It had grown dark by the time Verum returned to the Mystical dorm room after a study session in the library. All she wanted to do was plop onto her bed and fall asleep. But all thoughts of sleep left her mind when she entered the dorm room and noticed how it was covered in a brilliant blue glow. It looked magical! The beds were blue; the curtains were blue; the walls were blue. Only Verum wasn’t.

Naturally, Verum tried to look for its source – it was her crystal ball! She said, “Oh, it’s time for vaccine news! Let’s see what is the new development on this front.”

“After the United States (US) and the state of Victoria in Australia, Austria is the next country to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory. But this will come into effect from 1st February 2022,” said Verum, “So far, Austria is the only country in the European Union (EU; a group of nations in Europe) taking this step. However, many other countries in Europe have begun increasing restrictions.”

“Why? Are Covid cases rising in Europe again?” said Orak.

“Yeah, it’s said to have become the global epicenter of the pandemic,” replied Verum.

“What measures are the countries taking?” said Felix.

“Take the eastern European country, Slovakia, for instance. It has a population of 5.5 million. Out of this, only 45.3% are vaccinated,” said Verum, “Meanwhile, it registered 13,266 new cases on 24th November.”

“That’s a lot of cases, isn’t it?” said Scorch with a worried expression.

“Other wealthy nations in west Europe have also been impacted. Germany has a vaccination rate of about 68.1%. But it, too, is considering making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory,” said Verum, “In Greece, the unvaccinated won’t be able to enter venues like restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, and gyms. It is said to be an indirect urge to get vaccinated.”

“Are people protesting these measures too?” said Felix, “I remember some people in the US and Australia opposed the mandatory vaccination.”

“Yeah, according to them, these measures curtail their rights to freedom,” said Verum, “But experts have responded that someone’s freedom to remain unvaccinated cannot come at the cost of someone else’s freedom to be healthy.”

“Hmm, that is food for thought,” said Orak.