The Pandemic Endgame

2 January 2022 — Swiss Policy Research

Coronavirus infections in Australia (IMCS)

Some recent developments:

  • The flu has returned to Russia and to Israel (see WHO FluNet). Israeli hospitals currently have about ten times more flu patients than covid patients. Regarding omicron, Israel may be switching to the “Swedish model”, but has approved a fourth vaccine dose for high-risk groups.
  • Sweden is currently seeing the strongest flu wave in ten years. Some US states, including New York, are also experiencing a very strong flu wave. In all of these places, the flu is circulating in parallel to the omicron coronavirus.
  • In contrast, countries with low coronavirus infection rates have still not seen a return of the flu (e.g. Canada, Norway, Finland, Australia and Germany).
  • Omicron infection rates in Canada and Australia, but not yet in New Zealand, have gone vertical. Although omicron is milder than delta and vaccination still helps against severe covid, Australia, with almost no natural immunity, appears to be seeing less of a “decoupling” between infections, hospitalizations and ICU patients than Britain and South Africa (which had infection rates of about 50% and 80% prior to omicron).
  • Denmark currently reports the highest coronavirus infection rate in the world; the ongoing omicron wave may reach 30% to 50% of the entire Danish population.
  • In London, but not yet in other parts of Britain, the omicron wave appears to have peaked.
  • China, having vaccinated most of its 1.4 billion citizens, is imposing new “starvation lockdowns” on major cities to combat rising omicron infections. If China really wants to maintain its “zero covid” policy, this could seriously impact both its domestic economy and global supply chains (as it already does). (Videos of recent Chinese lockdowns.)
  • The French government apparently decided to “deactivate” the “vaccine pass” of people without a “booster” four months after vaccination. Previously, the government decided to turn the “health pass” into a “vaccine pass”, required to access long-distance trains, restaurants (even outdoors), and most public venues. The “pass” has totally failed in containing infections.
  • Germany tomorrow will be seeing more than 1000 protests all over the country against repressive government policies and a potential vaccination mandate. Video footage of global civil rights protests can be found on these social media channels.
  • California has overtaken Florida in terms of age-adjusted excess mortality. The German state of Bavaria, one of the most repressive German states, has overtaken Sweden in terms of covid mortality. Previously, Austria had overtaken Sweden in terms of covid mortality.
  • Europe is currently reporting “the strongest avian flu epidemic ever” in wild birds and poultry farms, which might also be due to the previous coronavirus pandemic.

Sweden: return of the flu

Sweden: return of the flu (WHO FluNet / SPR)

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