Europe and shutdowns, Sweden and “herd immunity”. The results are in on coronavirus response success

The Corona-virus pandemic has now been with us nine months and for the first time the trends ate looking better, giving us hope that the worst is over.

In the beginning the worldwide death rate was 8,65% and it is now down to 1.31%, a reduction of 84.8%. Total deaths worldwide are about 1,200,000 which is still less then the annual TB deaths that amount to 1.6 million, of which 300,000 are HIV positive.

The corresponding numbers for U.S.A :  7.02%  death rate at the beginning of the disease. It is now down to 1.04%, an 85.2% decrease. With unrestricted availability to take HCQ+ we can reduce the death rate even further.

Now it is getting interesting. While nearly all industrialized nations shut down their non-essential functions, such as schools, elective surgery, elective medical diagnostics, non food stores, flights, travel, restaurants, non essential government services and the like Sweden took a different approach. They kept their elementary schools open, did not close stores and restaurants, only large gatherings, mandated increased hygiene and to practice social distancing, and then they let the virus rage as a normal flu, and waited for the so called “herd immunity.” Wearing masks were never mandated, only encouraged when social distancing was impossible to maintain. Sweden did their best though to protect the vulnerable.

In the beginning the results were disastrous. The initial death rate was over 21%, it seemed  like a failed attempt, but then things started to calm down. In late spring the death rate had settled down to 9.2%, but then came a second wave of cases and everyone was bracing for the worst. But the death rate  did not rise, and is now down to 0.24%. (Oct 30)

The rest of Europe (except Belarus) did try to limit the spread of the coronavirus  using heavy lockdowns. This limited the spread of the virus for a while, and through the summer it looked like it was the right thing to do, but “herd immunity was never achieved. Now, when the flu season has arrived the cases are rising again, and for the western Europe nations cases are now rising, and so are deaths. In Germany the death rate has increased 14-fold since the summer minimum, in Spain the death rate is increased 80-fold, in France the death rate is increased 30-fold.  The United Kingdom death rate is increased 35-fold and the kingdom is ready to issue another draconian lockdown, other countries are also issuing curfews and other restrictions.

The virus will run its course until herd immunity is achieved. Vaccines will finally limit the pandemic. Thanks to President Trump’s “warp speed” initiative, paying private enterprise to produce the vaccine at the same time level 3 testing is underway so the vaccine is available as soon as it is approved, vaccines will be available weeks from now rather than years from now.

This is expensive, but if any of the 6 vaccines succeed, it was worth it, if all fails we are no worse off than if we wreck the economy with another lockdown that only delays the inevitable, herd immunity achieved years from now with more deaths than if we had followed the example of Sweden.

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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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