There is NO evidence that NPIs and vaccines have CHANGED the pandemic

… examine the progression of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in six Northern European countries

… Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland (population 99.12 million)

… over the duration of the pandemic (March 2020 to May 2023)

… assess how much could be explained in terms of three different factors

… 1 – The stringency of NPIs, e.g., travel restrictions, “stay-at-home” measures, mask mandates and social distancing

… 2 – The percentage of the population fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines

… 3 – The expected seasonality of human beta-coronaviruses (since SARS-CoV-2 is a human beta-coronavirus)

… Several high-profile studies … have proposed … that the pandemic would have unfolded very differently in the absence of these NPIs

… we note that none of these studies … appear to have considered the seasonality of the virus

… several studies have proposed that, if a large fraction of a country’s population received any of  COVID-19 vaccines

… should have dramatically altered the progression of the pandemic

… our analysis could not identify any evidence of this hoped-for effect

… Again … do not appear to have considered the seasonality of the virus

… our analysis revealed a striking similarity between the winter highs and summer lows

… and those of the decadal averages of beta-coronaviruses recorded in Sweden in the preceding decade (2010–2020)

… a clear strong positive seasonal correlation, following similar trends for all countries

… much of the apparent success of NPIs and vaccination in bringing the pandemic under contro

… an effect of seasonality

… We recommend that these findings also be taken … especially considering that unintended consequences have been documented for NPIs and vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic