Back in early March I wrote on this site that intuition told me when it’s all done and dusted I suspect Sweden will prove to have got it right with what was then described as the herd approach to the corona virus. Now increasingly the serious press abroad is publishing articles from diverse “experts” saying as much.
What’s inspiring these revisionist outbreaks are repeated Covid-19 fresh waves everywhere whereas normal life is now virtually restored in Sweden.
But writing this as I did six months back is one thing; actually having to make the hard decisions with unknown numbers of lives at stake, a task which befell politicians is quite another.
So our government copied what other governments were doing, which doubtless I’d have done had it been my call. That said, we must doff our hats to the Swedes for the courage and boldness of their approach, which had a broad public support.
There were Swedish “expert” critics, but they’ve been proved wrong.
Pending a vaccine, sooner or later we’re all going to have to face up to adopting the Swedes model, failing which society will grind to a halt.
The economic and social devastation lying ahead will be unmatched since the great depression. Continuing with lockdowns every time there’s an outbreak will simply make things worse.
Our government listened to Siouxie Wiles, Michael Baker, Nick Wilson and Ashley Bloomfield. None of them considers the economy in their “expert” advice around surviving COVID. Little wonder we have thousands of failing businesses and job seekers.
Suze, you forgot the charlatan Shaun Hendy who assured us all that if we did not go to level 4 immediately 88,000 would perish.
He is merely a modeler who got it catastrophically wrong which has resulted in the worst carnage of our economy since the Great Depression.
But the huge numbers were all Cindy needed to terrify the populous and ensure total control of the compliant sheeple.
This scam is all about politics, not health.
No doubt Hendy will be up for a knighthood in the New Year for services to the NZ Labour Party.
I did! The biggest charlatan of the all. Thanks for picking this up.
And they’re still listening to these same people. Let’s add in Shaun Hendy for good measure. Blinkered approach with nothing but the outcome as far as Covid-19 is concerned. I have written several times to “news” outlets to ask if they could perhaps look further than the opinions of these people but nothing changes. And there seems to be zero investigation into the cost of the measures taken. It’s like it’s a bottomless bucket of money to be spent on Covid-19 measures with no cost/benefit analysis done to see if the money spent increases the overall well-being of New Zealanders or diminishes it. I’m betting on the latter, big time. No other health care spending follows this model of “no expense spared”. This matter seems to have completely escaped the attention of journalists and the public.
Totally agree Trish re the cost/benefits analysis. Still worth the exercise along with lessons learned – however, suspect along way off.
They have double our population and 5800 Covid deaths, not sure that is a good outcome
Their approach was fine… And they freely admit they got elderly protection measures wrong..
Excess death data womt show the reality of the different choices for a number of years yet… All the untreated non Covid serious illness has yet to be seen in avoidable deaths in cancer, heart etc deaths
..and even then Swveedish COVID fatalities appear to be less than a blip in the bigger scheme of things…..
Yes, dead right. Give it another year before the chooks come home but once the realization of scandalous politics and media flogging misinformation comes to it’s inevitable end the truth will out.
There is a massive problem with “Covid deaths” given that the average age of death is pretty much the same as the average age of death of all causes. The rate at which each age group survives, indicates very much that this is something that is “killing” people who very likely would have died of something else anyway. For example, even in the 80 to 90 year old cohort, 70 percent of known infected people survive. How hard is it to understand that around 70% of people this old still have enough robustness to survive a health challenge, and 30% do not? Meanwhile other causes of death are still killing even more elderly who didn’t get Covid at all; but if anyone who dies happened to have Covid, they are “a Covid death”. By these standards, I reckon the common cold virus (it is a coronavirus) could be made to look scary too.
If NZ did get 2,900 Covid deaths (half of Sweden’s), that would not represent 2,900 additional deaths to our normal 30,000 per year (did you even know it is 30,000 per year?). The CDC in the USA has estimated the “excess” mortality there to actually be 7% of the “Covid deaths” and the other 93% are buried in the normal years deaths anyway. And if you net New York out of the statistics, Covid-19 won’t be a cause of excess deaths at all in the rest of the USA. It is completely appropriate for some State Governors like that Superwoman in South Dakota, to refuse to do lockdowns.
What this “pandemic” actually should be taken to prove is that urban crowding is deadly, especially in places with crap weather like New York and London and Bergamo. Sir Bob actually said this months ago and I strongly agreed with him: NZ was never going to have a death rate as high as these places, or as high as Sweden with its cold, its ghettoes of immigrants, and it’s “factory” style Rest Homes. I say we would have been like “the rest of the USA”, with our “Covid deaths” not actually causing any increase in the normal level of mortality.
I agree with earlier commenters that that Hendy charlatan should be in utter disgrace for his GIGO computer modelling, not still on the government’s advisory panel, and it is sick-inducing to think he might be in line for a New Years Honor. 88,000 deaths! The consequences of being this wrong is not excusable “because it made us be appropriately cautious”, it caused far more harm even in long term deaths “because of lockdown” than it would have been if the model had said “no excess mortality” and then been wrong by 10 percent in the wrong direction. Something that would be getting scrutinized to the nth degree, is if an expert advisor turned out to be an Ayn Randist who was opposed to lockdowns, who forecast an unrealistically low figure. But someone can be a one-world Communist who provides sham data as a pretext for massive destruction of civil liberties, and no-one who matters bats an eyelid.
In 2018 92,185 people died in Sweden. In 2020 (up to August 14, which is almost 2/3 through the year) there have been 62,890 deaths, which extrapolates out to 94,335 over the year, assuming current rates continue – which is unlikely as the worst of the COVID death toll is miles behind them.
In other words, their herd immunity approach, which they admit they could have managed better especially in terms of their aged citizens, has not had a dramatic impact on the normal death rate.
Concur on all counts. Problem is that the current inept government fails (again) to learn anything new from the previous nine months of data handed to us from the rest of the world. Lock up after lock up is NOT the way forward for any country let alone our little isolated island. It’s all about the election and one dictator that wants to keep smiling like a knife for another term, not what’s best for the other 4,999,999 of us!!
The experts at NZ Herald published “Sweden’s Covid-19 experiment holds a worldwide warning” article, lets call it editorial. Seems that few will look at the facts, statistics, and taken a logical view of what the Swedes have done. Instead, the fear mongering must progress. Put into perspective the Swedes curve, has well and truly flattened. Just like how Cindy wanted at the start. Though lets face it, (K)iwi’s are near the most unhealthy populations on the planet. Obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, not to mention our Pacifica friends. We would have have been decimated, (and may still well be), had we not gone the lock down path.
The Swedes freely admit they should have isolated their elderly and vulnerable sooner. A hard lesson to learn. But I take my hat off to their politicians who at least admit when they got something wrong. Unlike our lot ….
I agree, Sweden’s approach was adult, mature. I think it was excusable to have an initial policy of keeping the virus out of the country until we saw the extent of the problem. But that would have involved a fairly easy but truly early decision of closing the border in February. Then no harsh lockdown would have been considered necessary. But the Government left it too late, and then panicked with a wrecking ball lockdown. Even then, Level 4 was overkill. Level 2 would have been adequate, as Bloomfield advised. With the entrenched policy of elimination, we may end up like the Boy in the Bubble and too scared to mix with the rest of the world which has gained collective immunity. Eventually, our economy will die or be maimed for a long time.
The data is in. You, Sir Robert, were 100% correct in March.
However, I’m not so impressed with your 8/10 rating for this fear mongering government.
In my mind, the fear-based rhetoric that the Prime Minister routinely employs has been nothing short of disgraceful – an act of pure vandalism against the people.
The biggest disappointment for me to date has been the failure of all our institutions during this crisis.
The Courts ruled the initial lockdown was illegal, but then instead of reprimanding the government, they actually praised them for their criminal undertakings. The Courts’ credibility is now substantially diminished, at least in my mind.
The police have acted like hooligans throughout the crisis, bullying ordinary people, but cowering with regards to our criminal gangs. This has been very disappointing to see.
The Reserve Bank and Treasury economists have collaborated with the government, with a series of fantasy style forecasts, at odds with their responsibility to the people to tell the truth. Have the Treasury and Reserve Bank been politicised, or are they just deluded? I don’t know, but neither option is particularly helpful.
The Fourth Estate has shown itself to be, almost without exception, infantile and lightweight. This is very troubling, because I see no hope for improving this sad state of affairs.
The scientific “experts” have typically employed groupthink like ideological fanatics, stifling any scientific debate, using bullying tactics. How was this allowed to happen?
The opposition has been weak and evasive throughout the crisis.
When will it all end?
All hopes are on the magic potion.
Producing and distributing a vaccine for 7 billion or so people could take a couple more years. Even then, vaccines are typically much less effective for older people. Given the average age of someone dying with Covid is over 82, this does not bode well.
I suspect that our borders will still be closed in three years’ time. If this state of affairs is what the most successful country battling Covid looks like, please give me the failure option.
Pretty much sums it up. If you’re interested in adding to the voices against these continued strategies please think about showing support for http://www.covidplanb.co.nz. Largely ignored by the main stream media and generally put down by the above-named “experts”.
Hmmm. Better hope you have some chickens and a veggie plot if we are closed for 3 years. Ohhh and some good security measures.
The commies will love it and the 4th estate will still be feeding us rubbish c/- the children they call reporters. They definitely will never be called investigative journalists.
Truly wonderful comment. I couldn’t agree more.
Sane Minority: there are consequences; it’s not the government’s job to hold hands while the economy ie us, is destroyed simply to save people from themselves. Give people the information and help where appropriate, but then it’s up to us. This isn’t tiddlywinks. Lovely saying, thanks Tana.
I agree, the minority are grown up enough to make our own decisions. Unfortunately the majority are a flock of 5 million. They are either ignorant, or don’t have the intelligence to understand the ramifications of lock down. I watched in awe, popularity politics in play. Watching all parties consulting their pollsters, before making any statement. The mass media bully tactics, attacking as lunacy, any alternative narrative to that prescribed by the so called experts. Destruction of our economy, by Lab/NZF/Green. Then again, we all could be asking those families who have been victims, if lock down was the right result? Yes the lock down has possibly saved the lives of 4,000 Kiwi’s, though using the term saved is more akin to delayed death of the 4,000. Most of whom will likely still die in the next couple of years. Because there simply is not a cure for old age yet. real suckers, and losers are the youth. Though they are too social media brain washed to realize their fate.
Let us not forget, be kind, Unite, team of 5m, Let’s do this. Like all socialist, dictatorships, the poor will suffer the most.
Why oh why can people ONLY think of Sweden as the anti lockdown comparison.!!!!!!!!!!!
Taiwan was and still is the gold standard. Funnily enough our fearless leader hit the press in March saying we would follow Taiwans lead….!!!
On 15 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand would follow Taiwan’s example in their strategy to fight the epidemic
I guess somebody pointed out how the polls were showing the COL loosing ground and why waste a good crisis….
https://static.colmarbrunton.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/8-12-Feb-2020_1-NEWS-Colmar-Brunton-Poll-report-.pdf (Note Nats hit 46% high, Labour vote shrinking)
Voila. 8 days later Lockdown, fear generation at full steam.
So ignore the sensible approach(Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos.) Countries taking sensible precautions and not imprisoning their population and very low case/fatality numbers.
Remember the good old days when Mr Bloomfield says all under control not to worry.
Spot on Sir Robert. As of today Sweden’s moving 7 day average for new Covid Cases is 108,7 day moving average for deaths is 1. Amongst the best in Europe.
I note that Jessie Mulligan that awful afternoon host on National Radio and also on Newshub’s The Project recently wrote a tirade about Sweden. He said “First, Sweden’s number of COVID-19 cases is going up. The coronavirus is not under control. Though deaths are down, Sweden is seeing more infections every day and the graph is going in the wrong direction”.
Off course he’s wrong.However as a chief cheerleader for the govt and their COVID response he’s hardly going to admit that. Doesn’t suit the left wing narrative.
The lack of media scrutiny is just scandalous. No one seems to even bother challenging the government as to what is their long term plan. Both TV news channels seem to have a policy that they will never feature anyone losing their jobs, their businesses, or highlight adverse health outcomes – physical and mental. It seems that they operate on a basis that criticism of the govt and particularly Jacinda Adern is a treasonable offence.
Very accurate assessment Frederick. The covid deaths are virtually non existent world wide now. Testing is ramped right up so we now no longer have a pandemic but a casedemic to justify continued lockdowns.
To substantiate my statement review the following statistics: Viral Issue Crucial Update Sept 8th_ the Science, Logic and Data Explained
Your right Trish C “a bottomless bucket of money” The President of Belarus gives testimony to the scale in this article. Belarusian President Claims IMF & World Bank Offered him a Bribe to Impose COVID Restrictions.
Just how much Comrade Cindy has pocketed is unclear but given her fervor for lockdowns there must be additional incentives like UN Secretary General on offer one would speculate. What the neo-marxist leftees don’t realise is the Technocrats will bin them as soon as they have what they came for and that is NZ businesses for cents on the dollar
I think you might be being nice to Jacinda because she forced all those government workers back into your offices. It’s more than obvious you would have done different from the government. You would have a run a COMPLETE cost-benefit analysts on the situation – as you should of, and as she didn’t.
Disagree with your Sir Bob and agree with Backbone’s comments above. Adding to that, on average, fifteen people are hospitalized to every one Covid death with some taking months to recover. 5,800 deaths in Sweden – that’s a terrible result for a population of ten million. A vaccine will be found this year, excluding the Russian vaccine. All you need is patience.
For godsake Adrian, you want to be injected with a vaccine that has been whipped up and not had long term testing/trials? Not me. I repeat, the Swedes openly admit they should have protected their elderly and vulnerable and regret their high death numbers.
And yes Peter, you are correct. Taiwan has done well, not that WHO would ever mention that. Ardern was more concerned about her ‘day in the sun’ at the CHC Commemoration, which those affected didn’t even want. She cancelled that ‘show’ less than 24 hours out. So much for her ‘hard and fast’ – BOLLOCKS!!!
Sweden has two million people in the over 65 demographic with a population of 10 million it has a big bearing on figures, add in 2 or 3 other morbidities in the same demographic and the real numbers are considerably less than you state. Consider Ireland with the same population as NZ: https://www.brighteon.com/77eb9df2-5ba6-4529-8f60-8d2c92adfdc9
It’s difficult to consider all of the perspectives when:
a). You’re just not the sharpest pencil in the pack
b). You’re arrogant enough to believe that you’re always right
c). You’ve never worked in an environment where you “eat what you kill”
d). You’re obsessed in winning an election at all costs
e). You surround yourself with academics (rf: points b, c)
f). You’re fixated with taking from the rich (aka those who have sacrificed to get ahead) & giving to the poor (aka those whom you hang out with)
Ardern is a moron, a truly stupid person, or has an agenda. The govt policy of revolving lockdowns in the face of reducing deaths everywhere is simply insane. I wrote to Professor Michael Levitt, Nobel laureate (Chemistry 2103), he replied with his view that NZ should move out of lockdown immediately and let cases rise, we will not be overwhelmed. He also provided evidence no country exceeded a 20 % rate of infection. In other words 80 % have natural immunity, or through contact – probably from a common cold. I circulated this, the news media in this country is criminally stupid and biased. We live in a land of insanity. The voice of reason is the COVIDPlanB group, of course the halfwits in charge ignore them.
The families of neatly 6OOO dead may not agree. Also our primary export market is Asia and Asia isn’t keen on importing meat and produce from covid tainted suppliers. Our primary industry exports keep NZ afloat. Sweden has had a large decrease in tourism and didn’t come off as lightly as may be thought by some. They did get their deaths over quickly. But I will hold my opinion on their “success” until after winter. Also If we had let a ton of potentially infected tourists into the country our economy would not benefit from that either. Our health system has a huge back log as it is. The burden of sick visitors would not have been something we could manage as easily as Sweden whose health system was sin better shape to begin with.
Sweden?! Nah, Taiwan is the model. Precise, scaled correctly, and quick – the opposite of Ardern’s blunderbuss approach. Think of the concept of herd immunity here in the US. 330 million people. What’s the level of infection penetration you seek for immunity? Let’s say 65%. The death rate? Let’s say 1%. That’s over two million people, according to my Taranaki high school math, and that’s an unacceptable number, at least to me…
We will not be able to compare our death rate to Sweden’s until we have all been exposed to the virus. They’ve faced it and taken the hit. We’re still to take the hit, as inevitably we will we open up… either voluntarily or after we’ve gone broke.
Agreed that consultation of experts has been far too narrow. This is hugely frustrating for a growing number of health professionals as we know far more about this virus than ever could have been imagined back in March.
Some 200 doctors and other health professionals have written to the New Zealand and Australian Ministers of Health, offering assistance. It will be most interesting to see the response. You can read about it here:
Well you can give credit to lockdowns for one thing… they stopped ‘The Mousetrap’.
Swedish normalcy is a myth, as is herd immunity. Don’t just check out and compare Sweden’s cases and deaths, check out their actual restrictions, and their economic fallout. If we were Sweden, we would have 42000 cases and 2800 deaths, and all for nothing.
If you know the figures you tell us to look up why don’t you tell us.
We would have only had those cases if those people were careless with their movements and hygiene.
All speculation. It is not the states job to take care of every individual by locking everyone in their home. People need to assume responsibility.
I would suggest todays GDP figure shows it wouldn’t have been for nothing. Ohhh, better add our insane money scramble to that also.
I don’t need to ask if you are a business owner currently going bankrupt. A golf buddy threw himself of the Harbour Bridge recently after seeing his bus company crumbling under him … did he die of Covid??