COVID-19 vaccines are coming, but in most of Europe, winter is coming faster. In several countries, cases are surging again — after many countries seemed to be turning the tide. Politicians are desperate to find a balance of restrictions that flatten the curve without flattening the economy or upsetting residents who are eager to reunite for the holidays.
“The key question now is to determine what is the optimal package of policies to maximize the health benefit at least cost,” said Thomas Hale, an associate professor of public policy at the University of Oxford. “However, this ‘magic formula’ will likely differ across different countries and populations, and of course over time as the virus surges or recedes.”
It’s a complicated and ever-changing calculus, and every country is different. But the approaches of three nations — Finland, Norway and Denmark — in recent months stand out, a CNN analysis shows. The analysis, which looked at data from the University of Oxford and Johns Hopkins University, found that while all three countries implemented some of the continent’s most relaxed combinations of restrictions, they still managed to keep average daily deaths low — below one per million — for the three-month period between September 1 and November 30.