“BUT WE’RE NOT DENMARK, BERNIE!”: The COVID Edition

Boy Howdy, we are definitely not Denmark. This week, at least part of Twitter has been abuzz about Denmark’s massive rollback of pandemic restrictions (David Fucking Leonhardt probably is peeing himself in excitement). But there are two very essential differences. First, the prevalence of COVID is about four-times lower in Denmark than it is in the U.S.–not that this will stop supposed ‘numbers guys’ and Substack Bois from claiming, “Sun’s out, guns out, everybody party!”

But there’s another difference. In a very interesting thread, one of the people advising the Danish government, Michael Bang Petersen, describes how they reached that decision–and why it’s popular. There are some obvious themes: high vaccination rates, societal trust in vaccination, an understanding and willingness to reimplement restrictions if needed. There are concerns about long COVID, but those weren’t considered deal breakers.

That brings us to my snarky post title, which refers to the multiple Democratic presidential primary candidates who proclaimed the obvious, in an effort to derail better healthcare and social programs. In the U.S., many people can’t miss work, certainly for an extended period of time (which for some might be a week). It’s no accident that the demographic groups that are the most economically precarious, typically (#NotAll…) favor restrictions, such as masking and masks in schools. They can’t afford to get sick, even for a week or two–and certainly not for weeks.

Like the fish who asks, “What is water”, Petersen can’t see that having a social safety net means people can be less risk averse (not blaming him at all). That’s just something the U.S. doesn’t have–and openly scorns.

We are not Denmark.

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1 Response to “BUT WE’RE NOT DENMARK, BERNIE!”: The COVID Edition

  1. jrs says:

    And even then we don’t know that this decision doesn’t end up really badly for Denmark. Time will tell.

    All we know is that it happened in a better vaccinated country, that seems to take public opinion into account in it’s decision making as opposed to only oligarch opinion mattering like in the U.S., where there is some social trust (yea maybe if the whole country wasn’t run for the oligarchs we would have more of that), and people might be willing to care about other people, instead of one half wishing the other half dead half the time. Trump hoped it would kill big city blue state liberals. But liberals at this point might care less that antivax Republicans are dying disproportionately. And one can even sympathize with that a little, as we can’t make any real progress on anything in this country obviously, and everyone has to blame someone (p.s. it’s not primarily the fault of big city blue state liberals).

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