So you understand what's happening in Denmark

Hint: they’re on Team Reality now

You may have read last week that Denmark is opening up and ending all Covid restrictions “due to the success of its vaccination program.”

The only correct response to this is lol.

England, Scotland, and Israel are among the most vaccinated countries in the world, and they have seen huge spikes in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since July.

Here’s what’s really going on. The continental European countries got started late on their mass vaccination programs. They tried to cheap out with Pfizer and Moderna, which weren’t having it. Eventually they gave in.

But as a result, their vaccination campaigns were months behind the United States in the spring, and even further behind Britain. As late as June 1, only 22 in 100 people in Denmark were fully vaccinated. As of now 74 in 100 are.

Thus these countries are now in what I call the “happy vaccine valley” - the three-to four-month period following the second dose when antibodies are high enough that the vaccines actually appear to work. (For those of you keeping score at home, that’s two weeks of negative efficacy after the first shot, a month of maybe 50% efficacy, three months of near-complete protection, and then a rapid fall to what looks like 0% protection within three months. Science!)

I assume the Danes are smart enough to know exactly where they stand. They also know that since they have a healthy population, Covid-19 is at most a trivial problem for them on a societal basis.

How trivial?

Denmark has about 6 million people.

As of Sept. 9, about 2,600 of them had died of Covid since March 2020.

How many of those people were under 50?

Twenty-six. Yes, 26. Veintiseis. Just over 1 per month.

Five were under 30. Five, out of 2.1 million Danes.

Yes, you read that right.

This chart is a bit hard to read, but the key is the rightmost column - deaths (only males are visible). It’s stratified by decade, youngest to oldest. As you can see, more people over 90 have died than under 70 - this is not uncommon in countries that don’t have terrible problems with obesity, like ‘Merica.

Source: https://dc-covid.site.ined.fr/en/data/denmark/

(You have to download the Excel file.)

The Danes - whether they admit the truth or not, probably not - have rightly decided that enough is enough and they can’t twist themselves into knots forever for an illness that produces numbers like this. So they are taking advantage of the happy vaccine valley to follow their neighbors to the north (Hello Swedish model!).

Pretty soon cases will start rising again, but by then it will be too late. They’ll say they’ve done all they can and that Covid is just like the flu, endemic and manageable. And everyone will ignore the fact that it always was!

I guess this qualifies as a happy ending.