This Week’s Editorial: Springtime around the corner

The pandemic is under control. It is still here and will be forever, but under control. 

Bigger battle to follow
Vaccines are doing the rounds – a multitude of brands, and relatively few side-effects so far – and now springtime is coming. We do not fear the virus anymore, but we have learned to respect it.  

The global village has never been more aptly described. Its next major challenge, fighting climate change, will require global solidarity for humanity to win the battle. In truth, the pandemic might soon be regarded as a dress rehearsal for the real global challenge ahead.

For that, our politicians will need to be united, like they have been, more or less, during the pandemic. But in recent weeks, the political theatre has again started to resemble the pre-pandemic democracy and squabbling this country is so used to.

Testing her limits
Perhaps PM Mette Frederiksen thought she could go to Israel, arm-in-arm with her conservative Austrian counterpart, to visit an Israeli leader with a troubled future, and nobody would bat an eyelid. A photo opportunity of doubtful value was the outcome, but we think she has earned a few days off after a year of practising her best stiff upper-lip and total control of the population. 

After all, she won … not only against the pandemic, but also the hearts and minds of the Danes. One cannot help respecting her leadership. Her reward lies in the polls, where the blue opposition have no hope in the near future, or even at the next general election.

But there is a limit. The proposal to begin forceful testing in the ghettos was left dead in the water. It reminded us that we have performed all the necessary remedies voluntarily, and that very little has required the help of the police and armed forces. 

Patience has a limit too. Recent demonstrations against the lockdown have developed into violence, and some pretty severe jail verdicts have followed for the cheerleaders saying very much the same as ex-president Trump did on January 6 to the mob in Washington DC. 

Not much of anything
We’ve survived a year of abnormality beyond our imagination when we think back on it. A peculiar effect has been the crime rate going down considerably. No nightlife, no drinking and no human congestion equals no crime.

Public spending has been enormous, but private spending has been low: no travel, no shopping, no dining. A lot of money is now waiting to be cut loose from the frozen holiday funds, so when the shopping centres open after Easter, it will be Black Friday for a whole week or more.

However, we cannot exclude new mutations disturbing the peace, although we will remain calm after seeing what the world of pharmaceutical science can accomplish. 

Come springtime, we got scared but did not panic.