wynnmandy wrote: ↑
Sun May 10, 2020 11:43 pm
Yes Sweden has done very well.
I wonder if the 3,225 Swedes who have succumbed to Codid-19 to date would agree with that statement. Sweden has a death rate of 319 per million of population. Compare that with its immediate neighbors, Norway and Finland who are taking more restrictive approaches and have death rates of 40 and 48 per million of population respectively.
For Sweden to achieve herd immunity, which I understand requires at least 60% of the population to be infected, their death toll would be around 120,000 (based on a 2% fatality rate). Sweden's fatality rate is actually an alarming 12%. I assume, based on TomW's comments, that this is due to the virus getting into aged care facilities. However such infiltrations are almost inevitable when there is a high infection rate within the general community.
I believe that Sweden is doing a very risky experiment, one which is based on a fair amount of wishful thinking. There are several things that could cause this to be a failed experiment including:
- An effective treatment or vaccine is available before the rest of the world eventually 'catches up' (as predicted by the Swedish authorities) to Sweden on their net fatality rates. That would leave Sweden with an unnecessarily amount of 'excess' deaths. Sweden's reasoning is that the rest of the world will not be sustain their controls for long enough. However, I think and hope that those who have been practicing social distancing, hand hygiene and other controls under strict rules will continue to do so after the rules are lifted.
- It turns out that there is only weak (or no) herd immunity because either:
(a) any immunity conferred by getting infected does not last long enough relative to the duration of the pandemic or is not strong enough. It is too early in the game to be certain how long and how strong any immunity will turn out to be. In fact I have not yet seen any studies on it at all.
(b) the virus mutates rapidly. A good way to reduced the chances and consequences of mutation is to limit the number of active cases (R0) and therefore the opportunities for mutation and spread.
- It turns out that there are long term health issues, or reductions in life expectancy, resulting from being infected (even in mild cases). Only time will tell. However, it is already clear that this is a nasty bug and infections affect more that just the lungs.
- How well the Swedish economy will actually be able to do when the global economy is suffering. What good is having the Volvo factory spitting out cars at full capacity when the export demand has dried up ?
Bottom line, good luck to Sweden, but I am glad that I am not part of their experiment.