Governmental response to Covid-19, Sweden, etc


The following article came out a couple days ago and it’s interesting in regards to long term immunity and reinfection. Sweden is going to learn a big lesson.

(Doug) #65

It’s rather a mixed bag of things at work. I watched both videos, nothing new from Ferguson - the U.K. felt it HAD to do something, same as Italy, Spain, etc. - and it’s not a total “lockdown,” and neither has Sweden done nothing - it’s actually much closer to the British approach than it is to having no changes made.

Giesecke says “things should be evidence-based” - well, the evidence from South Korea and a handful of others that have locked-down the most severely is undeniable. And can anybody really say that “Italy (for example) should have done nothing”? He really doesn’t make much of an argument against lockdowns.

He talks about the imperial model - this is the now-famous estimate from Ferguson, et al, that mentioned as many as 510,000 U.K. deaths or 2.2 million in the U.S.A. What he (like many people) does not identify is that those numbers are based on " In the absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behaviour"… It was stated just that way in the report, in other words - “If we do nothing at all, then there could be as many deaths as this…” And now, obviously, much is being done, everwhere, both by legal mandate and by willing participation on the part of the citizenry.

He says that there is “almost no science behind border closings, social distancing,” etc. I would submit that what science there is shows pretty clearly what a difference they can make. Early on in the virus outbreak, Sweden banned travel from most countries to Sweden. By what rationale would it make sense to allow travel from Wuhan, China, or Italy (again, for example) - once we knew that the virus was already well-established in those places?

Giesecke is flat-out wrong about Denmark. Sweden, with 1/6 the population density, has 3 times the per-capita deaths, already.

The interviewer asks about “The correct policy from the start being to shield the old and vulnerable.” Giesecke says yes, but that “we failed…” Well, we couldn’t predict right away who was the most vulnerable, and now - given what we know about the virus spread, how would this be done without substantial isolating, staying-at-home, etc., whether voluntary or legally-enforced?

I certainly agree with him about it being “trial and error” when it comes to lifting restrictions, and that lockdowns can’t be maintained forever. How we get to the time of having a vaccine or effective antiviral drugs is a good question.

(Elmo) #66

Do you think they are following gov’t guidelines, which do allow for more daily travel than most countries with true stay at home orders, or are they going beyond that for more isolation?

Skinnskatteberg is far enough away from Stockholm to be “out in the country” but still close enough if you want big-city things, like to travel in for a day. As you go north from there, things keep thinning out, and that’s really most of the country, like 3/4 of it.

My relatives are only going shopping 2 to 3 times per month. Nobody needs ongoing medical care, and it’s either work from home or don’t work. They really are just staying home and being patient. They expect many months in this way. “Swedes know what to do” - they put it like this. Through the populace opinions vary, but social unrest is very low. Most of the vocal and more strident objections to the course that the Swedish gov’t is charting comes from scientists, doctors and academics.


:grin: Well that is probably helpful for social order.

(Doug) #68

The virus is moving fairly slowly in Sweden. “Many months” - that’s a good question. Sweden has a pronounced “weekend” phenomenon where numbers really drop off - it will be interesting to see what this week brings.


Do the numbers pick back up on Monday after Sunday dinner?

(Doug) #70

Not much - it’s really more like Wednesday - Friday everything gets caught up. The overall trend isn’t affected but it looks comparatively “jumpy.”

(Jane) #71

Mental health is just as important as physical health and the number of abused women and children is increasing due to a large extent I suspect to men and women stuck at home with a plentiful supply of alcohol. The effects can last a lifetime whereas most recover from COVID.

(Doug) #72

Jane, how do we quantify that, though? If we are arguing that gov’t stay-at-home orders are causing people to go nuts, then what if similar things occur in states/areas that have no such orders? I don’t have any statistics one way or the other, here - I’m just asking.

In the future, there will be all sorts of analyses about this stuff. For now, I’m thinking that most of what is actually taking place would occur regardless of gov’t action.

(Jane) #73

I agree that the analysis will come later - my neighbors volunteer for CASA and have told me they are seeing an increase in abuse. Even in states with no stay-at-home orders like mine people ARE staying home a lot more because there is no place to go. Nothing is open except drive-thrus, grocery and big box stores so many are also out of work and stuck at home.

I will say the ones that still have jobs are so thankful they almost fall over themselves with appreciation that you are willing to brave exposure and shop or buy food from them. Even if open many businesses have let people go because they don’t need as many employees with so few customers, plus do not have the revenue to pay a full staff.

(Doug) #74

There are definitely some hard questions. If we can really keep old people and those otherwise really vulnerable to the virus isolated, then I’d be for lifting restrictions on a couple of counts. There are indeed reasons why it would be good for people, and it’s going to have to happen, anyway. The pushback against just one month or a little more has already been substantial.

As far as keeping vulnerable people ‘safe,’ I know that’s not totally achievable even with lockdowns, etc., in place. So it’s by no means black and white, so to speak. There are going to be a lot of sad stories, either way. Same with opening things up - some old workers are gonna get the virus, and some younger worker is going to get it and infect their grandparent… Politicians will feel their way forward, with a mixture of good and bad effects regardless of what they do.

(Doug) #75

Had to laugh at that one.

Sweden’s roller-coaster “weekend effect” continues:

(Ideom) #76

We don’t socially control most things, though. I see people all the time, stuff like “Oh no, no, no… Don’t tell me you two are going to reproduce…” Or women where I wonder how they can be so stupid as to get hooked-up with that guy, and vice-versa = “Are you insane, how can you be so blind as to how she really is?”

Those cases won’t always end in disaster, but there’s a whole lot of pathology in many relationships. Even as judgmental as I am, it frequently comes to pass that households are train wrecks, with the worst thing being the effect on kids who had no choice in the matter. Freedom can come with a cost, and we allow people to make the choices that lead to that stuff.

That’s really it, “choice or not.” Drinking like a fish, being stuck at home with a kook…, as far as consenting adults, it’s all due to conscious choices that have been made. That’s not true for children, or for people who are exposed to Covid-19, and who potentially die, just because somebody can’t get along with somebody else.

(Jane) #77


Three years ago my neighbor brought over a load of chicken manure and dumped it outside our garden. We could not get it tarped fast enough!!! Pew-wee. Took 2 years to break down to compost before we could use it.

(Jane) #78

If this virus is as contagious as they say, how can we all NOT get exposed? The point of self-isolation was to limit the demand on our medical system - not prevent exposure. New York City and maybe New Orleans are the only ones dealing with too many patients as far as I know.

Open up the economy gradually and monitor. If the hospitals get overtaxed shut down again. But stop wrecking the financial lives of young healthy people who were already living paycheck-to-paycheck. There are lots of people working in stores serving the general public and where are the stories of so many getting getting sick they can’t staff the stores?

The chemical plant I worked at in Houston has 150 employees and most are needed on site to produce product and not one case of COVID. Contractors coming in every day. There are much larger plants like Exxon-Mobile and Shell with over 1000 employees and they are still running 24/7. They are the fortunate ones who are still getting a paycheck.

(Ron) #79

Not completely. It was also to give time to learn more about what they were dealing with. It was to give more time to learn and possibly counter act.

(Polly) #80

Sorry it is early in the morning here, and I have only just started on the black coffee, but that does not make sense to me.

What can we expect to learn about the virus and the way it spreads if we all stay home and don’t expose ourselves to it? I said at the outset that despite my age I was willing to take my chance with the virus to prevent the economy flat-lining and my children’s generation from having their livelihoods ruined. Examining only how the virus affects those who need to be admitted to hospital cannot really tell us the whole story.

It is beginning to look as though dysfunctional sugar metabolism and vitamin D levels are important in the reaction the body has to the virus, but I do not think those aspects are being looked at closely. There is no money in telling people to eat better to improve their health outcomes. The big bucks are still chasing a vaccine and a drug treatment.

I do not want to spend the rest of my life under house arrest in order to enrich the pharmaceutical company which brings the first drug/vaccine to the market. I would prefer to take my chance.

The video which was censored recently made a very good point about us all damaging our immune systems by living away from others during the lockdown. We need to get out there and encounter people and their microbiomes in order to stay well.


I wonder, if the U.S. paid its citizens to stay home (like Andrew Yang suggested), perhaps Americans would follow the rules better… but since 30M have applied for unemployment, and many have no spare change to live on… they are desperate. Anyone would be desperate if in that situation. If they would supplement our income and make it so we can afford to stay home and isolate, maybe Americans would follows the rules better… JMHO.

And SHAME they censored the Dr. Erickson video.
And just for the record… I keep the news off. I don’t need any anxiety.

(Doug) #82

I agree, but (I’m guessing) not for the same reason. :smile: It was a classic case of how not to make a reasonable argument. He clearly and violently separated himself from credibility right away.

Jane, it’s still early in Texas (as far as the virus outbreak) and it was just recently that the state barely got over 1% in testing. The Houston area is only (as of today) to the point of having 1/1000 to 1/200 people being infected, so, for example, 0 cases among 150 people wouldn’t be unusual.

I think it’s a given that restrictions either won’t be imposed - as it sounds like is the case at those chemical/petrochemical plants - or will be lifted fairly soon. So we’re going to find out more fairly quickly, I’d think. Among all those employees you mention, are there a substantial number of older people, fat people, etc.?

(Jane) #83

Unfortunately, yes. Those guys make $40/hr with a high school education so they rarely leave. The workforce has aged and unlike when I started there over 30 years ago - have gotten much fatter on SAD diets.

Regardless of whether there is testing - nobody has gotten sick at the plant coming to work every day and Houston is the 4th largest city in the US.