by Freddie Sayers
Saturday, 4
September 2021
Spotted
09:48

Denmark overtakes Sweden as the restriction-free Nordic nation

The government no longer considers Covid-19 a critical threat to society
by Freddie Sayers
The Öresund bridge linking Denmark and Sweden was closed earlier in the pandemic. Credit:Getty

Denmark, a country whose approach earlier in the Covid pandemic was thought of as the opposite of Sweden, with early border restrictions and school closures, has now overtaken its neighbour as the most restriction-free country in Scandinavia.

An article in today’s Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish broadsheet, observes:

It seems like an upside-down world all of a sudden: that the Danes, who at the start of the pandemic gave Swedish travellers the cold shoulder on the Öresund bridge and told them to turn back because Swedish Covid restrictions were too mild, are now letting go of the reins altogether.
- Svenska Dagbladet

Nightclubs in Denmark have been open since last week, and as of September 10th, guests will no longer need to show their “Coronapass” which serves as proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. Despite having higher case numbers than Sweden, all the remaining restrictions will be lifted — the Danish government no longer considers Covid-19 a ‘critical threat to society.’

Sweden is progressing more cautiously. The administration has set out a 5 stage plan for lifting restrictions, and stage 3 was passed on July 15th, including an end to the requirement to wear masks on public transport and an increase in permitted restaurant table sizes from 4 to 8.

Stage 4, including the removal of all restrictions on size of gatherings, was pencilled in for September but, as case numbers are gently rising in Sweden, the date has not yet been confirmed. Health officials have warned that it could be delayed further, with some restrictions lasting into next year.

Lone Simonsen, Professor of Epidemiology at Roskilde University in Denmark, told SvD:

The Swedes were on the right track earlier in the pandemic. Anders Tegnell said, “we’ll keep the schools open, we must be careful not to shut down society” and then managed to keep the epidemic under control throughout the summer of 2020. It’s a story that isn’t told often enough… We were really jealous here in Denmark, as we were stuck at home more.
- Professor Lone Simonsen

Meanwhile Norway, previously with the lowest Covid numbers in the region, is experiencing a sharp spike in infections. Thursday saw 1,785 new infections, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.

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D Hockley
D Hockley
9 months ago

It is hilarious that a small group of us that has been saying all along that the harsh lockdowns and other draconian measures were nothing but a costly waste of time that violated common human rights, has been proven to be so right.
What is not hilarious is the way that many doctors and other professionals who said the same thing have been the subject of fierce ad-hominem attacks by the MSM and big tech. Many voices that spoke out against the insane measures or in any way questioned the MSM/big tech narrative were shut down and had their accounts cancelled.

Meanwhile, whilst the common man suffered greatly, the top 1% saw their wealth double during this pandemic.

Last edited 9 months ago by D Hockley
Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago
Reply to  D Hockley

Ok, who has downvoted this comment? Come out and explain yourself.

(The downvote has disappeared because of my upvote)

Last edited 9 months ago by Andrea X
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

There are a few lockdown enthusiasts knocking about. None of them worrying about food on the table though.

D Hockley
D Hockley
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Yea, it was a bit cheeky wasn’t it? I think it may have been Bill Gates.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  D Hockley

There was one ardent pro lockdowner from the USA who challenged the notion that the economy wasn’t flourishing and she was making a mint through investments.

Last edited 9 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

Kathy Wood Fund Manager – check her out on youtube, she made so much money during covid it was a real spotlight on the corruption of the Central Bank money printing scam.

But now her fund is getting down – but few Trillions of $ are in the pipelines, so as all that goes to the ultra wealthy, her fortunes may shoot back up.

D Hockley
D Hockley
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Hold on a minute….I upvoted your post, yet I see a zero vote count…meaning some scoundrel must have down voted it.

OOOhhh, these young whippersnappers….they wouldn’t get away with it in my day!

Last edited 9 months ago by D Hockley
Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago
Reply to  D Hockley

Hahahahaha, your latest one now stands at +3.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  D Hockley

Lockdowns for most were a pointless endeavour, rather than preventing mass infections and pressure on the healthcare systems all it they achieved was pushing back the peak of the virus by a few weeks in most countries

Last edited 9 months ago by Billy Bob
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

How about NZ locking its borders? Do they have a viable exit strategy? How has it been?

David George
David George
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yes Sanford, we’re (NZ) back in full lockdown in our largest city with slightly less onerous restrictions everywhere else. Anyone coming through the border (we’ve only got one) faces two weeks in managed quarantine.
No we don’t have an exit strategy worthy of the name. With the lowest vaccination rate in the OECD and a government run with the risk aversion of a kindergarten teacher I can’t see us opening up properly for a year or so.
To be fair, we have had a relatively easy time of it with no restrictions to speak of for many months at a time. Consequently people are more accepting of lockdowns but I can see that changing as other countries open up while we cower in fear.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

What is a viable exit strategy Sandford? At the minute the plan in NZ is to vaccinate as many people that want it and then live with the virus, the same as every other country. What would you have them do instead?
What causes your antagonism towards NZ, when by and large it has used the exact same tactics to control the virus as every other country, a combination of lockdown and vaccines, and it’s citizens have faced less restrictions on their day to day lives than almost any other country for the previous 18 months, Sweden included? As a self proclaimed lover of freedom I’d have thought you’d have appreciated the fact I’ve been able to go to packed bars, gigs, sporting events, while most other countries have been under some form of house arrest for the past year and a half.
It’s geographical isolation simply meant it’s first lockdown eradicated the virus from its borders, something that wasn’t an option for most countries as the virus was already too entrenched amongst the general population.
The vaccine rollout has been too slow, and only using the most effective brand of vaccine is now looking like an overly cautious mistake since the latest outbreak in Auckland, but by and large their tactics have worked, and come at a much smaller financial toll than similar economies.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well, I come from the General Stark philosophy of ‘Live Free Or Die’.

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

Thomas Jefferson also said:
He who gives his freedom for safety gets none of them. Thomas Jefferson”

I tend to think is exceedingly likely that the vaccines will be gotten around, and become useless. The reason being it is not a ‘vaccine’, but an antigen which produces a single S Spike Protein antibody (RNA injected causes your cells to produce alien spike proteins like in the movie ‘Alien’ where it comes bursting out of you, and so your immune system makes antibodies to that ONE protein. The fact multi millions of vaccinated people are now infected with a billion viruses each – means the virus is evolving to get around that tightly targeted antibody.

So what will NZ do if that continues? Another lockdown for more years? I see you love the freedom to hang out in bars, but so have the people in Florida and South Dakota and Sweden. I would not think I was free if allowed in bars but could not exit my own country, and return. That I could be imprisoned in my house if someone gets an infection!

The current belief is that EVERYONE will get Covid – see youtube for Dr Campbell latest – the most popular vaccine doctor in the world. At least being infected gives wide spectrum resistance.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’ve been free to leave NZ whenever I please. In fact many people have been coming and going during the pandemic has been going on, it’s how the latest outbreak was brought back into the country after all. The border has only been shut to those that aren’t citizens, or are you suggesting NZ should be taking in those to which it has no responsibility during a pandemic?
I’m also not suggesting vaccines are a magic bullet, but you simply have to look at the cases to deaths ratio in the UK before and after the vaccine rollout to see that even if they don’t prevent the spread they at least means that catch it on average have much less severe symptoms. Eventually natural immunity will deal with covid so that it becomes just another seasonal illness in my opinion, but if vaccines means less people have to die before we reach that level then why wouldn’t you use them?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Many get let out of jail in USA to go to day jobs, they get visitors, they get compassionate leave for big personal crisis – but they still are in jail.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

If I’ve been free to leave the country, and have faced absolutely no restrictions on my day to day activities for the bulk of the pandemic, how is NZ a jail?
Explain to me what freedom means to you, as it clearly means something different to how I (or the dictionary) perceive it

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The current cases to low deaths ratio in the UK could be due to the fact that we have had 2 large waves/strains pass through the population and most of the vulnerable population is either vaccinated or has had Covid and survived or have succumbed to it, it is not only because of vaccines. Unless a society is fully open, they will not be able to know what damage will ensue.
People in NZ must be dying too- just not of Covid . So what is the difference? Why fear Covid ?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago

You can’t deny though that hospital numbers plummeted once the vaccine rollout got going. I’m sure the previous waves helped as well by building up tolerance in people, but I think you’d have to be pretty one eyed to say the vaccines aren’t a great help in reducing the severity of the symptoms.
As for your last paragraph, I don’t believe it’s fear of Covid, not anymore anyway, but simple pragmatism. 30 years of Thatcherism (yes it made it here too) has left NZ with a very low intensive care capacity (4.5 beds per 100k people, compared to 7 UK, 9 Australia and almost 40 in Germany), the healthcare system simply couldn’t have coped with an outbreak similar to what Europe had.
Luckily due to the geographical isolation we’ve largely kept the virus out, and are now in a position to vaccinate the population before letting the virus back in, which should hopefully avoid overwhelming the hospitals. Keeping the virus at the border has also meant I’ve only had to endure 6 weeks of lockdown that’s more restrictive than Sweden in the last 19 months

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

NZ Covid deaths ratio will be just as many as UK if it’s open even after the vaccines as the vulnerable will be hit the hardest anyway . But I get your point about hospital beds.
Zero Covid policy is not worth pursuing though!

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Prof Johan Giesecke said the same thing in his first interview with Freddie, eventually everyone will get the virus.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

this is true (NZer)

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

And so it comes to pass that countries with the lowest Covid numbers start realizing the enormity of trying to keep the virus out.

Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago

I read that 73% of the population, starting from 12 years of age, is fully vaccinated. They aim to get to 80% in a few weeks’ time.
I can’t help wondering if this approach is going to bite them back eventually. See Israel…

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Are you talking Norway?

Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago

No, Denmark

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Why would it come back to bite them? While the vaccines don’t stop people from catching the virus completely, the stats seem to imply that it does drastically reduce the risk of serious infections, hospitalisations and death. Much better to let the virus circulate through a vaccinated population than an unvaccinated one

Last edited 9 months ago by Billy Bob
Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Not quite, or at least not necessarily.
As I said, see Israel.
If it is true that vaccinating people who have not contracted Covid makes them spread it more easily, it makes you ask some question on the validity of vaccinating the young/er.

Last edited 9 months ago by Andrea X
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

The vaccinations don’t help the virus spread more easily, in the absolute worst case scenario it would spread at the same speed as if nobody was vaccinated.
Whilst it does still spread through a vaccinated population seemingly, it appears to do much less damage and cause a less severe reaction on average in those that have had a jab compared to those that haven’t

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Billy Bob you are doing a great job here – but dont expect to necessarily change any minds and dont waste too much energy or get your blood pressure up !

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

I have noticed that especially in regards to the States the whole thing has become incredibly partisan, the same as anything else in that country. I strongly suspect that if the democrat side over there were the ones that were more vaccine hesitant or less in favour of lockdowns (and vice versa) then some on here would hold the complete opposite opinion than what they do currently simply to oppose.
Being economically left leaning and socially right leaning myself, I’ve been a floating voter so have never understood those that support a political party through thick and thin. I do that for football, cricket and rugby teams, I have no loyalty to any politician or party, I’ll vote for whoever I think will do the best job at that particular time.
My views on lockdown also aren’t as clear cut as others on here would like to paint me. In NZ they’ve been short and largely successful so they still retain high support. Personally I’m happy to lose a bit of freedom temporarily to help prevent the health service (underfunded in my opinion) becoming overwhelmed and those in my community suffering preventable deaths not just from Covid but from preventable illnesses that may not get treated in the melee. However this isn’t something I’d be willing to put up with indefinitely. Once the vaccines are done then lockdowns should be a thing of the past.
By the same token if I lived in Europe (or Sydney now) I think lockdowns there are rather futile. The virus was simply too entrenched to control, and they would have been much better following Sweden’s model of lighter restrictions and placing more emphasis protecting the vulnerable than the constant yo-yoing in and out of harsh lockdowns.

Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Just the other day on the Spectator they mentioned an Israeli study saying exactly that, i.e. that people who had not had covid and were vaccinated were more likely to spread.
Coming from Israel where have been vaccinating from 3 years + it does make you wonder, considering that now they have a lot of “cases” whatever that might mean. The same for the UK, come to that. I would imagine that continental Europe will follow suit in a few months time and after that Australia.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Spread is irrelevant, what the vaccines are clearly doing is reducing the number of people who require hospital treatment when they catch it. It’s pretty obvious to anybody now that the virus can still spread amongst a largely vaccinated population, and catching it will possible produce better antibodies than we can manage with the vaccine alone. However if we can prevent lots of people dying while this is happening through vaccinations, don’t you think that’s reason enough to administer them?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The issue is now less about vaccinated vs unvaccinated – rather it is about non sterilising vaccines driving variant breakthrough. So the vaccinated become the problem.
Further, the thrust of this thread is that less damage has been done to countries with sensible restrictions rather than hard lockdowns as the graph depicts.
I do assume from your vociferous defence of NZ zero Covid strategy that your personal economics haven’t been affected much. That is always at the heart of this stance. Never met a pro lockdowner who doesn’t have food on the table.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago

Virus’ always mutate. We had various different strains of Covid long before the vaccines started going into arms, so to try and blame the vaccines I think is incorrect personally.
As I said numerous times on the previous article, NZ has been the most open society domestically for the previous year and a half. I’ve only spent 2 out of the previous 19 months under any type of lockdown, and only 6 weeks of that stricter than Sweden’s.
The unemployment rate in NZ is currently one of the lowest on record and the previous year has seen strong wage growth, so much so that the Reserve Bank will most likely raise interest rates next month due to the stronger than expected performance of the economy.
I’ve no strong opinion on lockdown policies per se, I’m merely saying the NZs approach has worked very well for the country, though it likely wouldn’t have worked elsewhere due to geography and timing. You live in SA (I think) so I’d wager there hasn’t been much assistance during the pandemic there and any restrictions would cause great economic struggle, whereas it simply hasn’t been the case in NZ. Workers and businesses have been well supported and very few have failed, so much so that they’re pressuring the government to allow foreign workers through the border as they’re struggling to attract local labour.
I don’t understand why you’re so against NZs approach when it has largely worked for them, and enjoys large support from the public. NZ still has one of the lowest debt to GDP ratios in the OECD so it hasn’t even cost the country any more than any other

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Virus’ always mutate.”

And they really do it fast, and well, wile undergoing ‘Gain of Function’ development at Wuhan lab.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

NZ is actually somewhat problematic because they decided to rely entirely on others to get them out of this by developing a sterilizing vaccine. Unfortunately the vaccines currently available are not sterilizing and further don’t appear to be protective for all that long.
So of course NZ could shut down their borders completely given that the only way into the country is by sea or air, and they are miles from anywhere. But when they open they’re luck is going to run out. It’s the same situation that would pertain to a prepper who shut him/herself off from the world for several years. But eventually they have to come out and at that time they will be exposed.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

and one other thing. It is only RNA viruses that continually mutate. DNA viruses do not mutate or if they do mutate very slowly. hence no need to update polio, measles or chickenpox vaccines for new variants because there aren’t any new variants that escape antibody surveillance. In the case of SARS-CoV2, a leaky vaccine such as the current crop is actually problematic as it can serve to drive escape mutations with resulting dire consequences if those mutations are not accompanied by a decrease in pathogenicity.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Whether or not the vaccines cause the virus to spread more easily is an open question. As a little exercise, I counted the vaxx rates of the 30 European countries (EU + UK, NO, IS). The top ten vaxxed countries were all in the top half of the table when it came to new infections.
In Belgium, where I live, 25% of new infections are classed as ‘breakthrough’ cases. The proportion for hospitalisations appears to be similar, but they are being a bit cagey with that data.

Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You are seeing summer statistics – remember last summer?No vaccine and very low case numbers. Wait til winter and we will see that the data coming out of heavily jabbed populations such as Israel reflected here as the vaccinated become infected.
Nobel prize winning scientist and others of eminent careers in medicine and science have warned that vaccinating in the midst of a pandemic is insane as it will drive variants. We have also been indoctrinated to believe that vaccination is the best way to achieve herd immunity – what utter BS.
Young people are not really vulnerable to this virus. Even amongst my own friends no one I know has died or suffered terribly. On the other hand they are going down with cancer and heart disease left right and centre.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn Reed

If you read what I have actually written on my various replies and not once have I claimed that vaccination leads to herd immunity. However case numbers from UK and Europe clearly show that while the vaccinated can still catch Covid, and catching it may actually produce better antibodies than the jabs alone, the large numbers of cases don’t lead to anywhere near the same number of hospitalisations and deaths in vaccinated populations as unvaccinated ones.
Israel being a young country also means that only around 60% of the population has been vaccinated, so the virus can still transmit relatively easily in that country. I’ve no doubt the virus will continue to mutate, however I don’t believe this is due to vaccines, it would have done it anyway

Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No, about 75% of the TOTAL. Israeli population is vaccinated.
At the moment the deaths are about 1/4 if the peak (as opposed to about 1/10 or lower in the UK).

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

It’s 78% of eligible people are double jabbed, but as children aren’t eligible for the vaccine that equates to 60% of the population. Sorry should have made that clearer

Andrea X
Andrea X
9 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

In Israel are now jabbing children as young as 3. Up to 12 until mid aug.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
9 months ago
Reply to  Glyn Reed

Very low case numbers in the summer, but a much higher percentage of those cases required hospital treatment. I agree the virus appears to be seasonal, but I think this winter the higher case numbers won’t result in anything like the hospitalisations and deaths of last winter

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

“The Swedes were on the right track earlier in the pandemic.”

So was Kristi Noem of South Dakota too – and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally shows that. Which last year, and this year, DID NOT lead so super spreading although over half a million – one million attend – watch her ride her horse on the raly stage on other youtubes…. such a Patriot, warms ones heart – this is Kristi, and it ends with an uplifting Olympic Patriot’s talk….Never a Lefty making an uplifting speech, all anger, hate, and misery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0eiQ8O8Qf4

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
9 months ago

The backstory about the Danish withdrawal from Covid authoritarianism is far more interesting than this Post discloses. It started with the scientific disclosures from Israel earlier in August. These meant that there is no way of stopping Covid from spreading through the entire population, because the vaccines don’t prevent infection and transmission, especially given the variants. Thus, one recent (Aug 2021) Israeli study, showed that fully vaccinated (Pfizer), previously uninfected people are in fact 13 times more likely to get Covid and 21 times more likely to get symptomatic Covid (Delta variant) compared with unvaccinated previously infected people (i.e. those with naturally immunity). Of the 257 breakthrough cases that were detected in the study’s follow-up period, 93% occurred in the vaccinated group, and only 7% occurred in the previously infected group. And of nine hospitalizations, eight occurred in the vaccinated group, compared to just one in the previously infected group. So the “breakthrough rate” (at least for the Delta variant) is significantly higher for fully vaccinated but uninfected people than for people who had previously been infected and recovered from the disease. And the Israeli study is not alone: 15 other studies show that natural immunity from prior infection offers robust protection against Covid-19 and its variants.
After that news came out, Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason lamented that vaccination had failed to achieve herd immunity and conceded that nothing we do, short of focusing on those vulnerable, will stop the natural progression toward herd immunity, whether we like it or not. “We need to somehow navigate this way, and we are now in this, not to get too many serious illnesses so that the hospital system does not collapse, but still try to achieve this herd immunity by letting the virus somehow run,” said Guðnason. He is now throwing up his hands saying that he is disappointed that vaccination has not brought about herd immunity, and that the only approach now is to protect vulnerable groups and allow the virus to move through society. “We really can not do anything else,” he says. “We need to try to vaccinate and better protect those who are vulnerable, but let us tolerate the infection.” This type of Covid realism has obviously spread to Denmark and we can only hope that the politicians of other nations will follow suit.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
9 months ago

The virus is now endemic, every nation is going to have to accept that and live with it like we do with so many other viruses. if it were such a “killer” and natural herd immunity does not exist, why are the inhabitants of virtually unvaccinated third world countries not dropping dead in the streets?
On the subject of Sweden, Their IFR is 1.3%, the percentage of the population that the virus has killed is 0.0014%, average age 84. There has not been a single Covid death in anyone under 30.
Time for everyone to get out from under the duvet and from behind the masks and put their big boys’ trousers on.

Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
9 months ago

Meanwhile the evil/stupid Dan Andrews is promising an economy open only to the vaccinated – the “selfish” unvaccinated will be kept locked down.
Cannot wait to see this man arrested.