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Sweden did almost nothing in response to COVID-19. Three months later, how have they faired?


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Interesting NYTimes article, taking a look at Sweden's decision to not enact lockdowns, close businesses or public places, or take any other significant government reaction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Instead, it decided to trust people to take their own smart precautions.

So how did it go?

When you adjust for the population size difference, Sweden has suffered a COVID death total 40% higher than the United States, 600% more than neighboring Denmark, 700% more than neighboring Finland, and 1,200% higher than neighboring Norway.

But at least their economy is in good shape, right?  After all, there was no stay at home order and no mandatory closures of any businesses.

Nope.

Sweden's economy is shrinking by 4.5%, versus a previously expected gain of 1.3%.  Unemployment has jumped to 9%.  Despite no restrictions being put in place, Swedish citizens' spending still decreased by 25%.  These numbers are all on par with neighboring Denmark -- which means Sweden accepted 600% more deaths without actually helping their economy at all.

The article quotes economic experts saying that there was little to nothing Sweden or any other country could really do to save their economy during a global pandemic.  What they COULD have controlled was the deaths, and they failed entirely to do so.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/business/sweden-economy-coronavirus.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR3QBZhNTuDRYbd5GZXjVZ3dgnWBKJ2x4hUmQMZj2cO9Mayivry0OtksNcg

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Just now, Actinguy said:

Interesting NYTimes article, taking a look at Sweden's decision to not enact lockdowns, close businesses or public places, or take any other significant government reaction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Instead, it decided to trust people to take their own smart precautions.

So how did it go?

When you adjust for the population size difference, Sweden has suffered a COVID death total 40% higher than the United States, 600% more than neighboring Denmark, 700% more than neighboring Finland, and 1,200% higher than neighboring Norway.

But at least their economy is in good shape, right?  After all, there was no stay at home order and no mandatory closures of any businesses.

Nope.

Sweden's economy is shrinking by 4.5%, versus a previously expected gain of 1.3%.  Unemployment has jumped to 9%.  Despite no restrictions being put in place, Swedish citizens' spending still decreased by 25%.  These numbers are all on par with neighboring Denmark -- which means Sweden accepted 600% more deaths without actually helping their economy at all.

The article quotes economic experts saying that there was little to nothing Sweden or any other country could really do to save their economy during a global pandemic.  What they COULD have controlled was the deaths, and they failed entirely to do so.

 

Belarus was even worse. President Alexander Lukashenko practically paraphrased occultist Allister Crowley on the matter of any precautions, restrictions, self-isolations, etc. over the issue - "Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Now the bitter harvest they're reaping is as monstrous as one might expect - plus, none of the neighbours of the land-lacked country, not even their traditional ally, Russia, will let their citizens cross any land borders...

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36 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

Sweden has suffered a COVID death total 40% higher than the United States

Lots of good points in this article, but it misses the main point of Sweden's top epidemiologists - that the disease will move through society, either sooner or later. Instead of making huge compromises with civil liberties, instead preserve health care capacity and move on. Their epidemiologists did this based on the belief, now proven correct, that the IFR was much less than the 1-2% politicians were basing policy decisions on back in March (latest CDC estimate I believe is around 0.25%, so 1:400 instead of 1:50).

So interestingly, this article shows how the goal posts have shifted re Sweden. Initially, it was that they would have runaway exponential increase which would completely overwhelm their health care capacity. Instead, their health care system was never overwhelmed. A temporary hospital in Stockholm was set up, and never used. It was taken down awhile ago.

Now, the argument is "Sure, their health care system is OK, and sure their economy during this period faired a bit better than Denmark's,  but they have more relative mortalities."

A fair criticism, because treatment is improving and we might even have a vaccine at some point. But until we reach herd immunity or some equivalent, we are early in the game. So it seems to me the fair conclusion is the jury is out on which approach will minimize fatalities in the long run. Also important to note the relevant category is all-cause mortalities, and it will be interesting to look at deviations between yearly norms for the respective Scandinavian countries.

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We don’t even know if herd immunity exists yet for this disease.  It may be possible for an individual to contract covid-19 multiple times, rendering the idea of herd immunity moot

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1 minute ago, admin_270 said:

Lots of good points in this article, but it misses the main point of Sweden's top epidemiologists - that the disease will move through society, either sooner or later. Instead of making huge compromises with civil liberties, instead preserve health care capacity and move on. Their epidemiologists did this based on the belief, now proven correct, that the IFR was much less than the 1-2% politicians were basing policy decisions on back in March (latest CDC estimate I believe is around 0.25%, so 1:400 instead of 1:50).

So interestingly, this article shows how the goal posts have shifted re Sweden. Initially, it was that they would have runaway exponential increase which would completely overwhelm their health care capacity. Instead, their health care system was never overwhelmed. A temporary hospital in Stockholm was set up, and never used. It was taken down awhile ago.

Now, the argument is "Sure, their health care system is OK, and sure their economy during this period faired a bit better than Denmark's,  but they have more relative mortalities."

A fair criticism, because treatment is improving and we might even have a vaccine at some point. But until we reach herd immunity or some equivalent, we are early in the game. So it seems to me the fair conclusion is the jury is out on which approach will minimize fatalities in the long run. Also important to note the relevant category is all-cause mortalities, and it will be interesting to look at deviations between yearly norms for the respective Scandinavian countries.

I am just constantly gobsmacked by many of your posts and the detached viewpoint and lack of understanding they actually show.

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Just now, Patine said:

I am just constantly gobsmacked by many of your posts and the detached viewpoint and lack of understanding they actually show.

You rarely make any specific points. Just a pointing and sputtering.

Find something specific, give reasons why it's incorrect.

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2 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

We don’t even know if herd immunity exists yet for this disease.  It may be possible for an individual to contract covid-19 multiple times, rendering the idea of herd immunity moot

Yes, this is possible. However, there isn't good evidence to believe it's true. There were some cases in S. Korea awhile ago where the medical authorities thought perhaps it was recurring in the same individuals, but they've now concluded it was false-positive testing, I believe.

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Well when we compare Sweden to Norway or Finland we'll see their ''over-the-top'' path was a complete disaster. Prime minister Löfven's party rising in the polls is very concerning.

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On 7/8/2020 at 12:23 PM, Actinguy said:

We don’t even know if herd immunity exists yet for this disease.  It may be possible for an individual to contract covid-19 multiple times, rendering the idea of herd immunity moot

 

On 7/8/2020 at 12:28 PM, admin_270 said:

Yes, this is possible. However, there isn't good evidence to believe it's true. There were some cases in S. Korea awhile ago where the medical authorities thought perhaps it was recurring in the same individuals, but they've now concluded it was false-positive testing, I believe.

I may have mentioned previously on here that a girl I went to high school with (mid-30's, immunocompromized) was diagnosed with COVID a few months ago, and that it was especially brutal for her.

Well:  she just got diagnosed with it again.  Three months after the previous diagnosis.

It's not clear yet whether she truly contracted a second time or whether she just didn't heal 100% last time (though she and her doctors thought she had) and now it has flared back up.  There's a lot of unknowns.

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23 hours ago, Actinguy said:

immunocompromized

I don't know, but either way this is an unusual case ('immunocompromized'). Herd immunity is about a significant % of people developing immunity, not everyone. Those who have immunity prevent the disease from spreading, such that everyone is protected.

This is the idea with allowing herd immunity to develop amongst the young and healthy while simultaneously isolating the old and unhealthy - once the former are through it, they then protect everyone else.

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1 minute ago, admin_270 said:

I don't know, but either way this is an unusual case ('immunocompromized'). Herd immunity is about a significant % of people developing immunity, not everyone. Those who have immunity prevent the disease from spreading, such that everyone is protected.

This is the idea with allowing herd immunity to develop amongst the young and healthy while simultaneously isolating the old and unhealthy - once the former are through it, they then protect everyone else.

I think you've latched onto to a medical term that looks nice and shiny, and like it'll support you're point, but you don't TRULY understand the concept at all. This is how it comes across in your posts.

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15 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

What about it don't I understand? Be specific.

How it actually works - and doesn't work - and various likelihoods of it working with different viruses and it different contexts, and the extreme risks and completely unnecessary losses of life in using it as basis for a reaction plan in times like these. You're just quoting the base theory as if all factors were the same and "equal applicability," existed. That's an utterly ridiculous proposal.

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3 minutes ago, Patine said:

How it actually works - and doesn't work - and various likelihoods of it working with different viruses and it different contexts, and the extreme risks and completely unnecessary losses of life in using it as basis for a reaction plan in times like these. You're just quoting the base theory as if all factors were the same and "equal applicability," existed. That's an utterly ridiculous proposal.

Here's a primer, Pat.

https://www.webmd.com/lung/what-is-herd-immunity#1

which even talks specifically about how it relates to COVID-19.

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34 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Here's a primer, Pat.

https://www.webmd.com/lung/what-is-herd-immunity#1

which even talks specifically about how it relates to COVID-19.

The word "possible," in that article is advised, there. Sacrificing potential lives callously and unnecessarily on a big "X-factor of hope," seems completely unacceptable of any society with any principles or sense of humanity at all.

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

The word "possible," in that article is advised, there. Sacrificing potential lives callously and unnecessarily on a big "X-factor of hope," seems completely unacceptable of any society with any principles or sense of humanity at all.

Not sure what you're talking about here. You don't think herd immunity applies to COVID-19? If so, why? There's little good evidence for this view.

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Just now, admin_270 said:

Not sure what you're talking about here. You don't think herd immunity applies to COVID-19? If so, why? There's little good evidence for this view.

Because it already has other unprecedented qualities as a virus, and thus nothing can be taken for granted until strong evidence in it's own specific case and context prove it to be reliable.

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11 minutes ago, Patine said:

Because it already has other unprecedented qualities as a virus, and thus nothing can be taken for granted until strong evidence in it's own specific case and context prove it to be reliable.

What unprecedented qualities does it have that you're referring to here, and why do you think that would transfer to an inability of humans to develop immunity?

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