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.

Is Sweden near “herd immunity”? There are hopeful signs that herd immunity against COVID-19 is much closer than previously thought.

“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:

France         105

Bosnia and Herzegovina 73

Spain             70

Croatia          64

Romania       63

Ukraine         55

Czechia          55

Belgium         42

Netherlands 41

Switzerland  40

Portugal        35

Austria          34

UK                  30

Ireland          27

Denmark      27

Italy               21

Bulgaria       18

Greece          18

Germany      15

Poland          14

One country had a larger second wave than the first wave of cases, the waves have been completed and the current case rate for

Serbia   is       9 daily cases per million people.

They may be close to herd immunity too.

 

 

The Swedish COVID-19 experience, approaching herd immunity? Maybe they were right after all.

Deaths from the China virus is going down in Sweden. In total there has been  82,972 cases and 5,766 deaths from a population of 10,106,111 people.

Their case and death rate per million inhabitants are 8,210 and 571

For U.S.A. the corresponding rates are 15,711 and 500.

Sweden didn’t have a full lock-down but instituted some restrictions:

National ban on visiting retirement homes.

Ban on public gatherings of 50 people or more.

– The Government decided to stop non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU.

– New rules for restaurants, cafés and pubs, no closings but enforce social distancing and strict hygiene rules.

– Implement measures to avoid crowding of people in queues, at tables, buffets or bar counters.

– Ensure that guests can keep at least one meter’s ( 3 1/4 feet) distance from other people.

– Only serve food and drink to guests who are seated at a table or a bar counter.

– Guests are permitted to order and pick up food and drink, provided that this does not lead to crowding or queues.

– Offer guests the opportunity to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or offer them hand sanitizer.

– Inform guests about how they can decrease the risk for spreading infection.

Sweden did not institute a mandatory mask mandate.

Elementary schools remained fully open.

https://http://www.krisinformation.se/en/hazards-and-risks/disasters-and-incidents/2020/official-information-on-the-new-coronavirus/restriktioner-och-forbud

The Swedish Medical Products Agency, Läkemedelsverket, stopped the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine against the China virus on April 2, 2020, until October 31, 2020. Had these medications remained available for prescription by a general physician the death rates would have gone down, probably by about 50% according to over 40 international studies. This assumes medication would have been prescribed as soon as symptoms arose.

Their excuse: “The Medical Products Agency has received signals of a sharp increase in prescribing of chloroquine, which is judged to be related to the outbreak of covid-19. The drug is relevant in several ongoing clinical trials against covid-19. To counteract a shortage situation, a new regulation will limit prescribing to doctors with certain specialist competencies, as well as limiting the dispensing of the medicine.”

In other words: We don’t care if people die before our clinical trials are complete.

source: https://http://www.lakemedelsverket.se/sv/nyheter/utlamnande-pa-recept-av-klorokin-och-hydroxiklorokin-begransas-i-ny-foreskrift.

But to show heart, they add: “An approved drug containing hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed against a prescription from a pharmacy only if it has been prescribed by a doctor with specialist competence in rheumatology, skin and sexually transmitted diseases or pediatric and adolescent medicine.”

https://http://www.lakemedelsverket.se/495e67/globalassets/dokument/lagar-och-regler/hslf-fs/hslf-fs-2020-11.pdf

The Swedish Public Health Agency, Folkhälsomyndigheten, releases a weekly report about the China virus.

The week 31 report includes the following

Page 8: “Of the deaths confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic, 47 percent are from deceased residing in nursing homes. Of confirmed cases in nursing homes, the pandemic has killed 38 percent.”

Page 13: “From the start of the pandemic until the current reporting week, the average age of the deceased was 82 years (median age 84 years)”

https://http://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/globalassets/statistik-uppfoljning/smittsamma-sjukdomar/veckorapporter-covid-19/2020/covid-19-veckorapport-vecka-31-final.pdf

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.

 

The Corona-virus cure: Early treatment with HydroxyChloroQuine +Zinc + Zithromax. Negative studies all dealt with late stage hospitalized patients.

Without a double blind study of the effectiveness of HCQ + Zn +Zmax the evidence is in. This chart show the difference:

Of these countries France stands out. It did not use the HCQ+  package in the beginning, but after two very positive studies the doctors starting prescribing the early treatment, and since then France show a pronounced decrease in new deaths.

Sweden tried another approach: No lock-down, schools open, restaurants serving, stores open, but large gatherings such as sports and music events stopped, only use personal hygiene and practice social distancing. Sweden is now very close to have achieved “herd immunity”, new cases and death have nearly stopped.

The study shown here lists both positive and negative studies. All negative reports have been with hospitalized patients where the second phase, the “storm” has already set in. At this late stage the HZQ+ treatment may even worsen the situation. For these cases stereoid treatments or Remdesivir may offer the best hope. Early treatment, both as prophylactics early intervention were all positive (over 30 studies) whereas late intervention studies were only 61% positive.

Here is but one of the scholarly papers listing treatment options. It has been out since April 6, so the treatment options have been known for a long time. Meanwhile, our medical professionals are waiting for the double blind study, and in the meantime people are unnecessarily dying by the thousands.

Wake up, America!

Three approaches to the Corona virus pandemic; Pennsylvania, Sweden, Florida.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world in ways we do not fully understand and is beyond our control, yet all are trying.

The state of Pennsylvania implemented a rigorous shutdown, but left the nursing home people unprotected. Early on in Lancaster County 75% of the deaths were from nursing homes, and the majority of deaths came from care facilities. In most of the state things were not that bad. In Centre county the two first cases were my pastor, who has been to Washington State, and my son’s pastor, who had been in Lousiana, both visiting conferences. Pennsylvania has now partially opened up, and the statistics looks like this:

After an initial peak, the case rate were dropping until June 20, and is now rising. (Do the protests have anything to do with the rise?)

The death rate is not rising, and has so far totaled 7,183 with  about 16 new cases a day, and the rate is halved every month or so, which means that the total deaths would be about 8 to ten thousand. Pennsylvania has a population of 12.8 million, so the death rate from corona virus in Pennsylvania is about 0.07%. Total cases so far is about 110,000 and the sum total of cases should be no more than 256,000 or no more than 2% of the population would get the corona virus.

Sweden, a country of 10 million people took a different approach. They did not close the schools, did not close shops and restaurants. They encouraged personal hygiene, social distancing, and wearing masks where social distancing was not possible. They closed sports and music events and encouraged remote work wherever practical. What were the results? The charts are enlightening:

The daily case rate peaked around June 28 and is now down by more than half. Total cases for Sweden is so far 79,000, and will probably, once this pandemic is over, total less than 100,000 or about 1%

Daily deaths are even more interesting. So far 5,700 have died from this disease. The death rate is now near zero, so the total number of deaths will be less than 6,000, or 0,06% of the population.

As we can see from the charts, Sweden is now very close to herd immunity.

The third case is Florida, a state of 21.5 million people. They did have a very small initial wave of cases, but the big rise started to appear at peak summer season. The charts tell a lot:

 

So far, the number of cases are 415,000, and following Sweden more than half of the cases occurred before the peak, which occurred on July 15, the total number of cases should be no more than 700,000 or about 3.25%

The total number of deaths so far total about 5,800 or about 0.027 percent of the population. About one third of the deaths occur before the peak, so the total deaths should be between 17,000 and 20,000 and then herd immunity is achieved. this corresponds to a total death rate of 0.08%

All three approaches yielded the same result, total case rate is between 1 and 3,25%, with Sweden, doing the least government interference faring the best.

The total death rates  are between 0,06% and 0,08%, and when the corona virus pandemic has run its course, herd immunity is achieved.

 

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.

 

Sweden was right! No lock-down but hygiene, social separation and limited gatherings will work just as well. Herd immunity is possible to achieve.

As Europe and North America continue suffering their steady economic and social decline as a direct result of imposing “lockdown” on their populations, other countries have taken a different approach to dealing with the coronavirus threat. You wouldn’t know it by listening to western politicians or mainstream media stenographers, there are also non-lockdown countries. They are led by Sweden, Iceland, Belarus, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Surprisingly to some, their results have been as good or better than the lockdown countries, but without having to endure the socio-economic chaos we are now witnessing across the world. For this reason alone, Sweden and others like them, have already won the policy debate, as well as the scientific one too.

Unlike many others, Sweden has not enforced any strict mass quarantine measures to contain COVID-19, nor has it closed any of its borders. Rather, Swedish health authorities have issued a series of guidelines for social distancing and other common sense measures covering areas like hygiene, travel, public gatherings, and protecting the elderly and immune compromised. They have kept all preschools, primary and secondary schools open, while closing college and universities who are now doing their work and lectures online. Likewise, many bars and restaurants have remained open, and shoppers do not have to perform the bizarre ritual of queuing around the block standing 2 meters apart in order to buy groceries.

According to the country’s top scientists, they are now well underway to achieving natural herd immunity. It seems this particular Nordic model has already won the debate.

Because Sweden decided to follow real epidemiological science and pursue a common sense strategy of herd immunity, it doesn’t need to “flatten of the curve” because its strategic approach has the added benefit of achieving a much more gradual and wider spread.

This chart proves the point:

This was in May. It is now July 10, and here are the updated charts:

From a peak of 100 deaths /day and 550 cases/day Sweden is now down to an average of 4 deaths/day and an average of 435 cases/day.

Sweden is well on its way to herd immunity.

How well are the other non-lockdown countries doing?

Iceland  has a total case count of 1882 and a death count of 10, all between March 21 and April 20.  This was achieved by contact tracing and quarantine alone.

Belarus has a total case count of 64,604 and a death count of 454, and the case and death charts look like this:

Here the daily death count has not risen above 7 per day. in a country of 9.5 million.

 

Japan has a total case count of 20,371 and a death count of 981, and the case and death charts look like this:

Japan shows a unique pattern: It looked that they had beaten the coronavirus early, but then in April it started up again, and again in July, but always at manageable levels. Japan is still far away from herd immunity.

 

South Korea has a total case count of 13338 and a death count of 288, and the case and death charts look like this:

The death count rises, then stays constant for about 2 months and then declines, but slower than the new case count. South Korea took another approach than trying to reach herd immunity. They gave HydroxyChloroQuine to all people that showed symptoms as early as possible. The result is nothing short of remarkable, less than 1 coronavirus death per day in a country of 51 million people!

Taiwan has a total case count of 451 and a death count of 7. And this in a country of 24 million!

How is the United States faring compared to these countries? Is herd immunity achievable in the near future? Current cases are 3,250,705 and the current deaths are 136,158, the highest in the world/

United States has a total case count of 3,250,705 and a death count of 136,158, and the case and death charts look like this:

From a peak case rate of 31,000 cases per day and a death rare of 2,200/day the case rate has climbed to 55,000/day and the death rate has come down to about 625/day , and it seems the U.S. is lagging Sweden by about 5 weeks. In about 2 months or so the U.S. should be well on its way to herd immunity.

The death rates would be reduced to less than half if the United States adopted the policy of South Korea (and at least 9 other countries) and began to administer HydroxyChloroQuine to nearly all people that showed symptoms as early as possible.

Quotes from https://www.zerohedge.com/health/why-sweden-has-already-won-debate-covid-19-lockdown-policy

Sweden is leading the way. Throw out the Chinese infiltrators!

Sweden is a globalist country. Ever since Dag Hammarskjöld was Secretary of the U.N. Sweden has advocated leadership in foreign aid and is leading the world in foreign aid as a percentage of GNP (1.45% in 2015). They welcome immigrants and refugees, the foreign born population is now over 20%. When the coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China, Sweden pitched in and sent over 100,000 masks to help out.

All of this changed when the Chinese quarantined over 50 million people in and around Wuhan, prevented all travel within China to and from the guaranteed provinces but allowed international travel to continue in and out of Wuhan International Airport, thereby spreading the Wuhan virus worldwide, but stopping it within China. When the virus hit Sweden they tried to replenish their protection equipment they found out that China had mopped up nearly all supplies from the whole world and was now reselling them at scalpers’ prices, if they were available at all.

This did not sit well with the Swedes, they have now abolished all sister city arrangements with China, the last to go was the Gothenburg – Shanghai arrangement. Gone are also the Confucius institutes, and finally the last Confucius classroom in the little town of Falkenberg.

We should do the same thing. San Francisco has a sister city arrangement with Shanghai, Pittsburgh has one with Wuhan, and so on. Suspend them all! Likewise abolish all Confucius Institutes, and they are legion

Besides providing Chinese propaganda they are a major source of “information gathering.” The Chinese people are wonderful, but before they are sent off to the U.S. to study they must swear loyalty to the Communist Government, and so the Confucius Institutes are in reality low level spy operations.

 

 

 

Was Sweden right? Social distancing is better than stay at home and lockdown of the economy

Sweden and New Jersey are about the same size population wise, Sweden has 10 million people, New Jersey has about 9.2 million. For both, the foreign born population is about 20 percent. When the coronavirus pandemic hit they took quite different action at the same time:

New Jersey went into full lockdown with a near complete halt to the economy.

Sweden issued social distancing, crowds and travel restrictions, and hygiene regulations, but kept businesses and restaurants open within limits.

Yer their death rates followed the same bell curve as the disease marched on

 

Yet, there was one big difference, the deaths from the corona virus  was three times larger in New Jersey than in Sweden, the total cases was five times larger.

It is always touted that we need more testing, New Jersey has made 451,696 tests, Sweden only 177,500. More testing will find more mild and asymptomatic cases, but the deaths will be the same.

The solution is to let the young and healthy develop herd immunity, but protect the vulnerable, such as the old, obese, diabetic, people with hypertension, weak hearts or a compromised immune system.