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Coronavirus: was Sweden’s controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy right all along?


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https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/coronavirus-was-sweden-s-controversial-herd-immunity-strategy-right-all-along-1.1075921

 

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Coronavirus: was Sweden’s controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy right all along?

 

A slowdown in infections suggests the country’s radical approach may have been vindicated


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Sweden’s controversial ‘herd immunity’ approach to tackling coronavirus appears to be finally paying off, despite doom-mongers predicting catastrophe for the country.


The Scandinavian country has averaged only one death a day for the last 10, despite not going into lockdown.


Sweden has so far has recorded 5,843 coronavirus deaths, making it the fifth-highest per capita death rate in Europe, but the number of new infections has been declining steadily since the peak in late June.


Overall, it has recorded more than 86,000 infections in its population of around 10 million, but it had just 13 patients in intensive care on Wednesday.


That same day, it recorded 204 new infections and no additional deaths.


This is a stark contrast to other countries in Europe that went into lockdowns, such as Britain, France and Spain, where new cases are soaring and their workers and economies in hibernation.


The UK recorded 2,659 new infections and registered another eight deaths on Wednesday. France meanwhile recorded 8,577 cases and 30 more deaths. The last available figures for Spain from Friday last week, saw it record 10,476 more infections and 184 more deaths.


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At the end of May, Sweden's state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, received death threats over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But less than four months later, there is now a sense of vindication.


Unlike any other country in the world, Sweden shunned a strict lockdown.


During its first wave of the virus, the Scandinavian state kept restaurants, cafes and bars open. Instead of confining people to their homes, the government issued several guidelines to help people through the pandemic such as staying home if they were ill, washing hands and social distancing. The state did, however, ban gatherings of more than 50 people.


The herd immunity theory says that if at least 60 per cent of a population get the virus, the whole population develops immunity to it, slowing down its transmission. Although other countries including Britain and the Netherlands had considered the same strategy, both ended up abandoning it, due to pressure from health officials and the public.


By the end of May, Sweden had become the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita, but it stubbornly kept bars, restaurants and businesses open.


The picture looked more upbeat on Wednesday, when Johan Carlson, an epidemiologist and the director of the Swedish public health agency, said that Swedes were now benefitting from the herd immunity strategy.


“Our strategy was consistent and sustainable,” Prof Carlson, a leading figure behind the herd immunity policy, said. “We probably have a lower risk of [the virus] spreading than other countries.”


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State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency of Sweden smiles as he arrives for a news conference updating on the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) situation, in Stockholm, Sweden, August 27 2020. EPA


"The purpose of our approach is for people themselves to understand the need to follow the recommendations and guidelines that exist,” he added.


"There are no other tricks before there are available medical measures, primarily vaccines.


“The Swedish population has taken this to heart.”


The rates of infection are also increasing in Sweden’s neighbouring countries Norway and Denmark, which both enforced lockdowns.


On Wednesday, for the first time since the spring, higher rates of infection were registered in Norway than in Sweden. Denmark has 2.1 new cases per 100,000 people, Norway has 1.5 and Sweden 1.1, according to the TT news agency.


In response, Norway will stop easing coronavirus lockdown and could end up bringing back tougher measures, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Thursday.


Norway originally went into lockdown in March but eased measures in May after seeing a dramatic drop in new cases.


“We can’t open up any more at this time…In case of a rise in the number of infections without a known source, or local outbreaks that are not contained, we will consider righter restrictions, locally, regionally or nationally,” she said.


Following Sweden’s perceived success with herd immunity, reports have suggested that the United States, the world’s hardest-hit country by the virus, was considering implementing it.


But on Wednesday White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr Deborah Birx rejected the reports, saying she didn't want to endanger American lives.


Dr Birx told reporters at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Michigan that American lives were non-negotiable for the sake of herd immunity.


"Neither I, nor anybody in the administration, is willing to sacrifice American lives for herd immunity. We'll get to herd immunity through a vaccine and that's the right way to do it."

 


Dr Birx is not to be trusted.   Nor Fauci.   

 

Meanwhile, a mainstream media report indicated that scientists fear there might not be enough Corona cases now to develop a vaccine.  Go figure.


 

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25 minutes ago, BeAChooser said:

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/coronavirus-was-sweden-s-controversial-herd-immunity-strategy-right-all-along-1.1075921

 


Dr Birx is not to be trusted.   Nor Fauci.   

 

Meanwhile, a mainstream media report indicated that scientists fear there might not be enough Corona cases now to develop a vaccine.  Go figure.


 

We have been saying this all along but they mocked us.

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2 hours ago, BeAChooser said:

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/coronavirus-was-sweden-s-controversial-herd-immunity-strategy-right-all-along-1.1075921

 


Dr Birx is not to be trusted.   Nor Fauci.   

 

Meanwhile, a mainstream media report indicated that scientists fear there might not be enough Corona cases now to develop a vaccine.  Go figure.


 

Sure sounds like it was a HIUGE waste to shut down the economy to begin with. 

 

Fortunately, the economy was in great shape as evidenced by the quick rebound. 

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42 minutes ago, Str8tEdge said:

Sure sounds like it was a HIUGE waste to shut down the economy to begin with. 

 

Fortunately, the economy was in great shape as evidenced by the quick rebound. 

 

Don't kid yourself, Str8tEdge.   The small business sector has been badly hurt by this and may not ever fully come back because it's made it possible for Amazon and other big internet providers (even in the food arena) to take enough of their business they might not survive.   And unfortunately, Amazon is China and leftist friendly.

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7 minutes ago, BeAChooser said:

 

Don't kid yourself, Str8tEdge.   The small business sector has been badly hurt by this and may not ever fully come back because it's made it possible for Amazon and other big internet providers (even in the food arena) to take enough of their business they might not survive.   And unfortunately, Amazon is China and leftist friendly.

Ya but everything has been trending online for a while anyway so that's not too much of a surprise. 

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37 minutes ago, Str8tEdge said:

Ya but everything has been trending online for a while anyway so that's not too much of a surprise. 

 

Well Millennials do like their convenience and there's nothing more convenient than free stuff from the government.

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  • 4 weeks later...

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/10/stats-hold-a-surprise-lockdowns-may-have-had-little-effect-on-covid-19-spread/
 

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Stats Hold a Surprise: Lockdowns May Have Had Little Effect on COVID-19 Spread


by Jay W. Richards


In 1932, Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis famously called the states “laboratories of democracy.” Different states can test out different policies, and they can learn from each other. That proved true in 2020. Governors in different states responded to the COVID-19 pandemic at different times and in different ways. Some states, such as California, ordered sweeping shutdowns. Others, such as Florida, took a more targeted approach. Still others, such as South Dakota, dispensed information but had no lockdowns at all.

 

As a result, we can now compare outcomes in different states, to test the question no one wants to ask: Did the lockdowns make a difference?


If lockdowns really altered the course of this pandemic, then coronavirus case counts should have clearly dropped whenever and wherever lockdowns took place. The effect should have been obvious, though with a time lag. It takes time for new coronavirus infections to be officially counted, so we would expect the numbers to plummet as soon as the waiting time was over.


How long? New infections should drop on day one and be noticed about ten or eleven days from the beginning of the lockdown. By day six, the number of people with first symptoms of infection should plummet (six days is the average time for symptoms to appear). By day nine or ten, far fewer people would be heading to doctors with worsening symptoms. If COVID-19 tests were performed right away, we would expect the positives to drop clearly on day ten or eleven (assuming quick turnarounds on tests).


To judge from the evidence, the answer is clear: Mandated lockdowns had little effect on the spread of the coronavirus. The charts below show the daily case curves for the United States as a whole and for thirteen U.S. states. As in almost every country, we consistently see a steep climb as the virus spreads, followed by a transition (marked by the gray circles) to a flatter curve. At some point, the curves always slope downward, though this wasn’t obvious for all states until the summer.


Lockdowns Not the Cause


The lockdowns can’t be the cause of these transitions. In the first place, the transition happened even in places without lockdown orders (see Iowa and Arkansas). And where there were lockdowns, the transitions tended to occur well before the lockdowns could have had any serious effect. The only possible exceptions are California, which on March 19 became the first state to officially lock down, and Connecticut, which followed four days later.


Even in these places, though, the downward transitions probably started before the lockdowns could have altered the curves. The reason is that a one-day turnaround for COVID-19 test results probably wasn’t met in either state. On March 30, the Los Angeles Times reported the turnaround time to be eight days. That would make the delay from infection to confirmation not the 10 we assumed, but more like 17 days (6 for symptoms to appear, 3 for them to develop, and 8 for test processing). In early April, the Hartford Courant reported similar problems with delayed test results in Connecticut.


What’s more, there’s no decisive drop on the dates when lockdowns should have changed the course of the curves. Instead, the curves gradually bend downward for reasons that predate the lockdowns, with no clear changes ten days later.


Lockdown partisans might say that the curves would have been higher after the ten-day mark without the lockdown. While we can’t redo history to prove them wrong, the point is that the sudden and dramatic changes we should see if they were right aren’t there. If we showed people these curves without any markings, they would not be able to discern when or even if lockdowns went into effect.


The vertical lines mark the date when the number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus reached five per million people in the population. This is probably the best way to mark similar extents of viral progress in each state, since we don’t know how many total cases there were. The curves usually start to bend somewhere around the same death toll (roughly five per million people), which suggests that the approach of herd immunity caused the bends. In other words, we see in this data not only a lack of evidence that lockdowns caused the curves to bend, but also evidence of the very early stages of herd immunity.


In fact, a May 18 column in the New York Times argued that coronavirus cases in New York City probably peaked before the state lockdown began on March 22. Though that newspaper is not known for taking a critical stance on lockdowns, this point implies that the spread was slowing before the mayor and governor even ordered the lockdown.


Something caused this overall decline. It couldn’t have been lockdowns, which weren’t maintained (or heeded) in full force through June. At the moment, we can only speculate. But if this virus is like others, its decline is likely attributable to some mix of changing seasons and the gradual onset of herd immunity. Another factor, of course, could be the widespread use of masks as the year progressed.


The evidence suggests, then, that the sweeping, mandated lockdowns that followed voluntary responses exacted a great cost, with little effect on transmission. We can’t change the past, but we should avoid making the same mistake again.


states-2-scaled.jpg?resize=768,1802&ssl=

(enlarge at link: https://i0.wp.com/www.nationalreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/states-2-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C1802&ssl=1 )
Daily Confirmed COVID-19 Cases For The United States And Thirteen U.S. States (Logarithmic Plots) Up To May 20, 2020. Dashed Line Segments (Drawn By Hand) Show The Initial Steep Increase With Gray Circles Marking The First Visual Downward Change Of Slope. Locks Mark The Lockdown Dates, And 10-Day Calendars Show Where Lockdowns Would Have Had Visible Effects. Open Locks Mark When Lockdowns Ended For Florida And Georgia, Two Of The First Wave Of States To Emerge From Lockdown. The Vertical Lines Mark The Dates When Deaths Attributed To The Coronavirus Reached Five Per Million People In The Population. Gaps In Curves Are The Result Of Unreported Data. Information Sources: Doug Axe, William Briggs, And Jay W. Richards, The Price Of Panic: How The Tyranny Of Experts Turned A Pandemic Into A Catastrophe; Https://Ourworldindata.org/ (For U.S. Cases); Https://Covidtracking.com/Api (For State Cases); Https://Www.nytimes.com/Interactive/2020/Us/Coronavirus-Stay-At-Home-Order.html (For Lockdown Dates).

 

 

And just for the record ...

 

Sweden (basically no lockdown from the beginning and still not locked down) recorded 21 deaths from Covid between 9/17 and 10/1 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Sweden ) in a population of 10.2 million.  

 

In contrast, New York State (heavily locked down from the beginning and still locked down) had 74 deaths from Covid-19 during the same period ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_New_York_(state) ) in a population of 30 million.  

 

So Sweden is doing better than NY state per capita right now.   The lockdown accomplished NOTHING.   

 

Furthermore, New York has had a total of 25,479 deaths according to the New York State Department of Health (John Hopkins says 33,176) while Sweden has had a total of 5890 deaths (John Hopkins says 5895).   So in terms of total deaths, Sweden has done MUCH better per capita.   The lockdown accomplished NOTHING.   

 

Yet the governor of New York, Cuomo, had the temerity to criticize Sweden for it’s herd immunity strategy.   Remember him saying “a lot of people DIE with that strategy” ( https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4872436/user-clip-cuomo-acknowledges-swedens-herd-immunity-strategy )?   When the CDC was asked to consider the Swedish approach to battling the virus, Cuomo said “This 180-degree reversal of COVID-19 testing guidelines is reckless, and not based on science and has the potential to do long-term damage to the (CDC’s) reputation."   And now he’s trying to get out of any responsibility for the decisions that caused New York State to actually have a much higher death rate and STILL be experiencing a higher death rate than Sweden.   I hope New Yorkers are smarter than they seem and will vote him out of office the next chance they get.  

 

And by the way, a lot of democRAT elites and Never Trumper RINOS said the same thing about Sweden’s strategy.    The Cuomo supporting New York Times said Sweden was a "cautionary tale" for the world.  The leftist Mainstream Media said that Scott Atlas’ promoting a “herd immunity strategy” amounted to letting COVID-19 run rampant.    CNN slammed Sweden’s approach.    So did almost all the MSM.   Fauci also attacked it.  Shouldn't there be a price for being so wrong?  Because what democRATS and RINOs forced on the US has done grave damage ... trillions of dollars in lost GNP, hundreds of billions in direct lockdown costs, more deaths than would have otherwise occurred, and disruption of schooling and countless other activities.  It's even created a situation making it harder to conduct a fair election in the US.   And ... as the democRATS have been saying ... IT WAS ALL AVOIDABLE.  :angry:

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On 9/10/2020 at 8:59 PM, BeAChooser said:

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/coronavirus-was-sweden-s-controversial-herd-immunity-strategy-right-all-along-1.1075921

 


Dr Birx is not to be trusted.   Nor Fauci.   

 

Meanwhile, a mainstream media report indicated that scientists fear there might not be enough Corona cases now to develop a vaccine.  Go figure.


 

This is what I favored based on the little I knew at the get go.

But I am not sure we knew yet how deadly it is to the old/co-morbidity populations. 

I think we did not.  

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Here's the latest ...

 

From 9/21 to 10/5 (14 days), the number of Covid-19 related deaths in Sweden increased by 12 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Sweden ).   In a population of 10.2 million.


From 9/20 to 10/4 (14 days), the number of Covid-19 related deaths in New York State increased by 99 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_New_York_(state) ) .  In a population of 30 million.


So on a per capita basis, during essentially the same period, New York State (locked down) saw 3 times as many deaths as Sweden (not locked down). 

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