Disappointed in Low Carb gurus and covid-19 (and the Dunning-Kruger effect)

(GINA ) #121

This Swedish doctor is describing the results of what the experts knew in the beginning, but seem to have forgotten.

Sweden didn’t flatten their curve (by much, it is my understanding that some measures were taken), and other countries we decided we would try to save lives by drawing out the curve to let hospitals prepare. There was no talk ever of hiding until it disappeared, until politics got hold of it.

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #122

Publicly available data shows no causal relationship between government orders and COVID-19 mortality outcomes. Sweden’s all-cause, per-capita mortality for 2020 is approximately 290 per million above the prior five-year average, while lockdown-loving New Jersey’s is almost 1,900 per million above the prior five-year average, and Michigan’s is over 700 per million. (In case you suspect Sweden “naturally” locked down on its own, mobility data reveals it didn’t.) The mainstream media does not report this. Instead, its energetic smearing of Sweden, coupled with its pseudo-scientific insistence that lockdowns do anything more than delay the inevitable, helps politicians exploit the human tendency to mythologize.


(Ideom) #123

It’s a sad thing when a blogger is so unaware and/or so bent on deception and dependent on the gullibility of readers. It is nonsensical to compare Sweden with New Jersey. There is no excuse for the writer not to know how important population density is in this matter, or that New Jersey is nothing like Sweden in this respect (NJ is more than 20 times as dense).

The timing of the virus spread was different - Sweden had more advance warning. NJ is also substantially inseparable from the New York City metropolitan area - imagine Sweden being stuck onto an enormous, very dense city with more than twice the population of Sweden. The writer makes herself ridiculous with this kind of obtuseness.

She also attempts to downplay the measures Sweden instituted to slow the spread of the virus. She is simply and horrendously incorrect, there. (Traffic out of Stockholm fell 90% for one measured time period, for example.) Either she has not bothered to discover the truth about Sweden - while it’s been via gov’t suggestion and request, rather than lawful mandate with penalties for nonadherence, there has been a LOT of social distancing, closures, etc. - or she’s depending on nobody fact-checking her silly, made-up story.

Both Sweden and NJ (and Michigan, for that matter) have limited the spread of the virus. There remain many very vulnerable people in all three areas; neither Sweden nor the other two are about to expose these people in the name of “herd immunity.”

The extreme weakness of the author’s argument is highlighted by her dependence on illogical arguments and outright lies. She makes herself instantly and tremendously dismissable.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #124

Quod erat demonstrandum.

(Elmo) #125

If you check out the author’s social media, you’ll see that she’s hardly any authority on the virus (much of what she says is just laughable), and that she has a terrific penchant for conflating things and being intentionally deceptive.

If you’re registered at the RealClearPolitics website, you can read the comments - the piece is really just a joke and lots of people see it immediately. But yes - once one throws away logic and rationality, they should be laughed off the stage.


I’m so fucking embarrassed for you right now.

(David Cooke) #127

Here in Thailand, population 70 million: FIFTY EIGHT, 58 deaths attributed to Covid. No new deaths reported for months now. New cases are I believe almost 100% due to Thais entering from abroad, illegal border crossings or foreigners.
Lockdowns etc: curfew after 10 pm, alcohol sales completely stopped (ha ha), likelihood of being stopped by the police leaving or entering your province (quarantine 14 days, theoretically,. bribery was not out of the question however), masks and temperature checks obligatory at shopping malls. That’s it.
The Thais are great mask wearers anyway, so that was no great hardship. Out in the villages… are you joking? Life went on as normal apart from losing time looking for alcohol. No masks.
Life has more or less gone back to what it was before, with ~70 traffic deaths daily, that’s not surprising.


Lots of criticism of the particular blog post about Sweden, but I’d be more interested in what folks think of the actual trends. The shape of the Swedish COVID death rate that @Consistency referenced seems like very good news.

Here in the US, with ever-rising case numbers (closing in on 5 million today), here are the number of deaths per 100,000 residents in the most worrisome states:

(Art) #129

Stultus tale scripto defendere non potes.

Similarly, there are “documentaries” like ‘What the Health,’ and ‘Plandemic.’ For that matter, HIV/AIDS denialism has been around for 30+ years. There have always been examples of such foolishness, and enough people with the intellectual habits that allow such nonsense to survive.


I have been dissapointed in some low carb gurus as well. I followed them and read their theories on low carb. With covid some of them took a different stand than mine to what policies are needed. That is fine. I like different perspectives and try to understand the reasoning. But then come to see that that they just cherry pick (far worse than Ancel Keys) and also throw support to perspectives of other people which are half baked and where the actual facts are just ignored in favour of some easy: See! I am right! Even if they prove to be right in the end these individuals will never regain my trust. Oh well. Still many people left who put science and facts first.

(Mutain) #131

Cherry-picking is an epidemic of its own. The reader needs enough perspective (as well as desire for the truth, not just the ‘party line’) to recognize it.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #132

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #133

Well this is exactly it.

@amwassil above said that “You can present all the evidence to the contrary you want. People believe what they want to believe.”

IMHO, this is not the case, at least speaking for myself. I take the view that the precautionary principle ought to be used when encountering a new threat like COVID, and so I support Taiwan’s and New Zealand’s approaches and wish Australia had followed the Kiwis.

However, I readily admit to you all that, if no vaccine is forthcoming, if the world had followed the Swedish approach we might have done a lot better in the long run. BUT:

The trouble is that it’s impossible to know with perfect foresight what will happen. Let’s say a vaccine emerges around Christmas; well then, everyone will say that the Swedes and countries like them made a terrible mistake, and the Kiwis (New Zealanders) were right all along. But suppose we reach August 2021 and all the vaccines and treatments prove ineffective; well then, we’ll come to the conclusion that we need to live with this thing, open up, suppress it to avoid health care system overwhelm, and people will say how very stupid the Kiwis were to eliminate the virus, open up domestically, but keep their borders closed.

The trouble that people like Ivor have is that they’ve become utterly dogmatic. Instead of being guided by the evidence, they pretend that they are guided by the evidence, when they are really just being guided by confirmation bias.

It’s hard to keep your mind open. But that’s what those of us interested in facts must do. Ivor, and others like him, have done the low carb community a great disservice. I am now calling into question a lot of the things I’ve read over the years about cholesterol and saturated fats – and not in a good way. I have no faith that the claims that have been made (eat as many saturates as you want! meat is perfectly fine for you! high LDL is no problem!) are entirely accurate.

Come to think of it, maybe Ivor’s done us a favour. Maybe we all needed a wakeup call, for us to stop being guided by authorities and instead to question the evidence over and over and over again.

The Emperor, it seems, has no clothes. Question everything. Trust no one!

(Bunny) #134

Wow this is really emotionally vacillating but he is right?

Dr. Rushworth MD: “…Sweden ripped the metaphorical band-aid off quickly and got the epidemic over and done with in a short amount of time, while the rest of the world has chosen to try to peel the band-aid off slowly. At present that means Sweden has one of the highest total death rates in the world. But covid is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected any more. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place, because all those countries are going to end up with the same number of dead at the end of the day anyway. Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long. …” …More

Viral load herd immunity really does work.

(Polly) #135

@gabe You may want to watch this interesting chat between Dr Paul Mason and Laban Ditchburn and then look at the studies which Paul Mason mentions in relation to the dangers or otherwise of saturated fats.


Cases are rising in Sweden more than in Norway right now. This is likely due to the fact that Sweden is in the green zone so people are travelling in and out of the country more now… More tourism and travel caused more cases all over Europe and now Sweden is experiencing it. But numbers are low in all of the Scandinavian countries now.

(Doug) #137

:smile: Sweden is looking around and thinking, “Check it out - on the ketogenicforums there is more than one thread about us!” :sunglasses:

(bulkbiker) #138

Positive test results I guess you mean?
We have no idea on the number of false positives (or for that matter false negatives) that there are currently.

(Joey) #139

Perhaps a key missing variable in the “band-aid quick pull vs slow pull” equality analogy is the capacity to treat those struggling with COVID-19.

For example, if everyone in a population contracts the corona virus at once, for those who develop COVID-19 disease and need critical medical care, the need may far outstrip the supply of beds/ventilators/medical staff/medications. This would result in a higher overall fatality rate.

At the other extreme, if only one individual needed care at a time, the survival rate would likely be markedly higher.

In other words, ripping the band-aid off quickly makes good sense (i.e., minimizes prolonged economic damage due to briefer shutdown period) and reaches herd immunity faster … but the bandwidth of medical care is another key variable on the ultimate outcome in terms of death and suffering.

It’s a balancing act. :vulcan_salute:

(Doug) #140

True, Mark. It’s still depressingly error-prone, from what I’ve seen. Yet even allowing for a significant multiple of people who have been exposed to the virus, versus those who are counted as ‘positive tests,’ there is still very likely a huge amount of people still unexposed in most places.

The way the virus has rapidly spread in many parts of the U.S. is testament to this.