Finland has received 10% of its electricity from Russia. Because Finland refused to pay in Rubles Russia refuses to deliver any more. Big deal. This is spring season in northern Sweden and Finland. As they say: Spring is not a season, it is a natural disaster. The spring floods rush down the rivers and hydro-power is maxed out for up to two months. Sweden can easily replace the needed electricity. Finland relies on Russian natural gas is near 100%, and May 25 is the deadline to pay in Rubles, or it will be cut off too. In addition Russia has threatened Finland to not even think of joining NATO, or there will be unspecified military action.
This has led to unprecedented diplomatic communication between Finland, Sweden and NATO, and not only are they conducting joint Baltic military exercises right now, but both Sweden and Finland may apply for full membership in NATO as early as Monday. Finland is fully on board, and in Sweden only the true Socialists, “Vänsterpartiet” is against it, but they are only a small minority. With this, the Baltic Sea will be fully in NATO hands, fully encircling the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
For Finland this is the end of the Russian dependence and for Sweden this is the final death blow to the Olof Palme doctrine, alliance free at all cost.
When I emigrated from Sweden in 1968 Sweden had three major recipients for their foreign aid: North Vietnam, Cuba and for some reason Tanzania, one country on each continent.
When my Wife and I immigrated to America from Sweden and Denmark in the late 60’s we noticed that the girls seemed to sing and play “ring around the roses” everywhere. Being curious I asked them what it meant, but of course nobody knew, they just liked to sing it. Those were innocent times.
How was this pandemic compared to earlier times?
The song refers to the black plague, happening in the mid 14th century A.D., when around 30 percent of the Swedish population died. It was so bad that some villages died out completely, and I know of one such village that did not get resettled until the end of the Little Ice Age. The movie “The Seventh Seal”, one of the best movies of all time has a scene where an exhausted knight plays chess with Death, and is convinced he is winning, upon which Death simply explains “I cheat”.
So, is there cheating going on with the statistics?
It so happens that Sweden, which used to include Finland, and Denmark, which used to include Norway and Iceland, have nearly complete church record since the reformation, and in many cases even since Catholic times. Everybody belonged to the church, and the pastors were very jealous that no one was missed, they were concerned for the soul of everyone in the congregation, and as a side note, that was how they collected taxes. Here a historical view of the the pandemic statistics for Sweden.
So, how did the world react to this statistical blip?
Most countries reacted with a lockdown of one form or another, Sweden alone decided to stick it out, keep production and transport as usual, only limit large gatherings. The result seemed horrendous at first. Then President Trump tweeted this:
What President Trump did was to let the States decide how to implement the lockdown, if at all. Most states did a lockdown, Florida decided to protect the vulnerable and elderly first, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California decided to send elderly Covid patients to their nursing homes and South Dakota did not do a lockdown. After all, health care is a State matter according to the 10th amendment.
We now have the statistics from 5 countries and 7 States:
Sweden, no lockdown: Cases per million: 244,634. Deaths per million 1,827
The other four Nordic countries had lockdowns:
Denmark: Cases per million: 507,644. Deaths per million 1,042
Norway: Cases per million: 258,878. Deaths per million 522
Finland: Cases per million: 180,063. Deaths per million 655
Iceland: Cases per million: 532,895. Deaths per million 324
While not technically an independent country, but still Nordic:
Faroe Islands: Cases per million: 704,460. Deaths per million 569
And now for the seven States:
South Dakota, no lockdown: Cases per million: 268,505. Deaths per million 3,279 Florida, limited lockdown: Cases per million: 276,713. Deaths per million 3,437
And now the 5 states that sent COVID patients to nursing homes:
Pennsylvania: Cases per million: 219,096. Deaths per million 3,483 California: Cases per million: 232,625. Deaths per million 2,281 New York: Cases per million: 270,904. Deaths per million 3,533 Michigan: Cases per million: 241,464. Deaths per million 3,598 New Jersey: Cases per million: 252,269. Deaths per million 3,757
The conclusion I can draw from this is that the COVID pandemic will run its course until herd immunity is achieved. Sweden has achieved it, and the other Nordic countries probably have too. As for U.S.A., it seems that it really doesn’t matter much how it was fought, except in the states with the strictest lockdown the children, especially the disadvantaged, lost two years of education, which cannot be regained.
Is there a better way? Look at the experiences of sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world here
In 1995 a girl was born with undeveloped optical nerves and mild cerebral palsy. She was not expected to live more than at most one year. But God had other plans for her. At age two she began to sing. Her love for singing praises to God has never ceased. And so, in God’s providence she was chosen to sing at the 2017 inauguration interfaith prayer service. And sing she did! Her name is Marlana VanHoose, a little girl, but with a voice.
Meanwhile, the media was busy tracking the protest rallies all around Washington that day. I watched all day and never saw it.
How did the audience that was privileged to watch react? It is worth to listen to it a second time, this time around watching the reaction of the public in attendance, notably Melania Trumps reaction.
After the song Melania led the standing ovation to acknowledge God’s grace, not only for the song, but for the whole day and for the whole presidency.
This is what give us evangelicals hope. She not only sang it, she also sang the third and fourth verses, so often omitted in public settings, especially in interfaith services. Why is that so important?
Let us look at the history of “O store Gud”, and how it came to be the most favored Hymn of at least three presidents before Donald Trump!
Clouds have always been my fascination. They come and go, form and disappear, cool by day and warm by night. But most impressive of all are thunderstorms, forming when the temperature and humidity are high, transport a lot of water vapor to higher elevations, there condensing as rain or ice, coming down, cooling and watering the earth. Clouds and thunderstorms are the thermostat of the earth. Without it the earth would respond like climate models, predicting a sharp temperature rise as carbon dioxide levels increase. The models are all flawed, since they predict a hot spot in the troposphere over the equator, but there is none. The thunderstorms in the tropical doldrums take care of that. “Settled science” instead has settled on ignoring the lack of the hot spot, for to acknowledge it would make the global warming claim invalid.
I thank God for providing us with a thermostat that protects the earth from overheating, and especially for thunderstorms!
Such was the case in July 1885, when Carl Boberg, a 26 year young pastor of a small congregation of the Swedish Missionary society was the honored guest of the ladies’ auxiliary annual picnic, held in a meadow near Mönsteråsviken, (a bay of the Baltic Sea in southeastern Sweden). The day was perfect, the sky was clear, pleasant temperatures, the cows were grazing on the meadow, the birds were singing, in short, a pastoral idyll. Then it happened. In a few short minutes thunderclouds appeared out of nothing. There was no time to go home, so they all sought shelter in a barn close by. The rain came down hard, and lightning struck a nearby tree. Then as suddenly as it started the rain stopped and all was calm. In Sweden it turns much cooler after a thunderstorm, and the birds sing like they got a new lease on life.
They all went home, and the young pastor pondered the events of the day. He
heard the Koltrast singing its melodic, beautiful drill
and in a distance he heard the church bells ringing from Kronobäck’s church. The bay was calm like a mirror, and inspired he started penning the song “O store Gud”. Here are the first four verses in Swedish:
O store Gud, när jag den värld beskådar Som du har skapat med ditt allmaktsord Hur där din visdom väver livets trådar Och alla väsen mättas vid ditt bord /: då brister själen ut i lovsångs ljud: O store Gud, o store Gud!
När jag hör åskans röst och stormar brusa Och blixtens klingor springa fram ur skyn När regnets kalla, friska skurar susa Och löftets båge glänser för min syn – /: då brister själen ut i lovsångs ljud: O store Gud, o store Gud!
När sommarvinden susar över fälten När blommor dofta invid källans strand När trastar drilla i de gröna tälten Vid furuskogens tysta, dunkla rand /: då brister själen ut i lovsångs ljud: O store Gud, o store Gud!
När jag i Bibeln skådar alla under Som Herren gjort sen förste Adams tid Hur nådefull han varit alla stunder Och hjälpt sitt folk ur livets synd och strid /: då brister själen ut i lovsångs ljud: O store Gud, o store Gud!
He continued to write and write of all the mighty works that God has made and what He has given us through His word, and continued long into the night. Before going to bed he had penned over twenty verses. The next Sunday he wove the poem into his sermon. The congregation loved it, but that was about it. Slowly the word got around that the poem was pretty good, and after much editing 9 verses were published in the local newspaper Mönsteråstidningen in 1886. Carl Boberg didn’t make any efforts to publish it further, and was surprised when he heard it sung a few years later to a Swedish folk melody (in 3/4 tempo). This was then published in the periodical “Sanningsvittnet” (witness of the truth) in 1891.
It was translated into German by an Estonian, Manfred von Glehn. Five years later it was translated into Russian by Ivan S. Prokanoff, the Martin Luther of modern Russia. It was published in a book with the title “Cymbals”.
Later, while in the Carpathian Mountains of what is now Western Ukraine the English Missionary couple Mercy and Stuart Hine heard the song sung in Russian, this time as a wandering song in march tempo. He got impressed by God’s great works in the Polish mountains, and as Stuart Hine heard the people singing it on their way to church he penned a translation. This became the first and second verse:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the works Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
From now on the English version is different from the Swedish original, and it is time to step back and look at a very brief history of Eastern Europe. Before World War I Eastern Europe was basically under the Russian Tsar. Finland was a grand Duchy under Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were separate entities but under Russia. Poland was under Russian rule. Belarus didn’t exist and what is now Ukraine was part Russian and part of the Austrian/Hungary empire. The Russians tried to stamp out the Ukraine language but were only partly successful. Then came the Great War and the world changed. Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and some more became independent states . During the Great War the Russian Revolution started and civil wars broke out. Nowhere was the fighting worse than in what was to become independent Ukraine. Up to six armies were fighting for control, and the corruption was unimaginable. Finally the Bolsheviks took control of Ukraine and Joseph Stalin “restored order”. One of the Bolshevik ideals was to control all production and that included all farming. Ukraine was then known as “the bread basket of Europe”. It was during this time the Hines started their ministry in Ukraine. The collectivization of the farms was disastrous to say the least. Farmers know the right time to sow and harvest, they look at the clouds in the sky, pray and go ahead. This is far more efficient than centrally planning when to sow and harvest by order from bureaucrats in a city far, far away, and so there was famine in both Russia proper and Ukraine. But the Ukrainians had put up a lot of resistance, so Joseph Stalin decided to punish the Ukrainians by taking away all their harvest and dole it out to the starving Russians. This resulted in the Holodomor (death by hunger) and at least 3.9 million Ukrainians died. This was in 1932-33 and the Hines were forced to evacuate to Poland, in what is now South West Ukraine.
This is the origin of the third verse: It was typical of the Hines to ask if there were any Christians in the villages they visited. In one case, they found out that the only Christians that their host knew about were a man named Dmitri and his wife Lyudmila. Dmitri’s wife knew how to read — evidently a fairly rare thing at that time and in that place. She taught herself how to read because a Russian soldier had left a Bible behind several years earlier, and she started slowly learning by reading that Bible. When the Hines arrived in the village and approached Dmitri’s house, they heard a strange and wonderful sound: Dmitri’s wife was reading from the gospel of John about the crucifixion of Christ to a houseful of guests, and those visitors were in the very act of repenting. In Ukraine (as I know first hand!), this act of repenting is done very much out loud. So the Hines heard people calling out to God, saying how unbelievable it was that Christ would die for their own sins, and praising Him for His love and mercy. They just couldn’t barge in and disrupt this obvious work of the Holy Spirit, so they stayed outside and listened. Stuart wrote down the phrases he heard the Repenters use, and (even though this was all in Russian), it became the third verse that we know today: And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.
The second world war broke out, and the Hines were forced to return back to England, but they continued their ministry. The fourth verse was was added by Stuart Hine after the Second World War had ended. His concern for the exiled Polish community in Britain, who were anxious to return home, provided part of the inspiration for Hine’s final verse. Hine and David Griffiths visited a camp in Sussex, England, in 1948 where displaced Russians were being held, but where only two were professing Christians. The testimony of one of these refugees and his anticipation of the second coming of Christ inspired Hine to write the fourth stanza of his English version of the hymn. According to Ireland: One man to whom they were ministering told them an amazing story: he had been separated from his wife at the very end of the war, and had not seen her since. At the time they were separated, his wife was a Christian, but he was not, but he had since been converted. His deep desire was to find his wife so they could at last share their faith together. But he told the Hines that he did not think he would ever see his wife on earth again. Instead he was longing for the day when they would meet in heaven, and could share in the Life Eternal there. These words again inspired Hine, and they became the basis for his fourth and final verse to ‘How Great Thou Art’:
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
The complete song was soon published, not in England but in the Soviet Union (in English). The famous Gospel singer George Beverly Shea got hold of it, liked it a lot, but he wanted to change two words in the first verse: Instead of works, he wanted to use worlds, and instead of mighty he wanted to use rolling. Very reluctantly Stuart Hine agreed, but only for use in the Billy Graham Crusades. It was first sung in Canada in 1955.
It became so popular that in Billy Graham’s 1956 New York Crusade it was sung at all 99 events, and from there the song spread throughout all the world, even back in Sweden where the new version became the popular one. One of the visitors to this Crusade was the little boy Donald Trump, who went with his Father and Mother and Brother (and Sisters?) to listen. God’s word never returns void.
Years have passed since Donald Trump was inaugurated. This is one exchange of views he had with Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO:
Joe Biden is now President. Again Ukraine is the center of events, and Putin has decided to invade and subdue Ukraine because they decided to direct their corruption to the West rather than go along with the corruption of Russia. The battle of Kyiv is in its third day, and the people of Kyiv has decided to battle it out rather than surrender. It is beginning to look more like the battle of Stalingrad in WW II where the citizens fought and prevailed, so Germany could not get at the Russian oil in Baku. The Ukrainians hatred for Russia is that great. They remember the Holodomor as told them by their grandparents.
Putin seems to have miscalculated badly. He had his eyes on quickly absorbing Ukraine, then taking the Baltic countries, and maybe even Poland. He is getting more and more desperate and has begun to threaten Finland, and even Sweden to not even think of joining NATO.
The people of Ukraine are joining the military, all males 18 to 60 are forbidden to leave the country, forced to join the defense forces in one form or another, and even many women are joining. They are issued a gun, mostly AR 15 or equivalent and some ammunition. What they lack is military training, so the major purpose is to prevent an easy takeover of the cities. There will be many lives shed. When I saw on the TV the heart rendering farewells of the men separating from their loved ones, knowing full well they may never see each other again in this life, the fourth verse of “how great thou art” flashed back in my mind, and when Putin threatened even neutral Sweden, I realized the song had made its journey around the world, and I realized that after the thunder, the still small voice of the Koltrast singing: God is still in charge, but we must still do what we can, and above all, pray for a revival and a great awakening. As the song was sung in Billy Graham’s Crusades to about two billions all around the world, so will our prayers be a part of the greatest revival and awakening the world has ever seen.
When the COVID-19 menace entered Europe, Sweden was the only country that didn’t do a complete lock-down, they took the approach to let the pandemic rage and so achieve herd immunity; only protect the most vulnerable as best they could. The initial result seemed catastrophic, but herd immunity was more or less achieved, and current results are impressive:
As we can see, for Sweden daily deaths are down 98% from.previous maximum before vaccines began, and daily cases were down 83%. The total death rate per million people is 1,480 and the Swedish vaccination rate is 72%
How are the other European nations doing on the same score. They are listed in order of Increase/decrease in death rate from pre-vaccine peak, from worst to best.
A= ratio of highest case rate before vaccines to current case rate
B= ratio of highest death rate before vaccines to current death rate
C= total deaths per million people this far
D= vaccination rate, at least one dose
Country A B C D
Ukraine 155% 299% 2,036 29%
Russia 114% 218% 1,926 43%
Belarus 90% 167% 548 33%
Georgia 93% 142% 3,119 28%
Finland 314% 140% 249 77%
Hungary 176% 102% 3,649 62%
Greece 223% 90% 1,797 66%
Croatia 112% 82% 2,769 51%
Moldova 37% 81% 2,292 14%
Serbia 26% 81% 1,372 47%
Slovakia 346% 78% 2,727 47%
Latvia 80% 76% 2,304 67%
Bulgaria 58% 76% 4,197 16%
Poland 90% 76% 2,267 54%
Bosnia & H. 53% 71% 3,930 26%
Montenegro 38% 63% 3,708 42%
Chechia 150% 52% 3.135 60%
Norway 528% 50% 199 77%
Romania 16% 50% 2,997 29%
Netherlands 193% 49% 1,144 77%
Lithuania 56% 47% 2,572 69%
Austria 121% 46% 1,409 68%
N. Macedonia 31% 45% 3,668 42%
Estonia 80% 43% 1,374 62%
Slovenia 89% 30% 2,557 58%
Germany 229% 34% 1,231 70%
Denmark 122% 34% 508 78%
Slovenia 89% 30% 2,557 58%
Albania 40% 25% 1,082 32%
Belgium 104% 24% 2,330 75%
Switzerland 98% 15% 1,328 67%
France 80% 14% 1,826 76%
Ireland 80% 13% 1,138 77%
Italy 41% 10% 2,224 78%
U.K. 77% 9% 2,129 74%
Spain 34% 6% 1,885 82% .
Portugal 21% 6% 1,800 89%
Conclusion: All countries will eventually reach herd immunity, the vaccinations only delay the inevitable: The pandemic will be with us like the common cold or the flu.
When the COVID-19 menace entered Europe, Sweden was the only country that didn’t do a complete lock-down, they took the approach to let the pandemic rage and so achieve herd immunity; only protect the most vulnerable as best they could. The initial result seemed catastrophic, but herd immunity was more or less achieved, and the present results are impressive:
As we can see, for Sweden daily cases are down 87% from.previous maximum before vaccines began, and daily deaths did even better, down 96%. The total death rate per million people is 1,480 and the Swedish vaccination rate is 72%
How are the other European nations doing on the same score. They are listed in order of Increase/decrease in case rate, from worst to best
A= ratio of highest case rate before vaccines to current case rate
B= ratio of highest death rate before vaccines to current death rate
The heroes of 2020, our health care workers and first responders, who were risking their lives, taking the threat from the coronavirus head on before there was any vaccine are now risking their very careers rather than taking the vaccine. Do they know something that the CDC, NIH and the media are withholding from us?
The world is full of conflicting information and it is difficult to separate facts from opinions and just plain rumors? Being an octogenarian, fully vaccinated with Pfizer, should I take a booster shot, or should I pin my hopes on NIH and CDC approving additional early therapeutics, such as Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine or monoclonal antibody therapy to fend it off should I get early symptoms? Here are early results from Israel in using a booster shot compared to Sweden, also a country with greater than 70% vaccination rate:
For health care workers in their reproductive years one question that is now readily available since they have all the data on adverse reactions from the vaccine, would be: What is the miscarriage rate? Is it larger than for the population in general? Until that, and many more questions are answered I will not even take a booster shot, even though I am for vaccination of people over 45, since the death rate from COVID increase by about 7% for every year you age.
For NIH and CDC, show us the data, we have some data on myocarditis, how it is highest in teenage boys and tamper of with age, but the data on miscarriages are still lacking. Future sterility takes some time to determine, but like with so many viruses, to have had the disease during pregnancy is usually worse than taking the vaccine.
First, let us acknowledge that the Nordic Countries are not socialistic. They are welfare states, and as such have government controlled medical care paid for by taxpayer dollars. In Sweden the Value Added Tax is 22% and it is paid by everybody for all purchases. Of course gasoline and other luxury items such as cosmetics and spirits are taxed much higher, but you get the point. The important part is that all pay their fair share of taxes, so all contribute to the welfare state. But other than that, the Nordic countries are less socialistic than U.S.A. Even the railroads are privatized. It is true they all flirted with socialism in the 1970’s but found it was unsustainable (read Pomperipossa in Monismania), so they turned back from the brink and are now doing better than most countries. In fact, their 2021 economic freedom index is mostly higher than the U.S.A’s. They are as follows: Denmark is ranked 10th, Iceland 11th, Finland 17th, Sweden 21th and Norway 28th. By comparison U.S.A. is 20th out of 178 ranked countries.
Now to the Nordic countries and COVID-19. Almost alone in the western world Sweden decided to take the route of achieving herd immunity rather than using masking and shutdowns. Only sports and other large gatherings were prohibited. At first it looked like a catastrophe for Sweden, this was before any vaccines, but then some form of herd immunity started to form. More than a month ago Norway decided to treat Covid-19 just like a flu and abolished all Covid restrictions. Three weeks ago Sweden decided to “pause” the Moderna vaccine for people under the age of 31 years of age. Their reason was that there are more severe vaccine cases than cases in that age group. Denmark, Finland and Iceland followed.
What is the current COVID-19 situation in the Nordic countries?
. Fully Total since beginning of pandemic Last 7 days average per day
Country Vaccinated Cases/million Deaths/million Cases/million Deaths/million
Sweden 67% 114,137 2,465 58 0.40
Finland 66% 27,000 201 103 0.54
Denmark 78% 63,128 460 112 0.20
Norway 68% 35,760 161 73 0.36
Iceland 81% 36,197 96 122 0.00
(U.S.A) 56% 137,120 2,230 1,405 4.22
As we can see, Sweden, with a horrendous start is now near or at herd immunity having less than one tenth of the death rate of the U.S. The other Nordic countries are doing equally well, and this is without forced wearing of masks. Their vaccination rates are higher than In the U.S.A, but the difference in result is staggering. The masks will actually increase COVID cases.
The table below shows that USA came in as number 28 of the 40 countries with the largest outbreak of the Wuhan virus. This table reflects the first 40 days of the new U.S. administration. Most countries have a declining death rate, with the notable exceptions of Mexico, South Africa, Germany, United Kingdom, Colombia, Poland, Romania, France, Spain, Pakistan, Russia, Portugal, Ukraine, Iraq, and the United States of America.
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.
“Sweden has gone from being the country with the most infections in Europe to the safest one”. As the rest of Europe and the world remains under the grip of draconian rules and the threat of new lockdowns, Sweden, which allowed its citizens to remain free throughout the entire pandemic, has pretty much declared victory over the coronavirus. The country now has one of the lowest infection rates on the planet, and it’s difficult not to admire how it has handled the past year, with no strict lockdown or compulsory face mask rules. All businesses, schools and public places remained open in Sweden for the duration.
“Sweden has gone from being the country with the most infections in Europe to the safest one,” Sweden’s senior epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell commented to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “What we see now is that the sustainable policy might be slower in getting results, but it will get results eventually,” Tegnell clarified. “And then we also hope that the result will be more stable,” he added.
Tegnell previously warned that encouraging people to wear face masks is “very dangerous” because it gives a false sense of security but does not effectively stem the spread of the virus. “The findings that have been produced through face masks are astonishingly weak, even though so many people around the world wear them,” Tengell has urged.
Last week, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control confirmed Sweden’s drop in infection rate, with only 12 cases per million, compared to 18 in neighbouring Denmark and 14 in nearby Norway. At the peak of the Sweden’s outbreak, it was seeing 108 new infections per million people, as it pursued a “herd immunity” strategy.
The figures also show that out of 2500 randomly selected and tested people in Sweden, none tested positive, compared to 0.9 percent positive in April, and 0.3 percent in May. “We interpret this as meaning there is not currently a widespread infection among people who do not have symptoms,” said Karin Tegmark, deputy head of the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
When compared to the rest of Europe, Sweden’s death rate sits somewhere in the middle. However, officials are confident that playing the long game will see this improve drastically.
1. Italy 277,634 35,541 12.8%
2. United Kingdom 347,152 41,551 12.0%
3. Belgium 87,825 9,906 11.3%
4. France 324,777 30,724 9.5%
5. Netherlands 74,787 6,243 8.4%
6. Channel Islands 631 48 7.6%
7. Hungary 8,387 624 7.4%
8. Isle of Man 337 24 7.1%
9. Sweden 84,985 5,835 6,9%
This compares favorably with the seven day moving average as of September 7 of COVID-19 infection rate per million people for the rest of Europe:
Bosnia and Herzegovina 73
One country had a larger second wave than the first wave of cases, the waves have been completed and the current case rate for