International Kenneth Surin Pandemic

COVID Europa: The Fourth Wave

Black-and-white image of a crepe stand in Paris
(Isengardt / CC BY 2.0)

By Kenneth Surin / CounterPunch

Europe is embarking on a fourth wave in Covid cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have placed several European countries in its highest-risk category for travel in recent weeks. On the list are Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Guernsey (Britain has been on the list for months).

As Europe confronts increasing numbers of infections and deaths, these countries were assigned a Level 4 warning, that is, the CDC is advising that Americans avoid traveling there, even if vaccinated.

Countries and territories assigned this category have an infection incidence rate of more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days– places with fewer than 100,000 residents with more than 500 cases cumulatively over the past 28 days are also placed on the CDC’s list.

In Germany an average of 58,053 cases per day were reported in the week leading up to 28 November. Cases have increased by 58% from the average two weeks ago, while deaths have increased by 59%. 100,883 people have died from the disease. The number of Covid patients in Germany’s intensive care units is also at its highest level since May. The government is said to be considering a lockdown for the unvaccinated– the health minister Jens Spahn said about these figures: “We’re experiencing above all a pandemic of the unvaccinated”. However, the group of the unvaccinated is small and concentrated—the German population is considered highly vaccinated, with 68% fully vaccinated and 71% having received one vaccine dose (as opposed to the US’s 59%/70%, Cuba’s 80%/89%, Burundi’s <0.1%/ <0.1%). Medical experts say the best indicator of how effective the vaccines are is the correlation between vaccinated and unvaccinated in ICUs. In Germany the ICU ratio is 1 vaccinated/10 unvaccinated with the above-mentioned 70% of the population partially vaccinated. That is to say, German unvaccinated individuals have a risk of ending up in an ICU that is 21 times as high as their vaccinated counterparts. Vaccine uptake is lowest in the conservative and rural south and the former East Germany, the latter attributed by some to a long-lasting distrust of government going back to its days as a Soviet satellite. Germany has recorded 3 cases of the new Omicron variant.

Belgium has slightly more ICU patients per 100,000 people in comparison to Germany, while 76% of Belgians are fully vaccinated and 77% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. It is bringing forward a meeting to 1December where the government will decide on tighter Covid controls. Hospital admissions are up 30% on a weekly basis as well. Belgium reimposed pandemic restrictions 4 weeks ago after a brief period without any measures, but Covid transmission rates are still rising, and the authorities are considering making face mask-wearing compulsory again.

The United Kingdom has reported an average of 43,482 cases per day in the week leading up to 28 November. Cases have increased by 20% from the average 2 weeks ago. Deaths have decreased by 21%, and so far the pandemic has claimed 144,775 lives. Between 19 November-25 November, 303,504 people tested positive, an increase of 9.5% on the previous 7 days. As of 26 November 69% of UK residents are fully vaccinated, 76% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 26.2% have received a booster shot. Face coverings are mandatory again in shops, public transport, schools and colleges in England from 30 November, as the country reports 3 infections of the new Omicron variant. Anyone coming into contact with an Omicron-positive individual is required to self-isolate at home for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status.

The Netherlands has roughly the same number of ICU occupants as the UK at the moment– it is currently under a partial lockdown for at least 3 weeks as the country sees climbing Covid rates. Some hospitals have stopped chemotherapy and organ transplants to accommodate Covid patients in ICUs. Dutch hospitals have reached full capacity, and several Covid patients have been transferred to hospitals in Germany. Stricter lockdown measures came into effect on 28 November, and the country has at least 13 infections of the new Omicron variant. The Netherlands recorded 22,031 new Covid infections on 27 November, up from 13,848 new cases two weeks beforehand. 73% of Dutch are fully vaccinated and 76% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Austria has introduced a nationwide lockdown which is expected to last 20 days, but will be reexamined after 10 days. Austria has reported its first suspected case of the new Omicron variant. 66% of Austrians are fully vaccinated and 71% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Denmark is also considered highly vaccinated, 76% of its inhabitants have had two vaccine doses while 78% of its residents have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. It is now offering booster shots to all adults as cases rise. The Danish government said on 24 November that it would ask parliament to reinstate Covid measures, including mandatory face masks in public venues and the use of Covid-19 digital passes.

Sweden recommended on 24 November that everyone aged 18-65 should have a booster shot 6 months after their second vaccination. 68% of Swedes are fully vaccinated and 71% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Portugal has said it is to reintroduce vaccination certificates for public spaces including bars, hotels, restaurants and gyms and once again make face masks compulsory indoors, reports Reuters. The government said that all passengers arriving at airports in the countrywill have to present a negative Covid test. Vaccination certificates will also be required to enter large events, care homes and nightclubs. 87% of Portuguese residents are fully vaccinated and 88% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Slovakia went into a two-week lockdown on 25 November – non-essential shops and services are being shuttered, movement is being curtailed and gatherings of more than 6 have been banned. Slovakians are not allowed to leave their district unless for work, school or medical treatment. 43% of Slovakian residents are fully vaccinated and 48% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Czechia had a record 26,000 cases on 23 November, and the infection rate over 7 days rose to a record high of 1,097 new cases per 100,000 residents. 59% of Cech residents are fully vaccinated and 62% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The government has declared a 30-day state of emergency and introduced new Covid restrictions. The state of emergency came into effect on 26 November– Christmas markets will be banned and alcohol consumption in public places will be forbidden. Bars, restaurants, night clubs and casinos must close at 10pm, and culture and sports events will be limited to 1,000 people and those who have either had the vaccine or recovered from the Covid virus. All other public gatherings will have a capacity limit of 100. Czech hospitals have halted planned operations and limited other care in the past days as the number of patients with Covid-19 has doubled to around 6,000 over the past three weeks, one of the world’s fastest rates of new infections. The government is also considering obligatory vaccination for some people.

Croatia’s hospitals in the country, which has one of the EU’s lowest vaccination rates– only 47% of Croatians are fully vaccinated and 53% have received at one dose of a coronavirus vaccine – are said in a critical situation as a result of the surge in new infections.

Slovenia hit its highest number of daily Covid cases back at the beginning of November. 55% of Slovenian residents are fully vaccinated and 59% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Ireland has experienced a rise in Covid cases after lifting the strictest lockdown in the EU. 77% of Irish residents are fully vaccinated and 78% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The government is considering increased antigen testing, providing more digital Covid certificates and booster shots, compulsory mask wearing outdoors at sporting venues and more provision for working at home. Reuters reports that the Irish deputy prime minister, Leo Varadkar (a medical doctor), has said the country’s regulator is expected to approve vaccines for 5–11-year-olds in the coming days.

France reported more than 30,000 new infections on 24 November for a second consecutive day. At the same time, the 7-day moving average of daily new cases is at a 3-month high of 21,761, increasing almost 4-fold in a month. 70% of French residents are fully vaccinated and 77% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. On 26 November the French government made mask-wearing indoors mandatory, and they will also be required at events such as Christmas markets. Vaccine booster shots for all adults will be introduced, with the interval between initial doses and boosters cut to 5 months. From 15 December, the health pass for people aged over-65 will cease being valid if they have not had a booster 5 months after the initial shot. The same rules will apply for all adults aged 18-plus from 15 January.

Portugal is to reintroduce vaccination certificates for public spaces including bars, hotels, restaurants and gyms. Face masks will be compulsory indoors, reports Reuters, which also said that all passengers arriving at Portuguese airports will have to present a negative Covid test. Vaccination certificates will also be required for large events, care facilities, and nightclubs. 87% of Portuguese residents are fully vaccinated and 88% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Switzerland’s voters backed Covid passes by 62% in a referendum on 28 November. The Covid certificate requires people to have had a vaccination or antibodies to enter restaurants and other indoor spaces. Switzerland reported 8,033 new Covid cases on 28 November, rising from 3,297 on 25 October, and 15 new deaths. 66% of Swiss residents are fully vaccinated and 68% have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

11 comments

  1. Kenneth Surin is a Professor of Literature and Religion at Duke, not sure the best to cover Covid for Scheerpost.
    Can he explain original antigenic sin?
    “Medical experts say the best indicator of how effective the vaccines are is the correlation between vaccinated and unvaccinated in ICUs.” Possibly he should cite his experts? Those I talk to accept that the best indicator of vaccine efficacy is the ratio (not the correlation) of Covid DEATH rates of the vaccinated and unvaccinated. (Knowing someone is unvaccinated makes them much more likely to be admitted to ICU, as their risk is higher, even if the symptoms appear the same as the vaccinated).
    Unfortunately, though offering much protection to the Vulnerable (the elderly and those with serious comorbidities), the Western spike protein (S1) vaccines are leaky, and the vaccinated can still catch, spread and die from Covid. Deaths are 7- to 11-fold higher in the “unvaccinated” Vulnerable (which in Israel can be those with two jabs but no booster shot, and in most countries “partial vaccinated” are aggregated together with unvaccinated.
    As Thorolfur Guðnason, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, noted (after Iceland like Israel and the Seychelles had one of the first “successful universal vaccination campaigns”, over 85% of adults fully vaccinated), it is disappointing that herd immunity has not been achieved with vaccination (after vaccinations Iceland had record Covid outbreaks, filled hospital beds and in August, more deaths than any month this year) and that there is only one other way to achieve herd immunity, allowing the virus to spread throughout the community. riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/modern-day-censorship/herd-immunity-must-be-achieved-by-transmission-of-the-virus-says-icelands-epidemiologist/
    It is also interesting that Sweden, much reviled for their limited Covid restrictions and having one of the highest Covid death rates in Europe early on (due to poor elderly care responses), now seems to be reaping the rewards of their early natural immunity approach with less cases and deaths than most of Europe since mid June. They use the vaccinations as well, but Covid infection offers better immunity if you survive!

  2. Is Mr. Surin the Gates chair of Fear Porn and NUREMBERG CRIME Propaganda? Why would “Vaccination” (mRNA Gene Therapy, Human Medical Experimentation) rates matter? They don’t stop infection, transmission, or spread. The only effect they have, relevant to societal health, is that they select for New Variants, against which – they tend to work even LESS. Oh…and the most injected places have the highest case numbers and deaths – which is the unexamined question, begged by this reporting.

    And then there’s THIS study from Germany, which finds that areas with high injection rates also seem to have increased overall mortality… https://tinyurl.com/3z9yfp5v . Perhaps the Germans are counting all of the dead and disabled Soccer players, better than Mr. Surin. But hey…”safe and effective”.

    There’s been a growing number of Defeats for the Biden Administration’s attempt at NUREMBERG CRIME Mandates… Why no reporting on that? Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has new bestseller, exposing America’s Dr. Mengele… When can we expect an interview with Bob? Maybe just a mention, about the viral marketing and success of the “The Real Anthony Fauci”? After all we’re very concerned about viral spread, despite the high survivability rate…

    I suppose that you’re gonna be praying that Fauci can survive this…

  3. Is CounterPunch a mockingbird operation and Kenneth Surin on the CIA payroll? Nothing in this pseudoscientific update on the global biosecurity state about Europe confronting increasing numbers of resisters to the New (ab)Normal. Only the usual propaganda press release to maintain panic porn over “increasing numbers of infections and deaths” – from an initially manufactured scamdemic no more lethal than seasonal flu, now succeeded by the mounting death march of weaponized non-‘vaccines’ hidden under cover of further fraud with so-called variants to blame.

    Release the Omicron! This horror show the oligarchs and their oligopolies are putting on was wearing thin before this latest addition to the preposterous plot of the plandemic. Hopefully, more in the US as well as Europe will wake up and rise up to what the war on/of bioterror is all about. Meanwhile, deep state don of the ministry of public health Tony ‘I-Am-the-Face-of-Science’ Fauci still lectures good Amerikaners on how they should conduct themselves in obedience to totalitarian lies.

  4. Sorry SheerPost I call them like I see them and this, is fear porn. I walk around in a world of utter dystopia. Mask wearing people each frightened of the other…afraid to live life itself. They are dispirited lifeless zombies going through the motions giving me dirty looks because I’m not wearing a mask, nor am I afraid or ashamed. It marks me as different, and therefore something to be feared.

    This has reached a level of sick dysfunction that I wouldn’t…no couldn’t believe it if I was living through it myself. The ignorance, the fear, the dystopian authoritarianism….the hate, the anger, the destruction of the very fabric of this society.

    I am a socialist…a lifelong die hard socialist sitting here tonight thinking about relocating to one of the reddest states possible simply because they are the only ones living their lives without fear of covid and are resisting the totalitarian medical dystopia that looks to consume us all.

    It makes me want to vomit. Maybe I should go to Mexico……

    1. Regarding Mexico, if not pockets in the US, see for one the Conscious Resistance Network (Derrick Broze) for info, if not already familiar. There have been local initiatives to establish a city or country as sanctuaries or constitutional republics, but as far as I know only Oroville, CA has actually done so.

  5. another fool that misdirects—deaths attributed in 2021 regard the vaccinated. recovery rate now 99.7%
    Africa–the least vaccinated has the fewest deaths per capita

  6. It seems that anyone who criticizes Fauci or mentions the use of ‘ivermectin’ is immediately character assassinated by mainline media and by people who have no real experience in medical science or scientific research reporting and generally do not even present tested scientific data.

    We can see what the barriers to freedom of speech through the use of medical imperialism have done to Australia. People are literally getting locked up in prison camps when they have done nothing illegal. They are losing their property, jobs and hope to a sadistic bureaucratic hierarchy.

    The complete, factual truth is still the best medicine.

    1. Indeed, and so, here you go, Introduction to The Real Anthony Fauci, in my blog:

      https://paulhaeder.com/2021/12/02/lunacy-hypochondria-the-disease-of-ignorance-will-the-real-anthony-fauci-stand-up/

      Lest we forget the Branch Covidians called this “a war on a virus.” And those war profiteers? Lined up on a firing squad wall? In jail? Defunded?

      Nah.

      CEO Satya Nadella boasted that Microsoft, by working with the CDC and the Gates-funded Johns Hopkins Center for Biosecurity, had used the COVID pandemic to achieve “two years of digital transformation in two months.”[49]

      Microsoft Teams users ballooned to 200 million meeting participants in a single day, averaged more than 75 million active users, compared to 20 million users in November 2019,[50] and the company’s stock value skyrocketed. Larry Ellison’s company, Oracle, which partnered with the CIA to build new cloud services, won the contract to process all CDC vaccination data.[51]
      Ellison’s wealth increased by $34 billion in 2020; Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth grew by $35 billion; Google’s Sergey Brin by $41 billion; Jeff Bezos by $86 billion; Bill Gates by $22 billion[52] and Michael Bloomberg by nearly $7 billion.[53]

      Ellison, Gates, and the other members of this government/industry collaboration used the lockdown to accelerate construction of their 5G network[54] of satellites, antennae, biometric facial recognition, and “track and trace” infrastructure that they, and their government and intelligence agency partners, can use to mine and monetize our data, further suppress dissent, to compel obedience to arbitrary dictates, and to manage the rage that comes as Americans finally wake up to the fact that this outlaw gang has stolen our democracy, our civil rights, our country, and our way of life—while we huddled in orchestrated fear from a flu-like virus.

  7. Fear central!

    https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/12/06/covid-and-social-engineering-the-impact-of-fear-and-anxiety-on-the-human-immune-system/

    ‘Project Fear’ is a 21 st century term used in British politics that entered British politics in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum and again during the 2016 United Kingdom (UK) Brexit referendum (6). Our elected representatives call it the “fear appeal”. Fear appeal is a means of persuasion that threatens us with a negative, physical, psychological, and/or social consequence that will likely happen if we behave a certain way or engage in certain behaviour (7). In the case of the COVID-19 pandemonium, policymakers are supposedly guided by ‘the science’, however the science is, in many cases, preliminary and very often conflicting. It is apparent our policymakers are being guided by a perceived public clamour for draconian measures to tackle the pandemic, or at the very least it makes them appear as if they’re doing something. What our policy makers may ‘perceive’ is often filtered by a media skewed toward hyping the fear factor.

    Public health’s seven-step recipe for project fear

    “As long as not everybody is vaccinated, nobody will be safe”. Klaus Schwab

    The recipe is entitled the ‘Seven-Step Recipe for Generating Interest in, and Demand for, Flu (or any other) Vaccination’. The recipe aimed to foster public interest and high vaccine demand was discussed at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit 2004, sponsored by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) and devised by Glen Nowak Acting Director of Media Relations, CDC. The recipe includes:

    Statements of alarm in the media by medical experts and public health authorities.

    Prediction of dire outcomes from influenza (or other infectious disease).

    Continued reports by the media of influenza (or other infectious disease) causing severe illness affecting lots of people.

    Repeated urging of influenza (or other infectious disease) vaccination.

    Roll out the celebrity or past president to get the ‘vaccine’ on national media .

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