Coronavirus

How Much Difference Do COVID-19 Lockdowns Make?

The comparison between Sweden and the U.S. casts doubt on the importance of broad legal restrictions.

|

The New York Times describes Sweden's approach to COVID-19, which has been notably less restrictive than the policies adopted by other European countries and the United States, as "disastrous" and "calamitous." By contrast, Scott Atlas, the physician and Hoover Institution fellow who is advising President Donald Trump on the epidemic, thinks Sweden's policy is "relatively rational" and "has been inappropriately criticized."

The sharp disagreement about Sweden is part of the wider debate about the cost-effectiveness of broad lockdowns as a strategy for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is premature to reach firm conclusions, the evidence so far suggests that Sweden is faring better than the United States, where governors tried to contain the virus by imposing sweeping social and economic restrictions.

Despite some early blunders (most conspicuously, the failure to adequately protect nursing home residents), Sweden generally has tried to protect people who are at highest risk of dying from COVID-19 while giving the rest of the population considerably more freedom than was allowed by the lockdowns that all but a few governors in the United States imposed last spring. That does not mean Swedes carried on as usual, since the government imposed some restrictions (including a ban on large public gatherings) and issued recommendations aimed at reducing virus transmission.

The consequences of that policy look bad if you compare Sweden to Denmark, Finland, and Norway, neighboring countries that have seen far fewer COVID-19 deaths per capita. Yet Sweden has a lower death rate than several European countries that imposed lockdowns, including Belgium, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.

The comparison between Sweden and the United States is especially striking. The per capita fatality rate in the U.S. recently surpassed Sweden's rate, and the gap is growing, since the cumulative death toll is rising much faster in the United States.

The seven-day average of daily deaths peaked around the same time last spring in both countries. Adjusted for population, the peak was higher in Sweden.

Since then, however, that average has fallen more precipitously in Sweden—by 99 percent since April 16, compared to 65 percent in the United States since April 21. The seven-day average of newly confirmed cases also has dropped sharply in Sweden, by nearly 80 percent since late June.

In the United States during the same period, daily new cases initially rose, an ascent that started a month and a half after states began lifting their lockdowns. The seven-day average peaked in late July and has since fallen by 46 percent.

Achieving herd immunity, which protects people in high-risk groups by making it less likely that they will encounter carriers, was never an official goal of Sweden's policy. But recent trends are consistent with the hypothesis that Sweden has achieved some measure of herd immunity through a combination of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, T-cell response fostered by prior exposure to other coronaviruses, and greater natural resistance among the remaining uninfected population.

In the United States, meanwhile, lockdowns, despite the huge costs they entailed, have not had any obvious payoff in terms of fewer COVID-19 deaths, although they may have changed the timing of those deaths. Perhaps the outcome would have been different if lockdowns had been imposed earlier or if they had been lifted later and more cautiously.

But perhaps not. In a National Bureau of Economic Research paper published last month, UCLA economist Andrew Atkeson and two other researchers, after looking at COVID-19 trends in 23 countries and 25 U.S. states that had seen more than 1,000 deaths from the disease by late July, found little evidence that variations in policy explain the course of the epidemic in different places.

Atkeson and his co-authors conclude that the role of legal restrictions "is likely overstated," saying their findings "raise doubt about the importance" of lockdowns in controlling the epidemic. It would not be the first time that people have exaggerated the potency of government action while ignoring everything else.

© Copyright 2020 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Wrong, But Not En Banc Worthy - 2020 Edition

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Speaking of lockdowns, if “chemjeff lover of Cuties freedom” is around, keep your children locked down!

    1. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●
       
      I am making $165 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience masses frenedom now that i’m my non-public boss. that is what I do……
      ↓↓↓↓COPY THIS SITE↓↓↓↓

      HERE► Only Earn thousands of dollars

      1. US Dollar Rain Earns upto $550 to $750 per day by google fantastic job oppertunity provide for our community pepoles who,s already using facebook to earn money 85000$ every month and more through facebook and google new project to create money at home withen few hours.Everybody can get this job now and start earning online by just open this link and then go through instructions to get started……….HERE? Read More

    2. Alright buddy, knock it off. We all know he’s not actually a pedo. He’s got a bad opinion, and he should be told that repeatedly. But calling him something he’s not just makes him a Martyr in his own mind. If you say something someone knows is not true, then they ignore everything else you say.

      1. Oh hey suck my dick!

        When I call him a pedo you can come whining, until then fuck all the way off!

        1. It’s real simple. With the intended format here, I can easily skip those subthreads, just as I do with many others. It’s boring content, but so what?

          1. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home.LOl I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website.

            This is what I do………………….. CashApp

    3. [ For USA ]    Single Mom With 4 Kids Lost Her Job But Was Able To Stay On Top By Banking Continuously $1500 Per Week With An Online Work She Found Over The Internet…Check The Details HERE…………Check my site.

    4. ¦A¦M¦A¦Z¦I¦N¦G¦ ¦J¦O¦B¦S¦
      Start your work at home right now. Spend more time with your family and earn. Start bringing 85$/hr just on a laptop. Very easy way to make your life happy and earning continuously.last week my check was 24551$.pop over here this site…….COPY HERE====Flysalary

    5. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home.CMq I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website.

      This is what I do………………….. ReadMoreHere

  2. In before Tony tells us how it’s all wrong and Sweden will be cursed for their blasphemy.

    1. Member when Sweden was their favorite country?

      1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

        Here’s what I do…>> CashApp

      2. Sweden has too much Capitalism in their Socialism for the Commies here in the USA.

      3. Pepperidge Farm
        Remembers!!!

  3. It hasn’t been about the virus since the very first round of antibody results showed this was far more widespread than we thought. At that point Joe Biden needed the media to pivot to the impossible “stop the cases”, and they happily went along. Of course, in March everybody understood it was impossible to actually stop the virus and it was going to end up going into the regular rotation of bugs that’s going around the world.

    “Sadly”, the numbers are proving what Trump said all along: the overreaction to the virus was a hoax. The lockdowns are killing people, and those deaths we can actually prevent. Democrats just want to get back in power and don’t care who gets hurt to make it happen. I hope they eat shit in November.

    1. Hoax is not the word to use. A hoax is “a humorous or malicious deception”. The response was not that.

      C-19 carries a significant death toll and physical damage, hence it was not purely a deception. The response was simple fear-mongering that was based on some real risks greatly exaggerated by the press and politicians because that is how they get clicks, votes, donations, and attention. Fear and titillation is their stock in trade.

      1. “Malicious deception” sounds pretty much correct to me. Cuomo ignites the crisis he was trying to prevent by shoving covid patients into nursing homes and onto vents, then everybody points to NYC as proof how dangerous it is.

        It’s very likely that if our “leaders” had never heard of covid, the death toll would be lower than it is today.

      2. COVID-19 may be a real threat but that’s not the deception. The malice and deceit is in claiming that there is any scientific or even rational basis for the lockdowns. The malice and deceit continue in the flagrant disregard for the increase in suicides and domestic violence that are directly resulting from the lockdowns. (By several estimates, the loss of life due to the lockdowns is approximately ten times the incremental deaths attributable to the actual disease.)

        1. Is there any subject on which you take science’s side over Trump’s?

          He admitted to lying about the severity of the disease, on tape. The deception was real, and he perpetrated it on you.

          1. You wouldn’t recognize science if it came up and bit you on the leg, Tony. Science is a methodology – a way of knowing what we know.

            Trump’s initial comments about the severity of COVID-19 were optimistic to the point to the point of falsity. While I consider that level of distrust in the population deplorable, it is something pretty much every national leader ever has done during a disaster in the name of reducing panic. The fact that you seem to think it’s unique to Trump says a lot more about you than about Trump.

            Regardless, that first lie was minor compared to the lies since about the extent of the disease and about the cost-effectiveness of masks and other lockdown measures. We have quite a bit of real science on which of those measures actually work (though less on how much). We also have real science on the negative consequences of various lockdown measures. Despite that, we have totalitarian politicians of all stripes using COVID as an excuse to demonstrate their petty power.

            1. It is unique to Trump. Stop defending his unique horribleness by claiming every other politician is like him. It’s just nonsense. He is a special kind of fucked up and you know it. I’m sorry you voted for a ridiculous clown, but imagine how I feel having to live with the consequences of your absurd stupidity.

              And you should be fine with they, because it means we could in fact have done better. Since most other first-world countries did many times as better, we know that’s true. Stop excusing Trump.

              The country is largely open. People aren’t going to restaurants because the disease isn’t over. You’re still making this zero sum comparison between curing the disease and having a healthy economy. Be mad at the politicians who aren’t fixing the problem because they’re crazy, stupid, and lazy. And stop being a whiny little bitch about masks. Step up and stop making liberals do all your goddamn work for you, once again.

    2. The first round of antibody results were wrong, very wrong. They used a test with too high a false positive rate (too low a specificity), and they did not do random sampling.

      Most people don’t know that if you have a test with, say, a 1% false positive rate, it will give you double the actual number if the population actually has only 1% that should be positive. This test had a much higher false positive rate.

      Here in Arizona, our weekly antibody rate is less than 9%, and if you remember, Arizona had a huge spike, with the highest per-capita rate of infections in the world. That antibody rate has not gone up much since that spike.

  4. Eight people in Indonesia refused to wear face masks. They were ordered to dig graves for COVID-19 victims as punishment.

    The Socialists in the MSM just got a HUGE tyranny boner.

    The Socialists never have forgiven Americans for making them dig graves for the Holocaust victims in Germany and Poland during/after WWII.

  5. Proof that covid19 was engineered and released from a Chinese lab.

    “Chinese whistleblower Dr. Li-Meng Yan presents proof Coronavirus made in Wuhan Lab, not Wet Market”

    1. Arwn’t you that holocaust denier that was easily and constantly whines that he is skeert?

      1. It’s a picture of her standing next to the coronavirus.

        Saw her on Tucker Carlson last night. She says she has proof, but hasn’t actually presented any of it.

        1. She said it was in the analysis of the DNA/RNA which had sequences that were not found in nature, but in some other exerimental protocols. True, she did not present the sequences or the comparisons, but that would not have been appropriate for Carlson’s show. I look forward to seeing the data.

      2. Aren’t you just another Dime a dozen cowardly bigot too scared to review the evidence?

    2. Proof that Rob Misek is an evil sucker of the dead dick of Hitler the Shitler, and a denier of the Holocaust! AND a denier of reality in general!

      1. SQRLSY One
        July.2.2020 at 5:11 pm
        Port-a-potties ARE buffets

        LOL @ that reality

  6. Certain people are so married to their belief that the lockdowns were the only way that they are not going to let that out of their teeth no matter what hindsight might tell us. Unfortunately those people are coincidentally the loudest and most influential while mostly being personally immune to the economic effects of otherwise devastating economic mandates.

    NYC-based national journalists who continued to collect paychecks by posting their alarmist prose from the comfort of their home offices, and celebrities who were able to surrogate online demands for forced economic sacrifice in place of their usual red carpet antics to garner the attention from the unwashed that is the center of their existence, that’s who amplified the ill-fated calls for mass quarantines (but not of their hairdressers, their makeup artists and the Costo workers, of course).

    1. This goes beyond just lockdowns. It’s a political issue. The lockdowns, mask-wearing, and yearning for a vaccine are embedded into the “woke” dogma. If you dare to question their efficacy, you are a de facto “Trumper.”

      The tragedy is that, like the Global War on Terror and the Patriot Act/National Security State, COVID has been institutionalized. Judging by what I am hearing and seeing here in Michigan, I am deeply afraid that this is never going way.

      Entire business models are being created based on COVID, lockdowns, physical distancing, contact tracing, mask-wearing, and vaccinations. Companies are in the business of producing masks.

      BigTech is developing contact tracing applications that will merge with your health data, along with platforms for remote work and education. There was a story in National Geographic over the weekend about facial recognition technology being tweaked to account for masks. Don’t forget BigPharma with “the vaccine” which will be mandated if you want to travel, work, or receive government benefits. There’s also lots of money to be made.

      Pretty much every television advertisement, both national and local, features someone wearing a mask. I won’t be shocked to see government-sanctioned masks with RFID chips linked to contact tracing applications and health data to ensure compliance.

      As someone who read Huxley and Orwell as warnings against a dystopian future rather than as blueprints for dystopia, this bothers me deeply.

      1. Contact tracing is useful when contagious diseases are uncommon. At this point (actually for a long time now), contact tracing for Covid-19 is a joke. It will produce totally arbitrary trees of individuals — superfluous data providing no basis for action, and no reasonable action that could be taken. The people actually doing contact tracing and those traced will realize how useless the information is, but many people will feel comfort from the fact that it’s going on around them, since they don’t know what it entails.

        1. A+. Contact tracing was DOA the moment it was introduced. The bug is already out there. We can’t stop it.

        2. Not to mention the often relatively long incubation time.

      2. Sounds like you get it.

        The main point of the utterly relentless propaganda our poor country has been subjected to these last several months has of course been to demoralize the country and harm Trump’s chances of getting re-elected.

        But it’s vitally important to understand that there is a second, corollary agenda at work here. The so-called “elites” have decided that it’s time to finally start implementing all the Agenda 21 shit they’ve been discussing amongst themselves at their secret forums like Davos for the last thirty years. Basically, they’ve had enough of us serfs enjoying the fruits of freedom.

        New age feudalism is going to be the new order of the day for all of us going forward and it will only get worse and worse. Unless we stand up for ourselves, but so far that isn’t happening at all. As usual, most people are proving they’ll do just about anything they’re told to.

      3. This wont be forever. In Georgia we dont even wear masks or social distance.

        Businesses are open and doing great.

        Lefties wont be able to keep up the hysterical charade past when Trump gets reelected.

        1. That’s great to hear. In Michigan, we’re still under the sway of Obergruppenführer Whitmer and the fear remains palpable. There are still people driving alone in their cars wearing masks and the local media routinely begins with a cases/deaths count to keep this topic first and foremost.

          1. Same here in the DC area, the level of hysteria is higher now than it was in April. Pointing out the obvious gets you shouted down by the True Believers as a heretic.

            This article cannot be shared enough:

            https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/16/yelp-data-shows-60percent-of-business-closures-due-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic-are-now-permanent.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain

            1. Maybe the fear and hysteria is greater among officials and the Media in the DC area, but not among regular people. For example – When Virginia first reopened phase 1, the masseuses in some massage parlors were really scared and wearing face shields and gloves in addition to the required masks. Nobody does that anymore. Today they just wear masks.

              The one place I see more fear and hysteria is people wearing masks outdoors, like on park trails. But this may be less fear and more virtue signaling.

              1. Based on my own experience, it’s very little fear of the virus and not much virtue signaling but a lot of fear of being yelled at by the vocal (and irrational) minority. The mask is irritating – but less irritating that dealing with the fruitcakes.

          2. Monsters under your bed, Smitty?

            Call your mommy. Have her leave the light on.

      4. So it’s a jobs program?

        1. Excuse me, it’s a make-work jobs program?

          1. That was obvious to anybody who was paying attention. Only our “leaders” could come up with a plan that was months too late to work and then still implement it terribly.

  7. Fortunately, now the question has become constitutional freedoms vs. government tyranny and moved into the courts (USA), not theoretical statistics from the school of fascist economic theories.

    1. Another great thing about Trump being President is that because Lefties went on a tyrannical tirade of Kungflu hysteria, more and more Americans are rejecting government as much of a solution.

      1. Yeah, but more also seem to be embracing government as the solution to everything too. I’m somewhat pessimistic about people learning the right lessons.

        1. Maybe in some areas but based on videos, images, and news stories of lockdown states even their residents are resisting the tyranny.

          Lefties always overplay their hand. They thought America was ready for Socialism after electing Barack so they pushed their next phase tyrant Hillary. They were 100% wrong.

          Lefties thought all Americans would get rid of Trump by allowing a coup to happen. They were wrong.

          lefties thought all Americans would accept tyranny of the mask and distancing. They were wrong.

          Lefties think Biden and Harris will win. They are wrong.

          More and more Americans are learning stuff that school never did about the government works and tyranny of Lefties.

          1. But they will still vote for their incumbent. That is what Einstein said was the definition of insanity: voting for the same incumbent and believing the results will be different.

            1. I’m voting for the incumbent because he’ll let Michigan be Michigan and Florida be Florida. Why the hell would I vote for Biden so Florida can be Michigan and every other state can, too?

    2. Live in PA and we’ll see. Gov Wolf has basically said he is not following the federal court ruling because of Republicans or Trump or something.

      He’s a nut job. Next step would be to arrest him for contempt I guess but we’ll see. Our federal justice system seems to only care about civil rights that pertain to skin color.

      1. What do you think would happen if some marriage license clerk in a PA county refused to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple?

      2. Have a few marshals show up at his office, and I’d bet he changes his mind.

        1. This might be what it comes down to.

      3. He will get it overturned on appeal. He knows it. SCOTUS has already signaled it will not second guess State authority or responses to pandemics.

    3. I know there have been lawsuits against the lockdowns, such as the one in PA. Does anyone know whether there have been lawsuits against the mask requirements? Any government that orders me to wear an object that impairs my breathing is guilty of tyranny.

  8. This post is Amazing. This is the most comprehensive & helpful.please have a look my alternative clothing online shop,we have huge range of alternative clothes for men and women
    https://www.gothicattitude.com

  9. A very interesting piece of content! Surely, lockdowns have made a huge difference in many countries. And now the way of living a life is completely changed forever. Thanks for sharing!

  10. You can demonstrate conclusively that children should be attending school in the normal way but they’ll still be made to wear masks, social distance and use barriers. That’s because every group makes opportunities to strengthen itself in emergencies, especially the government education nannies.

    1. My sons’ private school is like that.

      I liken it to a dystopian novel.

      Not the end of the world type where everything is in rubble, but the Gattaca type, where everything is artificially pristine clean. It’s ultra-creepy.

      Masks at all times except when eating, even in the bathroom. All desks have plexiglass. The buttery (cafeteria) has plexiglass separating every student in 6’ sections. They’re doing PE with masks on. They have to socially distance at all times, even with masks on. Some teachers wearing scrubs (like they’re some kind of Fucking hero), along with masks and face shields. Hell, they want parents to wear a mask in the car while we’re picking kids up. I don’t do that.

      It’s horrible. The only thing worse would be them staying home.

      The faculty/administration actually tried to sneak in postponing the start of school, but because the parents bitched to high heaven to the board of trustees, the call was reversed and school started on time.

  11. The comparison of Sweden, or any country, with the US should focus on that other countries had a response and US had incompetence. The Trump administration response was late and inconsistent. We now know that Trump was lying about the magnitude of the problem from the start. People can debate the merits of Sweden’s response, but at least they had some response. The incompetence response put the US with a record infection rate and a death rate of a third world country.

    1. “The comparison of Sweden, or any country, with the US should focus on that other countries had a response and US had incompetence.”

      Yes, Cuomo and Newsom in particular, but I’ll bet your tiresome TDS has another candidate.
      Stuff your TDS up your ass so your head has some company, you pathetic piece of shit.

      1. Hey, hey, hey! Our governor in NJ, Phil Murphy, is no small potatoes when it comes to incompetent tyranny , thank you very much!

        1. It’s kind of a shame someone hasn’t come up with a web-site where we could rate the lefty shits on their actions.
          Newsom ‘allowed’ restaurants to open for indoor dining, but only if
          1)
          2)
          3)
          4)
          N)
          And two days later, pulled the plug……..
          Wonder what happened to all the perishable foods, the start up costs and all the rest? I don’t.
          Not one of these lefty shits has ever earned a living or done other than bankroll a business; pretty sure not one has ever looked at quarterly returns on anything other than Giant Corporation.

    2. Seems to me that everyone knew that COVID was pretty deadly before Trump chose to “downplay” it, and what did they expect? Let’s say he ordered a cordon sanitaire around the NY metro area and Seattle, banning all travel to and from there. You and your fellow progs would have screamed bloody murder, but it probably would have contained the virus. Nobody is dragging Bill DiBlasio over the coals for telling his city to carry on as usual as many of them were dropping like flies.

      1. I doubt that would have contained anything. It was already out there by March.

        1. many believe it was here in November it just had not reached enough people yet

        2. Yep. We know for sure this was kicking around the NW in January at the latest, and was already in community spread mode by that time.

          While we’re all going to bars and churches and basketball games and banging randoms off Tindr, we didn’t even notice the virus.

      2. T closed down air travel from China early, and was lambasted as a racist xenophobe. Meanwhile deBlasio and the hag from SF were encouraging people to go out and have a good time in Chinatown.

        But it’s definitely the “federal response” that’s the problem.

        Why should there have been a widespread federal response to begin with? Treating rural Wyoming the same as shithole big cities makes no sense, and you can bet that all policy would be based on NYC and a handful of other big cities.

    3. Incompetence of the Trump administration? The vast majority of the power to institute lockdowns in the US resides at the state level. See, generally, the 10th Amendment. So what was Trump supposed to do? Also, note that Biden has not named a single policy that he would have instituted differently. Oh, except for not closing the border to China, which clearly would have increased the rate of spread of covid-19.

      Nine of the ten states with the highest per capita death rates have Democratic governors. In fairness, this is probably because those are the states with the most populous cities, and states with populous cities tend to have Democratic governors. But the point still stands that you have no evidence to blame this on Trump or on Republicans in general.

      TL;DR: try not to be such a moronic political hack.

      1. You are missing that all those Democratic Governors and Democratic Mayors are in a country headed by an incompetent Republican President. Most Presidents and Governors regardless of parties work together in a crisis. But you cannot work with a lying incompetent, that knows the situation is bad and instead he just hope it will go away. Trump was slow on pushing China, slow on closing travel to China, slow on testing and slow getting PPE. He has no message discipline. There is no question that Biden could do better, because there is simple no way to do worse.

        1. “You are missing that all those Democratic Governors and Democratic Mayors are in a country headed by an incompetent Republican President….”
          You.
          Are.Full
          Of.
          Shit.
          And a pathetic victim of TDS besides.
          Fuck off, lefty scum.

        2. He wasn’t slow on closing travel from China. He was ahead of the consensus there and was tarred as a racist for doing so.

          He was slow on closing travel from Europe, whose more infectious strain was seeded throughout the NY region and then the rest of the country.

          PPE stockpile was drawn down early in the Obama years. Trump gets his share of blame for not pushing for its replenishment, but his predecessor (and Congress) plainly failed on that standpoint for half a decade. If this hit in 2016 instead of 2020 then the industry would have been in the same boat. It’s also difficult to blame Trump for allowing the CDC/FDA to follow its own protocol on testing, especially when the usual complaints are around his refusal to allow the civil service to do so.

          1. He had a big problem. Far more Americans were in Europe, and he didn’t want to strand them. There was also no way to quarantine them upon return, so there was this big crush in airports when people had to return.

    4. Late and inconsistent? Can it be because Fauci was being inconsistent? When Trump wanted to take action including shutting air space, remember how the psychos in the DNC reacted?

      Trump may not have been perfect but he’s not the main problem. The Governors were – and still are.

      1. Nope.
        They are products of lefty shits like M4E; THERE’s the problem.

  12. Until we have better information about who in each country is dying then we do not know if this is an apples to apples comparison.

    Put another way, assuming that the US and Sweden have roughly identical patient populations – in terms of age, and comorbidities is a giant leap.

    1. That, and all of this is totally premature and too narrowly focused. It’s not going to be possible to make a proper judgement for 3-5 years down the road about the total COVID impact, especially since most of it goes beyond a simple measurement of deaths per capita.

      This whole ordeal was always a balancing act among preventing COVID, continuing to deliver appropriate, unrelated healthcare, maintaining a functioning economy, and preventing social upheaval. To see how anyone fared after 6 months is like arguing over who lost the Super Bowl after the first 3-and-out.

      1. The voice of reason.

        The other problem is making country by country comparisons is limited because there are many confounding factors.

        1. Like US’s rampant obesity, which is a comorbidity that makes one more susceptible to severe covid-19 symptoms.

      2. Nah. I think there’s enough right now to know Sweden probably played it right. I mean, they can go get a haircut and dine in peace without masks as we speak.

        1. I agree the signs are good, and I’m happy that the US outside of California seems to have little appetite for further shelter-in-place. But the open questions regarding vaccine timing / efficacy and duration of naturally acquired and/or cross-immunity mean that it’s still too early to say for certain.

          1. I wish you were right, but we’ve been closed in WA for nearly six months now. 2.8% positive rate last I checked.

          2. They love the shutdowns, masks, banning of gatherings > six people, etc. here in New England.

        2. You can do that where I live. There are distancing rules and you wear mask at the barber.

          One good thing is the local Tavern can deliver cocktails or carry out now. I hope they keep that.

        3. Rufus most places in the US life is pretty normal now.

          Biggest things are masks in public places like stores.

          Schools. Each district is deciding what to do

          Large gatherings which Sweden has also restricted

          I know you hate the masks. I look at it this way. If the store had a sign up and the people who work there were wearing them so would I. Whatever the government said. That is just being courteous.

          1. I went out to dinner Friday night. First time the waitstaff was not wearing masks. Did not notice until after ordering. Some customers came in with masks but nobody complained. It was a local chain. This is ending soon.

            1. There is a restaurant in Fredericksburg VA where the wait staff are maskless, or else wear them below their noses or on their chins. But in Alexandria, you see a lot more compliance.

      3. And even then it will be impossible, because the data has been fucked with more than a $10 hooker…so TPTB can make it anything they want.

  13. This video is quite good and explains how no matter what you do, the virus will run its course. The way it runs its course is different depending on location and climate, but it follows the same pattern that all respiratory viruses follow in that region. That’s why Sweden’s death rate curve and the one from the US (much larger area and multiple climates) look different.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvFhIFzaac

  14. Are we seriously still having this conversation? I wish I had a dollar for every article discussing the efficacy of masks, shutdowns, etc.

    I think that many of us would have resisted more strongly in the beginning if we knew how long this madness would go on and how severe the restrictions would be. Especially if we could see Fancy Ms. Nancy getting her hair did without a mask.

    Every time I walk into a store and put on my mask, I grow slightly more resentful. In the midst of this insane election and the widespread protests and the social distancing hypocrisy, it just seems stupid.

    Worst of all, we are still having these conversations but there seems to be no discussion among people in power about walking this back now. I fear that masks are going to be a permanent feature of society going forward. Stores all over my small city are going out of business. Our politicians (especially the Democrats) are all but holding us hostage – sometimes coming dangerously close to admitting that the lockdowns are more about the coming election than public health.

    200k lives lost is a tragedy, but it is such a tiny percentage of the population. Talk about a disproportionate response.

    Now cue the liberal trolling the site who will call me ignorant and a science-denier and a Trumplican and educate me on how deadly the disease actually is and how I’m selfish and stupid and whatever else. Come on – bring it. That’s an essential part of the “conversation” we have over and over and over in this existentialist version of hell.

    1. The dems have been cheering on COVID from the beginning that it would help bring down Trump, so far, no country except New Zealand, a tiny island nation, has been able to get a handle on it, so there’s nothing any POTUS could really have done differently. The most extreme progs seemed to have wanted an order for nobody to leave their houses at all and shut down any and all businesses, then George Floyd happened and it was Ok by them to have unmasked “peaceful protestors” running about. At the other extreme, you have the Alex Jones types who still think the whole thing is a hoax. Of course, if a vaccine looks promising now, the progs will immediately dismiss it if Trump wants it approved. Will be interesting to see what happens if Biden wins and they decide it’s ok to have a huge inauguration bash in DC, I guess any resulting Covid cases will just be Trump’s fault.

      1. I love the anti-vaccine talk. The left loves the regulatory power of the FDA. This despite all evidence that FDA delays cost far more lives than are saved by the FDA keeping bad drugs off the market. Yet now they can’t trust the FDA on something as simple as a vaccine. Unreal.

      2. That is exactly what New Zealand did. They shut off all travel or required quarantine. They issued stay at home orders. Only things like grocery or pharmacy open. They shut down the whole country. They did this right at the start. Too late to even think about that now here.

        They got a zero transmission rate. There have been a few cases since but with so few they can track them down.

        Israel got close to that and then lifted everything. Now they have a spike 5x what they had in the spring and are locking down again. Those things are big deal in small countries.

        Fact is until we have an effective vaccine and enough people get it some things are going to suck. And you antivaccers are all pussies.

        1. Israel is panicking. Their absolute case rates are less than in some US States of comparable size and population, but Israel never had a big spike earlier, so their population is more vulnerable.

          1. Not so = Israel is panicking

            The high holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are upon us. The question is whether Israel wants to have explosive spread of Covid-19 because of the tremendous crowds attending services. There is cause for concern given the rise of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.

            Now…The timing is truly awful; Israel is hunkering down from today (Elul 28) until the start of Sukkot (Tishrei 14) on October 2. If there is a worst possible time to shut down in Israel, this is it.

        2. Not a realistic comparison. It’s like saying we locked 10 birds in a cage and they didn’t get Covid, but oddly all the pigeons in Central Park did. We have a huge population, a vast country, and porous borders. In fact, we have land borders; New Zealand has none.

        3. And unless NZ wants to shut dow their country and economy permanently, it will eventually have to deal with the virus. Plus people with your view refuse, and I mean steadfastly REFUSE, to account for the deaths that shutting down economies and services, isolation, job loss, food insecurity, housing insecurity, suicides, etc., etc., that have resulted from these policies – and they are real deaths that really happened to real people. THis is happening in NZ as it is everywhere.

          And even more “amusingly” (consdidering all the virtue signalling they ordinartily do regarding these folks) – the power proggers even more steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the death tolls that occurred in poor, 3rd world countries when that t-shirt factory shut down. Those people who work for $20 a week so we can all wear Nikes didn’t get to run to Costco and stock up – they have literally been starving, and dying, for months now. Their food stopped the day their factory shut down. But I guess just fuck ’em, they’re just part of the price you are willing to pay to get rid of your least favorite president.

    2. Pretty good assessment of the situation. I am also amazed and dismayed that we are still arguing about this. Our supposed leaders fucked up and aren’t going to admit it. I was sure that more people would be realizing that by now. Unbelievable. How can anyone think it was worth the costs?

      1. “Our GOVERNMENT fucked up and aren’t going to admit it” – FTFY
        Annual budget for HHS is ~ 1 trillion per year for health, etc..
        From this the NIH gets $39 billion in 2019 budget, and the CDC has an annual budget of $11 billion, and has 11,000 plus employees. $4 billion of CDC discretionary budget before(!) COVID19 was spent on initiatives like “Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases”, “Protecting Americans from Natural & Bioterrorism Threats” which includes ongoing work on “Influenza Planning and Response” and ”Emerging and Zoonotic Infections” like coronavirus.

        But it is (fill in recently elected federal officials name) fault…

    3. I have a doctor friend who still babbles about deniers and wanting to kill granny. He’s a little pant shitting pussy.

      I tune it out and tell him to fuck off already. I can’t anymore listen to that crap.

      1. Crap meaning the thoughts of medical professionals?

        How do you anti-intellectual cows even make it through the day without setting yourselves on fire or something?

        1. You mean like that BLM protester who set himself on fire with a molotov cocktail? It is pretty hilarious.

          https://youtu.be/_TYg0J8hsPY

      2. Medicine has become so detailed and complex such that most doctors are extremely well trained but marginally educated.

        They are, in practice, highly specialized technicians.

        1. IOW, once they venture into the unknown their judgement is no better than many others.

    4. Some experts say if like 85% of people worse masks, it could end the problem even without a vaccine.

      People refusing to wear masks are taking lives and harming the economy. Focus your ire on them.

      1. There have been plenty of mask mandates all over the world. Go ahead and show us the inflection points that show the masks had a measurable effect.

        1. All the countries where they were enforced better than the US have done immensely better in cases.

          1. This is just pure unadulterated bullshit. Peru blows that away Columbia blows that away. Of course you know it’s bullshit but others might not.

            1. Remember when the USA used to not be a shithole that could barely do better on social metrics than narco-states?

              1. The protocol vs outcome plot has zero fit information in it. Try again.

                1. Hey, some experts said that 85% of the time Tony pulls numbers out of his ass.

      2. How do you wear a mask when eating or drinking? Most of the community spread is in indoor eating and drinking establishments.

      3. I knew I could count on you to be the troll, Tony. Thanks for stepping up.

      4. “Some experts” told us in the beginning that wearing masks was pointless. You are the dumbest motherfucker on this site. More idealogically blind than any Trumptard.

        And yes, I wear my mask just to keep people like you from shitting their pants. And no, I don’t support Trump – so let your BB in a boxcar brain chew on that.

    5. But a guys in his thirties DIED a couple weeks ago!!

  15. 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 detailsHere═❥❥ Read More   

  16. This again. Sweden handled it right. End of story.

    They’re done with it.

    And it’s a little misleading to keep comparing them to Nordic countries. Norway has a lot of difference from Sweden. Do we compare France, Spain and Italy? Not really.

    In any event, the bottom line is good chunks of North America are over stating the virus, and the panic continues as people wear useless pieces of cloth on their faces.

    Why deaths in Sweden are high:

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3674138

  17. It’s global warming redux.

  18. This is beyond idiotic. Deaths due to covid in US is 616 per million people. Sweden 579 per million. About the same. And the US has NOT had strict requirements throughout the country. Maybe you forgot how stupid the governors of Texas, Arizona, and Florida were.

    Here’s the country you should look at and weep when it comes to strict requirements. Germany. Deaths per million people 116.

    1. Germany only counts death-from-covid.

      You’re welcome.

    2. If TX, AZ and FL are stupid…Geez, what does that make NY/NJ/CT/MA/MI/PA/OH?

  19. Once again, comparing the US and Sweden, two failures, and judging that this means the US locked down too much is just silly nonsense. And why is Scot Atlas being taken as an authority for anything? A “herd immunity” strategy with no vaccine is equivalent to a “maximum death” strategy. It’s by definition the worst possible failure at preventing death and disability, thus making it perfectly understandable why Trump and his apologists would propagandize it into actually being the definition of success.

    1. A herd immunity strategy is NOT a maximum death strategy. The idea of herd immunity is that you do what you can to protect the elderly while letting the younger crowd get the virus and become immune. Once the young have immunity, they are much less likely to spread it to the old. Of course, this only works if you have a mostly healthy population, as Sweden does. If you have obesity at US rates, the death rate would be much higher than Sweden.

      1. It’s certainly less convincing of an idea now that we have Trump on tape admitting that there are an alarming number of cases and deaths among the non-elderly and the the lied to you about it for the sake of his poll numbers. He lied. You can’t trust him. Young people are not invulnerable. Old people die more, but they’re not the only ones who did. So your plan is maximum death minus those old people we can keep contained. This is not a strategy endorsed by any experts, not even those advising Sweden.

    2. HI is not ‘max death’. It’s how we’ve always achieved it.

      And what happens if there’s no vaccine? Or if it doesn’t work?

      Let this thing burn through the healthy and it’ll be done.

      Jesus.

      1. Why are you trying to kill Tony’s granma?

  20. The implication that adopting a Sweden policy in the US would produce the same result is also not necessarily true. Sweden has a much healthier population than the USA, and is mostly of European genetic heritage, so their population is much less vulnerable to the disease in the first place. Given the amount of obesity in the USA, a Sweden Like policy in the USA might have produced 5x the deaths.

    1. If that’s true, we’re going to see the 5x deaths anyway, because the virus is going to run through the population until it’s done. Slow or fast, the virus doesn’t care.

      1. This is what everyone knows, and has known all along. They’re just pretending like they don’t.

        All the “flatten the curve!” charts showed it. We’d give time for hospitals to gear up, and then the virus would spread.

        Then once governors saw the power they had, they started making more and more mandates, and here we are.

        We don’t have a CV problem. We have a government problem thinking they can somehow control or stop a virus.

        1. Yep. I like to say that they knew this right up until Joe Biden needed them to forget.

          Go back to ANY article written in February or March about flattening the curve and EVERYBODY AGREES that stopping the virus is impossible.

      2. You are of course correct, but it will be after the election. US politicians only care about the election.

  21. Couple of points:

    Sweden’s issues wrt comparisons to neighboring countries are entirely due to the number of excess deaths in the previous couple of flu seasons. Denmark, Finland, and Norway all had worse seasons by a fair amount while Sweden had a very light couple of seasons. They had more dry tinder. In Europe, that relationship is nearly perfect for every country. Light flu season in the last few years => higher C19 death rates, heavy flu season the last few years => lower C19 death rates.

    Viral patterns are dependent on the predominant latitudes in each region. Europe and the North East US, fast rise in cases/deaths late winter/early spring. Mid latitudes like the US South and West have lower death rates that start later in the year. Since the US is a composite of the two regions we have a double hump.

    1. Yep. And if you look at the US, you see the same thing. Years of under excess deaths building up the “dry tinder” as you put it, waiting only for an idiot like Cuomo to come along with a torch.

      1. There is a graph of Sweden’s excess deaths for the last 100 years or so. The Spanish flu death spike is roughly 10x higher than the ‘Rona spike which is indistinguishable from most spikes in the plot.

      2. Ug reading this again it was clear I didn’t edit.

        “Years of under-expected deaths”.

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

        It’s basically 3 years of buildup with a tiny exception in Winter ’18.

  22. Great article.
    Now compare the resulting number of riots.

  23. So Jacob, it appears this article wasn’t well received judging by the comments. Why didn’t you mention countries such as South Korea which had very few deaths and hardly a blip in their economy. I believe it actually grew during the quarter of their lockdown,

    Why are you more interested in money rather than saving lives. Seems unREASONable to me.

  24. Deaths per million population: Norway 49; Denmark 109; Finland 121; Sweden 579; USA 607 (The other Scandinavian countries imposed significant lock downs in their fight to contain covid19)
    Unemployment Rate: Norway 5.2%; Denmark 5.2%; Finland 7.7%; Sweden 8.8%; USA 8.4%
    What exactly is the advantage of Sweden’s approach?
    The article does highlight how incompetent America has been. We have a higher death rate than Sweden and a barely better unemployment rate. We have managed to do everything wrong. In fact of the 187 covid19 infected countries, less than a handful have more infections and higher unemployment than the US. We managed an uniquely disastrous response to covid19.

    1. The advantage of Sweden is what we don’t see.

      Sweden just showed lockdowns don’t work. As you can see, all our measures had little measurable impact. So Sweden avoided psychologically traumatizing their population while preserving civil liberties.

      It’s a clear win.

      As for economic data, I’d be extra careful. Already in the best of times we argue over it. The pandemic only added to that.

      But it’s worthing looking at UE numbers before the pandemic and compare it to now.

      For example, we see Sweden’s UE increased by 7%. Norway and Denmark by 17% and Finland 7%.

      Canada began with a 5.5% UE and is currently at 10.5%
      USA 3.6% and stands at 8.4%

      Sweden is actually doing better by these metrics.

      I have to look at GDP.

  25. More of your bullshit juggling of weak statistics, many of which the variance can’t even be estimated (since the reasons the tests are sometimes wrong aren’t understood, and even the “gold” standard tests can be wrong for unknown reasons). You have no basis for reaching the conclusions that you did, nor really any conclusions at all.

    You are Reason’s Yuri Geller, showing up every week to bend Covid spoons for clicks.

  26. Do you wanna earn money without investing money? That’s how I started this job and Now I am making $200 to $300per hour for doing online work from home.

    Apply Now here………. USA Online Jobs

  27. Jacob:
    Sweden’s death toll from flu in 2019 was much lower than that of its Nordic neighbors, providing more “dry tinder” (frail, vulnerable people who’d otherwise have died in the prior year) for Covid-19. Supporting this, countries that had had MORE severe 2019 flu seasons had lower impacts from Covid-19. (A very strong argument IMO.)
    See Ivor Cummins video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvFhIFzaac

  28. I think Covid 19 change the total scenerio of the world. Due to this pendemic online education system has been grown as compare to physical education.

  29. Do job online here to earn thousand of dollars…Click For Full Detail.

  30. I have made 96,760 Buck just last month by working online from my home. I am a full time college student and just doing this in my free time for few hours per week by using my laptop.Everyone can check this out and start making cash online in a very easy way by just following instructions…….COPY This Website….HERE——Click For Full Detail.

  31. I have made 96,760 Buck just last month by working online from my home. I am a full time college student and just doing this in my free time for few hours per week by using my laptop.Everyone can check this out and start making cash online in a very easy way by just following instructions…….COPY This Website….HERE——Click For Full Detail.

Please to post comments