LONDON – The crisis facing Britain this winter is depressingly familiar: Stay-at-home orders and empty streets. Hospitals overflowing. A daily toll of many hundreds of coronavirus deaths.
The U.K. is the epicenter of Europe’s COVID-19 outbreak once more, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is facing questions, and anger, as people demand to know how the country has ended up here — again.
Many countries are enduring new waves of the virus, but Britain’s is among the worst, and it comes after a horrendous 2020. More than 3 million people in the U.K. have tested positive for the coronavirus and 81,000 have died — 30,000 in just the last 30 days. The economy has shrunk by 8%, more than 800,000 jobs have been lost and hundreds of thousands more furloughed workers are in limbo.
Even with the new lockdown, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday that the situation in the capital was “critical,” with one in every 30 people infected. “The stark reality is that we will run out of beds for patients in