Is the 'degree of normality' one where we all still have to wear masks everywhere and are restricted in where and when we can travel - is that 'normality'? In reality, nothing will change - the virus will still be going through the community as before it's just that deaths of the actual virus will (probably) be less because we will have attained 'herd immunity' (which is what Sweden was going for from the start). We still won't be allowed to leave the country, we will still have restrictions and lock-downs at least for the next few years.
As I've said right from the start, we're going to have learn to live with this thing WITHOUT shutting everything down when there's an outbreak - it will simply not be affordable going into the future. And vaccines will not save us from lockdowns and will not allow us to go back to 'normal' - that much is becoming apparent.
Probably or at least to a point.
Sweden's herd immunity with no vaccine approach failed and basically an act of stupidity from the start. The outcome would have been worse if not for its neighbors closing their borders. Its all good until you have to bury a relative.
The Language of the PM has changed in recent weeks. I think I heard him say, "once everyone who wants the vaccine, has had the chance to get the vaccine, the border restrictions will start to ease." Clearly if you opt out, you are on your own and the country won't be held back for you.
Personally I think the likes of Australia, NZ and US have SFA chance of getting +85% and likely more than +70% vaccination. Too many people with medical issues that will prevent them from getting the vaccine PLUS the redneck anti vaxers or anti-CV-19 vaxers will prevent this target.
The UAE has now exceeded 50%, but resistance to getting the vaccination is starting to slow things down and hence the govt has announced it "may" (read will) apply an increasing number of restrictions for those who opt out and examples given didn't include VISA renewal, but it will come and it will likely be done quickly for VISA application first. In certain fields its now almost impossible to keep your job if you opted out of getting the vaccine. Some hard nose expats have acknowledged they won't have a choice and decided to leave. Not sure about what happens to locals, but normally they are fairly conforming and if they opt out they will likely miss out on govt services, including access to schools, travel and hospitals, work. However I believe the UAE will achieve +85% of the +16 year old population by end of June, if not before.
Its also become clear that 2021 will be concluded with borders around the world not alot different from today. While some tourist based economies are trying to open up, like Iceland, Maldives etc. Those less dependent on tourism are happy with status quo and now India looks like its about to go pear shaped, with the huge diaspora of Indian's world wide, expect many borders to be closed or heavily restricted for some time.
Global Vaccine roll out has also slowed on the back of concerns with AZ and J&J and likely others. Pfizer can only make so much to compensate.
How we live with it without shutting things down/border closures? Currently I don't think we can and you don't have a solution just like the govt.
Many Aussies/Kiwi's in UAE forums have acknowledged that trips home to visit family are never going to be practical if two week quarantine remains in place due to limitations in schooling and annual leave and unaffordable (and god help you if they find a positive on your plane as everyone is held in the hotel for longer). So many are now considering a permanent move home or as in the case of my Canadian friend in KSA facing the same issue, bought an apartment in Turkey and that will be there home away from home for the foreseeable future. They can meet their parents there and parents do the 2 week hotel stay on return as they are retired.
EDIT: Its also worth noting the villa realestate prices iin Dubai are on the rapid rise in Dubai, but not apartments as people acknowledge the city of travelers, can no longer travel, so people now spending their Annual Leave in their own house, so they want a yard, community facilities etc.
And people from other countries investing in property in Dubai as flying to Dubai for holidays and being forced to home quarantine in a large villa with a pool in the sunshine for two weeks in a city where EVERYTHING is available with door to door delivery isn't so bad compared to their own country, especially with so much kids schooling and work from home now becoming normalised.
EDIT2: The cost for my family to visit our parents in Oz, $30,000 in air fares (as cheap as it gets these days) + $5000 in hotel with a minimum (its not a max) two weeks in a hotel of unknown standard, condition, size etc. At least as a family you get 1-2 bedroom, maybe.
Yeah, not going to happen. For our parents to come visit us, its similar airfare cost + minimum 3mths out of the country (govt rule) + two weeks in a hotel on return of unknown standard, size or condition and if you are just a couple its a standard room , yeah, not going to happen.