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Ireland is here unfortunately joining the broader trend of not being able to control Covid this timee around.

Here is a graph from 91-Divoc with cases/100k population. It's EU countries (minus tiny ones) and plus UK and Norway. This is total cases, which may not be comparable between countries and certainly not camparable with spring, but should be comparable within countries. If any country had the spread under control the line would go flat or almost flat (like during the summer).

Ireland looked like it had things under control there for a while, but has now rejoined the rest. Increase is - with actions taken to decrease spread - more or less linear in almost all countries, and not much tendency to get it flat again.

In Sweden, with massive amount of actions taken to increase ICU wards, ICU wards are now running out of beds. Crises clauses has been triggered in the staffs employment agreements, increasing weekly work hours (with increase in pay of course), but there is a limit as to how long the staff will be able to cope with increased work load and increased hours. During the spring new ICU cases was pretty fast going down, but now the only real hope is vaccination. (And I sincerely hope the new RNA vaccines has been sufficiently tested before they were approved, or things will really go haywire.)

And for new readers: despite what you might have read, Sweden's strategy isn't and wasn't heard immunity by not doing anything, and death rates in Covid in Sweden is pretty much at the EU average. It's Norway and Finland that are exceptional and far as I can see the reasons for that are not very clear.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jan 7th, 2021 at 04:34:31 PM EST
My guess is they took distancing and masking seriously which led to limited spread so the disease never reached the exponential growth number - the 'take off point' on your graph.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 7th, 2021 at 05:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Finland masks really became the norm only in late autumn but distancing, as Reuters said, is something we have been doing naturally even before the pandemic. People have been joking that the two meter requirement is uncomfortable close to other people.

Seriously though, according to Eurobarometer poll three quarters of Finns say restrictions have had no effect in or have raised their quality of life.

According to the professionals the biggest factor in keeping the numbers down now was the very efficient one month blockade of the capital area in spring, which prevented the virus from spreading to the rest of country before August. Thus we started the second wave from less than 10 daily cases nationally.

Contact tracing has been quite decent, and it's one of the metrics used for regional restriction schema. Basically the regional R-number and ratio of contact tracing define the level of restrictions in force on that region. But I assume Sweden does it similarly, so it's unlikely to explain the difference.

One factor discussed earlier is that Sweden stopped BCG vaccinations in 1975, while Finland only in 2006 and Norway in 2009. There were supposed to be studies in spring last year if BCG provided some level of protection against Covid-19, but I haven't heard from those since.

by pelgus on Thu Jan 7th, 2021 at 08:12:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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