The “Sweden States”

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  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 02:13am

    #41

    Dutch John

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    The “Sweden States”

“while the positive tests in Netherlands (40/100k) are literally 8 times higher than they were before (5/100k).”

That is because the Netherlands did not (could not) test in the first wave. I know of many people that were ill or even died with all symptoms, but were not tested and therefore were not ill or did not die because of covid, as for the numbers.

Now in the Netherlands, everybody and his dog are tested. So it is absolutely nonsense to compare the present postitive numbers with those of the first wave.

The only accurate comparision to make is that of numbers of hospitalisation, because that are the patients who  have been and are now tested.

Not even the death numbers can be compared. The first wave number of deaths is probably way higher as it already was, because of not testing. Why the death numbers are now much lower is speculation. Perhaps treatment is much better now. Perhaps the weak already died in april. Perhaps the number of (not tested) positive people in the first wave was much, much higher than it was now.

Regards, DJ

  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 03:16am

    #42
    davefairtex

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    not picking on you guys

So I wasn’t trying to pick on the Netherlands.  This pattern is quite similar across Europe, although you guys have the largest number of positive tests vs what happened in April.  Maybe the other nations in Europe don’t test the dog.  🙂

But overall, the situation looks similar across Europe: a huge increase in positive tests, and a minor rise in deaths.

Except in Sweden, where the rise in positive tests are markedly lower compared with what happened in April, and the deaths just aren’t visible at all.

And Sweden has no restrictions.  Did I mention that part?  If restrictions were the saviour of Europe, then Sweden should be – right now – sinking rapidly below the waves, hospitals overwhelmed by dying people.  All due to no restrictions, and no masks.

While they did have a bad time in April, that’s just not happening this time around.

If restrictions saved lives, the absence of that “good thing” should lead directly to more death.

And that’s just not happening.

Why?

  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 04:46am

    #43

    Dutch John

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    The “Sweden States”

Well Dave, it didn’t feel like picking at all; don’t worry.

Perhaps the low numbers might have to do with less cuddling among “northern” people? Or they are more likely to obey new rules ? I mean, here in the Netherlands, when new rules are introduced, we tend not to say: “Agreed”. “Why?” is more likely the following question.

Perhaps the Swedisch people take their responsibility in distancing, even without new rules.

My gut feeling says the difference in numbers between countries is a cultural thing.

Regards, DJ

  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 07:00am

    #44
    davefairtex

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    following orders

Perhaps the low numbers might have to do with less cuddling among “northern” people? Or they are more likely to obey new rules ? I mean, here in the Netherlands, when new rules are introduced, we tend not to say: “Agreed”. “Why?” is more likely the following question.

Haha so let me get this straight.  Swedes are 1) good at following orders, unlike the cranky Dutch, and 2) they are a pretty unfriendly group.  :). And this national character explains the charts I’ve provided.

So in April, there was no order issued to wear masks.  There is no such order now.  There was no shutdown of “non-essential” business.  Just the following:

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200501/sweden-sticks-with-controversial-covid19-approach

Instead of tight lockdowns, Swedish officials have encouraged citizens to use common sense, work from home if possible, and not gather in crowds over 50. Primary schools are open, as are bars and restaurants, with images showing people enjoying drinks and crowding streets.

In April, when dutifully following these “orders” like the good Swedes they are, a lot of people died in Sweden.  A lot of people died everywhere.  But the deaths started to decline, and they declined some more, until finally – today – almost nobody is dying in Sweden any longer.

Across Europe we see a rise in positive tests.  This is happening in Sweden too – only, the rise is much smaller.  And even now, nobody is dying in Sweden.

So, the non-cuddly, order-following Swedes didn’t cuddle, and followed orders, and lots of them died in April.  And the same group – order-following, non-cuddly – are doing the same thing now, but they aren’t dying, and the positive tests aren’t nearly as high.

And yet we think their order-following non-cuddly national character is the determining factor in the difference in the two timeframes?

This thesis doesn’t make sense.  It doesn’t fit the facts.  Same people, different outcome = something else on the ground has changed.

I claim the change is about herd immunity.  All the easy targets for the virus in Sweden are gone; much of the rest of the country is now immune.  Those who aren’t immune – they aren’t the easy targets.

And Sweden still has its economy.  Many of those “non-essential businesses” are still around.  They weren’t forced to close.  And die.  With all those poor people thrown out of work.

I was really worried when Sweden did this at first.  But I was also fascinated.  How would it turn out?  So far – so good.  We’ll see at end of year, once the GDP numbers come back.  I suspect Sweden will look even better by then.  And two years out – it will become really obvious.

Change in Debt/GDP might also be an interesting comparison too.

Funding lockdowns is really, really expensive for government.  Governments who select this option will have to cut other programs in lots of different areas in order to paper over all the losses.  That, or inflate.  Or some sort of reset.

Good thing Sweden has its own currency.  And its own central bank.  Hmm.  Interesting.  Maybe it will be a new safe haven, like the CHF.

  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 07:47am

    #45
    Mohammed Mast

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    The “Sweden States”

I have no idea why there is such a focus on Sweden unless it happens to promote a particular agenda.

Taiwan and New Zealand have done far better than Sweden and had different approaches. Thanks to SARS 2003 the culture of masks is deeply ingrained in Asian countries. New Zealand had a serious lockdown and stopped community spread.

Sweden sacrificed its elderly population and immigrants. The lower death rates globally might have several reasons. The most vulnerable were the first to go. Younger people are making up the larger % of cases now. Better treatments are now available. People in hospitals are no longer being slapped on ventilators.

It might be years before we have all the data and will know for sure what the best approach would have been. It appears at the moment a one size fits all approach is not applicable.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanwpc/article/PIIS2666-6065(20)30044-4/fulltext

  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 08:54am

    #46
    davefairtex

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    at what price success

Sweden was the only western country that wasn’t convinced to do things according to “the Chinese Communist Model.”

This is what the GDP changes are for the west through Q2 2020.  I call this: “the price of success”.  After all, nothing comes for free in life, right?

Sweden: -8.3%
US: -9.1%
Poland: -9.3%
Netherlands: -10.0%
Germany: -11.7%
Canada: -13.6%
Italy: -18.5%
France: -19.7%
UK: -22.3%
Spain: -23.0%

Turns out, when you order the Grand Cru Lockdown, its pretty darned expensive once the waiter comes with the tab.  By skipping this option, Sweden avoided all those deaths of despair, and poverty – suicide, drug OD, drug relapses, and so on.

If this whole “lockdown scheme” was a deliberate plan by the CCP to destroy the western economies, it has worked fantastically well.

The East, many of whom had a near-death experience with SARS-1, were on a hair trigger alert for this situation.  This was explained early on by a South Korean epidemiologist.  They did much better.  But when placed in this group, New Zealand doesn’t look quite so clever.

Taiwan: -2.4%
South Korea: -4.5%
Hong Kong: -5.4%
Australia: -7.3%
Japan: -8.5%
Thailand: -12.2%
New Zealand: -13.6%
Singapore: -14.0%

  • Sat, Oct 24, 2020 - 09:15am

    #47
    davefairtex

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    BCG vaccine at birth

Whoa.  Here are the nations in Asia that give BCG vaccine at birth.

Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia.

Notice anything common to these places?  They all did “very well” with COVID-19.  Really very well.

In that Indian HCW observational study, those Indian HCWs who had previously received the BCG vaccine at birth had less than half the infection rate (7.8%) of those who did not (16.9%).

The overall study is worthwhile to read.  Turns out a vegetarian diet (6.67%) might be helpful too vs non-veg (12.24%).  And of course female (8.51%) vs male (13.76%).

See “Table 1” for all these details.  What if diet, BCG at birth, as well as overall (normal) weight of population, accounted for most of their success?

https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php

For instance, Thailand had the largest single number of inbound Chinese tourists from Wuhan of any place in the world – far more than Italy, Spain, and France.  And from what I understand, mask-wearing was not a big thing there until March.  Yet they totally dodged the bullet.  Maybe this is why.  Good diet, BCG at birth, normal weight population.  And the “wai” – no hugging or shaking hands, no shoes in the house, 3-5 showers a day, etc.

  • Sun, Oct 25, 2020 - 02:25pm

    #48

    sofistek

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    The “Sweden States”

Dave,

Higher initial exposure, for less economic damage for the entire event.

Well, we haven’t finished the entire event and probably won’t for another year or more, so we’ll have to wait and see (though I seem to recall that Sweden’s economy has suffered just as much as its neighbours). What makes comparisons very difficult (and hence my interest in what future research might uncover) is the inconsistency in how data is collected and compiled across countries. Sweden is maddening because of the stuttering release of “data” – there were three recent days of 1000+ cases but then a couple of days less than two hundred. The same goes with deaths. Given the number of cases, why are there so few apparent deaths? Why is one country able to have a less deadly virus than another? In most other countries we do see a rise in deaths a few weeks after a significant rise in cases. Globally, it seems that’s happening too (despite the variation in data collection), to some degree.

Focusing on one country doesn’t really give the big picture and doesn’t tell us much about the efficacy of different approaches generally. I feel lucky to live in New Zealand, at the moment, where there was only one strict lockdown, for about 5 weeks, and life has pretty much carried on as normal. Of course, the full picture is more complicated and how this plays out over the entire event is still unknown.

  • Sun, Oct 25, 2020 - 05:37pm

    #49

    sofistek

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    The “Sweden States”

Dave,

And Sweden has no restrictions.

Not true. There are limits on all public gatherings (no more than 50 people), on how restaurants operate, etc., and recommendations on social distancing and home working, which many Swedes seem to be following. There is a FAQ page at this link.

Although legal restrictions are a lot less than many other countries, it just isn’t true that Swedes are doing nothing to restrict the spread of the virus.

  • Mon, Oct 26, 2020 - 01:45am

    #50
    davefairtex

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    fear gets old

Well, with lockdowns and fines and police in other countries enforcing the rules, its pretty clear that Sweden is doing a lot less restricting.  And their outcome is a whole lot better.   No deaths for days now, and the economic outcome is very good.  Did I mention no deaths for days now?

GDP Change since Q4 2019:

Sweden: -8.3%
Denmark: -8.8%
Poland: -9.3%
Netherlands: -10.0%
Germany: -11.7%
Canada: -13.6%
Italy: -18.5%
France: -19.7%
UK: -22.3%
Spain: -23.0%

Sweden now has some comparatively modest restrictions – you can only put 50 people in a bar now.  And their restrictions leading up to this were just suggestions.  I mean, if your risk from dying from this virus is practically nil (say, you were below 30), then why should you be locked up?  It just makes no sense.  [If the police don’t show up and take you away or issue a fine – it’s essentially a suggestion, not a restriction.]

I mean, aren’t we supposed to be following the science here?

If you are at risk, stay home.  If you are not at risk, then you can live your life.

And even if you are at risk, for heaven’s sake, take your vitamin-D supplements, melatonin, get some exercise – walk around outside, even if it is a bit chilly now.  Lose that fat too.  Fat is a killer.  Staying at home and not-moving is even more deadly – heart disease, diabetes, cancer – they all kill more people than COVID-19. At least in America they do.  You have a vote in your own health outcome.  Many people don’t use it.

I strongly feel that us older people should not rely on a policy of “locking up the youngsters” so that we don’t feel quite so worried.

And on that note – I encourage you to try not to be too jealous of the youngsters and their immunity.  Its just the cycle of life.  Sometimes I go out in my location and I see them having a good time.  I think it is nice to see them all hang out with no fear.  That’s how life should be.

Fear just gets old, doesn’t it?  And it sure doesn’t help the immune system either.

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