Austria Set To Begin A Lockdown For The Unvaccinated Only

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg at a coronavirus meeting (Credit: Dragan Tatic)

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Austria is set to announce a lockdown for unvaccinated people only.

    • Austria is experiencing its highest case load since the start of the pandemic.

    • Hospitalizations don't follow that trend however.

    • Only 65% of Austria's population is fully vaccinated.

  • Reflect On:
    • COVID appears to be a seasonal illness, with lockdowns not doing much to reduce spread, why does policy not follow the science?

    • Is this another coercion technique to increase compliance?

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Austria’s chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, announced on Friday that it’s likely all unvaccinated people in Austria will be forced into a lockdown soon. This will affect about 35% of Austria’s population, which is millions of people.

During a press conference in Tyrol, Schallenberg said the lockdown is expected to be formally approved on Sunday, but there is no word yet when the lockdown will begin.

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During the lockdown, the unvaccinated will not be allowed to leave their home unless it’s for work, essential shopping, or a quick moment of exercise. Random checks will help ensure compliance with the new restrictions. Unvaccinated people in the Austrian regions of Upper Austria and in Salzburg will face these restrictions, whether or not the entire country will follow is what remains unclear.

“A lockdown for the unvaccinated means one cannot leave one’s home unless one is going to work, shopping (for essentials), stretching one’s legs – exactly what we all had to suffer through in 2020.”

Alexander Schallenberg

Daily cases in Austria are on the rise with 11,576 new cases on Wednesday and 11,040 new cases on Friday. As of Nov 7th, 1445 people are in hospital, with 347 in ICU. This is about half of the worst Austria saw back in Nov 2020 when 3901 people were in hospital and 682 in ICU.

Keep in mind, it’s more than likely that PCR testing is highly inaccurate in determining whether someone has COVID or is infectious. Some estimates put false positive rates in the 50% range, hence why hospitalizations or ICU numbers are a much more important metric.

Should we trust government reported data? Below are two graphs looking at Austria’s journey with COVID since 2020. The first graph is showing all-time cases, and the second showing all-time hospitalizations.

You can note that while cases are at an all time high, hospitalizations are half the worst period, and 2/3s the second worst period.

Austria CASES all time.
Austria HOSPITALIZATIONS all time.

One could assume that vaccinations have reduced case severity, but similarly like we see in the UK, it seems vaccinations may increase the chances of infection as well.

Either way, given vaccines are waning in effectiveness, not stopping infection, and come with a multitude of risks, mandating them or coercing citizens to get them is non-sensical and unethical.

“The aim is very clear: that we give the green light this Sunday for a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated.”

Alexander Schallenberg

About 60 percent of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is the second lowest rate in Western Europe.

Naturally, many questions remain about the feasibility of a lockdown that only applies to unvaccinated people. Will it go by the honor system?

“We don’t live in a police state and we can’t and don’t want to check every street corner.”

Alexander Schallenberg

At some point one must ask, are we really going to treat people in society this differently simply because they won’t take an unnecessary medical intervention? How long until measures like this spread to other areas of the world?

It feels a though we are normalizing segregation driven by authoritarian rule that’s not based on logic or reality – when does the populace question whether enough is enough?

No one is going to ride in and save the day here. Governments are not going to stop abusing power. Mainstream media is not going to suddenly admit they’ve been misleading people for 2 years. There will need to be a revolution of sorts, coming from the people. No I’m not calling for something violent or abusive, but something driven by wakefulness and empowerment.

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