In Europe’s Nursing Homes, a Soaring Covid-19 Death Toll and the Pain of Isolation

PARIS—The coronavirus has resurged in Europe’s nursing homes, killing thousands of older people and forcing facilities to make a difficult choice: impose another period of crushing isolation or risk greater exposure to the virus.

Nursing home outbreaks have dashed hopes that their residents could be shielded from the virus when it is spreading quickly in society at large. As cases soared across Europe this fall, nursing home personnel and visitors brought the virus in with them despite strict sanitary rules, infecting tens of thousands of residents, who are most vulnerable to the pathogen because of their age and frailty.

Countries such as France, Belgium and the Netherlands that closely track nursing home deaths have recorded more than 9,000 since the beginning of October. Other nations such as Italy and Spain that don’t yet have data on nursing home deaths have reported outbreaks in hundreds of facilities in recent weeks.

In

Read More

Europe’s Best Telecoms Stock Is a Real Estate Company

Take Vodafone Group Plc. The British company is reportedly planning to list its own Vantage Towers unit in Frankfurt early next year. Bloomberg News reported it’s seeking to raise about 4 billion euros in a deal that could value the business at around 20 billion euros including debt. 

The logic is straightforward if you consider the anticipated rise of 5G networks. Towers companies are essentially in the real estate business: They lease space to mobile carriers to install their antennae. As carriers provide greater 5G connectivity, they will require more antennae and therefore more tower space. Rather than splash out to build or buy more of their own towers, carriers will increasingly share them.

Vantage currently averages 1.37 antennae per tower and aims to boost that to more than 1.5 apiece in the “medium term.” Cellnex currently averages 1.58 customers. The occupancy rate is only likely to increase.

Even as

Read More