Good news on the corona-virus. Death rates are down drastically in most countries. Sweden is now a leader in COVID recovery.

The Corona-virus pandemic has now been with us half a year 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 2.23%, a reduction of 74.2%. Total deaths worldwide are about 700,000 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. Ir is now down to 1.84%, a 74% 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 mandated increased hygiene and practice social distancing, and then they let the virus rage as a normal flu, and waited for the so called “herd immunity.” 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 0.41%. Let the charts speak for themselves:

New cases do not disappear altogether, they may even rise as sporting events and large gatherings resume.

Deaths are way down. Maybe “herd immunity”  is achieved? Time will tell.

The death charts from Sweden gives me hope, even for a state like Florida. It escaped the early peak of cases, the most vulnerable were protected, so the max death rate was held at 7.74%. In June the teal wave of cases came, and was climbing until mid July, after which the daily new cases have declined. The deaths were rising until Aug 1, after which they too will follow the Swedish decline and “herd immunity will be reached in three months, if personal hygiene and social distancing protocols are still obeyed.  Here are the charts for Florida:

 

These charts follow the Swedish charts, but with a 3 month delay.

 

COVID response for Sweden and Michigan. Which response is better?

Of all the states in America Michigan is the state that is most like Sweden.

Michigan has a population of 10 million, Sweden 10.2 million

Median age in Michigan is 39.8 years, Sweden’s is 41.1 years.

Michigan has the Upper Peninsula, Sweden has Norrland.

Michigan has slightly colder winters and slightly warmer summers than Sweden, but the average temperature is about the same.

Both Michigan and Sweden got hit hard by the corona virus, but their response was quite different.

Sweden never closed the schools for children under 15, Michigan is still debating when to open the schools again after they were shutdown.

Sweden never closed the stores or restaurants completely, Michigan did.

Both Michigan and Sweden closed large events and other gatherings. No sports, and no concerts.

In Sweden wearing masks is not mandatory, only recommended, as long as social distancing and personal hygiene is practiced.

Sweden did what they could to shield the most vulnerable from the injection, in Michigan they moved COVID infected patients from overcrowded nursing homes in the Detroit area to nursing homes upstate with excess capacity.

Michigan recently delayed the partial opening of the state for another two weeks, one more delay of many. In addition the Governor, Gretchen Wittmer issued draconian regulation on what could or could not be done, leading to protests. One protest sign read:

Other regulations were just as ridiculous, you could go out in a row-boat or a sailboat as long as you were no more than two in the boat, but motorboats were verboten. And don’t even dream about visiting your cottage in the woods; horror of horrors!

How did Sweden and Michigan fare? Check these charts and judge for yourselves:

Michigan total cases as of July 14: 78,914 total deaths 6,330 Sweden total cases 76,001, total deaths 5,455

Cases started rising around Jun 15, two weeks after the protests started

The number of deaths daily has stabilized and remained constant for the last month

The new cases are in a rapid decline. Sweden may be close to have achieved herd immunity.

The number of new death are racing to nearly zero.

 

The evidence is clear. The rise in COVID cases is due to protests, not reopening the economy

On May 25 George Floyd was murdered by a policeman in broad daylight. What followed was protests, night after night in many cities. Over 500 cities have had protest rallies. The rallies, while mostly peaceful all violate COVID protocol, many protestors do not wear masks, social distancing is not practiced, and loud shouting, breathing hard through your mouth emitting COVID mist is going on for hours.

The incubation time for COVID infection is from 5 to 15 days, the COVID cases should start increase about June 8 or so, it took a few days for the protesters to get organized. The typical age for protesters is 20 to 25 years, so death rates would not necessarily increase, since the risk for death from the coronavirus doubles for every 9 years you age.

On the other hand, if the spike in COVID cases is due to reopening the economy, the death rate should follow the increase in cases by about 10 days.

Let us look at the COVID cases for U.S.A. as of July 13:

As we can see, the U.S.A. was on a slow decline in cases until about June 14, and a much larger decline in death cases until about Jul 8. The rise in cases since June 14 is much larger than the rise in deaths. This means the increase in cases is from protestors, not from opening the economy.

A most interesting case is Florida

From new cases being about 1000 per day, they started increasing on about June 8 and are now over 10,000 a day. Death rates on the other hand have less than doubled.

Another interesting state id Arizona:

From about 300 new cases a day up to June 5, it has  since increased tenfold. The death rate meanwhile has less than tripled, which again means it is the young people that are getting the virus.

There has been about 20 million protestors since the process started. It is impossible to contact trace 20 million people, many of which want to do away with all authority anyway, so we will have to settle for herd immunity. Following the example of Sweden herd immunity should start to manifest itself in a month or so, In New York City it has already started.

In any case, we will probably achieve herd immunity before a vaccine is available.