Would Melbourne open up with 500 cases a day?

Denmark on Friday ditched vaccine passports and axed its remaining COVID restrictions after coming “out the other side of the pandemic”:

With no masks in sight, buzzing offices and concerts drawing tens of thousands, Denmark on Friday ditched vaccine passports in nightclubs, ending its last Covid curb.

The vaccine passports were introduced in March 2021 when Copenhagen slowly started easing restrictions.

They were abolished at all venues on September 1, except in nightclubs, where they will be no longer necessary from Friday.

“We are definitely at the forefront in Denmark as we have no restrictions, and we are now on the other side of the pandemic thanks to the vaccination rollout,” Ulrik Orum-Petersen, a promoter at event organiser Live Nation, told AFP.

On Saturday, a sold-out concert in Copenhagen will welcome 50,000 people, a first in Europe…

Denmark’s vaccination campaign has gone swiftly, with 73 per cent of the 5.8 million population fully vaccinated, and 96 per cent of those 65 and older.

“We’re aiming for free movement … What will happen now is that the virus will circulate and it will find the ones who are not vaccinated,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen told AFP…

“Now the virus is no longer a societal threat, thanks to the vaccine,” said Simonsen, who works at the University of Roskilde.

Denmark’s population is around 5.8 million, making it only slightly larger than Melbourne (5.2 million) and New Zealand (5.1 million).

Denmark was also generating around 500 COVID cases a day on reopening versus Victoria’s 392 cases yesterday:

Denmark had 121 people in hospital being treated for COVID versus Victoria’s 147 yesterday:

And Denmark averaged three deaths per day over the past week, versus one death over the entire week in Victoria:

Obviously, the reason why Denmark has fully reopened is because of the nation’s high vaccination rate. As shown below, 74% of the Danish population is fully vaccinated versus just 33% in Australia:

Nevertheless, the obvious question arises: would the Victorian Government emulate Denmark and fully reopen once a similar vaccination threshold is reached?

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. Of course they will. No one is going to impose lockdowns forever.

    Yes, there will be some fussing about the edges for a while (70%v80%; masks on public transport; etc).

    No, we are not there yet, because we are way behind the likes of Denmark on vaccination (Thanks for nothing Greg Hunt!).

    But we’ll get there eventually.

  2. The reward for getting vaccinated and opening up Australia… is to end up living in a country flooded with Indians, and to see house prices skyrocket.

    What a deal ;p

    I think I’d rather the virus.

    • Speaking of “rewards”, look at that of Keneally. For walking back her inconvenient low-migration heresy, Albanese can gift her a safe seat in a multicultural electorate. Perfect.

    • Yeah our politicians only like to choose between bad and worse. Having an option for making Australia better for the average Australian never crossed their minds.

    • “Get Vaccinated. Do it for your loved ones”

      HAHAHAHA!!! They mean “do it for Highrise Harry, traitor sell out Unis and the slaver hospo owners”

      Now the only thing to look forward to is getting some covid into these boomers. “OK Boomer farewell tour” is back on the menu boys.

  3. So far UK as reached 80% of double jabbed over 16 and its COVID situation is far worst than Sydney (more than double the cases, three times the deaths). This will not go away quietly.

    • True but lets see what happens in the next few weeks, at the moment the 7 day average deaths are running at 140 rather than 1248 at the peak so it appears from these numbers there is a correlation between the vaccination rate and the death rate.

      • Yes – vaxxing definitely lowers death rate, and by a large amount.
        The problem is if by vaxxing you reduce the chance of dying for people who are infected to a tenth of what it was, but by reducing restrictions you’re seeing 10x the case levels you’re back where you started. The UK’s cases aren’t as high as they were when they had 1000+ cases, but they are growing, and will likely have a higher peak over a longer time if they maintain the status quo. It will be interesting to see how the cumulative deaths over the whole of winter compare with last winter for them.

        • Yep, its why ICU will always be overwhelmed. Lower % needing ICU but higher raw numbers of people unwell as more people catch it. This is us now, prepare as best you can.

  4. Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world – with 78% over 50’s having had their THIRD dose.

    Population 6 million – 54 people died on the September the 8th.

    They have issued a warning to the world – its a disaster, immunity is quickly wearing off and their hospitals are failing.

      • 28% of the population in Israel is aged under 14. Since kids cant be vaccinated the vaccinated rate will never be 100% but only 72%. Currently at 63%. So only 9% of the adult population are unvaccinated.

        • Amen UE, finally someone talking a bit of common sense while those around us are losing their minds. Fear and propaganda are very powerful tools when used by people who let power go to their heads. Covid is a perfect example, our constitution is being trashed, our civil liberties removed, discrimination laws being ignored, our way of life changed forever all in the name of a virus that we are just going to have to learn to live with. We will have more urgent concerns to deal with when we finally open up again. Recession/depression anybody, the minions are still swimming in debt up to their eyeballs. We know this is not going to end well. Too many people still in denial.

          Yet you still support the idea of vaccine passports – papers please. Hmmm, look here, your papers are not in order, no vaccine stamps, no liberties for you, Commandant, we have an offender here, another one for box car number 8, off to the re-education camps for you !

        • You can choose to do none of the three
          For us to live our normal lives implies that you are at risk of getting COVID with a subsequent 10 percent risk of long COVID which is non discriminatory from an age or seriousness of initial illness perspective-your not comparing apples with apples

          • Long covid eh,
            Have you ever had a cold or flu when you just can’t shake the final bit, running at 90% but can’t get back to 100% for a few months?
            Never heard anyone mention long flu/cold…

          • Matthew/Arthur,

            Your likelihood of severe affects from CV-19 tie directly to your health status. Society accepts and then taxes many of the products which causes societal harm, yes they are a choice but so is the consequence of a CV-19 infection. All literature says those with underlying health concerns fair a lot worse than those which are healthy.

            The other issue is that we cannot vaccinate someone for sugar, alcohol and tobacco…in many ways we are much better equipped to deal with CV-19 then these other diseases. What we are seeing globally is the unfit and unwell being taken by a diseases which targets their poor health. Those which do not have a choice in their health outcomes due to age or bad luck should be protected, everyone else needs to start taking some accountability for their life decisions.

          • Just replying to 3ris comment above, but can’t directly for some reason:

            There are viruses known to trigger Type 1 diabetes. Most notable ones are Rotavirus and Coxsackie virus. They did a study in US and the RotaTeq vaccine in children reduces their chance of later developing Type 1 diabetes by almost 40%. Coxsackie is apparently responsible for up to 50% Type 1 diabetes cases in the Netherlands.

            Apparently the viruses hide from the immune system by adopting parts of the human digestive system DNA into themselves. If your immune system targets the wrong part of the virus a later auto immune condition is very likely.

          • Besides which governments have spent decades trying to reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption, with at least some success in the case of tobacco. There was even a western government that banned alcohol for nearly 15 years although it was such a disaster it’s pretty much considered a cautionary tale for why banning stuff doesn’t work.

  5. FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

    Yes we’ll open up when vaxx percentage gets up there.. With some (measured, depending on case numbers/hospital pressure) restrictions.

    Countries that are dealing best currently (Iceland, Singapore, Denmark) are countries that have gone for vaxx PLUS reasonable restrictions (on inbound travel, indoor vs outdoor group gatherings, plus effective test ‘n trace)

    Countries/regions that have relied almost solely on vaxx and gone full opening have come into trouble with new waves (UK, parts of US)

      • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

        No. I don’t think they should get rid of everything altogether, either, until such a time as virus well under control.. because if not, it gets out of hand extremely quickly.

        Overall restrictions will depend on vaccine uptake, hospital pressure and case numbers. But I’d expect some level of indoor density limits (especially), vaccine “passports”, mask mandates for sure.. Just to blunt the blow of future waves. (for reference, mask mandates apply to kids 6 and over in schools in France and Spain).

        Some level of restriction/mitigation will be expected anywhere there’s a lot of virus

        • “Overall restrictions will depend on vaccine uptake, hospital pressure and case numbers”. Of course. So my question stands: would Victoria open up with similar COVID numbers to Denmark (hospitalisations and deaths). I highly doubt it. We’d still have heavy restrictions at those numbers.

          • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

            I think if the 500 was on the downside of a wave I’d reasonably expect for restrictions to get close to zero – provided there’s high vaxx numbers/manageable hospital pressure.

            I think you have to put the draconian measures (like playground bans) in context. They were striving for zero spread whilst waiting for vaccine cavalry (scomo being the real originator and extender of these current lockdowns), arguably a better strategy than managing outbreaks whilst waiting. Now that idea is cooked (and politically and practically unviable) it’ll be heavy restrictions until this wave is cooked, and more measured restrictions after that.

            Denmark has 80% plus of 12 and overs vaccinated. They’ve been pretty good in managing Covid (5x lower mortality than Sweden). And the path to zero restrictions has been measured and gradual. Surely it’ll be a sh1tstorm for the next few months, but restrictions will ease at some point.

      • I don’t think they would but if they do come Xmas holidays they will have everyone leave for the holidays plus many leave for much longer. Enough to crash the economy even harder.

      • You can’t compare Oz with Denmark until the same % of the population has been exposed to Covid.

        Natural immunity appears far better than leaky vax immunity, but it’s better to have it than not and seems the ideal is double vax and then catch a low viral load dose of Covid

        • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

          Natural immunity would blunt future waves to a degree for sure. But you can’t get everyone natural immunity all at once (or hospital pressure/mass carnage) – but you can vaxx to blunt the waves.

          And yep. I’d much rather be double vaxxed plus virus versus going for “Natural immunity” without protection.

  6. Only time will tell. There are a lot of ways long term that this can play out; many of the countries opening up are enjoying the temporary vaccine reprieve IMO. There are long term risks:

    -There seems to be a 6-9 period grace after vaccines are administered where efficacy is high and case numbers are not yet at a high enough to cause hospitalisations. Constant boosters and the logistics to get them into everyone’s arms seem more expensive in the long term than zero COVID would of been if NSW has done its job right. Efficiacy after a few months sinks quite a lot which means boosters…

    – Each booster has the potential to have a side effect – maybe not the first, or second but the fifth? 10th? Every drug has side effects and the more often we are forced to roll the dice the increasingly likely it will come.

    – The virus is still circulating among the vaccinated. This affects not just the unhealthy but other people with “temporary conditions”. For example pregnant/new mothers who naturally are considered immune-suppressed and birth at hospital, someone who’s had an injury and needs to go to hospital, your body is busy fighting another virus, etc. The virus is circulating in the population with a high replication factor even among the vaccinated making it highly likely you get it just when, due to life’s circumstances, an inevitable underlying condition exposes itself.

    – Any variants leak and hit us faster than we react with a vaccine still causes billions of dollars in disruption, more lockdowns, etc. We are already seeing South African Mu variant for example. There will be more. Some may evolve to be vaccine resistant (although I’m starting to doubt this – it seems to be better natural selection wise to live with the vaccinated).

    TL;DR Vaccines buy us time; but there is still a lot of long term risks of ending back here in a lockdown, high death environment wasting lots of money in the process. If we are smart we should use it wisely; but I’m pretty sure we won’t. We should also not assume like most Australian’s seem to do that other countries are smarter than we are – we as a culture IMO seem to have a inferiority complex always comparing ourselves to US, UK, Europe. We should path our own way that makes Australia the best place to live as much as possible on its own advantages/terms. Some people think that means freedom with death for the unlucky, others think its a caring society that lives without fear – either way COVID means some price will be paid ongoing.

    We are reporting on a day to day basic for something that will take years to fully play out. I get that while we are locking down its the main thing on most people’s minds. But one day, week or even a month in a post vaccine world just isn’t enough data yet. Israel given their fully vac’ed timeline in Jan is probably the closest.

  7. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Leith, you should emphasize the Danes have vaccinated 73% of their entire population.

    That is a much larger proportion than Australia’s eligible population of people over 16, commonly used here, as the vaccinated rate.

    To get to the same proportion here, well over 90% of the population over 16 would need to be vaccinated.

    A less disingenuous question would be, when will over 90% of the population over 16 be vaccinated so we can open up like Denmark? 🇩🇰

  8. A fully vaxed requirement on pubs and clubs and Bunnings from mid October to mid November would get Australia to 90% fully vaxxed very quickly and then the requirement can be dropped.

    It will probably only take about 2-4 weeks of passport monitoring.

    Most Aussies will capitulate in a nano second knowning they will miss going to the pub or a club or Bunnings for 4 weeks.

    Make the annoucement now so that people have 6 weeks to get their vaccinations sorted.

    There is loads of vaccine available providing you are not a Phizer Phancier.

    • Dan has witnessed the proof that his cabinet is unable to ‘govern’ certain LGA’s of Victoria.
      Thus, the obvious ‘next step’ is to implement high surveillance tracking methods which are being promoted ostensibly as ‘freedom’ passports. Expect wider Australia to follow suit in good time.
      It will be the only way to control the world’s first ‘country of countries’.

  9. Given we will certainly see more than 500 cases this week in Vic, and there are no plans to attempt to reduce Reff to below 1 any more, when Vic opens up, it will definitely be at more than 500 daily cases, likely more than 1000 daily cases.

  10. NelsonMuntzMEMBER

    @Leith Yes Dan will open up at +500 cases per day once we hit some nominal double vaccination rate and the hospitals are going to have to brace for the infux of unvaccinated COVID patients. Right or wrong the train has already been set in motion. The message is clear, get vaccinated or be prepared to get sick or worse. The community has already moved on, hence the lack of compliance and rampant spreading. The elderly, sick, poor and unfortunately few are going to bear the brunt of this disease as nature is neither cruel nor kind.

  11. Double Vaxxed Superspreader

    It’s easy to drop restrictions after three months of summer and sunshine in Denmark. It’s light there at 11pm during summer, so vitamin d levels the highest they will be all year.

    Let’s see how they go when it’s dark at 4pm, overcast skies, damp frigid weather in a few months time.

    That will be the test.

    We would all like the virus to go away, but deaths are going to skyrocket come winter.

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