From the Substack post on December 10, 2021, by eugyppius.
Enormous thanks to all the commenters in my open thread, who provided reports on containment conditions in their own countries. I haven’t been able to include every last report, but I’ve tried to select representative and interesting examples from across the world, organised by region:
My friend Eye Patch Jack, who writes Pacific Narrations, reports on Tokyo:
- voluntary masking is as popular as ever
- Karen-ism is low
- some restaurants have acrylic panels up, some sheets. Customers move them out of the way. Staff don't care and sometimes assist
- there are discounts and some lame offers for the vaccinated at some businesses
- there are murmurs of vaxport implementation, but very quiet and the idea isn't popular
- overall the hype is down
- gov has acknowledged heart disease as. aside effect
- top voted comments on legacy media articles are generally done with this shit
- my current impression is that there is a conscious effort behind the scenes to suppress hysteria and quietly move away from all of it
- otherwise normal: no lockdowns, no legal Vax mandates (some defacto at some work places but they can be fought)
- praying it lasts
Jack also points us to his extensive report on conditions in Tokyo from 19 October. I recommend you have a look.
Laurence Flynn, who writes Renegade Mind, expands on life in Miyazaki, on the Japanese island of Kyushu well to the south:
Also in Japan, down in Miyazaki. I have to wear a mask in class at elementary school. I don't wear a mask in any shops. I'm generally the only bare-face in there. 99% of people also sanitise hands when entering shops. At least I've never been confronted in any shop. I'm concerned that vax mandates will be brought in at the end of the school year (March 2022). Vax uptake in the elderly is really high but not so much in the younger generations. My wife got one shot back in March as she's a nurse. She hasn't been hassled to get a second and I've had a word since then and she understands the dangers now. None of my kids, all over 18, are getting it, including spouses. I can't see how they can bring in the vax passports but the government just needs to do it and everyone will comply and get their shot.
Rich Seager, who writes Plebeian resistance, sheds more light on the crazy prison state of New Zealand:
Report from Dunedin NZ. Mask wearing is higher than 30% in the CBD and University area. There are no cafes without signs out front for vaxx pass and although you can get a takeaway coffee at one place in town mostly you can't. Many are scared of the virus. Many are not. My tennis club mandated vaccine pass although they did not need to do so. They are all right wing and the government is supposedly left wing. How does that work? They also knew my opposition to it so kept it quiet from me for weeks before but looking back, suddenly some things made more sense. They took no notice of a letter of liability that I sent them. Found out today that NZ is doing a trial for Klaus and this has been since 2019. Supermarkets are approaching people with photos from months ago accusing them of not having mask exemptions. People are edgy, willing to have a go at anything. This is a significant
deterioration in societal mental health in just a week. Retailers are shocked at large drop in trade since vaxx passes were introduced. Nobody wants them. Jacinda is scared to go outside.
For more New Zealand reports, see the comments highlighted at the bottom of my Open Thread post.
Meanwhile, anonona tells us what it’s like in Western Australia:
- mood: like "On the Beach" with a 99.9% survival rate
- masks: none
- location tracking: check-ins in place but few bother and no-one enforces them
- vaccine mandates: in place for 75% of jobs, approx 80% (16+) vaccination rate, expected 90% on reopening
- effectively isolated from the rest of Australia and the rest of the world which means previously infected people are a negligible percentage of the population (<1%)
- not a popular tourist destination, and reopening is well after University semesters start which would be the other big influx of travellers after mine workers
- first world with effective bureaucracy
Which is all to say pretty much an excellent sample population. WA will hopefully provide useful case study in 3-6 months time when we are scheduled to open our borders to the rest of Australia and World, and once covid escapes the quarantine protocols. By then Omicron or whatever the latest variant is should be dominant in the rest of Australia. As long as the politicians don't interfere too much you may get some nice clean data without the many confounders that affect other data sets. I'm not sure it'll tell us anything we don't already know but keep it on your radar for the future.
Ann Glover reports from the country at the current epicentre of variant hysteria:
As to be expected, there are increasing talks of mandates. Universities have all but fallen. But the new year starts in February. They have avoided demonstrations by slipping in the mandate while all campuses are pretty much locked down and/or sparsely populated.
In the meantime, businesses are ramping up the mandates and the rhetoric. First it was medical aids (Discovery being the largest), then pharmacies (Dischem is a large franchise), and now Nedlac are talking, too (National Economic and Development Council). This last is quite worrying. People are getting edgy. We still have a balance tipped in the favour of unvaxxed. I think at last it was 3 to 2.
The vax-pressure campaign has been ramped up in the media and the president is flirting with mandates after promising they won't happen. The antigen-test fuelled omicron "surge" is being played up, too. Infections are the order of the day. Hospital stats, not so much (although see link below). Petty bureaucrats abound and I can sense the anticipatory relish of all the little tyrants at doorways and entrances, and the fervour of health and safety officials is ramping up.
An interesting article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-03/omicron-up-close-south-africa-s-experts-tell-their-stories
Madhi actually has the balls to acknowledge past transmission. Mendelson is on the UCT staff - still wants to cling to the option of pushing the panic buttons. No doubt has been part of the force driving the UCT mandate.
David S. on growing virus anxiety in heavily-vaccinated Portugal:
From Portugal here... this is one of the most vaccinated places on earth, we have 87% of the population fully vaxxed and the covid delusion continues. Everybody keeps wearing masks outdoors. The "covid certificate" is required to eat at restaurants, go to gyms and stay in hotels, among other things. The media is hopeless, totally bought and controlled by the fascist govt. This week they began recommending the vaxx for kids aged 5-11, and the technical document that supposedly served as the basis for that decision is not being published... like it's some kind of state secret...
Everybody keeps buying the mainstream narrative, everybody keeps staring at the TV and happily complying. Nobody questions what is going on, there is no resistance whatsoever. It is true this country has a certain history of big government intervention and compliance, that probably stems from the time of the dictatorship between 1933-1974... But it is still appalling that only a tiny minority has seen what is truly going on. As you can imagine we are constantly blasted as crackpot "conspiracy idiots" and covid deniers…
Madeira, author of Madeira’s Newsletter, reports on conditions in the Portuguese autonomous region in the Atlantic from which he takes his name:
I live on the island of Madeira and am coming to feel a bit like Napoleon on St. Helena. It's nearly 2 years since I have left the island, and given that I can't/won't wear a mask it's likely that I will leave Madeira the same way Napoleon left St. Helena. I am rather envious of people in other places (US, UK) where there is "pushback" against all the restrictive policies. Here, there is virtually none, people do as they are told and that's that.
Although I am vaccinated, my refusal to wear a mark means that I haven't been able to even go to a grocery store for over 6 months. There is no such thing as an "exemption" for wearing a mask here, and when my wife brought up my inability/refusal to wear a mask she was told that I should take tranquilizers, or have a psychological exam. Now that she is off visiting her family in the Americas for 2 months, my eating possibilities are essentially reduced to spaghetti and canned food. And the occasional takeaway, in restaurants that don't enforce the requirement that both a vaccination and test certificate need to be produced.
Reading this blog, and the comments, helps to keep me sane in a world that seems to be to have gone totally insane.
Lorenzo Casaccia, an Italian currently living in Barcelona, talks about how much worse things are in Italy:
Barcelona had been relatively saner until one week ago when the "pass" thing has started to show up.
Italy is fully on the other side instead. The whole country is about "passes". You need passes to go to public transport, too (this was done to indirectly force teenagers to get vaccinated as many of them take public transport to go to high school). You also need passes to do indoor sports, even for kids. And you need passes to work. It is probably the strictest legislation in the world. I hope people are watching Italy as it can be the source of several bad ideas for other countries - I could elaborate more if people are interested, just getting kinda late here.
BTW, I hope it is not lost on people that Italy has great/terrible track record of innovating in political science , and not from yesterday. You can go all the way from Machiavelli, to Mussolini (who inspired Hitler, Franco, Pinochet, etc), to the Mafia (which has been exported as a method of governance to NYC and wherever else), to Berlusconi... and I am now thinking lockdownism will have to join this list.
Friends in Spain have also advised me that it might be a good place to escape the worst of containment, if things continue to deteriorate here in central Europe. Let’s hope their green pass plans don’t go anywhere.
NEW: Spain. shasta dashes my hopes. Green passes are the curse of European Union:
Nazipass is being implemented in most of the regions. Little by little. The wave is not here yet, but they cannot wait. The media have put a lot of effort in creating fear and division: do not invite your unvaxxed son for Christmas.
Some people cannot visit their parents in the nursing home, despite being about to die, for example. You cannot visit your ill wife in some hospitals without nazipass.
I guess that after Christmas we will be in the same situation as Central Europe.
The last hope is MADrid where:
- the president is a little bit more sensible than the others (but the country president can overrule her easily).
- the amount of sensible people is higher than in the other regions.
Fellow Bavarian Quakeress provides a parent’s perspective on what it’s like where I live:
I live in Bavaria, like you do, eugyppius, and I suspect we're in somewhat similar circumstances. I happen to have a child in the Bavarian school system, 1st form of primary school, mask mandate at the beginning of the school year, mask mandates now, mask mandates in physical education class as the newest development. About two weeks ago, they began to send out emails, telling the parents in jubilant tone that soon, soon, children would be able to receive "protection" against coronavirus, too, and we were to be patient and please not call them impatiently for details, as they were already in process of planning the vaccine rollout for children 5 to 11. We got an email from the community, telling us the same, same jubilant tone, and as we know Söder and the Bavarian Health Minister were busy pushing the STIKO to give a recommendation for jabbing all kids 5-11 with the Biontech vaccine. Apparently, there is a group of parents who are scared out of their wits and are waiting impatiently for their kids to be vaccinated. I do not know any of them. I know a lot of parents, about 90% vaccinated (bc if the parent isn't vaccinated, the child will miss out on theatre, museums, swimming pools etc.). Nobody, really nobody wants their child 5-11 to be vaccinated. Yesterday's refusal of the STIKO to recommend the vacc. for kids 5-11 in general has been greeted with satisfaction and enthusiasm by parents I know (while they are worrying that the vaccine, of course, will be recommended at some point and then the government will start to push pressure on kids, comparable to the infamous "Freizeitlockdown" for kids older than 12). Pushing for vaccination of 5 to 11 year-olds might be the straw the breaks the donkey's neck, I think. But then so many breaking-the-donkey's-neck moments have come and gone, maybe I'm wrong again.
I think a lot about what you wrote some time ago - that it's harder and harder for the governments to whip up enough frenzy for people to go along with the policies. That's true, doubtlessly; but in the meantime, the governments can and will do a lot of damage.
When will it all end? I think that with the new German government it won't end for months and months, and I don't think I can go on living like that. I think of the +30,000 people in GB that they estimate might die of heart problems brought on by pandemic response stress disorder and think I might develop similar problems. Reading the news, I realize that I get a headache, that my heart is racing, that I won't be able to sleep. Of course, nobody will care if I topple over on accout of that, as long as I don't happen to have COVID as a side diagnoses. In that case, they will go to any length to save me, including destroying other lives, including yours.
Viv tells us about Frankfurt:
From Frankfurt, once Germany's global village. Shops empty, those that are bothering to open are all 2G except for the few basic exceptions like supermarkets and pharmacies, which the unclean still have access to (for now). Masks enforced everywhere, except in the local ethnic Späti (kiosk). Doctors have signs reassuring terrified patients that all their staff have had the wax but remember to keep your distance and wear a mask.
After a year of almost weekly, chaotic rule changes, no one has a damn clue what they are any more. The reaction from Germany's most small-c conservative corner is predictable - withdrawal into shell. This is aided by Frankfurt having a relatively high proportion of houses as opposed to apartments, by comparison to other German cities. Cometh a vaccine mandate I could, depending on how it is enforced, quite easily hole up for a couple of years with deliveries, and occasional trips to the local Turkish-run grocers, that are unlikely to ever turn paying customers away whatever pressure the government puts on the behemoths that run the supermarkets.
It is difficult to imagine how the German bureaucracy could manage to implement a mandate. Rumours of its ruthless efficiency are greatly exaggerated. Waiting times to do simple things like get documents can run into months. Unless they come up with some particularly evil plan to turn employers into vaccine police or such, the narrative will have fallen by the time it catches up with everyone. Some of us will have paid our fine at the last option having rejected and appealed and refused and with the cops at the door offering a choice of card reader or handcuffs. Anything to snarl the system up will help.
Protests are small but growing, hampered by the banning of the unclean from the (reliable but limited) public transport, and rather bizarre choices of locations, access to which can be easily hampered by the police. They are always accompanied by Merkel's black-clad street thugs (Antifa) looking on with their expensive cameras, even more expensive telephoto lenses, and balaclavas.
Test stations seem quiet but that may be because tests are in short supply. No idea how the daily 3G (waxed, recovered <6 months, or daily test) is being enforced, some employers probably turning a blind eye, others not.
The remains of the "Christmas market" in one of our run down and almost deserted malls is a solitary stand with "Amazing Offers in Winter Maskland". The neighbouring apple wine stall has 30 empty tables. At one sits a sozzled old gran, mask around her chin, halfway through her morning cup of booze.
A once great place to live is fallen, but most of them are. If we thought Merkel was bad, the new psycho looks like he will be even worse. The ancient Chinese curse, that we may live in interesting times, is only just beginning.
Aladel reports on the Czech Republic:
- mask mandates in closed areas
- non-vaccinated people cannot attend any cultural event or go to restaurants, not even with PCR test
- non-vaccinated employees need to test every week, any test suffices (paradoxically)
- the government limited pubs and clubs also for vaccinated by mandating closures after 22:00
- vaccinated still can test for covid, because it is paid by the health insurance but they do not have to quarantine if they test positive
- the government shut down Christmas markets (while not limiting any shopping centres, only you cannot eat in the food court)
- the outgoing government also planned vaccine mandate for some employee groups and the elderly...
It is a bizarre situation and the logic of the regulations eludes me. I am convinced that there is a group of the population that does not agree with the restrictions or does not comply but it is draining and somewhat sad when people are still defending these policies and don't see the danger of the divisiveness, distrust of authorities and overall hatefulness.
Desalite on the UK:
UK - govt just announced tightening of restrictions, vax pass for large events. Refused to categorically rule out mandatory vax, which means it's probably coming.
There is to be a vote on the measures next week, there are a number of rebels in the ruling party who don't agree, but the main opposition party has decided it wants to score points by insisting the govt "hasn't gone far enough with restrictions", so it'll pass the vote.
Same as every other country, overwhelming majority stupid frightened sheep. There is some decent resistance amongst young males, they're usually the only ones ignoring the mask mandates.
Overall, situation worsening, mentally digging in for a long winter of madness.
NEW: Southern England. Maria King reports from outside London:
Southern England here, just outside London, among my friends family and clients I would never have known there was a pandemic if I had not have watched the news. The vast majority of people I know who have had covid have had it mildly, as in milder than a mild cold, vaccinated or unvaccinated, I know no one who has died of it. People I know who have had covid are still obsessively testing on a regular basis, just incase. The worst people for this are the middle class desk job types, people who work in shops/restaurants and the trades are not as bad.
I have been lucky in that I have gotton away with not wearing a mask through the majority of this as you can self exempt yourself.
The biggest worry is the vaccine passports, a total farce, as we all know and are being bought in for large events, and probably for more places in the new year, the majority of people think that if you are double or triple vaxxed you cant get covid or it is unlikely so they are going out ill, thinking they just have a cold, happily spreading it around, where as unvaxxed, you have to have a test.
I spent months on end with no income as my business got closed and I did not qualify for any financial support, as did over 3 million others. Luckily I am back in work now and as a white fair haired 40somthing everyone just assumes I have had the jab.
NEW: Scotland. Ostap Melnick, who writes Dilettante, reports:
Here are some musings from Glasgow Scotland, the nation vying with New Zealand to be the wokest of the woke. To give a flavour of where we are headed this article from The Herald points the way. Comments were initially on but have been turned off, I wonder why. (Paywalled but workarounds possible.)
My resistance consists on taking a 20 minute train ride into town and having lunch in a pub once a week. Usually I am the only one on the train without a mask. Masks are compulsory here everywhere but there is a get out clause which permits you not to wear one by self declaring an exemption. To be fair, all staff appear to know about this and treat non wearers (over)politely. I have never been challenged yet by staff or public.
Pre pandemic I was in four social groups but three fell away (Karens & Kens) and the remaining meets by Zoom. Fortunately that group is mostly neighbours at least one of whom is a sceptic and we talk on the street. In an attempt to broaden social contact with like minded I attended our local “Stand in the Park” but that didn’t work out mainly because it was dominated by a conspiracy theorist who wouldn’t take no for an answer. I was drawn to the eugyppius blog because in proposing that it is bureaucracy rather than conspirators responsible for this debacle he articulates what I have thought from the very first day the covid scare appeared on the news in March 2020.
One good thing that came out of my aborted visit to Stand in the Park is my “Yellow Spot”. To identify each other in the park we were advised to wear something yellow. I chose a plain yellow badge measuring about one inch in diameter. I now wear it all the time - as a sign of my resistance. Alert historians will know of another Yellow Spot at a different time and place but that coincidence needn’t detract from our current cause, only enhances it.
So if there are any like minded readers who want to meet up for a blether I can be found in Wetherspoons Crystal Palace pub in Jamaica St, Glasgow from 12.30pm every Wednesday. I will be wearing my yellow spot. That pub is relaxed about face masks and I rarely see one on customers or staff.
Yes, I am a dilettanti but you wouldn’t hold that against me, surely?
KS, who writes KS’s Newsletter, on western Canada:
It feels like we are frogs in water that is about to boil. In many cases, we are the most, or one of the most, restricted countries in the world.
-Current case counts, per capita, and relative to history can be described as "low". What is missed by the population is that Canada had relatively low cases per capita all along. The media, continually compare them to previous highs and new records were achieved by some provinces in the fall which kicked of AGGRESSIVE campaigns the coerce folks to get vaccinated and to despise the unvaccinated.
-The anger/hatred directed towards the unvaccinated/anti-vaxers is palpable. The media has hammered on how the ICU's were filled with the unvaccinated etc. and it is now okay actively shame and discriminate against that group.
-And although the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects individuals on medial and religious grounds from putting things into their body, this is being walked around routinely by the government (mandates) and companies.
-Living in British Columbia (BC), the West-most, and left-most province. It's our version of California. So the narrative is very strong #understatement, and there is NO coverage outside of "vaccines are great" in any form of mainstream media.
-Canada, which simply receives FDA recommendations, has approved vaccines to 5-year olds. Was one of the first countries to vaccinated down to 12 years old.
-As of Nov 30, in this province, 88% of 12+ population is double vax'd, 91% with at least one shot. 91%! So there aren't many people left who have yet to "do the right thing".
-In this province, we have a passport system in place. Outside of shopping, you need to scan a QR code to enter fitness facilities, cinemas, restaurants, etc. (Sidenote, the Federal government set aside $1 billion for passport systems across Canada to be developed...incentives!)
-Here, there is no way to test out. Getting a medical or religious exemption is essentially impossible. Vaccine or bust. In some provinces you can test out.
-We now have volunteers scanning passports (i.e. guarding the entrances) to see our kids play hockey and other sports.
-Here, participants, up to 20 years old, can play without a passport - thankful for that (in some provinces everyone 12 and over entering a facility need a passport or negative test). While I haven't been able to coach/watch my kids, at least they can play? That's good, right?!
-As a result, the unvaccinated here are basically treated like the newly "locked down" unvaccinated in Austria. The difference is that I can still buy shoes on top of groceries. Although, New Brunswick, an Eastern province just made it possible for grocery stores (who can't maintain physical distance) to bar those without a passport from shopping - for food.
-You can no longer fly or ride a train without proof of vaccination. This is a federal mandate. There is no way to test out. There are many stories of Canadians abroad who have been denied travel via flight back from countries even with negative tests. They are, in essence, homeless.
-The standard play book here is for federal and provincial authorities to release policy (vaccine mandate) which then has to be implemented by small business, associations, etc. So the dirty work is done by people to other people. More division and all in the name of safety.
-The play book also has a number of examples where mandates have been threatened and then on the day they go into effect to be delayed or cancelled altogether. Remarkably effective in getting hold-outs, who need to work, to submit.
-But officially there is no mandate for those not working for the government.
-Masking is mandatory indoors except when at a table at a restaurant on on a treadmill or if you are eating popcorn at a movie.
-In many places there are still restrictions on gatherings even for fully vaccinated. No more than two families.
-Ski hills, in a number of areas, have gone vaccine only. SKI HILLS! You can't go to the ski hill without a passport (in some cases you can test out). Some are still open to the unvaccinated but you can't access the lodge and in some cases the rental shop.
-Our federal government, aside from spending the most number of delegates to COP, is basically non-functional and has been for 1.5 years. And our Prime Minister is actively shaming the unvaccinated. Sowing the seeds of division within his own country.
And somewhat unfortunately, as indicated above, we have yet to see a true winter increase in cases. Our low density could be a factor however starting to see increased cases in vaccinated population.
Perhaps the only way for parts of the country to wake up is if they see, first hand and similar to other countries, how the vaccinated are anything but immune. Provincial summary http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID_sitrep/2021-12-02-Data_Summary.pdf
Have had the opportunity to travel extensively and always had Canada as my favorite. Unfortunately this is no longer the case but where would I go right now?
There's more to say here but will leave it at that.
Be well everyone.
Bob reports from Nova Scotia:
Here in the kingdom of Nova Scotia, masks are mandatory for malls, retail stores and public transit. Compliance is very high, if not 100%. The practice of social distancing has fallen off, since that is no longer mandated. Most restrictions are gone, replaced with a vax pass. Since I only use essential services, I can't speak to their use, or level of usage.
There have been few deaths attributed to Covid, and we've largely been spared from the 'disasters' that have befallen the larger provinces. For this reason, there is no reason to question the official narrative. In a sense we are a narrative wonderland, where masking and vaccines work.
I can't explain our good fortune either, other than we are located on a peninsula, and are a relatively rural region.
My perception (as an observer rather than a participant), is that Nova Scotians are not being driven by fear. They trust their officials, believe the narrative, and are willing to do their bit by obeying the new rules. The relative calm within the province relative to the chaos portrayed outside of it, has helped. Few people here feel that their civic goodwill has been abused.
Chaucer on Alberta:
The provincial government has implemented their own QR codes with asymmetric encryption and they are the only way to get in to most places besides the grocery store. These QR codes are issued two weeks after your second dose. At smaller establishments I've been able to present (fake) rapid tests to get in despite government mandates stating the QR code is the only acceptable proof. For example, I've been able to get into some bars and the local gym depending on who is working.
In regards to masks, I've stopped wearing them indoors except for when entering the gym due to the manager enforcing this rule. It doesn't stay on once I pass the front desk, and the manager does not enforce it beyond that. (???) My guess is he may be worried about AHS enforcers watching the door, or perhaps he enjoys wearing the mask. I presume he kisses his husband while wearing it. Fines for individuals breaking public health orders are up to $2000 Canadian pesos. Businesses even more so.
At grocery stores etc. it is rare to see someone without a mask. Nobody has ever asked me to put on a mask, even pharmacists who I have spoken directly to when I've had to get legitimate rapid tests. When I speak to people about how they feel about wearing the mask, many try to justify their compliance with words like "safety". I have come to loathe this word.
At the institution I work at, they have implemented their own homebrew QR verification app, in addition to the provincial one. This QR code is only provided when you give proof of a rapid test or your other provincial QR code. All doors are locked to the campus buildings besides the designated main entrance. (God forbid you had to retrieve an AED for someone.) These main entries are guarded by a contract security force always consisting of ethnic minorities. They sometimes do not speak English very well, if at all. They ask for ID and the app's QR code. The QR code is rarely scanned and often the guards will just look at the QR code and your ID. I wasn't aware that they trained minimum wage workers to read QR codes, but it is a brave new world. Masks are mandatory inside and security will ask you to pull it up if it is even slightly below your nose. It it is also rare to see anyone not wearing their mask outside on campus.
Of the few protests I've attended when I have the time, the numbers are dwindling. If I were to become a tyrant in this life or the next, I think I would choose a northern climate to rule over.
Forgive me if the tone of my report sounds somewhat hopeless. It is solitary in the city and difficult to find likeminded people. I do not blame them. The mandates and fines threaten people's livelihoods, and we are ruled by sclerotic bureaucrats as you have accurately put it eugyppius.
But I will not give up hope. Thanks again.
P.S. If you would like a laugh, please look up images of the present and past Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta. They are true paragons of health.
Here are some good pictures:
Many more reports from Canada in comments. See DanBC on British Columbia, MikeyB on Toronto, wolf on Ontario.
Marpop reports on spiking Corona infections following child vaccinations in the midwestern US:
The elementary school two of my kids attend has had a spike of covid cases after the shot roll out to ages 5-11years. For background, about 500 kids, ages 5y-14y, attend their school. According to publicly available data, our zip code has about 70%+ adults injected. I held out hope that more parents would hesitate and refuse to inject their children. Unfortunately it has not been the case.
My kids went back to school late August. The covid cases in my kids school for this year are as follows:
-August = 0 cases
-September = 3 cases
-October = 5 cases
-November 1- November 9- 0 cases
***November 4 -local injection roll out to 5y-11y***
-November 9 - November 30 = 11 cases
-December 1 - December 8 = 13 cases
For additional context, community new cases mid September were about 50/100,000 and as of December 7 are about 43/100,000.
It is so disappointing for me to see this when these kids were fine for the past 18 months-2 years. Shots roll out, then BAM, like clockwork, cases shoot up. Just a damn shame and so predictable to those of us who have been following the data. Nonetheless, I thought it was compelling and wanted to share.
John reports on a blue city (Cleveland) in a red state (Ohio):
I live in the US state of Ohio. Which is “red”, but the largest urban area (Cleveland) is as yankee blue as can be. So around here we see the highest levels of compliance with fauci-ism.
But still I know I don’t have it so bad. Masks are required in most indoor jobs. Customers aren’t required except in medical and govt offices. But smaller independent docs aren’t requiring them. I’m not confronted by anyone when I don’t wear one in public spaces. Most people don’t wear them outside. Indoors it’s 50/50
Vaccine use is high, but people seem to tolerate others choice. Very few mandates and the hospitals just backed off mandate implementation, so I think some if not all other private actors will also. Here’s hoping.
The governor of the state is useless and will be replaced next election, but anger isn’t too high even though most people agree that masks and vaccines aren’t working as promised.
No talk about passports yet.
This reinforces my impression that masks have become the primary means of signalling allegiance to Corona orthodoxy in the United States, as many other aspects of containment threaten to fade away.
Lorn, from the Washington DC suburbs, also sees waning political enthusiasm for containment policies in blue America:
From The greater Washington DC region (Virginia side). I think the narrative is starting to fall apart in the US. Could be overly optimistic but the energy feels different (very scientific I know).
I think people are done here. Nobody looks at NY, LA, SF, or DC and says “god they did it well”. Biden is well below 50% on COVID in polling here. I saw an article where Whitmer complained about the mandates. The masking rate is dropping quickly and boosters aren’t taking off.
I quit my job at a contractor due to my vax status and they gave me an exemption and begged me to stay. I took a job at a major tech company and told them I’m not getting the vax. They said no problem. I’m in a pretty fortunate career field as a software engineer and my experience isn’t the same as other people in different fields.
Trying to cause as much pain as I can for mandates.
Hold strong everyone!
James, author of Grounded, reports on what it’s like to live in a red area of a red state:
From Red State and rural Missouri. I live in a very rural county, our biggest “city” of 11,000 hosts a conservative Christian university with about 3,000 students. Trump voters/Republicans are about 85% of the population. Population Never had a mask mandate, just heavy propaganda from the county level health agency, which also tracked our Covid cases and deaths. There have been about 60 Covid deaths in the county population of 32,000.
Socially, masking is not a source of open conflict. About 20 of older folks wear them in stores. Some of the college age too, probably virtue signaling. Almost no one middle aged wears a mask anymore. I was surprised when I checked recently and saw that the map shows we have “high” Covid. But our twice weekly print newspaper has zero (0) ink on the deadly pandemic. The fact that this post seems so boring, is because it reflects the general atmosphere around here around all things Covid. I know a few hospital workers and military reservists who face vax mandates. It’s very quiet on the Covid front.
I know many of you are in terrible situations, and I pray that you will find relief soon.
HLG on Miami, Florida – one of the only places on earth to opt out of containment entirely:
I live in Miami, Florida and here's what I've observed since this nightmare started. In the beginning, our Governor went along with the others in the "two weeks to flatten the curve" nonsense. Within the first week of restrictions, I became very uncomfortable as I could, perhaps because of my economics background, see the collateral damage lockdowns would do. In addition to all of the despair and dislocation the restrictions would cause in the US, the slowing of the global economy would be disastrous for developing countries where many people live just this side of starvation.
For a short period I was very frustrated with our governor for having been "rolled" by the hysterical media and medical bureaucrats. But within a couple of months the governor got the memo and began the long process of bringing Florida back from the clutches of COVID insanity. His moves have been well publicized so I won't repeat most of them here but it's important to point out that he made the vaccines available to everyone and encouraged vaccination without ever mandating it. More importantly, he focused on treatment, making access to monoclonal antibodies easy and free of charge. I benefitted from this when I caught COVID in early October from my pfully pfizered wife.
Florida has led the way with legislation that makes it illegal for employers to mandate vaccines without allowing for a variety of exceptions. I'm in a unique situation because my employer (a large multinational) has implemented a no-exceptions policy that requires vaccination to enter the office but doesn't require physical presence as a condition of employment. Prior to this mandate I would go the office a couple of times a week because I prefer to keep my work and personal life separate and because my wife occupies the den at home, leaving me to work in the bedroom. The irony is that the vast majority of my colleagues don't want to return to the office. Even if they are vaccinated, they have no incentive to show proof of vaccination since they don't care about returning physically as long as they remain employed. And here I am, wanting to return to the office and not being permitted to, despite the fact that I already had the dreaded COVID illness.
In any case, Florida in late 2021 is largely like Florida in 2019 but with some people opting to wear masks in certain situations. Other than that, and the media coverage that nobody seems to care about anymore, the pandemic is over in Florida.
That said, I don't think we've seen the last of COVID in Florida, despite our current low case and death rates. As has been noted everywhere, COVID is seasonal and spread indoors. In Florida, the heat and humidity of summer drive people indoors during a time when people in more northern latitudes are outside enjoying pleasurable weather. That's why we had a large summer wave, despite high vaccination rates, especially among the elderly. But we will also have a winter wave. Even though the winter weather in Florida is much more pleasant and people are outdoors, we also receive many tourists and part-time residents known as snowbirds. These people will, no doubt, bring COVID with them and seed our winter wave of infection. Luckily, the governor has stated that Florida will not succumb to Faucism, no matter what.
I was born in Pennsylvania and was moved to Florida when I was seven years old. Over time I became very fond of Florida, graduated from the University of Florida and now consider myself to be Floridian. I thank God that my parents moved when I was young and thank God that we narrowly elected Ron DeSantis in 2018.
America continues to be a source of great optimism for me, as it is the centre of empire, and the rest of our nations tend to follow American social, cultural and political trends. Maybe in a few years, the rest of us can be like Florida, with some lingering voluntary masking and not much else.
See also the comments to this post for many additional updates from across the United States: Patrick B. on Maryland, pyrrhus on Arizona, Ingrid C. Durden on Georgia, Rlp on South Carolina, Anna on hilarious idiots wearing masks in the pool in a Chicago, Illinois suburb (lmao), Priscilla West on Tallahassee, Florida, Josh on Sarasota, Florida. And many more.
A reader writes me privately with thorough and disturbing report from Sweden, which is taking a hard turn towards vaccine mandates and containment under their new, unelected prime minister:
Sweden has long been a global curiosity in terms of its response to COVID-19, but that period is coming to an end. On 17 November, 12 days before taking office as Prime Minister, former Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson announced that vaccine passports would be used at all events or gatherings of over 100 people as of December 1.
In the 23 days since that announcement, Andersson’s government has warned that measures could become far stricter if the caseload rises; yesterday, it was stated that the vaccine pass could come to be used on public transit if the situation worsened.
It is noteworthy that Andersson’s introduction of the passport did not come on any extreme worsening of Sweden’s public health system. On the day of her initial announcement, the country registered 1,206 positive PCR tests, two admissions to intensive care and three deaths with COVID-19. These numbers put it at the absolute nadir of COVID-19 infections among European countries at that time.
Interestingly, Andersson acknowledged this comparison while introducing the passports, but employed it to show how poorly things could go were Sweden not to take action rather than how well the country’s loose arrangements were doing.
Since 17 November, positive PCR results as well as ICU admissions and deaths with COVID-19 have risen to 3,063, five and one, respectively, as of 8 December. As is perhaps indicated by the rise of the first figure and the relative stasis of the latter two, there is reason to believe that “cases” are being discovered through increased PCR testing; FHM (public health body) head Sara Byfors, professionally something of a COVID-19 alarmist, stated at a 25 November press conference that the proportion of positive tests was in fact decreasing, although total case numbers were rising on a ramp-up in testing.
It is worth noting here, for the sake of fairness, that Byfors also stated that there was reason to believe (figures were not provided) that the total number of infected people was still in fact rising, which would actually not be surprising given seasonality, but apart from a few days of increased ICU admissions (11 on 25 Nov and 10 on 7 Dec), only the slightest rise from the autumn lows is visible, with total COVID-19 ICU and “death-with” figures still below the already-low levels seen in September.
What we are seeing, then, is a situation where an incoming Prime Minister, who was not elected but appointed in a parliamentary shuffle, is moving very, very quickly to normalise the sort of responses that had long been seen across Europe but were foreign here.
For those who hold the view that the COVID-19 response is not unrelated to certain plots and plans issuing from the world of finance and central banking, it is worth noting that Andersson is an IMF board member and a WEF Agenda Contributor. In April 2021, she used her Facebook account to state that “all countries must be vaccinated” in order to “participate in the global economic re-start”.
I am aware that Sweden’s relatively light COVID-19 restrictions were controversial, if not here then certainly in the world of the mainstream press. For my part, I maintain that while the massive initial wave of deaths, largely in care homes, was the result of some truly monstrous treatment choices, I do not believe that it was caused by Sweden’s reticence regarding things like masks or distancing.
COVID-19 is a virus and not en emergent social property that occurs identically across similar demographic conditions. As such, the argument that Sweden did far worse than its Nordic neighbours, who did not suffer such massive initial death waves, does not rise to the level of probable causality for me. Instead, I maintain that the massive spread of infection, which was heavily localised to Stockholm County, came as the result of high levels of travel to the then-hotspots of Northern Italy and Iran during Stockholm’s spring break, and was compounded upon its arrival in Sweden by crude and nonsensical treatment methodologies. It is worth nothing, in this regard that other Swedish cities such as Malmö did not perform worse at this time than their foreign neighbours in more restrictive countries (i.e. Copenhagen).
Whatever your views about that, however, the fast and furious introduction of socially divisive measures in a country that had known nothing of them, and under an incoming Prime Minister, is noteworthy. It is also, in my view, frightening.
Commenter Nomen Nescio concurs:
Despite very low levels of death with Covid19, the government has switched much of its policies towards containment.
Vaccine passports are required for certain (not all!) indoor gatherings with more than 100 people.
Vaccine passports are to be implemented far more broadly in long distance public transport, primarily long-distance trains and buses (not however for airlines or ferries, the latter more or less relevant only to the island of Gotland) in the event of larger spread.
Vaccine passports in the event of larger spread, may (will) also be implemented in areas of commerce (grocery stores, postal delivery points and public libraries are to be exempted, as will be health service, dentists and veterinaries) in the current draft ordinance.
Vaccine passport is in German terms an "1G" policy, i.e. recovery from covid or negative tests do not count.
Face masks are required in the public transport during rush hours (however with limited effect).
The new Swedish PM and the new director-general of the Swedish public health authority have obviously changed the policies. It is not due to any dramatic surge in infections, hospitalisations, ICU or deaths, but seems to be some kind of adaptation to the policies in Germany.
Increasing number of Swedish local governments require vaccination for potential employees. Formally that is more difficult in central government agencies, but where these things will end up is not clear at the moment.
Bosanka on how chill things are in Bosnia:
- No mask mandates: most people do not wear them, some do but people do not bother you.
- Pass was attempted but it was suspended - there was a lawsuit from a lawyer Mirnes Ajanović and there were strikes that were announced. They said there won't be a pass or mandates.
- We had full lockdowns only in the 2020 - in April 2021 we had just small one only in Sarajevom but nothing full. No full lockdowns since May 2020 I think.
- Around 23% of the country is vaxxed. Most people I know say they won't be taking any unless it is requirement for a job.
- There are campaigns - giving vaxxes in the malls and so on.
- Life is more or less normal - we will be having NYE in the mountains and hotels, restaurants, just no public squares.
- Most people think it is a theatre and nonsense by now & whole thing is more or less not in the news anymore. People are very strongly against pass or mandates. For children not even an option.
- People are generally chill and will not shame you for no vaxx, mask or anything.
I know our neighbouring Serbia is similar, they have pass for after 10 PM, and Croatia has had some pass demands but it has a huge pushback. Among former Yugoslavia, we are able to travel without tests or vaxxes. I would say that in former Yugoslavia, life is more or less normal, at least for now.
Hold on dear friends, we will make it.
Tijuana Mexico - vast majority of people walking the streets have masks up over their noses, even children are buttoned up tight, however, on public transportation I have seen no confrontations of the rare non-mask wearer. Just yesterday, I was on a mini van bus without a mask and no one said anything. The drivers rarely wear masks.
Stores all have temp machines and hand gel, some have barriers to herd patrons in and out on certain paths. I go inside with masks up over nose and sometimes wave my hand over the standing temp machine, and that seems to satisfy the usual standing guard. But once inside the store, I under nose the mask with no problems.
Taxi drivers tell me most of Tijuana adults are vaxxed. One said he got vaxxed because the govt is offering it for free right now, and he had been worried that employers would start requiring it and the vaccines would no longer be free, costing him a margin not easily absorbed.
Small, independent stores are less likely to demand masks. My neighborhood tienda workers do not wear masks and don't require them.
All in all, lots of docile compliance, but it is out of choice. I have never encountered a Karen, although in some Mexican states and even in Tijuana, some door guards insist on temping the head and not the arm, something I refuse to do.
UPDATE: Very eager to add reports for unrepresented places: Scandinavia, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Greece, Arab world, Africa, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South America … add in comments and I’ll expand this post.
UPDATE II: Many thanks for additional reports, I’ve considerably expanded the post. I’ll still scan the comments for reports from unusual places or with interesting information, but otherwise I think it’s important this not get too long, lest your information be lost. I’ll do another open thread next Thursday, and if you wish you can submit more reader reports then, or updated ones if there is anything new. I’ll also set up a dedicated email address, in case you’d rather not post in comments. Let’s see if it makes sense to make this a recurring Friday evening feature.