Governmental response to Covid-19, Sweden, etc


“safest approach” means lockdown?
that’s an incredible gamble with our children’s health and mental wellbeing. Again, I think it might have turned out to be worth it but it’s an arbitrary assumption that a lockdown is “safe.”

(Ron) #266

I did not address “lockdown” purposely and there are other means of caution. Any of which would be a safer approach than simply relying on “herd immunity”. IMHO


I guess what I mean is that any general policy is risky in its own way. Some of them probably more than others, but I think it’s really hard to know the downstream effects of anything that we do on such a large scale.

(Doug) #268

Given Sweden’s measures (even if “voluntary”) after the beginning, I can’t fault them too much. Many places would do things differently if they had a chance to do them over. One thing for sure - the places with very few deaths wouldn’t go back and “loosen things up.”

Higher unemployment equates to a higher suicide rate - that’s pretty well established, but it’s not much. Economic slowdowns mean a lower overall mortality rate, in general - that’s no secret as well (even with slightly more suicides). The 4 years or so of the Great Depression showed us that people are darn tough, actually, and that was with none of the social programs that came after that time.

I do agree that we have to wait and see how it all shakes out, as they say.


It’s not just the slowdown, but the environment of fear and uncertainty and (mostly) isolation that really worries me. Humans are incredibly resilient but we’re also deeply communal. This is a different kind of test and I’m not sure we’ll know for a long while how it will play out for younger generations.

Thank you so much, @OldDoug for your thoughtful responses!

(Mutain) #270

Wondering what the future will be like…


Hey folks, I know that there is a lot of polarization on here about COVID, but one of the things that I really value about this forum is the thoughtfulness of the members and the willingness to listen to different points of view. Gabe recently proposed that we have threads of folks who just agree with each other about responses to COVID, but

  1. I think it’s overly simplistic to think that there are two approaches or viewpoints (e.g. I’m in a country that has seemingly not taken it seriously but in a city that has had no public school since March. I worry about the effect of lockdowns and I care about COVID deaths); and
  2. one of the dangers of our modern age is that we tend to only be exposed to folks that we already agree with.

Anyway, I found this chart today - excess deaths in Europe for 2020. I know that northern Italian women seem to have particularly low levels of vitamin D, and there’s probably an issue of air pollution in the more industrial areas - but still, it’s hard to make sense of the discrepancies. The range of excess deaths shown below definitely don’t reflect policy, though it stands to reason that they might determine policy (if an area is particularly hard hit, it’s more tempting to take stronger and harsher measures).

In terms of metabolic health, I would assume UK is worse off than - say - Spain, Italy, or Switzerland, though that’s just an assumption based on what I know about their cultures vis a vis food and health.

Any thoughts or insights?

[edited to add: this map is excess deaths by week, so it’s been shifting all year… here’s the link:]


(maybe it’s just demographics- that Italy and Belgium in particular have older populations?)

(Doug) #273

Yeah, Madeleine, it’s easy to look at things and make pronouncements without taking into consideration how fast things get complicated. There are just so many variables.

Indeed. (Although I reckon that depends on how one spends one’s day. :smile:)

Italy was the first western country to really get hit hard, so the learning curve was a rough one. Italy has a lot of old people - second only to Japan in the entire world. 23% of people over 65, and a relatively high amount of multi-generational households. Not particularly brutal for population density by European standards - a thing that almost surely lowered the death rate some.

I think that for Spain and France, too, things were made worse just because of the timing of the virus outbreak.


They had high rate of infections maybe. That just shows one week I think and it varies from week to to week. Probably would need a average tally over time to be able to try to guess or assess why there may be more deaths in some regions.


I don’t know about Italy, but Belgium has one of the highest population densities out there. Compare the deaths per million with places with very high population density too and perhaps you’ll find they’re the same. I haven’t done that, but I suspect that’s the main problem. One can’t compare, say Sweden to Belgium!

Big countries may have a total deaths per million that’s much lower, but they also perhaps have a total population density much smaller. What about parts of the big countries with same population density as the worst hit places in Europe? Perhaps it’s comparable.

I haven’t checked this. I’m just trying to understand.

The reason we confine is easy to understand: our hospitals get full, we even send people to neighboring countries. Surgeries and treatment of other illnesses get cancelled, because covid patients need lots of hospital personnel. Then the Gov confines, just to get the hospitals back to normal. Nobody wants this, nobody likes this. And they postpone it until the hospitals are at breaking point, but then, something has to be done.

As much as I understand all that, this is all so new, so bad, it’s difficult to grasp.

When people are faced with very bad news, they go through a denial stage.


Yes - see the note below the map: it’s a map of this week’s excess deaths. It does vary over the year but the highest are almost always Italy, Spain, Belgium and the UK.


yes, that makes sense

Well, yes, of course: in the panic of recognizing this new threat the urge to confine makes sense.


I think maybe Belgium is in an indication of how ineffective and weak political leadership can worsen the situation. Due to fairly severe internal problem their federal leaders have very little power and all measurements have been local and very confusing for them. They do count even suspected covid deaths as covid numbers which may be one reason why their numbers are high but this excess death study indicate that yeah more people are dying there than most places elsewhere. Hope they can figure it out.

(bulkbiker) #279

They also have quite a significant immigrant population and are the home of fries (seed oils) with mayonnaise (more seed oils) and chocolates.

(Break Ur Hart) #280

I don’t get it why people trying to control the spread, it’s like they’re trying to control winds. At this point, it’s just impossible. All they did is just causing more distress and problems for a lot of people who can’t afford to go on lockdown/restrictions anymore.

I mean we went from 15 days to flatten the curve, to 8 months of restrictions. The death rates have been so far down. Therapeutic and drugs that have proven lowering the hospitalization time & preventing from the symptoms getting worse are already published everywhere. What is the endgame here?

These past 10 months I been learning, researching and reading experiences is that COVID is not a lung disease. It’s a virus that could trigger immune system to overreact. What makes these things worse? High glucose, stress level, tiredness, unhealthy diet, vitamins deficiency, etc.

However, the mainstream media never talked about this. They suppressed the information and keep feeding fear in their front pages.

The only way to get real information is by digging deep and doing your own research. For that I give you the most simple and the least risky options to help with COVID. Fasting.

Fasting has been proven to prevent immune system going haywire and it helps with inflammation. I have the research paper if you want.

It’s really sad that right now everyone think that the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be a vaccine. Well technically vaccine is pretty much “you infect yourself” with much weaker virus and then let the immune system to deal with it and memorize it.

Covid isn’t HIV, stop treating it like death sentence, stop treating it like HIV (where the infection is forever) . Covid can be killed with immune system and you might get it twice from reactivation or reinfection. However, the most important part is to prevent the immune system from going overdrive.

Gotta watch out for tyrannical censorship deleting my comments for “misinformation” while in reality I’m just simply speaking up my opinions.

(I admin it, that’s a terrible pun.) #281

No censorship here. Opinions are welcome, as long as it’s done in a respectful and civil manner.

(Peter) #282

Gotta laugh at the idea that opinions can’t, somehow, be misinformation. Classic strawman/false dichotomy.

Fair to say Sweden isn’t currently behaving like the posterboy for the “pretend COVID isn’t a real thing” mindset that the FOX News regurgitators would have you believe…

(I admin it, that’s a terrible pun.) #283

I’d like to think all the “opinions” on this forum aren’t driven by FOX News or CNN, but honest questioning and research.

That’s what attracted me to this forum in the first place. I witnessed people honestly taking their health in their own hands and questioning the status quo of the “healthcare” industry; doing something about it, and not just following the regurgitation of their Doctor’s pharma influenced education.

I used to think I knew it all, but now my motto is, “never stop questioning everything”. Even those things you believe to be true.


I have no idea what Fox News is saying - they’re really not my cup of tea and I’m not friends with any of their fans - but the folks I hear who are frustrated at continued shutdowns are not pretending that COVID isn’t real. They’re just questioning the cost of the current measures. (Speaking of false dichotomies… Are you under the impression that anyone who doesn’t agree with you on COVID response thinks the virus isn’t real?)

To me Sweden is looking pretty good except for some painful missteps with nursing homes early on (and sadly there are many other place with similar missteps). It seems like Sweden is currently in a “flattening the curve” phase for some of their municipalities, which makes a lot of sense given the current trends. Meanwhile their death toll for the year is on track to be pretty close to their annual average, and their young children have had school this whole time.

This virus sucks. It’s not going to be pretty no matter what but I think there’s good argument for basing policy on the well-being of our young folks.