Coronavirus

Did Sweden Accidentally Blunder into COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

If so, that could be really good news for the rest of the world.

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At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government's chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, denied that his relatively permissive approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus was aimed at achieving herd immunity.

Unlike most other rich countries—including its Nordic neighbors Denmark, Norway, and Finland—Sweden did not institute a strict lockdown. The government did, in late March, ban public gatherings of more than 50 people, including at theaters and sporting events. But the country decided to let most bars, restaurants, primary schools, and retail shops stay open. Universities and high schools were closed, and people were urged to work from home if possible. Some social distancing rules were adopted, such as limiting the number of customers at a time in shops and providing only table service at bars and restaurants.

Herd immunity is the resistance to the spread of a contagious disease that results if a sufficiently high proportion of a population is immune to the illness. At that point, some people are still susceptible but they are surrounded by immune individuals, who serve as a barrier preventing the microbes from reaching them. Herd immunity can be achieved through either mass infection or mass vaccination. Epidemiologists have converged on an estimate that 60 to 70 percent of people need to either have been vaccinated or infected to reach herd immunity for COVID-19.

While not explicitly adopting disease-induced herd immunity as a policy goal, Swedish public health authorities evidently expected the coronavirus to run quickly through the country's population while not overwhelming its health care system. If a high enough percentage of Swedes became infected and recovered, then herd immunity would forestall a second wave of the disease.

At the end of April, Tegnell told CNBC: "In major parts of Sweden, around Stockholm, we have reached a plateau (in new cases) and we're already seeing the effect of herd immunity and in a few weeks' time we'll see even more of the effects of that. And in the rest of the country, the situation is stable." Also in late April, the Swedish Public Health Agency projected that 26 percent of Stockholm's 2 million residents would have been infected by May 1. "About 30 percent of people in Stockholm have reached a level of immunity," the Swedish ambassador to the U.S. told NPR. "We could reach herd immunity in the capital as early as next month."

Yet a May study of blood tests in Stockholm found that only 7.3 percent of the city's residents had produced antibodies in response to being infected by the coronavirus. This suggested that country was still far from that 60 to 70 percent threshold.

On June 3, as COVID-19 cases in Sweden continued to mount, Tegnell told Swedish Radio, "Should we encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land midway between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did." In late April, daily Swedish COVID-19 deaths did peak, but it took until late June for the daily number of cases to begin to decline.

By late July, Tegnell was saying, "The epidemic is now being slowed down, in a way that I think few of us would have believed a week or so ago." He added, "It really is yet another sign that the Swedish strategy is working. It is possible to slow contagion fast with the measures we are taking in Sweden." On August 8, the Financial Times quoted Tegnell arguing that "there is a relationship between the very quick drop of the last few weeks and the increasing immunity in many parts of Sweden."

Noting the recent drop in the daily tally of COVID-19 cases, Tegnell observed on August 9, "Exactly why this happened at that time and why it was so quick and sudden, is difficult for us to understand." Tegnell acknowledges that the results of antibody blood tests do not find that enough Swedes have been infected and recovered to confer herd immunity as would be conventionally expected by epidemiologists.

So what could explain the "quick and sudden" drop in Sweden's COVID-19 case and death rates? This is very speculative, but Swedish public health authorities may have accidentally blundered into herd immunity through a combination of previously unsuspected extensive pre-existing T-cell immunity to the coronavirus and differential risks of infection due to social interaction variations among its people.

First let's look at T-cell immunity. Recent research suggests that people who have been infected with the milder coronaviruses that cause the common cold also have developed some immunity to the COVID-19 virus.

Two studies published in June—one by researchers associated with Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the other by researchers at the University Hospital Tübingen in Germany—identified coronavirus reactive T-cells, which are another virus-fighting component of the immune system. Earlier this month, a study in Science noted that T-cells that react to and counter COVID-19 coronavirus infections have been extensively reported in unexposed individuals, suggesting a pre-existing immune response in 20 to 50 percent of the population. So pre-existing T-cell coronavirus immunity among a significant proportion of the population may now be functioning as a barrier to COVID-19 infections, thus contributing to that 60 to 70 percent threshold.

Now let's examine how age cohorts and social interaction propensities might affect the threshold. Science just published a modeling study that calculates, based on various assumptions about population age structures and social contact rates, that the herd immunity threshold for COVID-19 could be as low as 35 percent.

In a July 24 preprint study, a team of researchers associated with Oxford University's Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health estimate that the COVID-19 herd immunity threshold could be as low as 10 to 20 percent. In their calculations, the team assumes that the individuals who are more susceptible or more exposed tend to become quickly infected and thus become immune early in the epidemic. Their subsequent interactions with the still-uninfected will thus not result in additional cases. Basically, they think the virus may stymie itself by disproportionately removing those most useful to it from contributing to its future transmission.

The Oxford researchers apply their analysis to the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. They conclude that all four countries, will reach a herd immunity threshold

between July and October and the COVID-19 epidemic [will be] mostly resolved by the end of 2020. Looking back, we conclude that [non-pharmaceutical interventions] had a crucial role in halting the growth of the initial wave between February and April. Although the most extreme lockdown strategies may not be sustainable for longer than a month or two, they proved effective at preventing overshoot, keeping cases within health system capacities, and may have done so without impairing the development of herd immunity.

You must keep firmly in mind the preliminary evidence for extensive pre-existing T-cell immunity and the speculative nature of these modeling studies. But combined, they do at least suggest the possibility that Sweden is more or less inadvertently close to achieving herd immunity—and, even better, that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic for much of the rest of the world may also be nigh.

How has Sweden fared in comparison with its Nordic neighbors that chose more comprehensive interventions? As of August 11, COVID-19 cases in Denmark, Norway, and Finland amounted so far to 14,959, 9,712, and 7,623, respectievly; deaths per million are at 107, 47, and 60, respectively. In Sweden, cases stood at 83,126 and deaths per million at 571. In the U.S., meanwhile, cases totaled 5,265,034 with deaths per million were at 503.

How did Sweden's less vigorous adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions affect its economy? Sweden's GDP dropped 8.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to the European Union average of 11.9 percent. On the other hand, Sweden's unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in June, while the European Union's overall unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. And Sweden's neighbors? Denmark's unemployment rate is 5.5 percent; Norway's is 4.6 percent; Finland's is 7.9 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S economy shrank in the second quarter by 9.5 percent, and our an unemployment rate at the end of July stood at 10 percent.

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  1. Since when is respecting the freedom and rights of their citizens “blundering”? What a terrible choice of words. And yes, Sweden did the right thing regardless of their death rate. They didn’t turn their country into a police state and abuse public health powers to quarantine everyone like they were sick. I don’t care what their death rate is, that was the right thing to do. I was under the impression that respecting freedom even in the face of costs for doing so is something Libertarians cheered in a government. I guess I am misinformed.

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    2. I wouldn’t put down American blundering too much, I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1917

    3. Yeah. Their plan worked as intended. Because it was a good plan. Because that’s how everyone has always dealt with diseases like this until 6 months ago. Sweden should be a model for everyone, not because they had some brilliant, clever plan but because they didn’t lose their shit and forget that other things matter besides not catching this one particular virus.

      1. Herd immunity is 60-70% at least:
        Sweden had 70-90% more deaths than it neighbors and since they reopened safely early due to early lockdowns, they fare no worse that Sweden economically and now are soaring ahead.

        This is based not on expectations or projections but the most recent study based on facts: “A new study, published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, suggests that Sweden got only 15 percent immunity as opposed to the predicted 40 percent by May 2020. The country had more confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities than other Scandinavian countries, which implemented lockdown in March.”

        Sweden’s attempt to get herd immunity is an epic failure…unnecessary deaths, no economic advantage, still struggling with a pandemic Denmark, Finland, and Norway crushed months ago.

        1. Really, and how did these lockdowns magically prevent later infections?

          It’s a virus. It infects people. Cold and flu spread to Aboriginal populations WEEKS after everyone aboard ship had gone through or past infectious periods.

          Lockdowns never have, and never will, beat a virus. There is herd immunity. That is all.

          A fucking face panty with no NIOSH rating doesn’t do anything, either, than than make money for Hanes.

          But since the death rate is .043%, you have to be a complete sociopath or complete retard to shit on the entire economy as a treatment.

          And your politicized reference doesn’t explain the magic process by which closing but then opening “Safely” magically increases herd immunity.

          It’s pretty much impossible to educate a liberal. This year proves it.

          1. “But since the death rate is .043%”

            I’d like to see those numbers.

            Or

            Did someone forget to move the decimal?

            1. Depends how you define death rate. I assume he’s using total deaths divided by population. 500 per million is 0.05%, which is in the range.

              Of course we’re not done yet and it will get higher. Not enough to move a decimal point, one hopes.

              1. I believe the numbers are massively inflated. My neighbor that works in hospice told me they were putting hospice patients down as covid deaths as that brought in more money from the government. The states newspaper just had an article about covid. No one in the state under twenty has died. One twenty year old died of cancer with covid as a contribution factor (but listed as a covid death). All under fifty year olds that died were morbidly obese, (100 lbs or more overweight). 80 and 90 year olds made up most of the deaths.

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                2. Yeah that’s never actually happened. The tinfoil hat nonsense about faking COVID deaths because that supposedly gets more government money is a lie. The reality is that the deaths are thousands HIGHER than the official count. That can be clearly seen by looking at the “excess death” statistics for 2020 compared to previous years.

                  1. If you have a source for that, OK, I’m listening.

                    Excess deaths can be anything. Like people avoiding hospitals. Or retards driving for the first time in months.

                    1. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/12/us/covid-deaths-us.html

                      “Excess deaths can be anything. Like people avoiding hospitals. Or retards driving for the first time in months.”

                      It doesn’t work like that. We already mortality stats going back many decades. We know that there’s a fairly consistent number of Americans who die every year(population growth adjusted of course). You don’t see massive spikes in numbers of car crashes or cancer deaths or heart diseases. When you mysteriously see 200,000 more people die starting in March till now than is the average every year, that’s a pretty damn strong case that the cause is whatever anomalous event happened that coincided with that time, which in this case in Covid. This methodology is also used to figure out primary and secondary causes of death from things like wars. 1 million people a year normally died a year on average in a given country and after the war began it spiked to 1.5 million, it’s a pretty safe assumption that the war caused 500,000 excess deaths, either directly or indirectly. Especially if after the event deaths to back to their long-term trend.

                  2. “Thousands” huh? What happened to the “millions” that we were constantly barraged with in April.

                    Spanish flu was 500 million people dead. We aren’t even at a million yet. This bullshit virus hasn’t even claimed a million lives.

                    Do you comprehend how much of a fucking dupe you are? Go kill yourself (and that doesn’t mean go out in public without a mask – obviously that won’t work).

                  3. The total death rate from all causes in the United States is only slightly higher than it was last year.

                    Yes, it could be partially due to the coronavirus. It could also just as easily be partially due to: a generally aging population, the oldest Baby Boomers teaching the age where people tend to start dying, plain old random variance, or all a combination of all these factors.

                  4. Even if you provided a reference for that “excess deaths”, that’s the most idiotic attempt at logical deduction. By that measure, since divorce decrees are issued during the daytime, the sun must cause divorce. Just because you can find a correlation doesn’t mean there’s a cause. And drawing secondary conclusions based on a correlation takes a special kind of stupid.

                  5. “It is important to emphasize that Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.” – CDC Guidance

                    The CDC is urging inflated numbers.

                3. It seems you’re confirming your bias… One hospice worker neighbor does not comprise a useful statistic. It’s barely anecdotal. There’s more to the exaggerated story concerning government paying more money for Covid patients. Easily researched. And there is the rising trend of people dying of Covid at home, not hospital. Also, VERY commonly, persons dying of Covid-19 have comorbidity, and or advanced age. This has been known from the beginning. You can’t not count them particularly when it is Covid that brought them to end of life, not their comorbid condition.

              2. In this instance, I’m not concerned with the population that does not contract COVID and does not die from COVID.

                I would rather track those who contracted COVID and then dies from it.

            2. Actually no. <0.1% is actually a valid estimate for people who aren't immuno-compromised. While a nursing home has 2-3% death rate, the death rate among young children and healthy young adults is essentially zero.

          2. Lockdowns have beaten this virus in multiple nations. Because if the infected people don’t have anybody else to spread the virus to, the virus dies out. That’s always how it’s worked. It’s the very concept behind quarantine.

            1. No they haven’t–every time one of these “lockdown” nations lighten up even a hair, someone else gets infected. Vietnam confirmed they have a strain now that’s three times stronger than the original one.

              It’s a coronavirus–there’s nothing that can be done at this point other than accept that you’re going to catch some form of it, eventually.

            2. The virus isn’t beaten anywhere yet. At most they have temporarily suspended the progression. Immunity or eradication are the only two ways in which a virus is beaten. Neither herd immunity or vaccination immunity exist anywhere yet and so long as it exists anywhere in the world, it has not been eradicated. Try reading something besides your favorite blog and critically work through the logic behind it.

            3. Not according to the NIH during the last China virus attack:

              Efficiency of the quarantine system during the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Beijing, 2003

              “Conclusion: Only those persons having direct contact with ill SARS patients need to be under quarantine. The overall cost for quarantine on SARS prevention could be reduced by as much as 63% if the quarantine program was limited to this group. No evidence was found that SARS patient was infective during the incubation period.“

          3. Absolutely!

            Precisely what my wife & me has echoed for 6+ months.

            People moronically ignore viromes. Thinking if they cover this mouth/ nose perhaps eyes & ears as well in public they won’t be adding to the already 380 trillion – 400 trillion+ viruses already present inside their & every adult’s body on the planet.

            Wait I may be giving too much credit. Sadly there’s many STILL who haven’t any idea what viromes are.

            No, no they believe via ignorance, hypochondria, fear etc., THIS is ‘the one’

            A virus that mutates more slowly than the common flu.

            Ignoring the THOUSANDS of other viruses our body is exposed to & is absorbed into our bloodstream every year til the day we cease being.

            Though attempting a lucid conversation with a true believer is futile.

            ~ Cheers

        2. Come back in a year and see what it looks like. The other countries will have further outbreaks, or will have to stay locked down and isolated. Judging things on these day to day numbers is foolish. The way out of this is immunity. A vaccine is for from certain to provide a level of immunity sufficient to eliminate the virus. Exposure is the only way we are reasonably sure works. It has worked for every respiratory epidemic so far. It will work this time.

          1. Exactly. Take New Zealand, praised by every control freak the world over for its low death toll and infection rate. 100 days without any community transmission, its borders tightly sealed.

            But then a few days ago, there’s a new cluster, unrelated to any travel or obvious contact with infected persons. No deaths have as yet resulted and the numbers are tiny: 49 active cases and 1 person in hospital. That’s a in a population of five million.

            And the government’s response? Auckland, with a third of the country’s population, is placed in Level 3 lockdown, which is essentially a stay at home order. And the rest of country is put on Level 2.

            This is the crazy yo-yo mindset that comes with sealing borders and having almost zero immunity in the population. So how does NZ reopen its borders? It can’t, and tourism and international education comprise upwards of 20% of the economy.

            They’ve put a lid on the box with no way to take the lid off. And they’re running out of time and money, both heavily borrowed.

            1. Exactly. The problem with going with the lockdown strategy is that you have to be VERY committed to it for YEARS.

            2. We’ve got that IC base in Australia. I bet they mailed a few doses to the unwitting across the river. I mean, clearly this virus isn’t performing as anticipated. Heads are probably rolling at darpa and the black ops divisions that we pay half a trillion to every year.

          2. three groups generate a herd immunity. The recovered (antibodies). The robust (throw off average viral exposure without illness) and the dead. We could have been past this highly infectious rarely fatal virus in mid-June.

            1. Perhaps so. But if we’d done that, the fatalities would’ve been in the millions in America alone and tens of millions worldwide. This “rarely fatal virus” has a higher case fatality rate than the Spanish flu did in 1918-19. And those who survive the disease often suffer permanent lung and heart damage.

              1. You state ‘perhaps’ then counter that assertion point with CDC chicken little gibberish.

              2. “This “rarely fatal virus” has a higher case fatality rate than the Spanish flu did in 1918-19”

                Bull. The CFR for the Spanish Flu we saw in 1918-1919 is in the 6-8% range. You’re claiming with a complete lack of evidence that COVID-19 is higher than that. Back it up. The CDC is placing the estimates of CFR down below half of a percent.

                If you want to take issue here, don’t make up bogus claims, but use actual valid arguments. For example, CFR is essentially meaningless as a whole. The CFR varies widely between demographics – particularly age groups. One of the defining aspects of the Spanish Flu was that it heavily hit kids rather than elderly. So you can’t even compare the same groups without exposing how dumb it is to do so.

                Another valid argument would be that during an epidemic or pandemic CFR is again meaningless because it varies wildly due to lack of appropriate and meaningful data. It is a fact that our current “Death count” is useless in determining a CFR with any hope of accuracy. The CDC has acknowledged they are including assumed, presumed, cases as well as any death labeled as such – even if the actual cause of death was a car accident, gun shot, or cop kneeling on you. From a data analysis perspective this is atrocious and it means you can’t get useful, reliable analysis from it.

                You could also argue that the CFR isn’t meaningful because it is crude and not related to the IFR – Infection Fatality Rate. This is a figure much more closely related to what matters during an out break but even then we can’t really calculate it with accuracy yet, either.

                Those are reasonable and valid arguments to make. To claim COVID-19 has a CFR greater than 9% is absurd and completely untenable. What you’re probably seeing (I say this because I’ve seen the claim made) is trying to look at the global mortality rate of Spanish Flu 1918 which is nearly 3% (middle range, some data suggest double that) of the total population of the planet. But that isn’t a CFR or an IFR – indeed to get that high of a GMR you need a *much* higher CFR/IFR because most people won’t get infected.

                Just to be clear: the Global Mortality Rate (everyone, not just infected) of Spanish Flu is higher than the Case Fatality Rate estimates of COVID-19 by more than an order of magnitude.

                To put that event in perspective: it caused a net decrease in human population of Earth those years. To date, nothing has caused that since – not even WWII. Not only that, but life expectancy for those born in those years dropped by *13 years* to 41. Indeed it dropped life expectancy for *everyone* under the age of 40.

                If you think COVID-19 is anywhere near the level of the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, then you understand neither.

          3. The lockdowns are deliberate/intentional efforts to bring about a global crash of economies and enough so that no existing nation that did not crash can prop up the rest forcing all to reboot the system. This will allow those seeking power behind the scenes to reshape the world into a true global where all nations are subservient to a single ruling group. That group will be modeled after the EU. It will have on the face the look of a representative government but underneath it will be unelected bureaucrats that control it. Additionally it will be used to push a global mandatory vaccine that will come with a computer chip with the excuse that its necessary to track infection status but it will slowly be changed for more.

            1. Really? You’re seriously nuts enough to believe nonsense about “a vaccine with a computer chip”?

              1. You do understand that under the skin chip is a real thing? Its already in use not just with animals but humans. It will be paired with the covid vaccine and sold as necessary to monitor peoples infection levels. Unless there is too much push back or too many simply reuse to buy into the covid marketing campaign then they will push this chip. Why do you think there pushing covid when its obviously no where near as dangerous as advertised

          4. Sweden is nowhere even close to having herd immunity. Those suggesting they are have engaged in wishful thinking. Achieving herd immunity via exposure means maximizing the death toll.

            1. Really?

              So there must be a ton of teens-50 something yr. old healthy, non-pre-existing condition Swedes dying left & right from rona, right?

              Wrong.

            2. Achieving herd immunity via exposure means maximizing the death toll within any given set of diffusion constraints.

              There’s nothing definition-wise or conditions-wise that says a 20% infection rate can’t constitute herd immunity. There are plenty of diseases for which only ~20% of the population is succeptible to begin with and ‘maximizing the death toll’ will never exceed 20%. Herd immunity for such populations would be below 20%.

            3. “Sweden is nowhere even close to having herd immunity.”

              Exactly how do you know this?

              And what are the specific values required to confer herd immunity from Covid-19 on a given population?

        3. 60 to 70% is for virtual immunity. Which is not what we need. We just need low transmission numbers to not overwhelm hospitals. That’s it. It is a much lower number for that. It is a cold virus. You aren’t going to eradicate it like small pox.

          1. And since study after study shows roughly 50% of people have some sort of existing immunity, that 70% turns into 20%, which is what we’re seeing in the real world.

        4. Sweden has larger cities and more international travel then its Nordic neighbors so it make sense to compare them to Germany, Belgium, Spain or England. When you do that their death rate looks pretty good. outside of the urban areas Sweden looks like its Nordic neighbors.

        5. Sweden had fewer deaths than most of Europe – certainly fewer than the countries with the worst lockdowns – and the situation in Malmö or Gothenburg was more in line with Denmark and Norway; Stockholm was more in line with London.

        6. “Herd immunity is 60-70% at least”

          No, it’s not. That estimate is based on really poor modelling that, were the assumptions explained, even a 5th grader could point out the error. (Here’s the big one: the simple models which conclude 60-70% assume homogeneous mixing of the population. A 5th grader would require “homogeneous mixing” defined, but it’s patently and obviously false.)

        7. http://twitter.com/JamesTodaroMD/status/1292873236716433416?s=19

          1/ There is growing evidence that T-cell immunity allows populations to reach herd immunity once only 10-20% are infected with SARS-CoV-2.

          This would explain why a highly transmissible virus in densely populated areas peaked at 10-20% infected regardless of lockdowns or masks.

      2. Sweden has a higher per capita death rate than even the USA. I have no idea how that’s a “good” plan, when Denmark’s right next door is far lower and they have had less economic impact than Sweden. Maybe we should also be looking at New Zealand, Vietnam, S. Korea and Japan as models of how to mitigate a pandemic. Countries that you know, have actually had proven success.

    4. YUP.

      They blundered nothing. They did the right thing.

    5. Yes. Maybe they didn’t seek Herd Immunity per se, but they also aren’t blundering into it.

      If I am hiking in the mountains, and I come across a gold vein, did I “Blunder” into it? Or was it just a happy coincidence of me being there in the right place at the right time?

      The thing that annoys me about the choice of words by Bailey is that it paints this picture of the Swedes just making this up at they went, blindly charging ahead without a plan until they recklessly arrived at this situation. But that is absolutely the opposite of what happened.

      Sweden’s plan was well considered, and based on the evidence that they had. I guarantee you that rather than blundering ahead, Tegnell spent far more time pouring over data and responding to this emergency than the people like Bailey, who would label them Blundering.

      Indeed, which has the greater appearance of blundering?

      The Swedes made a calculated decision not to lock down, and stuck with it month after month, despite alarmist models that claimed they were killing millions, only making small tweaks to their strategy.

      or

      The various nations and states that locked everyone in their houses, argued against masks, then mandated them, opened grocery stores, but banned selling home improvement goods, lifted their bans, then freaked out and slammed them in place, all the while changing their message from Flatten the Curve, to Stop the Spread, to Hold out for a Vaccine!

      Who are the blunderers, again?

      1. “they are surrounded by immune individuals, who serve as a barrier preventing the microbes from reaching them.”

        All this time I’ve been wearing this stupid macrame face diaper, when I should have been demanding Secret Service protection from Medicare.

        1. There’s a lot of people around here who ought to be wearing actual diapers on their face, to catch all the **** that comes out of their mouths.

          1. Speaking from experience, shitheap?

      2. Sweden DOESN’T have herd immunity. They’re not even close to it. And their model has been a dismal failure.

    6. At what point should government step in to prevent mass death, John? Which of the post 9/11 government actions did you approve of? That was only 3,000 dead and it wasn’t contagious.

      1. Never, Tony, you simpering coward.

        The risk of death from COVID is .043%. Under 65 it’s .0055%.

        Even if it was 10%, the government has no fucking business getting involved.

        Nor, if it got involved, would it be able to reduce that 10% below 15%. Because government responses to incidents in progress are universally complete shit.

        Sadly, this disease affects human beings and not just leftists.

        1. At some point the sheer numbers start to matter, right? Ignoring a pandemic virus for the first time in modern human history would result in millions of deaths. If that’s your policy then shut the fuck up and go away and stop trying to impose your “freedom” on me.

          I was asking John which Bush antiterrorism actions he supported. All of them, or just most of them?

          1. Sheer numbers don’t mean jack. Percentage of population does idiot. 3 million people die every fucking year in America.

            1. So what’s another quarter million here and there? Let’s get back to talking about how your tax rate is so unfair!

              1. How many people are you allowed to murder in order to potentially protect [X] people? 0.5X? 0.9X?

              2. A quarter million is 10% under 1 standard deviation. There is fucking overlap between those other death and died from covid moron. They are not independent populations.

          2. “Ignoring a pandemic virus for the first time in modern history” Are you saying that lock downs were used with prior pandemics? We have had a few of these in the last hundred years and I am pretty sure this was the first time we ever locked down.

            1. The so-called Spanish flu required it on a massive scale, and many millions died anyway. Nothing comparable has come along until COVID.

              Now sit down, make some coffee, and assess your life for what is missing that thou need to form opinions about pandemic response based on which politician you unquestioningly support. Ask yourself whether you feel good about yourself as a result.

              1. The so-called Spanish flu required it on a massive scale, and many millions died anyway.

                Huh, a highly transmissable novel bug kills millions, then in a year mutates into a lesser strain that still kills anywhere from 25-70k a year, but we don’t lock down for that.

              2. “The so-called Spanish flu required it on a massive scale, and many millions died anyway. Nothing comparable has come along until COVID.”

                I mean, other than it coming back in 2009. Not even COVID-19 is comparable to Spanish/Swine Flu. COVID-19 has barely killed more than the 2009 outbreak. Nothing since is – not even WWII. Which, by the way care to guess what else was going on in 1918? I’ve given you a big hint, and it is also why it is known as the Spanish Flu.

                If you think COVID-19 is in any way comparable to 1918’s H1N1, you don’t know much about one or both of them.

          3. “Ignoring a pandemic virus for the first time in modern human history would result in millions of deaths.”

            So, ’57 and ’68 flu pandemics don’t qualify as ‘modern human history’? Because they involved no significant government activity to respond to them.

          4. “Ignoring a pandemic virus for the first time in modern human history would result in millions of deaths.”

            Oh really? Like when we locked down in 2009 swine flu … wait we didn’t lock down, social distance, shut down much of the economy, close schools, and mandate masks being work – even in your own home for some. Nor did we lose millions.

            Oh, you must mean the 1968 pandemic … hmm no we didn’t panic over that one either and we didn’t lose millions. Oh, surely the 1957 pandemic was – no, no millions lost despite no lockdowns, closing of sectors of the economy, mask mandates, stay at home orders, or similar theater.

            Our entire pandemic reaction/prevention system is based on influenza type a – and more specifically H2N2 from 1968. We’ve known, and by “we” I include the CDC, that you can’t prevent the spread of a virus for more than a few days at best if you have sufficient anti-viral prophylactics and can apply them to the “right” people at the “right” time.

            Once you understand that our entire system is designed to be ready for getting hit like we did in 1968, it makes sense why it has been so unprepared and all over the place with a corona virus. We literally have various influenza strains frozen to be thawed out to be used in developing a vaccine for a new virus. But guess what doesn’t work in that scenario when it is not an influenza virus.

            This is why we keep hearing about a vaccine and why the CDC’s focus is on one – it is all they know and all they were trained for. Even then, it didn’t exactly work out so well in 2009. Hell, that one was the same one that hit us in 1918. Yes, the same one. That matters.

            It matters because children are most susceptible to it. But were schools universally closed? No. Some local areas did, but not even at a statewide level did we see mass closures. What we did see was reasonable “stay home if you have symptoms” rather than panic. We had something like 500-600 schools close for that pandemic – the one that was most risky to school age children.

            Of course, the CDC had some over the top “estimates” for their worst case – some 40% of the workforce unemployed. So it isn’t like we didn’t have some people pushing for panic in 2009. We had some minor panic mongers worried that hospitals would be over run. But they were not, and in fact came out of it with better capacity.

            If you want to go by history, modern pandemic history says we have deviated for it and that this deviation has not helped us.

        2. Those percentages are completely fake, you sociopathic liar. Multiply them by 100 and you’ll be closer to the mark.

          1. Wrong.

        3. Would you be making this same argument if Ebola was spreading across the USA? Or would you be taking the libertarian “let it rip because government is worse than death” strategy?

      2. If there is a point, and I’m not sure there is, it is when the disease is more disruptive to society than the alternative. I don’t see how this virus could possibly be more disruptive than the response has been to the functioning of society.

        1. Mass death and a depression economy is less disruptive than wearing a mask?

          1. Mask wearing coupons ties have had the same transmission rates and even higher death rates (NY/NJ) than counties that didn’t use masks. Full stop.

            Until April of this year not one organization if health on western societies supported mask wearing for a virus. It is based on nothing firm.

            1. I would agree that it’s not for, but the medical authorities acknowledge their error in the beginning and now are uniform in their recommendations, and that’s because of the data, however lacking in firmness, that exists.

              I don’t know why I have to explain that things don’t become true just because you want them to be. Call yourself lucky that it’s just a mask and we’re not forced to close down factories or put you in a bubble. A disease could come along that does just that, and will you guys be around spreading optimistic gobbledygook then too?

              1. “Call yourself lucky that it’s just a mask and we’re not forced to close down factories or put you in a bubble.”

                Who is this “we”? Worshipers of the State?

                BTW, attempting to do that long term is how civil wars can start… And I don’t want that!

                1. If you don’t get in the bubble you will die, and your bubble children will have no use for the inherited arsenal you spent so much TLC on.

                  Never go anywhere near an Ebola outbreak. You are a virus magnet with your petulant child conception of freedom.

                  1. Tony’s hilarious
                    So much more personality than the chemjeffs or white knights

              2. I have a rock that keeps tigers away.. science based Tonyism

              3. @Tony, businesses were forced to close down. Millions lost their livelihoods and life’s work.

                ‘A disease could come along that does just that …’

                Yes, it is very likely there will be viruses worse than this one in the next years or decades. This was not a once-in-a-century virus. There will very likely be a similar new virus next year.

                Are we going to do this every year? Governments have set the bar extremely low. How can you plan for any kind of future in this “new normal” environment?

                1. You got me. I hope people smarter than I are working on it. Actually the Obama administration did work on it, and it all got thrown in the garbage by Trump.

          2. 8000 people die every day. This is a not a huge increase in death. There is a lot more going on than wearing a mask. Many places are still restricting people’s activities. Thousands of businesses have failed because they were prevented from operating. Many millions are unemployed and have few prospects. It’s just shocking how many people can see that and say it was totally worth it.

            1. As this article shows, people taking measures without any government mandate will depress the economy all the same, since people tend to be cautious about not getting horribly sick or not dying a horrible death.

              What of the deaths that we’d have with no measures taken? If we had totally kicked this thing with public measures, wouldn’t you be here arguing that, see, none of those measures were necessary!

              The argument that we should ignore a pandemic because, hey, death happens, is not persuasive to me, as I’m sure you’ll understand.

              1. “As this article shows, people taking measures without any government mandate will depress the economy all the same, since people tend to be cautious about not getting horribly sick or not dying a horrible death….”

                In which case, your argument for government -mandated lockdowns is so much horse shit.

              2. “As this article shows, people taking measures without any government mandate will depress the economy all the same, since people tend to be cautious about not getting horribly sick or not dying a horrible death.”

                Bullshit! This is already baked into the economy. We deal with it every year in scale, and nobody thinks twice. Certainly most people take care to keep getting sick, but they don’t simply stop doing business. The world doesn’t shut down… EVER except for under authoritarian regimes. 30-50 million people in the US get the flu every year, and we keep going because yes…. if you are sick as shit or unhealthy, you are at higher risk. It’s just part of the world we live in and this idea that society can avoid pitfalls that have been here since the beginning of time is foolishness on its face.

                Funny thing is that despite the statistical odds that any given adult will have the flu every 4-5 years, I’ve not had it in 25 years. Apparently the stats would suggest there are a group of idiots who never learn who get my share. They SHOULD eventually die from it and hopefully before they spawn. This is natures way of cleaning out the old, the chronically sick, and the stupid.

      3. “At what point should government step in to prevent mass death, John?”

        At what point should the government step in and stop lefty shits like you from posting lies?

      4. Define mass death Tony. Let’s see how intellectually honest you are.

          1. Now please tell us, in objective terms how you pulled that number out of your ass.

          2. okay, so now we need forced dietary and exercise camps. That would save way more lives.

            1. Welcome to the Democratic Party, comrade. We’ll be getting to the exercise camps in due time as soon as we fix yet another Republican catastrophe.

              1. So glad you finally admit you’re an authoritarian who doesn’t believe in freedom.

                Also, all cars must go no faster than 25 mph in your world.

              2. Nah you won’t. The Democratic Party likes authoritarian control to be sure, but they don’t actually want to step over the line and actually start making people healthier [or wealthier], despite their assertions to the contrary. The Party NEEDS to keep people poor, sick, unemployed, and scared, because that’s the only reason people stick around. Free, happy, healthy constituents don’t need to be ruled over or believe that they are dependent on GovDaddy, and they resent the interference.

                1. Or maybe it’s just a fact on the ground that Michelle’s Obama can’t urge people to eat more vegetables without the Limbaugh lemmings having an absolute apocalyptic freakout.

                  So much stress for such unhealthy and obese people.

      5. Hey, Tony, are you old enough to have lived through the Jerry Ford Swine Flu circus? Government response killed and injured thousands. Swine flu itself took ONE life.

        When the government comes to help you, grip your wallet and your gun.

        1. I lived through Obama’s swine flu pandemic. Remember that? No? Best having competent people in charge instead of flaming dumpsters. A modest hypothesis.

          1. The pandemic that Obama ignored for 10 months as the virus blazed through the population? It wasn’t as deadly as the CDC first claimed (man they are wrong a lot) do the death count was luck not planned.

            1. Literally none of what you said is true. Obama declared a public health emergency before a single American had even been infected yet.

              1. And yet my sister’s wedding went on as planned, even though she was sick with the bug and her husband was newly recovered.

                Weird.

              2. “Literally none of what you said is true. Obama declared a public health emergency before a single American had even been infected yet.”

                Wow, either you are truly ignorant or have a terribly biased memory and lazy are too lazy to fact check yourself, or you’re lying.

                The public health emergency was declared on April 26. This was after the CDC had publicly confirmed cases as far back as the 17th – and that was when they announced confirmation – we had it at least as far back as March. The first diagnosed case of H1N1 in 2009 was in March: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/21/AR2009042103694.html

                That is at least a month of Americans getting infected before Obama declared a public health emergency. Even on the day it was announced the press was talking about the twenty confirmed cases they knew about.

                About a week after Obama’s declaration we had hundreds of known cases across almost three dozen states. Again, this shows we were already infected by the 26th. The initial reports were only looking at Texas and California due to the origin in Mexico and its commonality with the variant of influenza already running through our pig population.

                Once we started explicitly looking elsewhere we found it was already there. And we knew that before Obama made his declaration.

    7. Nitpicking on your part,John,
      but I wish The Don had the courage
      to resist the swamp dweller’s answer
      to this crisis.The Wuhan Flu would
      be only a distant memory now.

    8. I also find it a bit facetious that they “blundered” into it through the simple method of letting everyone get it in a controlled measure. Given the rapid devastation that the shutdowns had yet only delayed (didn’t really stop or even flatten the curve) the infections in America, I can say they didn’t “blunder” into it. They headed straight into the rogue wave.

    9. California Public Health itself reports one death of a minor <18 years old as of 8/6/2020. Still, extreme measures are being taken for children in school openings. Bizarre

    10. Since Reason went from being a libertarian institution to a violent left-wing anarchist institution.

    11. Start getting paid every month online from home more than $15k just by doing very simple and easy job from home. Last month i have earned $17954 from this online job just by giving this 2 hrs a day using my laptop. I am now a good online earner. Get this job you guys also and start earning money online right now by follow details
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    12. You are correct.

      To many elected (and UN-elected) officials are enjoying their new found power a little too much.

    13. Sweden’s death rate is even higher than the USA. I have no idea what you’re cheerleading. You have no idea what a police state actually is. You should stop abusing the term because you have no idea what you’re talking about. I have friends that have come from actual police states, and if you live in the West, even under this pandemic, you don’t have a clue.

  2. Or, perhaps Emperor Newsom and his like purposely rejected that alternative in favor of a power grab.
    We have sacrificed control of our lives and most of our economic activity to that notably incompetent organization known collectively as ‘the government’, and anyone who has read even a modicum of 20th-century history should know full well that *nothing* good comes of that.
    And we have done so as a result of an illness which infects many and seems to cause real harm in few; so far, it has yet to kill 1/10 of 1/2 of 1% of our population.
    After more than 6 months of draconian controls, followed by a mild relaxation of these controls, we find a rise in the infection rate, accompanied by a falling death rate. The governments’ response is to increase controls, which controls, from experience, seem only to have pushed the rise in infection rates further down the calendar.
    At one time we were told the controls would be withdrawn after ‘the curve was flattened’; now it seems they will be lifted after Eastasia is defeated.
    At least some of us are embarrassed at the lack of outrage at such a naked power grab, and I was not alone in calling for rioting in the streets the first day Newsom decided he was dictator thereby ruling when and under what conditions we could leave our prisons.
    It is worth repeating that this grab was accepted by us as a result of an illness which infects many and seems to cause real harm in few; so far, it has yet to kill 1/10 of 1/2 of 1% of our population.
    The path forward and out of this government-inflicted disaster is suggested by Vaclev Havel’s approach (“Post War”, Judt, pg 568):
    “…The objective […] should be to act with autonomy, whatever the regime tries to impose on you; to live *as if* one were truly free…”
    Regardless of the CA ‘mask gestapo’, I wear a face diaper when I must enter a business and nowhere else; any dirty looks get a smile in return.
    No, I will not be tested, since it seems any test is valid for, oh, a week or so at best. Nor will I accede to any ‘tracking’ scheme, regardless of any claims of privacy.
    Simply I attempt to act as if the world is not currently in control of tin-pot-dictator wannabes; if it means a ticket or jail for my actions, I’m your guy!

    1. I wish I lived in a community of people like you Sevo.

      1. Are you a contributor to any of the L’tarian orgs? If so, please post as a new comment at the bottom in the hopes we can get that ‘community’ to do something.
        My hope is IJ; Reason is worthless here.

    2. Bravo,amigo….

  3. How could Sweden be at heard immunity but not the US, or even New York. The US has had more known cases per person that Sweden. New York has even more. Is is just that there are more US and New York cases that went undetected? Or, are there more people in Sweden with T-cell immunity?

    1. Known cases =/= actual cases. Sweden never really panicked. They didn’t have healthy asymptomatic people rushing to get tested like in the States. Media fearmongered so hard the average American thinks 30 million people in the US have died.

      1. But, only .8% of Sweden and 1.6% of the US population is known to have contracted COVID-19. It sounds far fetched to say that the real number is over 30%.

          1. Johns Hopkins:
            https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/tree/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series

            It does not include estimates based on antibody studies. It is only confirmed cases.

            1. So back to my original reply then.

              1. If I extrapolate the .1% known cases to be 7.3% actually infected at the end of April to today, it suggests that about half of Sweden has had COVID-19. I suspect testing is better that then. So, it probably isn’t a great extrapolation. And missing 98% of cases at this point sounds outrageous.

                I suspect part of the answer to my question is that New York did reach herd immunity.

                1. I suspect part of the answer to my question is that New York did reach herd immunity.

                  NYC is likely awfully close, considering that some neighborhood antibody studies have been over 50% and that a significant number of residents decamped for less-infested regions.

                  I find it awfully strange that NYC (and its suburbs, where I live) are still in 100% panic mode when we’ve almost certainly already been through the worst of it. Our worst-case hospitalization projections for a fall wave (totally unachievable since the schools are largely staying shut) point to a crest 50% below April’s peak. People are so backwards-looking.

                2. Thrower threshold for heard immunity is lower than initial projections as the models and initial transmission rates were way higher than reality.

            2. If only a few percent (if even that) get seriously ill, I would not be surprised if the confirmed cases is undercounted by a factor of 10 or more. Lots of people just won’t get tested. I won’t get tested next time I get a cold or flu. I don’t need the CDC calling me up and getting in my business.

              1. This. I think there’s a decent chance I already had it, and was considering getting tested. Then I saw how people who have a positive test are treated, and said fuck that.

            3. avb-

              Sweden is not testing in anywhere near the numbers that the rest of the world does. They are really only testing people if they are sick enough to warrant a doctor/clinic visit.

        1. Given the HUGE number of asymptomatic and light cases in the early months, none of whom were every tested, the “recovered” numbers are probably much higher.

          Check out on line chats and Facebook groups; the nation wide poultry community is starting to figure out that a whole lot of rural chicken folk felt horrid in February, gasping for breath, and lost taste, with their doctors blowing them off. I’d be curious if other communities are starting to see these stories as well

    2. It also helps the sweeden probably didn’t completely lie about case rates. E. G. Died in a car accede t was not counted as died of covid, and 1 person tested 10 times does not equal 10 positive covid cases

      1. Sweden’s death rate is about 1/3 of New York (but similar to the US despite a lower number of cases). Someone would have to be really botching the death data for those to be close.

        1. NY sent positive people back into nursing homes. That’s a huge difference.

          1. And yet they claim that only 6,000 out of 30,000 deaths were in nursing homes.

            One of your clues as to who might be fudging their numbers….

        2. “Someone would have to be really botching the death data for those to be close.”

          The CDC’s current Excess Deaths report shows that across the country, excess deaths are right at the level where our national numbers say we are for COVID deaths. Spot checking the various states, the one state that stuck out as severely UNDERCOUNTING deaths was New York. (At the link below, they have New York City and rest of New York as data points.) New York has under-reported deaths by about 10 – 20%, and you can see how in the data- they are reporting many of these deaths as dementia, or diabetes, even though they are likely COVID caused.

          1. Ooops:

            I forgot to add a link to the site where the CDC data is available. However I have to type a whole lot more text, it seems, in order to pass their spam filters. Which is hilarious, given how much spam is in this thread that I have had to flag.

            https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

            1. Do you find it odd they don’t post the std deviation year to year on that graph? I do.

              1. And I say this because your claim is that there is zero overlap between those who would have died this year without covid and current excess deaths. Which is ludicrous.

                For example…

                Yearly death rate for over 70 cohort is about 13%. death rate of over 70 for covid? 9%. You think there is no overlap?

                1. Your point being that suddenly we have a 22% death rate for folks over 70, up from 13% normally. That is indeed quite a huge jump.

      2. That has never happened anywhere on Earth.

        1. You’re more full of shit than SPB, and that’s saying something.

    3. I’m pretty sure New York is there. Probably not to the total herd immunity level. But enough that there won’t be any more large outbreaks. Which is all that really matters. This virus isn’t going to be eradicated, but it will become normal and no more of a worry than the flu. I just hope that happens sooner than later.

      1. Exactly. If NYC were still vulnerable, somebody would have kicked off a second wave. The virus has insufficient hosts to maintain community spread there.

      2. As long as the mask and social distancing crap persist, it will unfortunately be a long time coming.

        1. Mitigation DELAYS herd immunity, dragging out the societal and economic damage.

  4. No. That was their actual plan. How do you blunder into what you planned on?

    https://en.as.com/en/2020/05/18/other_sports/1589796373_875369.html

    What a stupid headline.

    Sweden continued with the herd immunity plan, with Johan Giesecke, the nation’s former chief epidemiologist and internationally recognised expert who advises the World Health Organization, describing the strategy as the “best in the world”.

    1. Because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

    2. “Unintentionally.” I don’t think that word means what Bailey thinks it means.

  5. Yup. And you don’t need herd immunity. Just infect the ‘networkers’ as you aggressively protect the vulnerable (elderly & obese). Once the networkers have immunity, that’s enough to slow the spread and flatten the curve. The problem with lockdowns is that they keep people at home – which is where the virus is most likely to spread. Whereas if kids can go to school then the elderly have a few hours each day to enjoy the rest of the house without being put at risk. Also regarding this hysteria about “Wear a mask when you go out” – really people should be wearing masks at home with their elderly & obese!

    The people I’ve come across online pushing hardest on mask mandates and lockdowns admit to doing precious little to protect the vulnerable in their lives. It’s just cynical, hypocritical politics to prolong and exacerbate the pandemic for political gain.

    1. Once the networkers have immunity, that’s enough to slow the spread and flatten the curve.

      This is synonymous with herd immunity, but you don’t care, you’ve got your own special breed of stupidity to advance.

      1. Not quite synonymous. There are two meanings to herd immunity, I think. There is one level where a virus (or whatever) will die out for lack of hosts. I think that’s the 60-80% level that people talk about. The herd immunity you are talking about (which I think is all we really need for the epidemic to be effectively over) is probably 20-30% from what I have read on the subject.

        1. ^this.

          But since deaths in Sweden dropped to near zero the media is touting the nobody ever gets sick level of immunity to make Sweden a failure.

        2. There is one meaning:

          a reduction in the risk of infection with a specific communicable disease (such as measles or influenza) that occurs when a significant proportion of the population has become immune to infection (as because of previous exposure or vaccination) so that susceptible individuals are much less likely to come in contact with infected individuals

          The only criteria in letter and in spirit is that susceptible populations are stably maintained (i.e. less likely to be infected). Whether you passively reach 80%, whether the susceptible work to put it at 40% through self-quarantine, or whether the government controls actively keep it at 20% the definition doesn’t distinguish.

          And this assumes it isn’t a myth used to blend statistical noise into factors known and unknown.

          1. And this assumes it isn’t a myth used to blend statistical noise into factors known and unknown.

            That is to say, there is a lot of play in the definition and it’s inention is to refer to the flattening as a curve approaches an asymptote. Few infectious disease curves strongly adhere to any given sigmoidal curve without additional inflection points. It’s not always clear that herd immunity is significantly different from saturation or just noise.

          2. Well, people seem to be using it in those two different senses. I won’t argue further over whether it is a real meaning or not (there are other dictionaries, though).

            1. there are other dictionaries, though

              I am aware that there are other dictionaries. None mention any criteria like a percentage, the disease dying out for lack of hosts (plenty of diseases become indiginous), or ending a pandemic. Indeed, none talk explicitly about any sort of stability or decrease in the rate of infection (though they can be inferred). The two main or consistent criteria are that, 1) some people are infected and 2) susceptible people are unable to contract the disease.

              1. I am aware that there are other dictionaries.

                My exposure to the textbook definition is that it’s simply a shorthand to explain why every disease doesn’t infect or kill every individual and, once the definitions become mathematical, becomes redundant with other variables and factors.

                1. Well, personally I would rather use your textbook definition. Seems like the other one isn’t really something that happens except in very rare cases like smallpox, but just the result of a simple model.

              2. The meaning of “herd immunity” I was taught in the 1970s is simply the phenomenon that spread of a contagious disease within a herd is less than would be predicted by considering only the individual immunity given by a vaccine that’s only partly effective.

                1. That is, it’s not a criterion. There’s no such thing as determining whether a herd has “herd immunity” based on some numbers. If a lot of them are vaccinated by a vaccine that’s only partly effective, the herd has herd immunity.

        3. Correct.

          The math on herd immunity vs vaccine immunity is different.

          We, as humans, move in amazingly small circles, and those circles touch other circles in very few placed and those places repeat again and again. Each factor cut the numbers.

          The simpler math used with vaccines is that every person meets every other person every day. We don’t. That’s not how humans work.

          I’ve tried to point out often that 20-30% is fine, and was relieved to hear Dr Gotteib reiterate this number.

    2. The people who I know pushing mask mandates and lockdowns have been collecting taxpayer funded unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, work from home, or work for the government and haven’t lost a dime of their taxpayer funded salary and benefits even as they sit at home and do nothing. But now that the layoffs and furloughs are climbing up the food chain and the ‘temporary’ restrictions are having permanent consequences, I’m interested to see just how much personal suffering the self-righteous sheep are willing to tolerate. It’s real easy to call other people selfish and greedy for wanting to make a living when you’re comfortable and not in danger of losing everything.

      1. Eventually, the states’ and municipalities’ checks are going to start to bounce. That’s when this lockdown crap will start to wane. Teachers and other public employees will be begging for the economy to open fully. Of course that is dependent on whether the federal government bails out the states. In that respect, I’m not optimistic.

      2. Unfortunately for most, it’s the other side of “do nothing”. I would sooner they would just shut up and sit down, but we are not so lucky. The ones I’ve come across tend to sputter across the Internet in search of pitiful stories, blog posts, and memes, and then pass those along with the fervor of a cult leader predicting final days. I’ve had the pleasure of personally watching a few of these hit the end of their financial support and intellectually battle themselves over becoming the person they most recently saw as the worst people on the planet… the ones that must choose between working and being thrown out on their self-righteous ass.

  6. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, denied that his relatively permissive approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus was aimed at achieving herd immunity.

    Did I miss the quote that supports this claim?

    1. Nope. Why I quoted their old chief epidemiologist for him saying the opposite.

    2. J: Tegnell’s denial of seeking to achieve herd immunity was widely reported early on, although more suspicious folks opined that that may have been his implicit (secret?) plan all along. In any case, I have now added a couple of links to earlier reporting on this issue.

      1. You know there are leaked emails of his non explicitly public statements right?

        https://www.newsweek.com/sweden-emails-anders-tegnell-johan-giesecke-herd-immunity-coronavirus-1524847

        1. Guess that’s a no from Ronnie. Why use primary evidence when you can use earlier media narrative instead.

          1. I don’t think Ron likes you.

            1. No one likes Jesse, with his “research,” “facts,” and “deductive reasoning.” Screw him.

              1. So a white supremacist?

          2. Ron, and numerous other science writers, have been completely exposed by their coverage of global warming and the virus. They have no ability to review actual data and draw conclusions without nodding to the MSM narrative.

            Hacks all.

        2. I read through those emails, and it doesn’t seem like his strategy was to reach herd immunity. Instead, I read them as conceding herd immunity to be the only thing that would ultimately end the spread. Their strategy was more “How are we going to manage the spread”, and calm down the public, rather than “How do we get to Herd Immunity as quick as possible.”

          1. So it wasn’t so much a plan to reach herd immunity as a way to allow herd immunity to be reached. Which is a pretty fine distinction, but perhaps worthwhile.

            1. the only plan to get herd immunity faster would have been covid parties. Silly to claim that as a gotcha though.

        3. Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, favored a “common sense” strategy over forced lockdowns.

          I like how Newsweek placed scare quotes around common sense, when the common sense approach for a public health emergency is to reach natural herd immunity as quickly as possible as long as the total number hospitalized will not interfere with cases where a medical response will save a life. The government is authorized to protect life, not prevent sickness. Especially when preventing sickness impedes on other natural rights like liberty and employment.

          Are there any mainstream media outlets that are not committed to the full pan(dem)ic narrative?

          1. Does Newsweek use quotes around “common sense” when they’re talking about gun control? i stopped reading them 50 years ago.

          2. Spot on! I remember clearly when flattening the curve was the strategy and then that quickly morphed into the never ending, ever changing government restrictions we have been forced to endure since March. Preventing infection and illness is an unrealistic and unreasonable goal. Gun deaths are over 11k this year, up double digit percentage and on pace to exceed the last highest year 1999. There have been 2 shootings on my block just feet from my door. To contrast, I dont know anyone who has died from coronavirus and only 2 ppl who may have been sick from it (they live in NYC but were never tested) back in April and both recovered in full rather quickly. One is black, nearly 60, immunocompromised with diabetes and had a heart attack and minor stroke last year. To be fair we always say he will outlive us all! One of those ppl with more lives than a cat!

  7. the virus may stymie itself by disproportionately removing those most useful to it from contributing to its future transmission.

    Even the *virus* is living in “Idiocracy”!

  8. “blunder”

  9. Or maybe they followed the actual science, not the political science?

    1. Upholding the natural rights of man is hardly a blunder.

    2. That’s the exact opposite of what Sweden did and it’s why they were hit far harder than the rest of the Nordic nations.

  10. Perpetual lockdowns for some, and miniature Swedish flags for others!

  11. Did Sweden Accidentally Blunder into COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

    No. Because there was nothing accidental about what they did (or didn’t do), nor did they “blunder.”

  12. While not explicitly adopting disease-induced herd immunity as a policy goal, Swedish public health authorities evidently expected the coronavirus to run quickly through the country’s population while not overwhelming its health care system. If a high enough percentage of Swedes became infected and recovered, then herd immunity would forestall a second wave of the disease.

    So they didn’t have it as a policy goal, but their plan was set up as if they did. k

    1. Or more, they accepted that it was the only logical conclusion of the disease. They could lock down and manage outbreak after outbreak until herd immunity was achieved, or they could use voluntary compliance measures to slow the outbreak enough to avoid overwhelming the system.

      So their strategy wasn’t to get to herd immunity- as that would happen no matter what. Their strategy was to make sure that journey did not include a command and control suffocation of the economy.

  13. everybody everywhere will eventually ____ into herd immunity.

      1. i was going for live or exist or something … it’s a g.d. cold virus

        1. No, it absolutely is not a “cold virus” you lunatic.

          1. CO-ld VI-rus D-isease-19

      2. No, there is a separate term for that called “vaccine immunity”. 🙂

    1. You hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of herd immunity.

      1. +1 the Oracle lied.

        1. ‘Whoa! I know WuFlu.’

  14. Oh fuck off they didn’t “accidentally” do anything. The virus burned itself out there just like it has in the American northeast and soon in the sunbelt.

    This was ALWAYS their strategy.

  15. You had to know it was going to pan out in favor of the Swedes, but nobody will ever admit it.

    1. Wait until late Fall – early Winter. Sweden will look pretty damn good compared to its pants-shitting neighbors. I’ve been saying that since April.

      1. New Zealand is sitting ducks.

        1. We’ll be fine as long as we keep all you infected americans out.

          1. Good luck at keeping out the nerds who are determined to vacation in Middle Earth. The path to Mordor aint going to walk itself…

          2. Not before your economy takes a giant, steaming shit.

      2. Yeah. It’s all so short sighted. The numbers now are irrelevant. Where will they all be in 6 months or a year? Sweden will be done with this and the rest will still be fucking around with lockdowns and masks.

        1. Which was THEIR goal

        2. This idea that Sweden will be done with the virus is pure magical thinking. They don’t have herd immunity. They’re not even close to having herd immunity.

      3. You’ve been wrong the whole time and will continue to be wrong.

        1. You deserve a shotgun blast to the face.

  16. Did Sweden Accidentally Blunder into COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

    No. Sweden accidentally blundered into being nowhere close to herd immunity.

    1. Sidd Finch accidentally blundered into another inane comment.

  17. Good then we can go back to normal and no more fear mongering from the democrats and their bootlickers.

    1. Oh sure, now that Bernie’s out of the race you want to be more like Sweden!

      1. Sweden was never how Sanders portrayed it anyway.

        1. Seriously. If Sanders wanted us to be be more like the actual Sweden he’d be in favor of very strict immigration, no “birthright citizenship”, extensive testing for culture and language, stringent immigration raids and deportations, eliminating minimum wage, lowering business taxes, refusal to accept refugees who passed through another country to get there (and shipping them back to that first “safe” country), and more.

      2. I miss the Bikini Team.

        1. You take the Oresund Toget from Copenhagen to Malmo and tell me which side has hotter women.

          Pro Tip: It Ain’t Sweden.

  18. Did Sweden Accidentally Blunder into COVID-19 Herd Immunity?

    I know what it is like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail, nonetheless. It’s frightening, turns the legs to jelly. I ask you to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Blunder into it. Herd immunity still arrives all the same. And now it is here.

    1. No. Her immunity is not here. Not even close.

      1. Not even close.

        You wouldn’t even know.

  19. Thank you for that it is much appreciated.

    Some questions if I can impose a bit further?

    Your original statement.

    At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, denied that his relatively permissive approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus was aimed at achieving herd immunity.

    And bow the relevant quotes from your links

    He’s also repeatedly said it would be good for the Swedish population to gain immunity to the disease, though he’s flatly denied purposely seeking “herd immunity.”

    Tegnell denies that his main aim is “herd immunity”, insisting that he wants to flatten the coronavirus curve to ensure Sweden’s health service copes.

    You’ll probably notice the same thing I did. There aren’t any direct quotes about herd immunity there.

    And that doesn’t even touch that “main aim” is a different animal than “was aimed.”

    Is there a direct quote of him saying it was not an aim full stop?

    And thank you for the background speculation that it may have been a secret goal, it gives useful insight.

    1. Crap should have been a reply to Mr. Bailey.

    2. It isn’t background. Read the leaked emails.

  20. Somehow the media are only supposed to condemn Sweden for not locking things down like sane countries, and fail to report that California now leads in confirmed cases despite the earliest and near strictest lockdowns and high mask wearing compliance rates.

    1. Because CA has more people than any other state. TX and FL aren’t far behind in confirmed cases even though they do less testing and have smaller population, and both have significantly more cases per 1 million people than CA.

  21. Just so everyone is clear, this article explains why Sweden’s model—thus far—is a clear failure relative to similar countries, and is even slightly more of a failure than the US.

    Unicorn farts could change all that though.

    1. “Just so everyone is clear, this article explains why Sweden’s model—thus far—is a clear failure relative to similar countries, and is even slightly more of a failure than the US.”

      The later is the one that concerns us, shitstain.

    2. It’s a failure by one measure. I don’t think it’s a good measure. There are a lot of factors to how many people die and many have nothing to do with the effectiveness of government response. They have succeeded in other ways and I think that time will show that they ultimately did the right thing. We’ll see.

      1. Deaths per capita seems like not only a good measure, but perhaps the best one.

        Of course, deaths aren’t the only negative outcome of this disease. Millions will have lifelong complications. So just “everyone let’s get the disease” will be almost by definition the worst possible approach.

        1. The game ain’t over, and many countries are going to suffer a lot more. Not Sweden.

          1. The idea that Sweden won’t suffer any more from the disease is sheer fantasy. Contrary to this article’s deceptive headline they don’t have herd immunity at all.

            1. Your cites are sheer fantasy. Back up something you write at least.

        2. OK, so why shouldn’t we just ban all optional dangerous activities, mandate masks, social distancing and hand washing and ban restaurants, bars and large gatherings permanently, ban alcohol, tobacco and recreational sex and require passports to travel between states? There are loads of other diseases that kill 10s or 100s of thousands of people a year, and lots of activities that cause unnecessary accidental death. If the only thing that matters is death rate, why doesn’t that apply to all the other causes of death?

          1. Because omb

          2. Our enlightened institutes of higher education aren’t actually banning recreational sex, just advising you should wear face masks during. Frat boys everywhere are cheering this “automatic walk to second base.”

            https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/08/students-at-university-of-georgia-encouraged-to-wear-masks-during-sex/

          3. Exactly this. And you have to consider that lock downs led to more preventable deaths because people were not seeking timely care (CDC excess deaths of 82,000 at least 25% of which are not COVID related and a European study showing that for every 80 COVID deaths there were something like 100 preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease). And that’s just the immediate deaths. Oncologists are predicting that we will see a significant increase in 3-5yr mortality from cancers due to months of delays care and diagnoses during the pandemic. Not to mention studies showing increased alcoholism which will also lead to latent health issues. We’ve doomed 100,000s in the long run to save 100,000s now. And ruined the livelihood of tens of millions of people, predominantly to extend a few more years of life in octogenarians. Definitely don’t understand the trade off. In Washington state we continue in significant lock downs despite only 60% of our hospital capacity being used SINCE MAY. All because case rates are higher than the Governor wants them to be. It’s absolutely asinine. If masking and social distancing works why is everything not open per usual with these measures in place? Why do we have a God complex that we need to save every one from a natural virus. No one freaks out that we do not mandate the flu vaccine even though we lose tens of thousands of people — and have a higher death rate in young people from flu than COVID. No one freaks out about all the preventable causes of death you’ve posted above.

            1. Inslee is the worst. He sent away the field hospital in APRIL knowing our system would be fine, but yet we sit with no plan or strategy for opening. We’re just paused until covid goes away, it looks like.

          4. Because when you’re trying to define one-size-fits-all solutions to control an entire country, it gets real complicated.

            You can simplify a lot of that away by only caring about some easy to measure metric, and hand-wave everything else away.

            The world needs to be simplistic so you can assume that the government can solve everything, prevent everything, etc.

            I mean, sure, it’s not really a principle that would work well taken to its local conclusion, but it makes you sound scientific.

        3. The correct measure is years of life lost per capita, not deaths per capita.

    3. By similar countries you mean cherry picked ones that fit your narrative right?

      1. The ones most comparable, as cited in this article. Do you have a better idea, or would you rather continue playing this ridiculous game where all of a sudden Sweden is the model government for free-market fundamentalists because by some convoluted means it helps you suck Trump cock more vigorously?

        1. Like this one, shitstain?
          “Sweden’s GDP dropped 8.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to the European Union average of 11.9 percent.”

          1. I have now quoted two other passages to you that explain how Sweden did demonstrably worse. So ok I understand that their GDP number was 1% better.

            1. “I have now quoted two other passages to you that explain how Sweden did demonstrably worse….”
              No, you haven’t. You have cherry-picked UE rates as a proxy for ‘the economy’. Perhaps that’s not willful mendacity; perhaps you’re just so fucking dumb you don’t understand.

              “So ok I understand that their GDP number was 1% better.”
              11.9% – 8.6% = 3.3%.
              A 3.3% increase in the economy is a number Obama never managed to achieve in 8 years of effort, you lying sack of shit.
              And in all of this, you wave off the effort and court cases it is going to take to get the dead hand of government off both our liberties and our economy.
              I have no doubt that’s because, as a lefty piece of shit, you are very comfortable on your knees and have scanto desire to stand up.

  22. Instead of panicking (thanks to media alarmism) and politicians across the country trying to implement various versions of lockdowns, movement restrictions, closed businesses…we should have recognized that this virus was going to pass through the population no matter what we did. As soon as we recognized who were the persons most vulnerable to the worst effects of the virus, our resources should have been targeted at protecting them. Instead we have managed to kill off a percentage of business and employment that we shouldn’t have and made the situation worse.

    1. Sweden’s relatively open plan only resulted in a worse economy than its neighbors.

      1. “Sweden’s relatively open plan only resulted in a worse economy than its neighbors.”

        Shitstain, your cite fell off.

        1. It’s in the article. Maybe you could read it before mashing your Funyun-encrusted fists on the keyboard.

          1. “Sweden’s GDP dropped 8.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to the European Union average of 11.9 percent.”

            Maybe you should read the article, shitstain.

            1. Tony would need to repeat 2nd grade. He’s too old and a bad influence. You don’t REALLY want that.

            2. “ On the other hand, Sweden’s unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in June, while the European Union’s overall unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. And Sweden’s neighbors? Denmark’s unemployment rate is 5.5 percent; Norway’s is 4.6 percent; Finland’s is 7.9 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S economy shrank in the second quarter by 9.5 percent, and our an unemployment rate at the end of July stood at 10 percent.”

              What do you think you’re trying to accomplish here?

              Are these numbers worth the fivefold or tenfold death rate?

              1. “What do you think you’re trying to accomplish here?”
                I’m showing that you lie every goddam time you post; UE rates =/= the economy.

                “Are these numbers worth the fivefold or tenfold death rate?”
                Doesn’t your ass get sore with you pulling all those made-up number out of it?

              2. Did you mean to misuse “death rate”?

            3. How about comparing Sweden to the obviously most similar nations, Norway and Finland. Instead of comparing them to Italy and Greece.

              1. “How about comparing Sweden to the obviously most similar nations, Norway and Finland.”

                “Obviously”? Cite missing.

  23. If the current cases in the us are underestimated by a factor of 5 and the death rate remains constant only 740,000 US citizens need to die to reach 35 percent infection based herd immunity.

    Some plan.

    1. As long as one of those 740,000 are you, I can’t see how it is not a win.

    2. Show the physical evidence misek.

      1. Aside from the math, dipshit, that’ll be the dead.

        1. Like the dead at Auschwitz?

          1. Wrong conspiracy

            1. Yeah, those millions conspired to be dead, right scum?

    3. What you are ignoring is that you are punishing 330 million people to save your 740,000. There is no cost-benefit or ROI to your plan.

      1. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not for sale.

    4. 35% is nowhere near herd immunity. We’d need at least twice that. Thus if your assumptions for the numbers are otherwise correct, we’d need 1.5 million Americans to die.

      1. “the herd immunity threshold for COVID-19 could be as low as 35 percent.“

        If you had read the article.

  24. Your immune system, the most important component in your body, was designed to automatically create an immune response to any virus or disease and be stored for life. Of course, this flies in the face of vaccines which are the artificial immunity triggers but only when and if they work. This is contrary to Bill Gates and his desire to sell $1 trillion in vaccines to every person on earth…by force if necessary. No vaccine has ever been created for a corona-virus, and none is needed if you have a healthy immune system. There will be no vaccine for Covid-19, and if there was, it would not be any better than obtaining natural immunity…in fact it could be deadly.

    1. Maybe you could contract Ebola and start herd immunity for that.

      1. Oh! Our bigoted coward returns!
        Crawl in a hole and stay their, scumbag. Make the world a better place.

        1. Says the coward so ashamed of its comments it hides in anonymity.

          Hey dipshit, anyone who knows you is already ashamed of it.

          1. “Says the coward so ashamed of its comments it hides in anonymity.”

            Not ashamed at all, just not willing to give cowardly thugs like you any more information than you have.
            Now, about that hole…

            1. “You accused me of hiding my identity, and you are correct; I do so because “…

              You’re a troll and a bigot and you only show up to make ad hominem remarks and too much of a coward to stand up and be accountable for what you say.

              Hiding like the scum you are, the internet is your preferred environment. Cowardly safe hiding in the darkness with only your computer screen glow.

              Fuck off.

              1. This from bigoted scum…
                Make the world a better place: Die.

    2. Your immune system wasn’t “designed” at all, it can’t produce immunity for ALL diseases and not all immunity is “stored for life”. In the case of COVID-19, it seems that any immunity conferred by recovering from the disease only lasts for a few months.

      1. Antibodies may only last a few months. Immunity remains.

  25. Sweden’s “crime” was in refusing/failing to swallow the WHO/CDC KoolAde that the rest of the (un)civilised world bought. They had competent and mature leadership that used MEDICAL science rather than scare tactics, and charted their own ratioinal course based on true SCIENCE.
    Good on ’em. They seem to have won, while the restof us have, or are in the proscess of, losing.

    1. Did any of you read the goddamn article?

      1. Says the guy who keeps misusing terms from it.

    2. New Zealand for example?

      They locked down the entire country at the beginning with major travel restrictions. Stay at home orders for seven weeks. You still need to quarantine if you go there.

      Achieved a zero transmission rate.

      Granted New Zealand has some advantages. Geographic isolation. Not nearly the political bullshit we have here. Small population.

      https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2025203?query=featured_coronavirus

      1. But the “masks are tyranny” kooks who want to pretend Sweden has achieved herd immunity are insisting this means New Zealand is too vulnerable to ever open their borders again.

      2. “Achieved a zero transmission rate.”

        Didn’t last long, did it?

  26. The most logical conclusions to draw from the Sweden experiment:

    Social distancing works, and to some degree people will practice safety measures without government mandates. But mandates cause more social distancing, as expected, and Sweden’s relatively high death per capita rate indicates that this is what we get by relying only on individuals naturally changing their behavior during a pandemic.

    There was no economic benefit to their strategy. Again, even in the absence of government mandates, people change their behavior, and the economy suffers as a result.

    Herd immunity via doing nothing, without commensurate mass death, relies on a series of fortunate happenstances, as this article lays out. There’s no getting around the fact that dropping all safety measures in the US would result in far more death than should be acceptable to anyone, with a no-vaccine herd immunity never guaranteed. And the economy won’t even stop plunging off a cliff.

    Pandemics do damage. It’s not just the evil libtards.

    1. “There was no economic benefit to their strategy.”
      Bullshit. From the article:
      “Sweden’s GDP dropped 8.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to the European Union average of 11.9 percent.”
      It’s bad enough that you lie constantly, made worse by lying so obviously.
      ——————————————
      “…There’s no getting around the fact that dropping all safety measures in the US would result in far more death than should be acceptable to anyone,…”
      There’s no getting around the fact that you pulled that out of your ass with zero support for that claim.
      —————————————–
      “…Pandemics do damage. It’s not just the evil libtards.”
      Yes, and lefty fucking ignoramuses can make that damage far worse.

      1. “As of August 11, COVID-19 cases in Denmark, Norway, and Finland amounted so far to 14,959, 9,712, and 7,623, respectievly; deaths per million are at 107, 47, and 60, respectively. In Sweden, cases stood at 83,126 and deaths per million at 571.”

        1. So far

          1. Yes, it’s a failure so far.

            1. Is it? You shilling so hard seems to demonstrate otherwise…

        2. “As of August 11, COVID-19 cases in Denmark, Norway, and Finland amounted so far to 14,959, 9,712, and 7,623, respectievly; deaths per million are at 107, 47, and 60, respectively. In Sweden, cases stood at 83,126 and deaths per million at 571.”

          Did you have a point, or was it just fun to copy and paste.
          None of that provided any support in the least to the bullshit you posted and I called.

      2. So why would you compare to the EU as a whole instead of the rest of Scandinavia? Those are after all the nations that went into this pandemic with demographics, geography, climate, and economic situations all nearly identical to those of Sweden. To see whether Sweden’s strategy worked, we’re better off comparing their outcomes to Norway and Finland than to Italy and Greece.

    2. It ain’t over til it’s over, meathead.

    3. Good analysis. What ever benefit Sweden got was in part because they were ready for this virus having necessary health care systems in place, a population with faith enough to follow government guidelines, and a consistent message from the government.

  27. I don’t know how to verify this, but it is possible those with T-Cells actually never got the disease and therefore did not get antibodies. Without T-Cells, these people might have gotten infected, and would have produced antibodies. Either way, it would have verified Tegnell’s earlier assertions. Of course there would have been more deaths as well.

    1. This has been shown to be the case over and over. Study after study shows that half of the blood samples taken BEFORE covid-19 appeared reacted to the virus.

      Roughly 50% of people are immune, meaning the 70% needed for “herd immunity” is closer to 20%, which is exactly what we’re seeing in the real world.

      1. ” Study after study shows that half of the blood samples taken BEFORE covid-19 appeared reacted to the virus.”

        Which isn’t that much of a reach given our annual exposure to corona viruses.

  28. There is a question as to whether comparing Sweden to other Scandinavian countries is comparing apples to oranges.
    1. Sweden has a larger area of dense population (Stockholm and environs) than any other Scandinavian country.
    2. Sweden’s population is older than other Scandinavian countries.
    3. Sweden relies more heavily on large eldercare facilities as opposed to Norway whose seniors are mainly in what we would call adult family homes. (Tegnell admitted that his policy towards protecting these large facilities, very attractive targets for COVID-19, could have been better.)
    The top Norwegian public health official has stated that Tegnell’s approach was correct.
    I’m not sure I think Bailey has sufficient information to be writing an article on this topic.

  29. A good interview with the Swedish health minister. So refreshing to see a government official willing to admit what he doesn’t know.

    1. That was an interview EVERYONE should watch.

      No compare it to the idiots in our countries.

      Dr. Tam here – who have RESIGNED by now – said we may have to wear a mask for TWO years even if there’s a vaccine.

      She should be TARRED AND FEATHERED.

      Same with Dr. Arruda in Quebec who suddenly is arrogant prick about his mask orders after being against them.

      I have NO respect for public officials anymore.

      1. Geez. ‘Should have resigned’ and ‘who suddenly is an arrogant prick’.

        How stupid are these idiots? Rather than say we’re going to monitor if these shitty masks work, they’re basically committed to it indefinitely based on BULL SHIT.

        I’m ready to protest.

  30. Just wondering, and can’t seem to find anything at all reliable on the web – what percentage of those who actually get the virus were regular wearers of a “cloth face covering”?

  31. The most misused and misunderstood term on the internet these days is “herd immunity”.

  32. “In Sweden, Will Voluntary Self-Isolation Work Better Than State-Enforced Lockdowns in the Long Run?
    “There’s a lot of debate over the Swedish model of coronavirus response, but there are good reasons to think a Hippocratic approach to policy may pay off.
    JOHAN NORBERG | 4.17.2020 11:50 AM Reason magazine

    “SWEDEN REPORTS THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DIE WITH COVID-19, not OF COVID-19.

    “Even in a culturally and geographically similar country like NORWAY—CELEBRATED FOR ITS LOW DEATH RATE—THEY DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. The Norwegians only count something as a COVID-19 death if a doctor concludes that someone was killed by the disease and decides to report it to the country’s public health authority.”
    https://reason.com/2020/04/17/in-sweden-will-voluntary-self-isolation-work-better-than-state-enforced-lockdowns-in-the-long-run/?utm_medium=email

    1. We’re inflating the numbers no question about it.

  33. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish government’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, denied that his relatively permissive approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus was aimed at achieving herd immunity.

    Let me introduce you to the concept that what government officials say and what they do doesn’t always align.

    Of course, Sweden was aiming for “herd immunity”, that is clearly what their policy was designed to do, and they weren’t secretive about what the policy was. But calling that “aiming herd immunity” would have been political suicide.

  34. This is a good article and if it Sweden is able to avoid a second wave, more power to them. The problem I have is that most people point to the Sweden less restrictive approach with out acknowledging that Sweden has good health care and social safety nets in place. That Swedes have faith in their government and follow the government’s recommendations. The same person who pushes Sweden’s approach to the coronavirus will tell you that we can’t have Sweden’s health care system or their child care system. As if they are not link in some ways.

    1. “The problem I have is that most people point to the Sweden less restrictive approach with out acknowledging that Sweden has good health care and social safety nets in place.”

      So your problem is your bullshit claim?
      You claim to be married, which suggests you’re older than 18; your posts suggest otherwise.
      Always.

    2. Good relative to what? Not the US.

      1. Unclear what you are referring to here? What is better in US?

    3. There is no natural “second wave” – any “second wave” is artficially produced through lockdowns. When lockdowns are lifted the virus re-emerges. It will continue to do so until everyone is exposed, or this is enough of a buffer between who has already had it (and is thus immune) and those who just weren’t susceptible to it in the first place (cross-immune, etc…).

      You cannot stop it – lockdowns create and then prolong agony that never needed to happen in the first place. The outcome (overall death rate) will be the same regardless.

      1. Yeh, the ‘waves’ thing is just a consequence of locking down healthy people. The virus CIRCULATES. So, I think waves is misused here.

        All we did was delay things and subject people to vapid stupid slogans like ‘wear a mask, save business’, ‘wear a mask, save lives’ and ‘stay home, save lives’.

        I mean, the burning superstitious stupidity of it all was disheartening, disappointing and retarded.

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  36. sweden did not “blunder’ into anything. they refused to buy into the scamdemic hoax.

  37. The idea of herd immunity was proposed by an epidemiologist in Baltimore in the 1930s pre vaccine. He noted a drop in cases following an outbreak. Yet the disease overall kept going until large scale vaccination was introduced.

    It is still around as certain Orthodox Jewish communities who did not vaccinate discovered. There is a reason for that. The models assume homogeneity in social interaction. That does not occur in real life. These communities tend to be insular so it takes only a few cases than it explodes. Then contact with the rest of the world some of whom did not vaccinate results in still more cases as occurred at Disneyland. The source of that was not discovered but likely due to the many international visitors there.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6406a5.htm

    The way to achieve herd immunity is by effective mass vaccination. It may not eliminate the pathogen, and there is the problem of genetic shift as a new resistant strain may occur.

    Already the frenzy has people confused. There are dozens of trials going on around the world, each with a different approach. There are no long term large trials so really we do not know. Then a long path to find one that works and jab enough needles into enough shoulders to have an effect.

  38. “He noticed a drop in measles cases following an outbreak”

  39. Ronald Bailey should stop quoting statistics and models when he does not have a clue how to question their validity. If he did, he would realize that most of his articles are just speculation.

  40. No blundering! They just did the correct thing!

    1. This article brought to you courtesy of a mindless idiot. History will judge the lockdown mob as the blundering fearful fools. This is not journalisms finest moment. Reason is a CNN wannabe.

  41. The nations and communities who accept the inconveniences posed by social distancing, hygiene, wearing masks and regulating business to control the pandemic and save people’s lives are reinforcing the social bonds between everyone. Strangers will always remember their own sacrifices to care for others.

    Then there are nations and communities who simply don’t want to be inconvenienced to save the lives of their neighbours. It’s obvious what they will be remembered for and the legacy they leave their children.

    1. But the Holocaust never happened according to you.

        1. Rob Misek
          August.15.2020 at 8:44 pm
          “Haha”
          You accused me of hiding my identity, and you are correct; I do so because thuggish scumbag pieces of lefty shit like you can be dangerous.
          So then I thought I’d look for a “Rob Misek” and you, you thuggish piece of lefty shit seem to be hiding your identity every bit as well.
          Wanna claim honest? Dox yourself, scumbag bigot.

          1. You’re still a coward, and an incompetent one at that.

            1. Wanna claim honest? Dox yourself, scumbag bigot.

      1. I forgot he’s that guy.

        1. You get so scaredy thinking about your bogeyman.

        2. “I forgot he’s that guy.”

          Yeah, piece of Nazi shit claims the camps were actually ‘de-lousing stations’ and they just couldn’t get the dosage right!
          And then claims all those laughing at his idiocy are WRONG!
          Bigoted scum and proud of it.

  42. Yes, good news for humanity, but it can be argued that our domestic Conservatives lack the higher cognitive abilities due to the different brain structure that those with the regressive Conservative mutation have, to be considered anything other than a competing hominid species.

    OR, to quote the Swedes themselves:

    ‘We are not a not a nation infested with alt-Right Conservative bat sh!t bug ʄuck insane whackjobs who are incapable of following even most common sense of personal actions to prevent spreading the virus.’

    1. Or to make sure we all know:
      Kuni:
      I am a fucking lying lefty piece of shit, inventing all sorts of the stuff my coke-socked brain is fantasizing and posting it here!!!!
      Fuck off and die, you pathetic piece of slimy, lying, piece of lefty shit.

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  45. accidentally? Have you been paying attention?

  46. they stumbled into it the same way Italy and Spain did, by allowing high numbers of deaths

    it all looks great if you ignore the dead people

    1. I see that lefty shits have a hard time with numbers.

  47. The arrogance and condescension in this article is stifling. The lies and distortions are insulting. How dare Sweden approach the virus rationally.

  48. covid-19 is very dangerous

  49. Blundered? Is that the new buzz word? I’ve been listening to Dr. Tegnell since April (he was one of the view doctors who wasn’t talking like the world was ending and was clear the virus was here to stay and proceeded accordingly. Only we arrogantly thought we could micro-manage it) and it seems to me they had a better sense of how best to approach this than the rest of the world. They didn’t get swayed by those idiotic doomsday models that led to the lockdowns.

    I’m sorry but that we quarantined the healthy for the first time in history IS NOT sound strategy.

    If anything, we over reacting based on bad science. Sweden followed one hundred years of established virology.

    See. Here’s what I think. No one wants to believe that countries who embarrassingly locked down and then decreed idiotic mask mandates was OUTSMARTED by one tiny Nordic country who had the courage to not go with the herd.

    I’ve been saying since April Sweden will be smiling in the long run. What people aren’t putting through their thick skulls is that a) this is not a competition and b) Sweden will more or less be right in line with all nations except they will not have traumatized their citizens and economy. Ie they didn’t push non-dharma measures rooted in the precautionary principle. Healthy people were viewed as a threat to the population because of the asymptomatic angle that NEVER has been proven. They PRESERVED their civil liberties.

    Sweden followed the science. We copy/pasted and followed orders. There was never a justification for a lockdown. So we’re the ones who blundered. Not Sweden.

    I’m sorry but neglecting to point out 80% of Sweden’s (90% of Norway’s deaths were in the 70 and up group) deaths came from nursing homes (which they admitted they messed up unlike the incompetent cowards in NY/NJ/MI and other places including Quebec).

    NY, NY, Qc, Spain, UK, Belgium and Italy all had higher death rates than Sweden while France and Holland were slightly better.

    They all locked down except for Sweden. It’s true that Sweden did have more deaths even when you remove the nursing homes than their neighbours but don’t forget Norway and Denmark had a quasi-lockdown and they lifted it fairly early and never mandated masks.

    So one can logically conclude, the fact the lockdowns led to FAR more unintended consequences than not (which likely led to more deaths ie via suicides and lack of treatment and, well, we know the dance), Sweden was spared this.

    As for the economics, yeh well, a) part of their downturn was due to the drop in trade between all countries and b) they didn’t spend their national wealth on programs to basically bribe people into not rioting. Sweden didn’t play, another point in fact, the obscene ‘non-essential/essential game.

    I think on the balance they approached it with more reason and intelligence than we did in North America.

    And certainly better than NZ/AUS. What those countries are doing is appalling.

    1. We do count the dead you know, so rather than just asserting that Sweden obviously had fewer deaths by other causes due to the lockdowns, why don’t you put up some data about it?

      This is not the first time in history healthy people have been quarantined. Ludicrous talking point you got from some asshole on a blog. Your civil liberties have not been infringed, except the liberty to put your community at risk, and you probably haven’t even gone to jail once for all the times you’ve risked their lives anyway. Get some perspective. Someone might start to think libertarians care only about their immediate trivial personal freedoms and nobody else’s right even to life.

      You wouldn’t need to make untrustworthy assertions if you didn’t tie your observations of the pandemic response to yet more tribal partisan nonsense. Stop being a monkey. Just read dispassionately. It might turn out that Trumpism isn’t the one true final philosophy of life, hard as that may be to fathom.

      1. It’s not a talking point. It’s never been done. Can you point to me from all the past major pandemics going back to Athens/Rome/Venice and most recently in the 20th century where we told people to stay home and not go to work? I don’t know of one. I know we quarantined the sick because, you know, that’s what you’re supposed to do, but to shut down an economy? Never been done. Worse, we told a specific portion of the economy to pay the price – ie restaurant and hospitality and small business. Major corporations deemed ‘essential’ stayed open.

        If you can’t see the evil stupidity in that, that’s your problem pal.

        Yes, Tony. I’m totally incapable of deductive reasoning and critical thinking from information available. I only read ‘blogs’ and then come here and repeat what others tell me.

        Man, you are one insulting clown

        The point is, the lockdowns were a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

        This is going down as the biggest over reaction in modern history.

        1. Oh and government workers.

          They stayed home and got full pay while others had to starve and be thrown onto government programs to survive.

          Literally, all these officials can fuck off and die for what they’ve done.

          1. Let me say that I understand the impulse to say we’re overreacting. That’s the paradox of public health response: if you’re doing it right, it looks like overreacting. Think how much more mad you’d be if we took even more aggressive shutdown measures and hardly anyone died.

            1. A bit of a fallacy.

              Anyway. I was fine with it for 30 days but then it got way out of hand. The second data started to improve (including treatments, deaths etc.) we should have pivoted.

              Instead we double downed.

              1. But we did pivot, and predictably cases start going up again. We are living the consequences of the pivot.

                Again, it’s not a fallacy, though it may appear counterintuitive, that things look like less of a crisis the more successful the efforts at containment. We just don’t have access to the universe in which, say, the last Ebola outbreak got out of hand, because we took the necessary steps to contain it.

                1. No we didn’t pivot. We had no choice because he lockdown was having a devastating impact through unintended consequences.

                  The suppression theory is still very alive.

                  Try and follow.

        2. You’re just blindingly wrong. Of course most pandemics ended by killing vast numbers of people and leaving only the immune (Justinian plague, for example). By all appearances this is not only your policy preference, but you think it’s the best we can do.

          Arguably first time a pandemic was managed by quarantine was the Black Death. It wasn’t just the sick who were quarantined. In some places, ships were required to wait a month before letting anyone off to make sure that the people onboard were healthy.

          The Spanish flu, although it killed maybe a hundred million, might have killed many more if measures weren’t taken that look very much like current COVID guidelines. Public gatherings were forbidden, schools were closed, people wore masks.

          Your entire policy approach is to let the virus kill the maximum number of people possible. And you think that will be good for the economy.

          1. None of those examples were LOCKDOWNS.

            Throughout history the main approach was quarantining the sick.

            Venice and Genoa quarantining ships docking from Asia (for 40 days ‘quaranta giorni’) is NOT locking down. Commercial empires like those NEVER shut down because that was suicide.

            This thing of ‘saving everyone’ is not practical and in this particular case we would have been wise to isolate the vulnerable since we knew this virus (has that ever been proven by the way that it’s in fact a virus?) attacks the vulnerable. Nope. We hid the healthy and told people to cower and not earn a living.

            As for the Spanish flu, it’s ok to surgically shut down temporarily hot spots where there are outbreaks. Masks were disputed then as well (and never proven to work) and this is why scientists began to study their effectiveness. For decades studies showed their effectiveness to be inconclusive and I sure as hell reject the studies that came out during 2020 as they remain unpersuasive against the body of evidence of all the studies that came before it and right up to now.

            Again, you conflate this with the entire lockdown of an economy. It didn’t happen during the Asian and Russian flus.

            I didn’t realize people would just assume lockdowns are normal as you just demonstrated.

            1. Know what else Tony? We taught the worst possible lessons for kids.

            2. I’m not sure you’re not strawmanning. We haven’t once locked down the entire economy, and I have not advocated doing so.

              I would suggest that an economic slowdown is inevitable no matter how we choose to respond, and that the deeper and longer the pandemic, the worse for the economy. You have to take containment measures. It’s a false promise if anyone’s saying you can do otherwise.

              1. People were already retrenching and the economy was going to take a hit. But at least this was going to be organic and voluntary.

                What part of the government then stepped in to prevent people from working while playing ‘choosing who was essential and not’ don’t you get? This wasn’t a reasonable response but I was willing to drop it assuming they’d quickly pivot once they saw the destruction. Instead, it seems to be a ‘go to’ measure.

                Locking down, it could be argued, delayed herd immunity and could have made the pandemic go ‘deeper and longer’.

          2. “The Spanish flu, although it killed maybe a hundred million, might have killed many more if measures weren’t taken that look very much like current COVID guidelines. Public gatherings were forbidden, schools were closed, people wore masks.”

            There were some other things going on such as, a little thing known as World War One (though we only later called it that). A lot of stuff was going on due to wartime restrictions, not the virus. For the few places that did have some closures, they were rather short-lived. ISTR the longest being a couple of weeks. Even in, IIRC, Baltimore where they got hit hard and fast (giggity) they were down and back inside of a week and a half and even today the drop in cases is attributed to natural push through rather than any distancing measures as those came “too late to matter”.

  50. Funny how some people see this disease as a political national horse race.

    I checked the nucleotide sequence for Covid-19.

    I found this recurring.

    A
    U
    G
    C

    It is clearly a code

    Americans
    U
    Go
    China!

    I knew they were up to something.

  51. Covid deaths in

    Sweden – 5783
    NY – 32,901

    One of them did not lock down completely and mandate masks, while the other won’t let you order beer to go without ordering “real food”.

    There are 10 million people in Sweden. 5783 deaths in that country means the nation barely felt the sting despite taking a completely contrarian approach in its covid response. And now they report practically no new cases and deaths. The fact that their economy is slow despite avoiding lockdown is only an indication of the crappy and insular European economy.

    They have more deaths than their Nordic neighbors, but the overall fatality is low, and if they got ahead of the herd immunity game, then they saved a lot of future lives.

    Why people won’t recognize Sweden as (at minimum) a cautious success story. That country never became Italy or New York despite playing out every anti maskers’ wet dream. Donald Trump probably said something nice about them. Oh and there’s the fact that these Nordic nations are typically ethnically homogeneous. We don’t want people to start connecting dots here.

    1. Oh please do connect the dots. How are black people at fault for this one?

      1. /looks around the room. Sighs.

        Fine. I’ll take this one.

        What the fuck are you talking about Tony?

        1. “Oh and there’s the fact that these Nordic nations are typically ethnically homogeneous. We don’t want people to start connecting dots here.”

          Usually the “they don’t have those pesky blacks” excuse is trotted out when someone notices how the most socialist countries in the western world are also the best ones to live in. This is the first time I’ve seen it used to explain the US’s COVID failure. So I’m just asking him to connect the dots because I’m super interested.

          1. Tony – “Nordic countries are best places to live in cuz socialism”

            Demographics and culture – “most of them aren’t as diverse as us, known to be cold and distant, and use restrictive immigration”

            Democrat voters – “we chose senile biden over socialist Bernie”

            Quick, name me 3 products made in Sweden without googling. Then do the same for America.

            See?

            1. So you would like to argue that being the best place to live and producing the most products aren’t correlated? That’s interesting too!

              1. Wasn’t it obvious from the my post I’m arguing the opposite?

                Sweden is white as hell compared to America and their immigration is likely way more restrictive. You can’t work in some places in Canada if you can’t speak French. You really think these places are the BEST places to live in?

                1. Only by metrics we can all agree upon like life expectancy and self-reported happiness. I’m not sure that one of those metrics is average skin tone.

                2. “…and their immigration is likely way more restrictive”

                  Not likely, but far more restrictive. The nordic countries go by blood inheritance of citizenship. This means no “birthright citizenship”, and even getting married does not grant you citizenship. Even if you bring kids into it, they have to have their own applications to stay there, let alone obtain citizenship. It takes years as you have duration requirements as well as language and social classes and testing.

                  For example, IIRC it is Sweden that does this, you have to maintain 5 years of continuous residence and qualification for temporary residency to get permanent status, then another 5 with more classes and testing to qualify for citizenship. Crimes can get you excluded, as can losing your job if that was why you were there the first place, or getting divorced if that is why.

                  You can take the first social test in whatever language but also have to take a Swedish language test. That is just to get “permanent residency”. To get citizenship some five years later you need to take a more in depth social test – in Swedish – and a more in depth Swedish proficiency test. It might be Norway for the specifics but all of the Nordics basically do that with only slight variations on the actual tests as well as timelines.

                  If you fled a country and are seeking refuge, and passed through any other country in the Dublin Convention, you don’t get to stay there and they will deny entry and/or ship you back to the first country in it that you entered.

                  So yes, far, far more restrictive. Not even the Republicans have proposed as restrictive or extensive of a system as they have.

      2. Well Tony, science sez Latinos and blacks are vulnerable to covid because of higher rates of obesity, lung and heart disease in their community. They also tend to live in densely packed areas and public housing in dem controlled urban zone. Most covid deaths in ca are Latinos and the numbers jumped after protests. Surprise!

        Canada, which is ethnically homogeneous and is sparsely populated, is doing better than either us or mexico. Obviously a huge, diverse population spread out in huge territory with tons of international presence is not conducive to mitigating the spread. Elementary stuff, if you understand how a virus transmits. That’s why no one is opening up their borders libertarian style.

        Maybe science is racist. I’m a raging right winger so I think 2 + 2 = 4. Sorry for not fighting white supremacy.

        1. Vulnerable populations are vulnerable, and that’s why we should cut welfare and capital gains taxes. Get new material.

          1. “Vulnerable populations are vulnerable”

            You were on the verge of making sense and then strayed to Tonyland again.

        2. Small quibble. Canada is not ethnically homogenous. It’s like a small-scale America and very diverse.

          Montreal and Toronto are large urban centres. Montreal and Quebec have been hit hard.

    2. With all due respect to Italy, but they did an excellent job corralling in the spread. The vast majority of cases/deaths was in the Lombardy region and over 75% of cases/deaths are in four regions in the heavily industrial north where there’s a large Chinese labour population (and tourists. I believe more Chinese flock to Italy than anywhere else in Europe) and pollution (smog).

      If you look at the numbers, they slowed it down way back in April/May.

      But yes to the masks. Italy, Spain, UK, Belgium, Germany and France are the biggest pussies about wearing masks but luckily in Germany and the UK there are protests now. In North America, the most retarded regions for masks are: Oregon, California, Michigan, Ohio, NJ, NY, Ontario and Quebec. I’m sure I’m missing a couple.

      Just to show you how utterly absurd it’s become, British Columbia asked Seth Fucken Rogan and Ryan Reynolds (two natives of the province) to convince BCers to wear masks. One is a mid-wit moronic wokester and the other is Deadpool. BC officials insult the intelligence of Canadians because they’re pant shitting and too incompetent and cowardly to let this thing run its course.

      The masks are just about the most useless measure we mandate. I just read a few more studies that further cement its futility.

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  53. YUP.

    They blundered nothing. They did the right thing.
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  54. Right now we haven’t recovered.

    Some percentage of the population is still working, a large portion is bailed or on permanent unemployment.

    The crisis is economics if we continue this BS not the virus.

    Atlas Shrugged or Orwell take your pick we’re heading there

  55. They didn’t ‘blunder’. They actually made decisions based on data rather than irrational fear and hype. In the same way that SARS 1 “disappeared” (i.e. reached herd immunity at a low infection rate — not we didn’t “kill it” by physical distancing and masks), so too will SARS 2 if we would just let it.

  56. Also the rest of the world will have similar covid deaths as Sweden, just over a longer period of time… which also increases excess deaths caused by government lockdowns. So in terms of overall excess deaths, Sweden is likely to be the winner in the end, while our “cautious approach” may be killing more than we save.

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