Governmental response to Covid-19, Sweden, etc

(Jane) #84

My youngest son is a manager at a sporting goods retail store (thankfully still employed) and is in contact with the general public in Houston every day. He is at a greater risk than my oldest working with the same crew every shift at a chemical plant (different one than mine and nobody sick there either). His risk would be when he is on days and writing work permits for contractors coming into the plant to do work.

(Doug) #85

I was thinking that would be the case. I’ve been to that Exxon Mobil plant - I assume it’s the same one, Baytown, TX, just east of Houston…? Good-sized place. :grin: On what happens when people get infected - I guess we’ll find out.

(Jane) #86

Yes, used to have over 1000 employees. Don’t know now nor do I know anyone who works there to ask about any outbreaks.

(Doug) #87

What we’re talking about really is all choices, even to the point of valuing lives. Mostly, we let things take their course, i.e. we don’t ban automobiles even though they kill a whole lot of people, for example. We don’t want to get killed or have somebody steal our stuff - so that’s where much legislation is aimed, while the “pursuit of happiness” is left to the individual.

Even one’s risk of death from Covid-19 is often due to choices; I’m too fat and have blood sugar control issues - this is due to what I’ve done in the past.

(Elmo) #88

My relatives in Sweden have been staying at home for two months now. Not much has changed. There’s been a very slight slowing in deaths and new cases as the virus spreads into the Swedish countryside where the population density is much lower. People are following the government’s guidelines and also doing their own thing if they feel more isolation is needed.

If anything there is increased feeling that the government should have restricted things more. Sweden is not seeing the drop-off in deaths and cases that most other countries have where the virus has been established as long. If not including the very tiny countries, Sweden is 6th-worst in the world for per-capita deaths, and looks worse and worse compared to neighboring Finland and Norway all the time.

(Doug) #89

If Vatican City has one death, it will vault to Worst-in-the-World on the basis of deaths-per-population. :smile:

Sweden’s still taking a “middle ground” approach, and things are going pretty slowly, yes. The increase in virus cases is almost perfectly linear, and deaths have only decreased a very little bit. There are 3 days in April that stand out as having more deaths. (Due to high population density in Strockholm? Or due to a surge of deaths in aged care centers? Sweden realizes it messed up, there.) Other than those 3 days, the number of deaths is almost miraculously constant across April and into May thus far.

Sweden isn’t seeing the demonstrable drop-off in cases and deaths that countries with more restrictions have, but at the same time it’s only got 3256 deaths for now.


This isn’t quite connected to Sweden but I thought it might be a good read for many folks on here. Thoughts from a US doctor on the COVID curve. It’s a fairly quick read, and he’s thoughtful and clear.

(Polly) #91

Thank you @Madeleine that certainly resonated with my understanding of how this virus is likely to pan out for us all.

(Bob M) #92

This article ends with a appropriate quote that I think is why the “Swedish” model will never work in the US:

“In the U.S., much seems to depend on the individual and people are not very fond of government control,” she said. “The Swedish strategy is very much relying on the individual’s trust in the state.”

My wife’s sister and her family live in Sweden. If the Swedish government says “Wear masks”, they all wear masks. If the Swedish government says “Perform social distancing by staying 6 feet apart”, that’s what they do.

In Sweden, you don’t see people storming the capitol building with weapons, or getting into fights about wearing masks or just ignoring everything and going to bars or wherever. It does not happen.

So, I don’t get why people think this model (whatever it is – and I’ve seen no clear guidance as to what it really is anyway) would work in the US. It won’t.

(Ron) #93

So I am seeing in reports (internet so who knows the truth) that the strategy from Sweden did not work and they are exploding with the virus. So if true this would suggest negatively to the argument of herd immunity one would think. :thinking:

(Jane) #94

I looked up Sweden and their data looks pretty flat to me. Still fewer deaths per 100k than the UK which locked down much tighter.

This is from the Johns Hopkins site as of May 25:

(Peter) #95

Here’s some Swedish data that looks pretty accurate (this page has been decent).

But this is key - the Swedes have far less of a “ME ME ME!!!” Attitude than Americans, in that they also think of their society as a whole, not merely of themselves as individuals and “MUH RIGHTZ.”

(Jane) #96

(Jane) #97

For being such selfish assholes our death rate per 100k doesn’t look too shabby.

(Ron) #98

Maybe because there are still a lot of us that obeyed the stay at home and social distancing guidelines. Could be! :thinking:

(Doug) #99

There was one period - May 13 to May 20 - where Sweden had the worst per-capita death rate in the world. They’ve been catching up to some familiar ‘heavyweights’ as far as per-capita deaths - France, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and Belgium. But overall things are going very smoothly, no “exploding” or violent trend changes. Sweden has had a decline from their peak death rate thus far, just not as much as those other countries.

(Jane) #100

Eh. Maybe. Almost half the deaths have been in nursing homes where people go to die. Callous? Maybe. But nobody who is healthy and can take care of themselves go into nursing homes. How many would die anyway?

The only statistic that matters is overall death rates. Positive for COVID-19? No worries as most recover. I have not seen a single statistic that shows the overall mortality rate has increased while we wreck the economy.


Since the economy is built on sham; are we really wrecking it?

(Peter) #102

“It’s only old people who were ready to die anyway.”

Could get a seat on the RNC with a “FU old unproductive societal dregs” attitude like that.

(Peter) #103

This a really good read (from a real doctor, not a Facebook Karen), and it does mention Sweden, but not in a particularly complimentary way.

Well worth a read for anyone interested in the overall topic of COVID-19. (Yes, it’s a bit long despite being split up into easy to read sections, so the meme-spreaders will struggle, but people with a brain will cope just fine.)