Does lockdown work to flatten the curve? Look at Sweden versus Great Britain.

Conventional wisdom told us in the Coronavirus pandemic that the only way to stop the hospitals from being overrun and the healthcare system collapsing was to enforce “social separation” between people and shut down the ecnomy, allowing only “essential workers” to go to work. Initially Italy, Spain and France had their hospitals overrun with people and their death rate from COVID19 is over 10%. This made all European countries enforce draconian rules to protect what was left. All countries except Sweden that is. They let people go to work, encouraged working from home, limited gatherings to less than 50 people and practiced “social separation” at restaurants, but kept them open. United Kingdom locked down their country on March 23. How much worse did Sweden fare? They both have about the same number of tests per capita, about 1/2%.

They both seem to have the same rate of increase, and are leveling off

The death rate, a lagging indicator also seem to come down for both countries.

There is one country, Norway, which is similar to Sweden that is doing much better. They took the approach of early testing and contact tracing, and their death rate per person is one quarter of Sweden’s. But the early outbreak occurred in the ski areas and traveling hubs, a younger and fit segment of the population.

Belgium on the other hand has a death rate of over three times as many as Sweden, a country having about the same population as Sweden, and they tested nearly twice as many people! The big difference there was that nearly half of all deaths so far has occurred in nursing homes.

The conclusion: Go back to work, start up the economy again, test and protect the most vulnerable. Most people will get it anyway, and most of them will not even know they had it, and for most of the rest it will be about the same as the regular flu. Give Hydroxychloroquine and Z-pack and Zinc for 5 days to all that want it, including all in the risk zone. It  must be under a physician’s supervision, not because of the Hydroxyxhloroquine, that has never killed anyone when taken in approved doses, but the Z-pack can make heart arrhythmia more severe.


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Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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