Some decisions have to be made while there is still uncertainty. In the event of a severe and prolonged pandemic, it is inevitable. Waiting for the progression of hospitalizations and deaths to become clear, waiting for it to roll over can be a long way off.
The omikron virus variant has given many governments and infection control authorities such a decision. Sweden will likely be there too soon. Calculations from the Swedish Public Health Agency and government decisions can be expected within a day or two.
The expected rapid spread of the omicron variant has been behind the rapid and difficult lockdown in the Netherlands, severely limiting Christmas celebrations, in churches, in stores – and at family gatherings.
Similar calculations have been made in Denmark and the United Kingdom. Germany, with a steady decline in the number of new infections a few weeks ago, was on its way out of a severe wave of infections during the fall.
But on Monday, the federal government and states got new scenarios From an expert council that brings together infection control experts from several bodies and institutions. In a worst-case scenario, so much of the workforce could fall ill quickly or be quarantined that health care and other critical societal functions are severely disrupted.
During the autumn, Sweden has seen a better development than some of its neighboring countries. Previous epidemiological events and better influence on vaccinations may have been preventive. But what is causing the new unrest and restrictions in other countries is the uncertainty that remains. What can significant infection of the omicron variant involve in the case of critical illness and hospital overcrowding?
The vaccines used in Sweden seem to protect well against serious diseases, even in the case of omicron. But spots still in vaccine coverage could cause a wave of intensive care and deaths if the infection spreads too fast. Continuing to vaccinate the unvaccinated and completing vaccination protection with a third injection is key. There should be no Christmas and New Year holidays in the field of vaccinations.
We have to be aware of the fact that for a while there will be more tips and commands regarding restrictions. As before, the crippling strict lockdowns, recently invoked in the Netherlands, cannot continue or be well respected. Vaccines and Vaccine Cards facilitate continuing working life, non-profit activities, and other societal functions.
Hopefully, it turns out that the omicron variant is not dangerous in terms of mortality, and that the restrictions don’t have to be as long-term as they were before vaccines were developed. But this is something we can hope for, and nothing we can know for sure yet.
Support for particularly affected businesses, as well as cultural and church activities and associations, must continue to be targeted at those truly affected. Epidemiological restrictions apply not evenly, but very unevenly. Repeating wild and unsustainable repayment demands of all kinds of companies, where the moderates were at their worst bidding a cap of $100 billion per month, hopefully we’ll never see that again.
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