm under the white openwork ceiling, and bowed her face with closed eyes Eyes into the many-branched, soft, summery flowers, whose strong, sweet scent, as it was fully absorbed, tasted mysteriously bitter at the bottom.
As she straightened up again, slightly numb, and looked with idle eyes at the flowers, at the table and across the room, a wave of bitter sadness rose within her. With a sudden alertness of the soul she looked across the room and at the walls, she saw the carpet and the flower table, the clock and the pictures all at once strange and unrelated, she saw the carpet rolled up, the pictures packed and everything loaded onto a cart All these things, which now had no home and no soul, were to take away to a new, unknown, indifferent place. She saw Roßhalde standing empty with closed doors and windows and felt abandonment and the pain of parting staring out of all the beds in the garden.
It was only a moment. It came and went like a quiet but urgent call from the dark, like a fleeting, fragmentary reflection from the future. And rose significantly out of the blind life of feelings into consciousness: she would soon be without a home with her Albert and the sick Pierre, her husband would leave her, and the lost dullness and coldness of so many loveless years would remain in her soul for all time . She would live for the children, but she would never find the beautiful life of her own, which she once hoped for from Veraguth and to which she had kept and cherished a secret claim up to yesterday and today. It was too late for that. And she froze with knowledge and sobriety.
But immediately her healthy nature defended itself. A restless and uncertain time lay ahead of her, Pierre was sick, and Albert’s vacation would soon be over. It did not work, it absolutely did not do, that now she too went limp and followed subterranean voices. First Pierre had to be healthy again, Albert had to leave and Veraguth had to be in India, then one would see further, then it was still time to accuse fate and cry your eyes out. Now had that made no sense, she couldn’t, it was out of the question.
She put the vase with the spirals outside the window. She went into her bedroom, poured cologne on her handkerchief and washed her forehead with it, checked her strict, taut hairstyle in the mirror, and walked calmly to the kitchen to prepare a snack for Pierre herself.
With that she appeared later at the little one’s bed, sat him upright, ignored his defensive gestures and spooned the egg yolk strictly and attentively. She wiped his mouth and kissed his forehead, shook his bed upright and encouraged him to be nice and to sleep.
When Albert came home from a walk, she pulled him with her onto the veranda, where the light summer wind crackled in the taut brown and white striped awnings.
“The doctor has been there again,” she said. “Pierre is not okay with his nerves, and now he must be as calm as possible. I’m sorry for you, but at first the piano must never be played in the house. I know it’s a sacrifice for you my boy Perhaps it would be very wise if you went away for a few days in the fine weather, to the mountains or to Munich? Papa would certainly not mind. ”
“Thank you, mom, that’s nice of you. I might go away for a day, but no longer. Otherwise you have no one to be with you while Pierre has to lie down. And then I should start school work now, I’ve been strolling all the way up until now. – If only Pierre gets well soon! ”
“Good, Albert, that’s good. It’s really not an easy time for me now, I’m glad to have you here. You get along better with Dad, don’t you? ”
“Oh yes, since he decided to go. Incidentally, I see him so little, he paints all day. You know, sometimes I am sorry that I was often ugly towards him – he has me too tormented, but he has something that impresses me again and again. He’s terribly one-sided and he doesn’t understand much about music, but he’s a great artist and has a life’s work. That’s what impresses me so much. He has nothing of his fame, and actually very little of his money; it’s not what he works for. ”
He frowned, searching for words. But he couldn’t express himself the way he wanted, even though it was a specific feeling. The mother smiled and pushed his hair back.
“Do we want to read French together again in the evening?” She asked flatteringly.
He nodded and smiled too, and at the moment it seemed foolish and incomprehensible to her that until recently she could have asked for a fate other than to live for her sons.