Tag Archives: Sweden

Sweden – Number of Covid deaths plummeting even as the number cases rises, by Robert

Sweden was a renegade during the coronavirus outbreak, not locking down its population. When its day-to-day death numbers were rising coranavirus commissars the world over screeched at Sweden’s criminal foolishness for not locking down. Now its day-to-day death numbers are falling precipitously even as its case numbers tick up, and its death rate per million population is no worse and is in some cases better than the rest of Europe, which brings up the question: why did the rest of Europe have to go into lockdown (and destroy the European economy)? From Robert at iceagenow.info:

Similar pattern in the United States! Number of deaths declining rapidly.

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In case you weren’t aware of this, Sweden refused to go into a lockdown mode. Restaurants remained open, bars remained open, the entire country remained open, all because Swedish authorities decided to let the virus run its course. They expected the country to reach what is known as “herd immunity.” And they succeeded!

At first, coronavirus cases rose quite rapidly, as expected. But even as the number of new cases continued climbing, the number deaths began declining. I don’t know that the proper word is “plummeting,” but as you can see from the graph below, the decline is very pronounced.

“Over the past ten weeks, the number of daily reported COVID-19 cases in Sweden has more than doubled, yet the number of deaths has plummeted,” writes Tony Heller. “The vast majority of deaths in Sweden were the result of nursing homes getting infected.”

“Their strategy has been to get the low risk population exposed so that they can reach herd immunity, so more cases is to be expected.”

Sweden Coronavirus: 67,667 Cases and 5,310 Deaths – Worldometer

“The same pattern is occurring in the US,” says Tony. The number of daily deaths is declining markedly.

United States Coronavirus: 2,681,811 Cases and 128,783 Deaths – Worldometer

The point here is that the number of new cases is meaningless propaganda. Many of those new cases came as a result of more testing, and many more came from what I consider fraudulent reporting.

And, as reader Michael Jenkins correctly points out, “even the death rate reported is, in all likelihood, grossly exaggerated.”

Forget the number of “new cases.” What we need to keep our eyes on is the death rate.

See more from Tony Heller:
https://realclimatescience.com/2020/06/no-correlation-between-covid-cases-and-deaths/

Thanks to Penelope for this link

 

What Sweden Can Teach Us About the Economics of Pandemics, by Per Bylund

Simply sidestepping mass lockdown is helping Sweden avoid the worst of the Covid-19 consequences that so many nations, including the US, have experienced. From Per Bylund at aier.org:

Sweden’s unique policy approach in this pandemic has been described as “freewheeling” in international news media, but t would be more accurate to call it balanced. Johan Giesecke, a world-renowned epidemiologist and advisor to the Swedish Government, calls it “evidence-based.”

The Swedish Public Health Agency early decided against lockdowns and quarantining the population. Most people suffer few complications from COVID-19 or are asymptomatic. Without a vaccine or cure available in the foreseeable future, there is no stopping of the infection. Sweden therefore focused on protecting the old and the frail while “flattening the curve” and expanding healthcare capacity.

The Swedes’ comparatively lax policy has allowed schools and businesses to remain open, but high schools and colleges are closed, nursing homes prohibit visitors, public gatherings are capped at 50 people, and there are social distancing rules in place for restaurants. High-risk groups are recommended to self-isolate while the virus runs its course.

Sweden’s policy might seem heartless from the perspective of the pandemic only, but its approach seeks a “golden middle” between evils – and it appears to be working. Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, recently lauded the approach, saying “Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns.”

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In the Race for Immunity, Sweden Leads the Pack, by Mike Whitney

There are solid medical reasons, in addition to the economic and civil liberties justifications, for not putting the entire population in lockdown. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

In a pandemic, there is no substitute for immunity, because immunity provides the best protection against reinfection. That’s why Sweden set its sights on immunity from the very beginning. They crafted a policy that was designed to protect the old and vulnerable, prevent the public health system from being overwhelmed, and, most important, allow younger, low-risk people to interact freely so they’d contract the virus and develop the antibodies they’d need to fight future infections. That was the plan and it worked like a charm. Now Sweden is just weeks away from achieving herd immunity (which means that future outbreaks will not be nearly as severe) while the lockdown nations– that are just now easing restrictions– face an excruciating uphill slog that may or may not succeed. Bottom line: Sweden analyzed the problem, figured out what to do, and did it. That’s why they are closing in on the finish line while most of the lockdown states are still stuck at Square 1.

As of this writing, none of the other nations have identified immunity as their primary objective which is why their orientation has been wrong from the get-go. You cannot achieve a goal that you have not identified. The current US strategy focuses on stringent containment procedures (shelter-in-place, self-isolation) most of which have little historical or scientific basis. The truth is, the Trump administration responded precipitously when the number of Covid-positive cases began to increase exponentially in the US. That paved the way for a lockdown policy that’s more the result of groupthink and flawed computer models than data-based analysis and nimble strategic planning. And the results speak for themselves. The 8-week lockdown is probably the biggest policy disaster in US history. Millions of jobs have been lost, thousands of small and mid-sized businesses will now face bankruptcy, and the future prospects for an entire generation of young people have been obliterated. The administration could have detonated multiple nuclear bombs in the country and done less damage than they have with their lunatic lockdown policy.

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Sweden Is the Model, by Mike Whitney

Sweden’s death rate per million puts it in the middle of Europe’s range, but unlike most other European nations (and the US), its refusal to institute mass lockdowns has given its people much greater herd immunity. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

At present, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus. That means that one of the two paths to immunity is blocked. The other path is “herd immunity,” in which a critical mass of infection occurs in lower-risk populations that ultimately thwarts transmission.

Herd immunity is the only path that is currently available. Let that sink in for a minute. The only way our species can effectively resist the infection is through the development of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells. In other words, the only way we can lick this thing is by the majority of the population getting the infection and thereby developing immunity to future outbreaks.

That being the case, one would assume that the government’s policy would try to achieve herd immunity in the least painful way possible. (Young, low-risk people should go back to work if they so choose.) But that is not the government’s policy, in fact, the government’s policy is the exact opposite. US policy encourages people to remain at home and self quarantine until the government decides to lift the lockdown and allow some people to return to work. This policy assumes that the infection will have vanished by then, which of course, is extremely unlikely. The more probable outcome is that– when people return to work– there will be another surge in cases and another spike in deaths. We will have shifted the curve to a future date without having flattened it. We will have inflicted catastrophic damage on the economy and gained nothing. This is an idiotic policy that goes nowhere.

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Masks in Sweden: A Followup, by Daniel B. Klein

Coronavirus responses are not either-or. From Daniel B. Klein at aier.org:

In response to my piece on Masks in Sweden, I received the following fascinating note, by James Cooper, reproduced with his permission, which compares the attitude in Sweden with that in the United States. I think readers will find this very interesting.

Dr. Klein,

Thank you for your recent article on Sweden’s response to COVID-19. I would just like to add my thoughts to the ongoing public discussion. I am an American living in Stockholm. I have been living here for 17 years and am fluent in Swedish. I am from Northern Virginia.

Regarding this article, I will just point out that the American people have been buffalo’d into a very binary way of thinking – there are only two possibilities when dealing with COVID-19 – complete lockdown or nothing at all. This is also referred to as TINA (There Is No Alternative).

For many of my American friends, they find it difficult to understand that there are many possibilities in between the two extremes. In fact, a more nuanced approach not only makes more sense, but is more sustainable. That is precisely what the Swedish approach is all about.

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Now We Can All Hate Sweden, by Skinny

Sweden used to be a liberal wet dream, but then it went its own way on the coronavirus. From Skinny at theburningplatform.com:

The Authoritarian Left Finds an Enemy in a Long Time Ally

It’s a sad day for the socialist left.  Scandinavia is no longer the socialist paradise of legend.  (It was never a socialist paradise to begin with, but we should never let the facts get in the way of a good legend.)   First it was Norway and visions of Ollie, the sustainable fisherman paddling around the fjords eking out a meager living.  He was dirt poor, but at least he was equal, and isn’t that the point.  The lefto looneys loved Norway and with a suicide rate high enough to make it the envy of the world, what’s not to love.  Then they discovered oil in the North Sea.  Anything but oil.

Why couldn’t they find unicorns or rainbows, or even solar panels, or Tesla batteries for that matter?  Why did it have to be oil?  And even worse, why did Norway have to harvest that oil.  Why couldn’t they just leave it under the seabed for Mother Gaia to drink?    And wealth.  If there is anything a lefty hates more than oil. it’s wealth. And Norway has it.  That gusher of black gold has lifted their per capita GDP to 78k per year ranking them 3rdth in the world.  They are still pretty equal but rich and equal.  Now instead of lutefisk, Ollie munches on caviar while sipping champagne on the deck of his sloop. To the misery loves company left, poor and unequal is preferable to rich and equal.  Just ask Cuba.

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As We Mull Leaving Lockdown, Is Sweden Model the Way Forward? by Christina Ramirez

Sweden’s unconventional response to the coronavirus outbreak has not doomed the country. Its numbers put it in the middle among countries, and the way it compiles those numbers may list more cases and deaths than other nations. From Christina Ramirez at realclearpolitics.com:

In most countries in Europe and North America, governments have imposed lockdowns of their populations and economies. At first glance, this strategy would seem to strike a reasonable, if painful, bargain: pay the price of (hopefully temporary) limits on civil liberties and economic recession (if not depression) to slow virus spread. The price has been very high. In the U.S. alone, the bill has already reached trillions of dollars of lost economic activity and tens of millions out of work. The material pain may go beyond economic insecurity. Many Americans face the real prospect of food shortages.

Sweden, however, has forged its own path. The government is emphasizing voluntary action over government mandates. Elementary schools and businesses, including bars, cafés, restaurants and gyms, are open. The government has urged people to act responsibly and follow social distancing guidelines.

Stockholm has reasoned that COVID-19 will require sustained interventions, even under optimistic timelines for the development of a vaccine. If true, the economic hardship and sacrifices to civil liberties involved in long-term societal shutdowns would become unjustifiable. So, the Swedish Public Health Authority has elected to pursue what it regards as a feasible goal of slowing the spread to prevent the overwhelming of its health care system while protecting the most vulnerable populations.

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Why Sweden Has Already Won the Debate on COVID ‘Lockdown’ Policy, by Patrick Henningsen

Even if you accept the premise that governments had to “do something” about the coronavirus (SLL is highly skeptical), it doesn’t mean they all had to institute draconian house arrest and business closures. Sweden found another way. From Patrick Henningsen at 21stcenturywire.com:

As Europe and North America continue suffering their steady economic and social decline as a direct result of imposing ‘lockdown’ on their populations, other countries have taken a different approach to dealing with the coronavirus threat. You wouldn’t know it by listening to western politicians or mainstream media stenographers, there are also nonlockdown countries. They are led by Sweden, Iceland, Belarus, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Surprisingly to some, their results have been as good or better than the lockdown countries, but without having to endure the socio-economic chaos we are now witnessing across the world. For this reason alone, Sweden and others like them, have already won the policy debate, as well as the scientific one too.

Unlike much of the rest of the world who saw fit to unquestioningly follow China’s lead on everything from quarantining, to economic shutdowns, to contact tracing, and PCR mass testing, nonlockdown countries have instead opted for a somewhat lighter touch – preserving their economies and societies, and in doing so avoiding an endless daisy chain of new problems and obstacles deriving directly from the imposition of brutal lockdown policy.

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Sweden Is Right. The Economy Should be Left Open, by Mike Whitney

The Swedish non-lockdown approach, judged by per capita death rates, is no worse than lockdowns and in many instances is better. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

Sometimes, the best thing to do, is to do nothing at all. Take Sweden, for example, where the government decided not to shut down the economy, but to take a more thoughtful and balanced approach. Sweden has kept its primary schools, restaurants, shops and gyms open for business even though fewer people are out in public or carrying on as they normally would. At the same time, the government has kept the Swedish people well-informed so they understand the risks the virus poses to their health and the health of others. This is how the Swedes have minimized their chances of getting the infection while avoiding more extreme measures like shelter-in-place which is de facto house arrest.

What the Swedish experiment demonstrates, is that there’s a way to navigate these unprecedented public health challenges without recklessly imposing police state policies and without doing irreparable harm to the economy. And, yes, the results of this experiment are not yet known, but what we do know is that most nations cannot simply print-up trillions of dollars to counter the knock-on effects of bringing the economy to a screeching halt. These countries must dip into their reserves or take out loans from the IMF in order to recover from the lack of production and activity. That means they’re going to face years of slow growth and high unemployment to dig out from the mess their leaders created for them.

And that rule applies to the US too, even though the government has been recklessly printing money to pay the bills. The unforeseen cost to the US will come in the form of long-term unemployment triggered by millions of failed small and mid-sized businesses. That grim scenario is all but certain now. And just as the USG “disappeared” millions of workers from the unemployment rolls following the 2008 Financial Crisis– forcing them to find low-paying, part-time, no-benefits work in the “gig” economy– so too, millions of more working people will fall through the cracks and wind up homeless, jobless and destitute following this crisis. One $1,200 check from Uncle Sam and a few weeks of unemployment compensation is not going to not be enough to prevent the fundamental restructuring of the US labor force that will be impossible to avoid if the economy isn’t restarted pronto.

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A Comparison Of Lockdown UK With Non-Lockdown Sweden, by Tyler Durden

Sweden is certainly not an argument against a more laissez faire approach to the coronavirus outbreak. However, Sweden has now changed its approach to be in line with the rest of the world’s draconian approach. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update (0400ET): Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s prime minister, said today that after taking a “flexible” approach to restricting movements within its borders, the country’s coronavirus measures were “not good enough.”

Lofven, who has been PM since 2014 as part of a various coalitions, said previous governments and parties were responsible for the lack of equipment.

“All parties have a responsibility in that, because [civil defence] was something that was phased out gradually after the Cold War, so that’s three decades we’re talking about. Since then, many governments have contributed to this.”

A spokesman for the prime minister said last week:

“We want measures that work in the long run, since this pandemic likely will continue for months.”

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Authored by Rob Slane via TheBlogMire.com,

So far as I am aware, Sweden remains the only major Western country that has not imposed a strict lockdown on its citizens to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. Other than a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people, and advice such as over-70s being urged to stay at home, Swedish schools, shops, restaurants and pubs all remain open. It almost seems to me that the Government there has decided to treat grown adults like they are … well grown adults.

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