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Sweden’s COVID and Economic Failure

1ofakind

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,119
It is much too early to say if their approach was better or worse than another. It may all look different in a year, 5 years, 10 years.

Our months long shut down did not stop the virus....we just kicked the can down the road. It's obvious to all now as it was to some of us all along. Sweden chose to try to live with it while limiting the damage. Unfortunately their nursing homes and elderly have been hard hit, not unlike some areas here where the damage was intentionally inflicted on our most vulnerable. But their lower grade schools have continued without seeing a huge negative health toll. We can and should learn from that as from other countries with open schools.
But this is not near over...it's too soon to be definitive about which strategy is better.
 
S

SallyB

Guest
It is much too early to say if their approach was better or worse than another. It may all look different in a year, 5 years, 10 years.

Our months long shut down did not stop the virus....we just kicked the can down the road. It's obvious to all now as it was to some of us all along. Sweden chose to try to live with it while limiting the damage. Unfortunately their nursing homes and elderly have been hard hit, not unlike some areas here where the damage was intentionally inflicted on our most vulnerable. But their lower grade schools have continued without seeing a huge negative health toll. We can and should learn from that as from other countries with open schools.
But this is not near over...it's too soon to be definitive about which strategy is better.
I think we need to do everything we can to limit today’s deaths, as a vaccine may prove successful in the next couple of years.
 
S

SallyB

Guest
Everything? Close down for a couple of years?

There may never be a vaccine. If someone wants to stay isolated until that happens then so be it. But it isn't a realistic plan for everyone.
No, I meant do everything the handful of sensible world leaders required and continue to require of their citizens.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,134
Everything? Close down for a couple of years?

There may never be a vaccine. If someone wants to stay isolated until that happens then so be it. But it isn't a realistic plan for everyone.
Or close down until there is a clear downward trend in cases, more robust testing, contact tracing/tracking, and mandatory masking.

Look at Germany, they’re reopened to a modified version of normal and cases are still declining.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,964
Or close down until there is a clear downward trend in cases, more robust testing, contact tracing/tracking, and mandatory masking.

Look at Germany, they’re reopened to a modified version of normal and cases are still declining.
Unfortunately, the average American comes nowhere close to the average German with willingness and diligence to follow proper protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus. What works in one country doesn't work in another. Just look at how many Americans are walking around in stores and at work without proper masking. With their noses sticking out of masks. It disgusts me, so I avoid going out when I don't have to anymore.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,134
Unfortunately, the average American comes nowhere close to the average German with willingness and diligence to follow proper protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus. What works in one country doesn't work in another. Just look at how many Americans are walking around in stores and at work without proper masking. With their noses sticking out of masks. It disgusts me, so I avoid going out when I don't have to anymore.
I totally agree. It’s just so frustrating to hear people go on about their rights when lack of compliance is spreading virus (which kills people and hurts the economy).

It seems like those who are fighting the hardest to reopen are those who are unwilling to follow protocols that would limit the spread of disease. We have some of that type here in Canada as well, but luckily they are a small minority. One is a prominent politician who lost his bid for Prime Minister last fall. I feel like we dodged a bullet there.
 
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autumngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
1,629
Unfortunately, the average American comes nowhere close to the average German with willingness and diligence to follow proper protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus. What works in one country doesn't work in another. Just look at how many Americans are walking around in stores and at work without proper masking. With their noses sticking out of masks. It disgusts me, so I avoid going out when I don't have to anymore.
Agree, I am tired of seeing all the people flaunting not wearing a mask here. Everyone claims they have a medical condition now so they don't have to wear one, they are the exemption. It's bullS!!! for many as I know quite a few saying this that have absolutely nothing wrong with them and have heard them say they just use it as excuse not to wear one!!!

Edited to add: I know there are legitimate people with excuses not to wear them.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
38,509
Yes it’s shocking how so many Americans seem to just not care about their and others safety. Oh but don’t touch any of their so called “rights” even if it will save hundreds of thousands of people.

But look who was voted President so maybe not such a surprise. :/
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,830
As @1ofakind mentions, it is far too early to know which approach will produce the 'best' overall outcomes.

Sweden's graphs show their deaths have followed the same curves as other countries that have locked down, with an initial peak and then a continued decline, while the modelling has been seen to be very much more pessimistic than the reality:




Looking at their historical data, this year has been barely any different to recent years:



Deaths have been focused in the older generation and those with comorbidities, and care homes have seen the majority of deaths, which suggests that targeted interventions (rather than sweeping, population-wide interventions) are likely to be most effective, and the fact that the over 90s population (those most at risk) has grown so much in recent years must also play a part:




The increased death rate in the older population may also be because there was a larger population within that age group 'available' to the virus, thanks to a couple of mild winters:

https://twitter.com/Pollemann1/status/1277863001572487170
(You'll have to click the link because I can't insert more than five media attachments!)


Sweden did not 'lockdown' and close all the schools, bars, restaurants and 'non essential' shops, whereas the UK did, yet their graph curves are very similar:

https://thumbsnap.com/HgZY235H

What Sweden did do is say to their citizens that they should undertake social distancing and practical, yet non-restrictive, additional measures where possible.


The 'unorthodox, open-air experiment' referred to in the article posted in the OP is not Sweden - what is, is the mandatory lockdowns and economic shutdowns (in a format similar to that imposed by authoritarian, communist China...) that have been rolled out across the world for (AIUI) the first time ever in response to a virus that barely affects the majority of the population.

Those who are pro-lockdown will, naturally, look to paint Sweden in a light that portrays it badly, but the numbers do not seem to suggest they have sacrificially thrown thousands under the bus to maintain an economy.

Mind you, the article in the OP says they have killed thousands and 'not fared any better' than other places economically - but the figures seem to suggest they have done well through Q1 and Q2 (and that's without spending £2.5bn a week on a UK-style furlough scheme...):

 
Last edited:

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,134
As @1ofakind mentions, it is far too early to know which approach will produce the 'best' overall outcomes.

Sweden's graphs show their deaths have followed the same curves as other countries that have locked down, with an initial peak and then a continued decline, while the modelling has been seen to be very much more pessimistic than the reality:




Looking at their historical data, this year has been barely any different to recent years:



Deaths have been focused in the older generation and those with comorbidities, and care homes have seen the majority of deaths, which suggests that targeted interventions (rather than sweeping, population-wide interventions) are likely to be most effective, and the fact that the over 90s population (those most at risk) has grown so much in recent years must also play a part:




The increased death rate in the older population may also be because there was a larger population within that age group 'available' to the virus, thanks to a couple of mild winters:

https://twitter.com/Pollemann1/status/1277863001572487170
(You'll have to click the link because I can't insert more than five media attachments!)


Sweden did not 'lockdown' and close all the schools, bars, restaurants and 'non essential' shops, whereas the UK did, yet their graph curves are very similar:

https://thumbsnap.com/HgZY235H

What Sweden did do is say to their citizens that they should undertake social distancing and practical, yet non-restrictive, additional measures where possible.


The 'unorthodox, open-air experiment' referred to in the article posted in the OP is not Sweden - what is, is the mandatory lockdowns and economic shutdowns (in a format similar to that imposed by authoritarian, communist China...) that have been rolled out across the world for (AIUI) the first time ever in response to a virus that barely affects the majority of the population.

Those who are pro-lockdown will, naturally, look to paint Sweden in a light that portrays it badly, but the numbers do not seem to suggest they have sacrificially thrown thousands under the bus to maintain an economy.

Mind you, the article in the OP says they have killed thousands and 'not fared any better' than other places economically - but the figures seem to suggest they have done well through Q1 and Q2 (and that's without spending £2.5bn a week on a UK-style furlough scheme...):

An issue here is that the UK isn’t a great example of lockdown. They were late to lock down relative to neighbouring countries and they were originally discussing heard immunity.

There were major events held after lockdown was initiated in France and Germany. Compliance wasn’t great either, with many pubs crammed during the days leading up to lockdown.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,830
An issue here is that the UK isn’t a great example of lockdown. They were late to lock down relative to neighbouring countries and they were originally discussing heard immunity.

There were major events held after lockdown was initiated in France and Germany. Compliance wasn’t great either, with many pubs crammed during the days leading up to lockdown.
The UK were surprisingly compliant with lockdown - I think it surprised those in power and the BBC (who have done their best to instill fear into the population) which is why it has been so difficult for the government to unwind it and convince people it is safe to go out and spend to stop the economy from cratering.

Ignoring the intrusive Big Brother aspects ;-) the Google movement data is useful and very revealing:



The UK report that covers when Lockdown started shows the enormous drops of up to c.80%(!) and illustrates that many people were already making voluntary changes from about 15th March, a week before lockdown started:


When that's compared to the Sweden data, it shows the Swedes remained a lot more mobile:



The UK have then continued to hold the reductions since the lockdown - this report carries on from the end date on the UK report above and shows the substantial reductions holding and only slowly unwinding, still:



These graphs are perhaps more useful because they show the timeline from start to finish, but I don't have a link to the Google data source that created them right now:

Sweden google movement data - 16-02-20 onwards.png

UK google movement data - 16-02-20 onwards.png
 
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chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,134
The UK were surprisingly compliant with lockdown - I think it surprised those in power and the BBC (who have done their best to instill fear into the population) which is why it has been so difficult for the government to unwind it and convince people it is safe to go out and spend to stop the economy from cratering.

Ignoring the intrusive Big Brother aspects ;-) the Google movement data is useful and very revealing:



The UK report that covers when Lockdown started shows the enormous drops of up to c.80%(!) and illustrates that many people were already making voluntary changes from about 15th March, a week before lockdown started:


When that's compared to the Sweden data, it shows the Swedes remained a lot more mobile:



The UK have then continued to hold the reductions since the lockdown - this report carries on from the end date on the UK report above and shows the substantial reductions holding and only slowly unwinding, still:



These graphs are perhaps more useful because they show the timeline from start to finish, but I don't have a link to the Google data source that created them right now:

Sweden google movement data - 16-02-20 onwards.png

UK google movement data - 16-02-20 onwards.png
Thank you for the info! It’s good to see that overall people were taking precautions.

Lockdown in the UK happened a week later than here in Canada (for context we were already in lockdown and told to repatriate immediately on March 16th). Our family in the UK were saying everything was normal at that time. They wouldn’t believe us when we suggested they buy some extra groceries and plan to stay indoors. We were getting photos of packed pubs from friends who were bragging about a last hurrah. The Bath half marathon in mid March wasn’t cancelled. That week seemed like an eternity at the time.

Was there regional variation? I could see London being more diligent than the Midlands for example.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,830
Thank you for the info! It’s good to see that overall people were taking precautions.

Lockdown in the UK happened a week later than here in Canada (for context we were already in lockdown and told to repatriate immediately on March 16th). Our family in the UK were saying everything was normal at that time. They wouldn’t believe us when we suggested they buy some extra groceries and plan to stay indoors. We were getting photos of packed pubs from friends who were bragging about a last hurrah. The Bath half marathon in mid March wasn’t cancelled. That week seemed like an eternity at the time.

Was there regional variation? I could see London being more diligent than the Midlands for example.
The Google mobility reports do break down by region, but London only goes down as far as Greater London:

Greater London initial lockdown mobility changes.png


re: taking precautions, my personal feeling is that many people were only staying in because of obfuscation by the Government, aided by the BBC, on what was 'guidance' and what was actual legislation, and the threats of prosecution for disobedience.

The actual legislation permitted one to leave the place one was living for any 'reasonable excuse', and then gave a non-exhaustive list of examples.

The 'guidance' from the Government in Press conferences, and the BBC's continual messaging, though, was that there was only four reasons you could leave your home - including for 'essential shopping' and 'essential work' (IIRC), neither of which were phrases used within the legislation.

The BBC also totally failed to make clear the fact that victims of domestic abuse could freely travel to escape it, for example, which is utterly shameful, and they have continued their pro-lockdown stance with a pro-mask wearing bent to everything they report, most of which focuses totally on the small minority of people who suffer severe illness or death from the virus, portraying it as the apparent likely result for anyone who gets it. They totally ignore fact that the vast majority of people have either zero or very mild symptoms.


Anyway, I could rant on this for a while ;-) lol


It will be interesting to see how the different countries perform economically over the coming months, and whether the lockdown countries are just delaying the inevitable in terms of final fatality numbers.
 
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