Four European nations are defying the international trend of maintaining restrictive Covid-19 measures.
Ireland has imposed some of the most repressive pandemic measures in Europe, but nonetheless recorded the highest infection rate in the world in early January. On Friday, Prime Minister Micheal Martin announced the nation would be scrapping almost all its COVID-19 restrictions.
“We have weathered the Omicron storm,” Martin said, adding, “I have stood here and spoken to you on some very dark days. But today is a good day.”
Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen recently announced the end of virtually all Covid-19 restrictions on February 1, including mask mandates and so-called ‘vaccine passports.’
“Tonight we can shrug our shoulders and find the smile again. We have incredibly good news, we can now remove the last coronavirus restrictions in Denmark,” she said.
“It is due to the Danes’ goodwill to be vaccinated—also with a third dose—that the restrictions can now be lifted,” she claimed. “With the high vaccine adherence, it is possible to break the connection between the number of infected and the number of hospitalized.”
However, the Danish prime minister chalked up decreasing Covid-related hospitalizations to vaccinations and boosters, rather than the general mildness of Omicron, as well as the prevalence of reinfections, and thus, natural immunity.
Right policy, wrong reason. One of the least-discussed aspects of the Covid pandemic is the prevalence of prior infections and “natural immunity,” which the CDC recently conceded was superior to vaccinated immunity over extended periods of time. A new Imperial College of London’s React study showed that 64.6 percent of cases in England from January 5 to January 20 were COVID reinfections.
Last week, beleaguered prime minister Boris Johnson announced vaccine mandates and work restrictions would soon be lifted — in March at the latest.
“The government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere,” he said. “We will no longer require face masks in classrooms… We will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalize anyone who chooses not to wear one.”
“People in England will no longer be required to wear face masks anywhere or work from home from next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, adding that scientists believed a wave of the Omicron coronavirus variant had peaked nationally,” Reuters reported.
“Johnson said mandatory COVID-19 certification would end, though businesses could choose to continue COVID passes if they wanted to,” Reuters added. Self-isolation or “quarantines” are also set to expire in March, but the measures might be ended sooner.
The Czech government announced last week that it is ending COVID vaccine mandates to stop ‘deepening fissures’ in society. The news was delivered by Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
“This does not change our stance on vaccination. It is still undoubtedly the best way to fight COVID-19 … however, we do not want to deepen fissures in society,” Fiala said.
However, the data clearly demonstrate that nature has already ‘vaccinated’ the great majority of national populations, whether or not they received a shot.
These four European nations are finally embracing the reality of all other pandemics in human history. But none of those needed mandates or vaccine ‘passports’ to ultimately end.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.