Because I’m an American who writes about US employment from a US perspective but lives in Switzerland, people often ask me how things are going with Covid here in the land of Cheese and Chocolate.
You can see above just how it’s going.
And one of those days’ spikes is a little bigger because I and the offspring all tested last week.
We don’t know where we got it. We have guesses–perhaps Offspring #2 brought it back to us from his trip to the Middle East that he took with his father. But he had a negative PCR before getting on the plane home, so who knows? Perhaps I brought it home from one of my wild and crazy grocery shopping trips. Offspring #1 was the first to get sick, but she’s got health issues that keep her home, and she had literally only been out of the house one time in the week before. Our health insurance covered the testing because we had symptoms. If we had no symptoms, we would have to pay out of pocket.
It’s a mystery.
We’re all fully vaccinated. We all wear masks outside of the house. (It’s the law here.)
We all got Covid.
But, it was fairly mild. Only Offspring #1 had anything more than a cold (and her health problems means she gets everything worse than everybody else). We got quarantined for 10 days. The Swiss government changed the quarantine period to 5 days on our last day of the quarantine, so it didn’t make a difference to us.
Switzerland has approached Covid slightly differently than the US has. As I said, masks are mandatory indoors and on public transportation. They have what they call a 3 G approach to covid safety. That means (in German) that you must be
- Geimpft (vaccinated) OR
- Genesen (recovered) OR
- Getestet (recently tested)
if you want to go someplace like a restaurant or to a public gathering of over 50 people.
To demonstrate that you are one of these things, we have Covid Certificates. You can have it on paper, but I’ve never seen someone present them on paper. There’s an App for that. Here’s mine:
I can use this App throughout Europe, even though Switzerland isn’t EU.
As cases skyrocketed, they changed to a 2 G approach–only vaccinated and recovered. For some venues, they required that you be tested in addition to being vaccinated or recovered.
Neighboring Germany just changed their rules to the type of mask you must wear. They banned cloth masks a while ago. They’ve prohibited the standard medical masks in favor of the tightly fitting FFP2s or N95s, except on public transportation where you can still wear the disposable medical masks.
France has very similar rules.
So when people ask me what I think the US could do better or differently, I shrug. I don’t know. We’ve been stricter over here, and it’s not working,
The only thing that for sure is working is that vaccinations reduce death and hospitalizations even if they can’t keep you from getting Omicron. I shudder to think of how sick Offspring #1 would be if she weren’t vaccinated.
We celebrated our release from quarantine with donuts. Offspring #2 is a bit sad because he has to go back to school on Monday, after a glorious 10 days with a cold being home from school. I am celebrating sending him back to school because that’s how parenting works. God bless teachers.