Macron and the EU were too quick to mock Britain’s pandemic strategy and the AstraZeneca vaccine
Updated: Nov 26, 2021
Article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph 24.11.21 begins with these words: "Europe faces a winter of hell as a fourth Covid wave collides with the most serious energy supply crisis this century "
Whether by pandemic foresight or serendipity, the UK was right after all to ignore the World Health Organisation and let Covid-19 spread in a semi-controlled fashion through the summer and early autumn.
This policy was deemed reckless by Europe's leaders and media. Yet the effect was to pull forward infections before vaccine immunity faded and to spread the strain across several months, allowing the virus to burn through the remaining pockets of the unvaccinated before the NHS winter crunch.
It was a variant of the original Vallance concept of herd immunity, this time executed at the right moment. Covid hospital cases peaked at 9,661 in early November and have since fallen to 8,079.
Much of Europe is now going through its own ordeal of waning protection but with a six-week lag and with less overall immunity. It is happening just as the flu season arrives - with double its normal intensity - and in the less benign circumstances of approaching winter.
The rise in hospitalisation rates has turned parabolic in Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium and most of central Europe, decoupling suddenly from the UK’s relatively tame trajectory. This pattern is spreading south with a slight delay.
Britain’s Covid cases in intensive care are a quarter of prior peaks. The chart in Germany is entirely different. The ratio is rocketing and is expected to surpass the previous peak by a wide margin, given that the declared 7-day incidence rate (386.5) is still climbing and more people are reaching cliff-edge immunity thresholds. The Robert Koch Institute says deaths in Germany are heading for 400 a day.
The article ends with these words:
There is a whiff of mutiny in the European air, like the mood in 1917 when long-suffering soldiers turned on their officers. The protests have been angrier and harder to control. The political class is responding with ever harsher and more dubious measures.
Hans-Jürgen Papier, ex-chief of the German constitutional court, described the headlong rush toward state compulsion and the stigmatisation of the unvaccinated as “mindless”, leading to policies that are both unconstitutional and socially unenforceable.
In state after state the discriminatory policies smack of majoritarian abuse, egged on by a bossy metropolitan Leitkultur and an unquestioning press corps in ways that would be instantly recognisable to the late Hannah Arendt.
Britain has been right to resist this insidious drift. If you want evidence of the fundamental difference between the political culture of these islands and the authoritarian reflexes of core Europe, look no further.
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