The article below by The Telegraph’s Andrew Lilico, is typical of a flood of similar arguments now being advanced world-wide.
Offsetting them are similar albeit diminishing number of articles by die-hard virologists, epidemic specialists and such-like, sticking to their doomsday approaches.
But one thing is increasingly clear, as I predicted on this Blog seven months ago, specifically when it’s all done and dusted, Sweden will be proven to have had it right. There’s now a general acceptance of that.
Call me cynical but I can’t help wondering how things might have been different if all of the “experts”, none of whom pre-virus anyone had heard of, had been banned from television and their written advocacies in our print media been unaccredited, that is nameless and simply attributed to “a university epidemiologist” and such-like.
Pulled from obscurity to public figure status it’s only human that they don’t want it to stop, even if sub-consciously.
That said, I don’t criticise the initial lockdown safetyfirst approach as at the time we were dealing with an unknown contingency.
But, now we know the story and full-scale lockdowns should not be happening.
It has been clear from the start that govt strategies were insane. Eve the most early doomsday scenarios were refuted by the real science. An interesting experience. Our NZ politicians are perhaps the most idiotic of all continuing with their elimination mantra.
And yet the morons in charge in NZ continue the insane elimination mantra.
The “second wave” being seen in the UK appears to be a result of a massive increase in “testing” using PCR tests which can pick up not only active infections but past infections. So while there may be an increase in “cases” this is not matched by anything like the hospitalisations and deaths which occurred during the peak of the epidemic. They appear to be following the normal increases experienced at this time of year for the northern hemisphere, but the media in general likes to make out otherwise.
Swedish authorities appear to be reconsidering their notoriously lax approach to COVID-19 containment, which has contributed to one of the world’s higher coronavirus death rates.
Starting Oct. 19, regional health authorities may direct citizens to avoid high-risk areas such as gyms, concerts, public transportation and shopping centers, the Telegraph reports. They may also encourage residents to avoid socializing with elderly or other high-risk individuals.
“It’s more of a lockdown situation—but a local lockdown,” Dr. Johan Nojd, who leads the infectious diseases department in the city of Uppsala, told the Telegraph.
In a statement provided to TIME, however, a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Sweden rejected that characterization.
“It is not a lockdown but some extra recommendations that could be communicated locally when a need from the regional authorities is communicated and the Public Health Agency so decides,” the spokesperson said.
A legal official from Sweden’s public health agency told the Telegraph the new policy is “something in between regulations and recommendations.” Violating the guidelines, for example, would not result in fines. Still, it’s a significant shift from Sweden’s previous handling of the coronavirus pandemic. While countries around the world implemented lockdowns once the virus began spreading, Swedish authorities largely let life continue as normal.
The Swedish government in March limited public gatherings to 50 people, but the policy left gaping loopholes—it doesn’t apply to private and corporate gatherings, nor to schools, shopping malls and plenty of other locations. Restaurants and bars never closed. Masks are not recommended in most places. There’s little to stop people from going to school or work if they come into contact with an infected person. Sweden’s testing and contact tracing capacities are lacking.
As of Oct. 18, Sweden’s per-capita death rate—58.6 per 100,000 people—was among the highest in the world. And from early September to early October, average daily cases nationwide rose by 173%, with particularly dramatic increases in cities such as Stockholm and Uppsala.
These hard-hit areas are the focus of Sweden’s shifting guidance, according to the Telegraph‘s report. Nojd told the outlet he is considering telling people in Uppsala not to visit the elderly and other vulnerable populations, and to avoid making unnecessary trips on public transportation. He also mentioned the possibility of imposing curfews on restaurants.
Representatives from the city of Uppsala did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for further comment.
Swedish authorities appear to be conceding that reaching herd immunity—the threshold at which enough of a population is immune to the virus for it to stop spreading widely—is unlikely to be happen without a vaccine. While officials have avoided explicitly calling herd immunity the goal of their casual containment approach, emails obtained by journalists show high-level Swedish public-health officials discussing that strategy as early as March, apparently motivated by economic concerns.
National studies, however, show that far fewer people have developed natural immunity than officials hoped—as evidenced by the ongoing spike in infections. Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell acknowledged that reality last week.
“I think the obvious conclusion is that the level of immunity in those cities is not at all as high as we have, as maybe some people, have believed,” Tegnell said. “I think what we are seeing is very much a consequence of the very heterogeneous spread that this disease has, which means that even if you feel like there have been a lot of cases in some big cities, there are still huge pockets of people who have not been affected yet.”
All very eloquent, but repeat the mantra of the left, that lockdowns are good, natural immunity bad.
You convieniently forgot to mention, WHO recently released that many more ppl have likely received the virus without symptoms.
This drops the death rate well below seasonal flu, even accounting for the unknowns in both.
Sweden’s “high” death rate was an early figure, and expected. This has now dropped to that of or below countries that have absolutely trashed their economies.
They also made some mistakes with protection of elderly, which artificially raised deaths.
So, all in all, they are sitting pretty to realise the gains available when we walk out of this.
And not suffer the economic disasters of any planned “reset”, or pay the exhorbitant costs for vaccines and even higher costs for treatments and losses from the symptoms from vaccination.
Lots more to say, but I nearly stopped reading your diatribe half way, so this is a good point to drop out on.
Thanks for posting that Mike L
You saved me a lot of typing.
As an aside , it is a fallacy that Sweden basically carried on as per normal with the aim of herd immunity as the singular goal.
The population were given certain Covid rules to follow and the Swedes with their high level of societal obligation , that protected the majority.
Unfortunately , to date , close to 6000 of the vulnerable and the elderly had to be thrown under the proverbial bus.
A bit like a war throws 18 year olds under a bus EXCEPT the 18 year olds don’t get to hide. ALL retirees i.e. those at risk do have the option to hide at no cost to the nation. When will you entitled people stop saying the country should bankrupt itself to save me? And they say the new generation is “entitled”.
Time to wake up. The death rate from this Flu is no worse than any season flu but if you are retirees and worried about it STAY HOME.
It is bizarre that reporting also continues to be consumed by reference to “case” numbers in the seemingly big surges and so-called waves, when we’ve known since March that cases are the least important measure – artificially magnified or minimised by testing strategies, and with reality obscured by countless factors, eg if skewed to high or low risk demographics.
Better data are hospitalisations, deaths, etc (and the latter itself demands more insightful reporting, eg whether died from or with Covid).
Yet, even aside from lockdown mania still swamping more effective strategies already known, the media continues mindlessly reporting “cases” surging, with little meaningful analysis of what’s really happening.
Fear sells. Fear enables harsh measures. Measured, dispassionate, genuinely (multi-disciplinary) science-based analysis enabling better health and economic outcomes, not so much.
While I agree on the initial lockdown, my major criticism of the government’s response was the lack of flexibility (see the greenkeepers et al) and the inability to change their approach as the facts came to hand.
I would have preferred to see the approach that Steven Joyce advocated. He said that if he was in control of the situation he would have got the health experts and the economists, put them in a room together and told them not to come out until they had a solution that satisfied both. This was for the health of the country, both physically and financially.
We would certainly have a better outcome all round.
Oh, how dare you suggest we could or should have followed the Swedes. We are some of the lucky one’s. The Swedes have stolen Greta’s future with their society’s selfish acceptance of 6000 of their citizens to DIE. They totally analyzed the China/ Italy/ Spain data from months earlier. They totally followed the national pandemic plan. Surely lock down was the only sensible approach. Poor Greta!
True! You’ve nailed it full scale lockdowns should not be happening
Worldwide the death rate has flat lined since late April.
What we see now is case numbers rising with increased testing. Are these cases ill?
The PCR test that is used to identify cases the inventor Kary Mullis says “it doesn’t tell you are sick”
To reinforce your statement about “experts” Sir Bob. This crucial viral update is right on point illustrating to perfection the point you make.
AND dont forget those medical/scientist people who have been elevated beyond their area of expertise to be coming TV gurus on EVERYTHING. I refer to the microbiologist Sususi something.
Who is often touted as an infectious disease expert!!
This just after saying that the country should endorse the living wage farce.
So she is a politics and economics wizz now???
Off course Sweden has the right approach. You can’t suspend life forever like NZ waiting for a vaccine which may never come.
The world population is 7.7 billion. We have just over a million deaths in 9 months. It is ridiculous to have gutted the world economy on those figures. The Spanish flu is thought to have killed 50 million with a population far less than today. Lets get some perspective.
I think it should also be pointed out that Sweden currently has a moving day death average of one. They have had an increase of Covid19 cases much like the rest of Europe but with little impact on the number of people dying. Yes they have some sensible guidelines to contain the spread but fundamentally they trust the people to do the right thing, rather than draconian lockdowns.
Frankly the world should say lets get on with it. If you are elderly or in poor health by all means take measures to ensure that you reduce the chances of getting Covid. For the rest of us – well I will take my chances. Lets open the borders, start travelling again and ignore the doomsayers like Wiles, Baker and Hendry.
You missed out Ardern.