Cossacks vs Vikings

In Ukraine, about 20% of people who test positive for COVID get hospitalized.

In Norway, about 2% of people who test positive for COVID get hospitalized.

It’s the same COVID but different cultures.

6 thoughts on “Cossacks vs Vikings”

  1. It could be a cultural difference in how people react to disease. Or it could be a difference in who’s tested. We need to know more before we draw conclusions. If both countries are doing random testing at large scale, it’s a cultural difference. If Ukraine is only testing people at high risk, or people with severe symptoms, while Norway is testing plenty of low-risk and asymptomatic people, then I’d expect fewer hospitalizations in Norway.

    We’d also have to look at the age profile and risk factors of the people getting it in each country.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m saying we need to know more first.


    1. No, it’s cultural, for sure. In Ukraine, you get hospitalized with a fever of 38° (I have no idea what it is in F). That’s it, that’s all you need to get hospitalized.

      If you have oxygen saturation of under 93, you immediately get hospitalized in Ukraine.

      You also get immediately hospitalized in Ukraine if you might have (not have, might have) pneumonia. I was once almost hospitalized against my will because I had bronchitis but the doctor thought it was pneumonia.

      In Norway, none of these conditions by themselves result in a hospitalization. Ukrainian immigrants go nuts when they come to the hospital with a fever of 38°C and are told to go home.

      On the other hand, in Ukraine you will maybe get prescribed antibiotics once in your whole life. Here in North America, they are handed out like candy. It’s very weird to us. But Americans don’t think that 37° fever means you are at death’s door.

      It’s fascinating stuff.


  2. Cultural attitudes toward sickness and healthcare are soooooooo interesting .

    Poland is simultaneously a country full of raging hypochondriacs who mostly try to avoid hospitalization, family doctor and/or specialist visits are fine but 44 years of communism didn’t do anything good to hospitals and few governments since have made a serious dent – it’s nowhere near as awful as it was but healthcare has been starved by successive governments.
    There used to be a thriving… alternative sector made up of odd combinations of traditional folk medicine and new age stuff (and stores that mainly sell herbal tea mixtures).

    I’m not sure of the covid hospitalization rate, I want to say between 5 and 10 percent… (based on active case-hospitalization rates).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do Ukrainians have a favored body part that gets sick a lot (that people in other cultures don’t obsess over).
    In my informal investigations I’d say
    US – the back
    UK – feet
    France – liver
    Poland – throat
    Ukraine – ???


    1. We talk about our tonsils a lot. I never heard anybody else have long conversations about them. I’m very happy to observe that even the pediatrician has no interest in Klara’s tonsils.


  4. Different countries may also have slightly different versions of the virus. In the US, I know of several people getting covid, but I do not personally know of anyone dying. Anyone paying attention to some of the numbers would realize that the death numbers here are highly inflated (eg, people who die with covid or with covid-like symptoms are all marked as covid deaths).

    But, I was recently speaking to some of my Indian friends, and they personally know quite a few people in their late 50s and early 60s who have caught covid and died in India. Healthcare in Indian cities is quite decent if you have the money to pay for it, and these are upper middle class people, so it isn’t the lack of healthcare. Covid came to India quite late, and I wonder if the virus is still more virulent there.


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