Switzerland is living under the illusion that the pandemic is over. If you look at the data on the RTS website and other sources of information such as Cotrack – Grafana then the pandemic is over. The number of new cases has gone done so if you look at the metrics then it is over.
There is a good chance that this is an illusion, demonstrated in three ways. The first of these is the number and saturation of hospitals now, with many of them overloaded and in a situation of crisis. The second indicator that things are not fine is the increased mortality for years, at this point. The third indicator is that people with COVID compromised immune systems might have stopped testing positive for COVID but there is a lag between when someone stops testing positive for COVID and when their immune system has fully recovered from the disease, able to combat other illnesses that would otherwise have little or no effect.
They charge for COVID tests. They no longer test sewage for traces of the disease. They tell people that the pandemic is over, and then they provide data that gives this illusion.
Two things bother me about this situation. The first is that I don’t trust that the pandemic is over. If we had frequent tests, and everyone was testing positive then I would trust that the pandemic is over. The second is that by not having data that proves that the pandemic is over I will keep wearing a mask when I am indoors and keeping my distance outside of people in my family, or that I am staying with.
At the start of the pandemic there was a thing that said “the pandemic will be over when we have zero transmission for two weeks”. We are not at that stage yet. We are also at a nine percent positivity rate. That’s four percentage points higher than the five percent required for a situation to be considered under control. In reality I don’t need to be confused. When I see 0 new cases for two weeks, and the test percentage is down to 0 then I can consider removing the mask.
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