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Our numbers are really dropping off here, and the most fragile people have been double-vaccinated, so there is a feeling that the pandemic is winding down - or is that just my feeling? Because the Public Health Authority extended their guidance to "stay apartĒ, ďavoid new contacts", and "work from home" until end of September. A bit disappointing. Do they have data that I havenít seen? It seems more important at this point to address the collateral damage of the pandemic in terms of other health issues, including mental health issues, than to keep beating this drum. Anyway, gorgeous weather here and people are out having a good time - no one cares.
I watched the Public Health Authorityís press conference yesterday. Tegnell was leading the charge which always makes it more interesting, I donít know why, perhaps a little celebrity cache has attached to him, because he is 100% bureaucrat. I noticed that he looked terrible, after coming back from a holiday 2 weeks ago tanned, relaxed and with his first stylish haircut. And he was a bit more aggressive and defensive than usual, usually he is a study in Scandinavian cool and calm. Is he just burning out, or is something cooking behind the scenes? I hope he writes a book - Iím sure there has been extraordinary political pressure on him.
From the press conference: There is a strong downward trend in cases across the EU. Our case rate is 130/100,000 in Sweden. I believe it peaked > 700, and we were told several press conferences ago they will consider the pandemic over when this number reaches 50/100,000. They only broke down this number further for one region that is currently over 300/100,000 but didnít give the number for Stockholm, which must be very low - perhaps already at 50?
The heart inflammation issue has arisen with both the Pfizer and Modern vaccines and is currently being investigated by the EU, which will give their results in July.
There is still no decision about vaccines and the under 18s - they keep saying ďnext weekĒ. (The aforementioned political pressure at play?)
Re: variants, although they track these through testing, Tegnell says their focus is on infection control, and this doesnít change with variants. They never give the variants much oxygen at the press conferences, although itís all the journalists want to talk about.
A journalist asked why 65+ were still being given Astra Zeneca when they were most at risk and AZ was not particularly effective against the new delta variant. Tegnell gave his usual technocratic answer - those are the supplies we have, this is the most efficient way to use them. (Reminder: under 65 are advised against AZ, and get Pfizer)
Current hospitalisations are around 300, plus approx 90 in ICU. We were told the system is still under pressure and that we should all behave so that hospital staff can have their holidays. Is this messaging really helpful? Are we never allowed to feel hopeful? Is this not a seasonal virus? Havenít those at risk been vaccinated?
There was a discussion about how regular checkups for other chronic illnesses have been hardest hit during the past year, things like measuring lung capacity in people with lung diseases, checking the feet of diabetics, and there have been 1/3 fewer dementia diagnoses.
On a personal note, my husband and I will travel to Greece early July. This means the usual PCR tests (around Can 170 bucks each :-(, down from around 300) and health declarations, but it is possible. Fyi, my husband had very bad covid March 2020, and he just confirmed that 15 months later he still has antibodies. 💪💪💪 ( interesting: my hairdresser said that because she and her husband had covid, they wanted to test their kids for antibodies, and the private company that does it, refused them. No antibody testing on kids allowed.)