One month after the removal of restrictions, “No problem even with a large number of infected people” in Denmark. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

One month after the removal of restrictions, “No problem even with a large number of infected people” in Denmark.

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Corona is no longer treated any differently than the flu!

One month after the Danish government completely abolished regulations on coronas on February 1, we asked Ms. Yoko Windsor, a local interpreter and coordinator, about the current state of Danish people’s lives and the city.

In Denmark, coronas are no different from influenza. When people hear that they have been infected, they simply say, ‘Take care,’ and it is not considered a special illness.

As of March 2, about 61% of people in Denmark had received their third dose of the vaccine; 94% of those 65 years and older.

But on January 26, when Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen held a press conference on the removal of the restrictions, there were more than 53,000 new cases of infection in a single day, the highest number ever. Denmark’s population is approximately 5.9 million, which means that one million people were infected on that day in Japan.

In Denmark, a significant number of people are infected, so much so that you hardly hear anyone say, ‘I have never been infected with coronas. Myself and my family were infected.”

Yoko-san was infected last Christmas. Her son was in a choir club and held a Christmas concert at his church. The concert itself was streamed online, and about 20 people, including children participating in the choir and adults who came to help, were invited to the church.

But it seems that some people slipped through the test, and first my son was infected, and then his family in turn,” he said.

Was he all right?

I had a little trouble getting up for a day, and my son said his head hurt, but he recovered within a day.

Since many people were already infected and immune, and the third dose vaccination rate was high, there was no opposition to the elimination of the restriction because they felt that even if they were infected, they would not become seriously ill. On February 1, we were told we could return to our pre-Corona routines now.

He said, “I go to a shopping center and hardly anyone wears a mask. I thought the people in the stores were wearing them out of consideration for their customers, but no one was wearing them.”

Although some restrictions remain in place for people at risk of serious illness and in the scene, it seems that daily life has completely returned to normal in Denmark.

Prime Minister Frederiksen has decided to remove the restrictions, saying that the coronavirus is not a disease that threatens society, as vaccines are a “powerful weapon” and vaccination is on the rise (Photo: Afro).

News about corona is rarely heard on TV.

When the Delta strain spread in Japan, some people died at home. Now that the Omicron strain is prevalent, people with illnesses other than coronas have sometimes found it difficult to be hospitalized. In Denmark, were there no cases of hospital beds becoming overcrowded?

The population of Denmark is about the same as Hyogo Prefecture. Denmark’s population is about the same as Hyogo Prefecture, and its land area is about the size of Kyushu. Perhaps because of the country’s small size, there are not many large hospitals. When you get sick, you first go to see a family doctor, and if necessary, you go to a general hospital with a letter of referral.

General hospitals have departments that deal with coronas, but in the first place, people did not go to the hospital even if they were infected with coronas.

The basic rule is home quarantine. If my home was not suitable for isolation, I went to an isolation hotel designated by the city. Many people died in Denmark, so there may have been people who died during home quarantine, but it didn’t become a social problem.”

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, as of March 3, one month after the removal of restrictions, there were still approximately 20,000 new infections per day. 458 new cases and 37 new deaths. The population of Tokyo is approximately twice that of Denmark. The number of newly infected persons in the three days from February 15 to 17 exceeded 40,000.

Nevertheless, the restrictions remain in place, as the number of hospital admissions and intensive care unit patients has been decreasing.

In Denmark, I think the perception is that the coronas are over. News about coronas has almost disappeared from TV news programs.

There was a one-week winter vacation in the second week of February, and many people went skiing, but since Denmark has no mountains, many people went to Norway, Sweden, Italy, and France.

All the restaurants are crowded, and it seems like nobody cares about corona anymore.”

Is this also because many people have been infected, are immune, and have completed their third round of vaccination?

In Denmark, we used to use a digital tool called the ‘Corona Pass,’ and unvaccinated people were not allowed into restaurants unless they tested negative for the antigen or had received two doses of the vaccine.

That’s when the third vaccination started, and you couldn’t use the Corona Pass unless you had received three doses of the vaccine. Until the second vaccination, I was afraid of getting infected and didn’t want to pass it on to others, but after the third vaccination, I felt that I had to get the vaccination because it was inconvenient without the Corona Pass.

He says he no longer feels “afraid of coronas.

I don’t know if I can be this carefree (laughs).”

Demonstrations against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in various places. Even in the news, there is very little Corona-related news; Ukraine is the top story right now.”

Strong trust in the government, which always shows the future outlook and measures to be taken.

When he held a press conference on the deregulation, Prime Minister Frederiksen divided the outlook for the year ahead into three phases.

Phase 1: February 1-] Recommend the fourth dose of the vaccine to those who are immunocompromised due to underlying diseases, etc. The fourth dose of the vaccine to those who have been immunized for more than three months after the third dose. Recommend vaccination (eligible participants have already received an invitation for the fourth dose in January).

Phase 2: Spring to early fall: Festivals and festivals are held.

Phase 3: Autumn to winter] New mutant strains may appear, and in some cases, all people will receive the fourth dose of vaccine.

In fact, the fourth dose is recommended for citizens who have been vaccinated more than three months after the third dose, when their immunity is considered to be already weakened, and is equivalent to a “vaccination ticket” in Japan. They are also being sent invitations.

The people of Denmark are able to take it easy because the government is always anticipating the future and showing its citizens how to deal with it.

Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to start vaccinations, and antigen tests are readily available in neighborhoods, so the fact that the third round of vaccinations was administered quickly and that there is no shortage of antigen test kits or masks is thought to be due to the government’s foresight in taking proactive measures. This is a far cry from other countries that have been left in the lurch because of a shortage of testing kits.

I think there is a lot of trust in the government.”

Japan, where priority measures to prevent the spread of disease have been extended. When will the normal life return to Denmark?

The infection rate in Japan is much lower than in Europe and the United States. Frankly speaking, from our point of view in Europe, the situation is not that bad, but we are too cautious. It seems peculiar. I think it’s time to loosen up.”

The ability to see ahead. If only this were the case. ……

Yoko Windsor is a Danish official licensed guide, interpreter and coordinator. Family of five: Danish husband, a first grader in middle school, a boy in 4th grade, and a 3 year old girl. She writes “Nordic Denmark News” about Danish education, lifestyle, working style, systems, and the Danish way of thinking.

Click here for Yoko Windsor’s guide to “Nordic Denmark: Sightseeing and Private Guide”.

  • Interview and text Izumi Nakagawa Photo Afro

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