2021-02-16 16:28:32 | Walking (and Skating) on Thin Ice, Some in Europe Paid the Price

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Story by: Elian Peltier and Claire Moses The New York Times World News

Those ice skating in various European places this weekend might have done well to listen to Yoko Ono: “Walking on thin ice, I’m paying the price.”

Hundreds of people danced, skated, played hockey or strolled on frozen lakes and canals in Europe over the weekend, but the ice was not always thick enough to keep everyone on their feet.

In Amsterdam, a skater wearing only a swimming suit on a frozen canal got his few seconds of fame — captured in a video seen nearly seven million times as of Tuesday — when he fell through the ice and had to be rescued by a more careful skater, who also wore more clothes.

In Berlin, police officers flew over frozen lakes in helicopters and ordered walkers and skaters to leave. In Northern England, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust urged people to keep away from frozen lakes, where rescuing resources were limited.

Temperatures in Europe fell last week to levels that had not been seen in years, prompting many to flout lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures to play in the snow or on the ice. In London, parts of the River Thames froze, and people skied on the streets of Edinburgh and Paris.

In Athens, unusual snowfalls have halted Covid-19 vaccinations, and the authorities asked members of the public to go outside only for essential activities. In Germany, a homeless aid group, BAG W, said last week that five people had died in the cold in a week.

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In the Netherlands, where skating on natural ice is a treat that happens every few years and amounts to something of a national passion, people flocked to ice clubs, according to the broadcaster NOS, turning to skating as a happy distraction from a nationwide lockdown and curfew.

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Source References: The New York Times World News

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