The “Sweden States”
There has been a lot in the media about Sweden’s approach to COVID. There has been very little (if any) coverage of a group of states here in the US that followed much of the same approach. These states; Iowa, Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota, (aka. the Sweden States) never imposed lock-downs and don’t have statewide mask mandates. Many (but not all) imposed restrictions on certain businesses though. These were short lived and imposed later than other states. All the states are currently in Wallethub’s top ten for fewest restrictions. Except for a few instances the states have been pretty consistently in the top ten since May 1st.
I downloaded data from the CDC’s website on September 21st and have spent my free time since then to compare these states to the rest of the country. The results were surprising. Keep in mind that the decision to impose lock-downs was done six months ago, before 98% of COVID cases occurred, so it couldn’t be a case of selection bias. Same with mask mandates. It has been months since these were implemented in most states. Plenty of time for no mandate states to catch up to their masked counterparts.
The rest of the country has more than DOUBLE the number COVID deaths per million people vs. the Sweden States. Also, all six Sweden States are below the national average.
It turns out the Sweden States also have negative 105 non-COVID excess deaths per million population. In comparison, the rest of the country has 110 excess deaths per million population in addition to their COVID deaths. Weren’t lock-downs supposed to reduce non COVID deaths? The numbers suggest the opposite.
So, if you compare total excess mortality, which is really the best comparison since there is no way to hide behind a lack of testing, the numbers are even more skewed. The rest of the country has FIVE TIMES more excess death compared to the Sweden States.
I then thought maybe it is a regional thing. I compared the Sweden States to all states touching them that had lockdowns and mask mandates. The numbers were closer, but the Sweden States still came out on top. Neighboring states have 1.6 times the number of the COVID deaths and 3.7 times the excess mortality of the Sweden States. In fact, of the 14 states compared (6 Sweden Sates and 8 neighbors) the five worst states for excess mortality all have mask mandates and had locked down.
The Sweden states also have much lower unemployment rates than the rest of the country. The #1 and #2 states and 4 of the 6 lowest are Sweden States. The other two are ranked 12th and 19th.
All interesting data, to me anyway. Especially the total excess mortality.
I like the analysis. And that total excess mortality is nifty too. I was wondering what the hit would be for the enforced quarantine – it was more severe than I thought.
Perhaps enforced inactivity leads to death.
I really don’t think history will be too kind to the severe lockdown states leadership.
Especially months after it has become really clear that the Sweden model is roughly the correct one.
I predict after all the absurd “second lockdowns” in Europe (for what??), the economies of the lockdown states will be absolutely trashed. Tegnell will look like a genius for basically doing nothing special.
I came across an article, I can’t remember where, linking lockdowns to lower Vitamin D levels. That along with fewer deaths of despair and lower stress levels could be an explanation.
This is a fascinating look at the data. I’m planning to wrap a show around this + Sweden + “third world” countries who are beating the pants off of the miserable statistics coming from the so-called ‘first world’ countries.
Yes, locking people indoors is ONE OF THE WORST things you could prescribe as a response to SARS2. The correct response would be to not only encourage people to go outside, but to expose as much skin as they could. The Vitamin D story is now locked and loaded. No wiggle room any more. It’s essential and too many people are deficient in D.
Jack Black has a band called Tenacious D. Could I propose a band called Deficient D? As part of the act it could cough randomly during lyrics, and blow their noses throughout while wearing blanching make up to look sickly. But I digress.
The response of the US and most of Europe is so regressively, awfully, indefensibly bad at this point that I cannot chalk it up any longer to simple ignorance and basic malfeasance. It’s worse than that.
Makes me think there’s some other program running in the background.
I agree that there is another program running in the background. My cohorts in the health freedom movement have been speaking of these issues for years already, that are now popping up today as they predicted:
– the mandatory vaccination push in ME, CA, NY, MA, CT, and my state NJ, all blue states. (I say this as someone who’s always voted blue; this is not happening for the most part in red states). NJ is currently pushing for mandatory flu vaccines to prevent a “twin epidemic”, whatever that means.
– CovidPass ie not allowing those without immunity (read: unvaccinated) to go to concerts, get on a plane (as Joel Salatin mentioned in your recent podcast), or even perhaps go food shopping
– – the push towards “FedCoin”, or a centralized, electronic currency.
People in the health freedom / vaccine-questioning movement have been discussing these agenda items for years. I originally labelled them in my mind as “conspiracy wing-nuts”, but it’s all coming out in the open now. C19 has fast-forwarded the agenda.
I don’t mean to sound outlandish, but I do believe that vaccines are a large part of that agenda. I don’t fully understand why, but I have my ideas. It could be as simplistic as pharmaceutical profits, but it could be a lot worse than that.
Chris, I’ve heard you speak of vaccines in a few podcasts, and I’m interested in your opinions, I know you have a chemistry background. What is your take on the RNA vaccine?
Perhaps population density is playing some role here. With the exceptions of Omaha (population > 400K), Salt Lake City and suburbs (maybe 500K) and Des Moines (> 200K) there are no good sized cities in those states and lots of rural population. I’m guessing those cities are relatively low density compared to many large cities on the coasts.
Here is an urbanization index chart. Nebraska and Utah rank near the middle with the other 4 states near the bottom (i.e. most rural). Maybe it would be good to compare the 6 “Sweden states” with nearby states that have a similar urbanization index.
No lock-downs are the driver of this difference. Adding Arkansas, the only no lock-down state with a mask mandate, to the Sweden states still leaves a big gap between them and the rest of the country. Adding the rest of the no mask mandate states to the Sweden states makes the excess death gap all but disappear.
If I get time I may look into other health outcomes of these states vs ones that implemented lock-downs.
Randy, you seem to be starting to connect the dots here. Join the club. We’ve all been making connections since January we never even imagined. But if you are sensing that there is an agenda then don’t be afraid to let that be reflected in your voting pattern. Too much is at stake now. Just walk away.
I’m not sure if you’re replying to my post #6. If you are, I don’t think you addressed my suggestion that population density could be a confounding factor here. My theory: low population density states will have low spread, less cases and less mortality per capita. This could be tested by comparing the “Sweden States” to nearby states (at least as nearby as possible) with a similar urbanization index, but also with a lockdown.
I just saw the video (sept 30).
That was my first thought. What about population density?
On a small scale here in Amsterdam NL, we see the infection rate again go up in more dense populated quarters.
The same in NYC?