Is the Covid pendulum starting to swing the other way? From eugyppius at eugyppius.substack.com:
“Where’s the vaccine mandate they promised us?” whines Daniel Brössler, reporter for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, disappointed because yesterday’s Corona summit of German minister presidents returned nothing but some adjustments to quarantine and sharpened testing rules. The double vaccinated will now have to submit negative tests if they want to eat at restaurants. Markus Söder, lockdown- and vaccine mandate-loving minister president of Bavaria, criticised even these milquetoast restrictions, with some bluster about how he’d already taken a hard line against bars and discos. This is after leading German Corona astrologer, Christian Drosten, used his state media podcast to suggest that Germany should start tolerating some of degree of SARS-2 transmission, and that breakthrough infections among the vaccinated should be considered normal. Such statements, which almost surely reflect sentiments within the coalition government, destroy most of the rationale for ongoing restrictions and vaccine mandates.
Meanwhile, in Austria, the thrice-vaccinated chancellor Karl Nehammer has tested positive for Corona. The news comes as Austria announces they will delay implementing their vaccine mandate by two months. It will now take effect in April, if at all. Gerald Gartlehner, an epidemiologist and sometime governmental adviser, suggested that mandates (or at least their enforcement) might have to be re-evaluated in light of Omicron and the widespread immunity the new variant will elicit across the Austrian population. There is every reason to think that Austria will be past the peak of the Omicron wave in April, and that a majority of Austrians with have SARS-2 antibodies by then.
In the United States, former Biden advisers have published a series of editorials in the Journal of the American Medical Association, arguing that it is time to normalise containment and begin managing SARS-2 as one of various seasonal respiratory infections.