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  #101  
Old 04-13-2020, 08:29 PM
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This article shows me why Sweden's approach won't really have much usefulness as guidance for what other countries can do. Because the results will be measured in hindsight and the goalposts are moving about what success means.

Sweden sticks to ‘low-scale’ lockdown despite rise in coronavirus deaths

Now that Sweden has had twice as many deaths per million as Denmark, now they're saying that Denmark will have a spike when they open back up. Maybe. But Sweden's deaths already happened. Those people can't come back. Denmark can adjust their restrictions.

Their original reason was that the economy would be less hard hit. But it looks like it was pretty hard hit along with the deaths.

Quote:
And while most businesses in Sweden are still operating, the economic cost of the pandemic is already being felt. Last week, 25,350 Swedes registered as unemployed, according to the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce — a larger increase than during the 2008 financial crisis.
The Prime Minster is on board with tightening the restrictions but the chief epidemiologist is not.

Quote:
Sweden, with a population of 10 million, has registered 899 deaths, while Denmark, with 5.8 million people, has 273 deaths.

After a sharp spike in deaths in Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven proposed an emergency law allowing the quick closure of public venues and transportation if needed. Lofven also warned citizens to prepare for possibly up to thousands of deaths.

Nevertheless, Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist, insists that Sweden’s approach still seems to make sense, though he also acknowledges that the world is in uncharted territory with the virus.
Tegnell says that Denmark may see a sharp spike when regulations are relaxed. Denmark says that there is no right or wrong approach.

Quote:
Lars Ostergaard, chief consultant and professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, agrees it is too soon to know which approach is best.

“Every day a person is not being infected because of the strict lockdown, we are a day closer to a cure,” Ostergaard said, underlining the advantage of the Danish approach. But he acknowledges that the long-term consequences of a locked-down community could also be “substantial.”

“There is no right or wrong way,” Ostergaard said. ”No one has walked this path before, and only the aftermath will show who made the best decision.”
  #102  
Old 04-13-2020, 09:02 PM
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Well that last quote is absolutely true. Not "the cure" part , that's BS, but that the aftermath, history, will be the judge.

Meanwhile the "goalposts" going in with the Sweden Denmark tracks comparisons have been pretty clear from my POV:

Can Sweden with their less draconian approach stay within the ability of their healthcare system to handle their surge? How many more deaths per million will they have than Denmark in the short term, and, over the complete course of the epidemic will they end up with more or not or maybe less? Both will of course have economic impacts but will one have less than the other and with what impacts of that on mortality and morbidity over the rest of the year?

The mitigation flatten the curve idea is to keep the peak from exceeding healthcare ability to handle it and presuming that the total number of deaths is the same otherwise. IF that is the model subscribed to and IF their approach avoids exceeding their capacity then they may do better over the longer term in terms of deaths and damage to their citizens. Big ifs and a big may to be sure.
  #103  
Old 04-13-2020, 09:08 PM
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Sweden seems to have a very strong 7 day cycle in its numbers, so I would be inclined to wait a bit longer. We can hope they have things more under control.
  #104  
Old 04-13-2020, 11:54 PM
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Article in the Independent (UK) yesterday:

‘I’ve never written so many death certificates’: Is Sweden having second thoughts on lockdown?

Quote:
I’ve never written so many death certificates. I’ve never worked this many hours,” says an exhausted Issa Yacoub, a doctor working in Sodersjukhuset, one of Stockholm’s largest public hospitals.

He and his colleagues are becoming increasingly overwhelmed with the number of patients passing through their doors.
...

The virus has spread to one-third of nursing homes in Stockholm, which has resulted in a spike in fatalities.

Prime minister Stefan Lofven recently admitted in an interview with daily Svenska Dagbladet that “Sweden has not succeeded in protecting it’s elderly”. Mr Lofven also warned citizens to prepare for possibly up to “thousands” of deaths.
...

Karolinska hospital has issued guidelines to doctors indicating that patients 80 years old and above would not be admitted into intensive care units, nor those between 60 and 80 with pre-existing conditions.

The prime minister has proposed an emergency law for the rapid closure of schools, public areas and transportation if the situation worsens.
  #105  
Old 04-14-2020, 12:10 AM
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Wow; so a 62 year old with high blood pressure would not be admitted to an ICU? That's harsh.

ETA: According to WoM right now, Sweden has 91 deaths per 1 million while Denmark has 49 deaths per 1 million.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 04-14-2020 at 12:12 AM.
  #106  
Old 04-14-2020, 12:27 AM
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Can Sweden with their less draconian approach stay within the ability of their healthcare system to handle their surge?
One could argue that already happened back in March 16, 2020.

More ICU beds needed to handle Swedish coronavirus cases, doctors say

Quote:
Several regions - like the major urban areas of Stockholm, Skåne and Västra Götaland - say they are planning on offering additional ICU beds in the near future to handle more serious COVID-19 infections.

But as the number of confirmed cases inches toward 1,000 on Monday, some health workers says finding enough space to treat patients is already a serious issue.
In order to meet the need, tent hospitals were set up in different areas in Sweden.

The number of hospital beds overall has been declining from 2000-2017 in Sweden. In a study from July 2012, Sweden had the second least amount of critical care hospital beds in Europe.

According to this wiki, Sweden has 5.8 ICU beds per 100,000 people and 570 ventilators. Hopefully, Sweden has procured more ventilators since there are now 859 serious/critical patients with the coronavirus as of today.

One might argue that people are not receiving the best care in a makeshift tent hospital with a shortage of ventilators. Dying in a tent hospital so that a segment of the population can dine in restaurants isn't a trade-off I would choose. I would use the second definition of draconian while you appear to be using the first.
  #107  
Old 04-14-2020, 12:43 AM
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More quotes from that article that I find telling.

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Dr Carina King, an epidemiologist working at the Karolinska, says: “If Sweden’s strategy is a choice, why view these deaths as inevitable and not preventable?”
. . .
King adds that it is very difficult to assess the science behind Sweden’s strategy since “it has not been transparently presented”.

“There are clear examples where the Swedish guidelines do not fall in line with either WHO recommendations or available empirical evidence. A good example of this is the recommendation that household contacts of suspected Covid-19 cases do not need to quarantine.”

Dr Holger Rootzen, one of the earliest detractors of Sweden’s policy and a professor of mathematical statistics at the University of Chalmers, says that Sweden will soon be overwhelmed unless more action in taken.
. . .
Dr Cecilia Soderberg Naucler, an expert in microbial pathogenesis at the Karolinska Institute, believes this trust is unfounded and will soon break.

“I’m a scientist, I only trust data and the data says we are heading for catastrophe. We are now part of an experiment without informed consent.”
Dr. Carina King's question is the one I've been asking myself as I watch this unfold.
  #108  
Old 04-14-2020, 09:40 AM
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Saw this this morning:
Sweden's Relaxed Approach to the Coronavirus Could Already Be Backfiring
  #109  
Old 04-14-2020, 11:22 PM
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Sadly it seems Sweden's death rate is back on track after the Easter break. I fear this is not going to go well for them.
  #110  
Old 04-15-2020, 06:27 AM
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Sadly it seems Sweden's death rate is back on track after the Easter break. I fear this is not going to go well for them.
?

They had less than the uptick I would have expected as they do their usual reporting the weekend numbers after weekend and continue to overall follow Switzerland’s curve. Last 7 d 1.08. The last 7d before that 1.19. Switzerland’s last 7d at the same point 1.09. Denmark 1.06.

Of course reasonable to fear that it won’t “go well” but not based on that.
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  #111  
Old 04-15-2020, 06:34 AM
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I have a feeling tomorrow will cover the remaining gap. The previous weekend patterns have taken a few days to clear. Today's jump pretty much repeats the pattern of the last few weeks.
  #112  
Old 04-15-2020, 06:50 AM
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Exactly yes. Which is why you have to look at the 7 d moving average for them and the fact that with their flat days and their steeper days averaged out the hill overall flattening and shaped like Switzerland's had ahead of them, going a little below their curve over the 3 days that count as week end and a little above during the 4 days that are not, but overall following it. Which is not great and may be overwhelming their health system given the small capacity they had going into it. Still being written.
  #113  
Old 04-15-2020, 06:22 PM
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Here in Norway, numbers peaked two weeks ago and have been declining for a week. The epidemic is considered under control. It is possible we may be able to take some load of Swedens system.
  #114  
Old 04-15-2020, 07:55 PM
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I for one am very happy for Norway and also very interested in how Norway re-opens and what happens as they do.

If Norway (and Sweden's other Nordic neighbors) do end up helping Sweden avoid exceeding the surge capacity of their system then I hope that Sweden ends up doing more than saying "Takk så mye!"
  #115  
Old 04-15-2020, 08:16 PM
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As of last week anyway, Sweden still seemed well within hospital capacity from the articles I read. Hope it works for them.
  #116  
Old 04-15-2020, 08:50 PM
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Interesting stat. on coronavirus prevalence I found from here:

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In March and April, tests were carried out on 738 randomly chosen people in the Stockholm region who took their own samples. Of these, 18 tested positive for the virus (2.5 percent of the total), 689 negative, and the remaining 31 were unable to be tested as the samples didn't contain enough material.

Last week, a similar random test was launched on a random scale to cover the whole of Sweden. Around 4,000 people will be given the option to submit samples. But we don't yet have a reliable estimate of how many people in Sweden have the virus.
I'm not sure how good that 'taking their own sample' methodology would be. It's my understanding that you can get a lot of false negatives even with a professional taking your sample. So if that were the case, presumably the real prevalence would be higher
  #117  
Old 04-15-2020, 11:26 PM
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It should have taken you about 14-21 days to get from 1 case to 128 cases assuming a doubling every 2-3 days (that's with no mitigation). So if this is all organic growth, then you are still on a glide path to disaster. But I suspect a lot of these cases are not organic to Hoboken but imported from places like NYC. You don't get to 1000 infected until days 20-30.
26 days to get from 1 to 128 by my figures (based on what's been reported in the media).
After 33 days, we are at 338 cases, 18 deaths.
By my calculations, we would reach over 1000 on day 51 on May 3. Then again, with half the town gone and the rest under quarantine, the curve may continue to flatten over the next couple of weeks.


Interestingly, most of the cases are in the 17 to 40 range (no doubt a function of the town's demographics). Although most of the deaths are in 70-80 year-olds.

On a positive note, I was able to purchase a 12 roll of Cotonelle toilet paper yesterday.
  #118  
Old 04-20-2020, 08:50 PM
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Update. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.blo...ving-effective
Quote:
... At no stage did Sweden see a real shortage of medical equipment or hospital capacity, and tents set up as emergency care facilities around the country have mostly remained empty. ... “The trend we have seen in recent days, with a more flat curve -- where we have many new cases, but not a daily increase -- is stabilizing,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the microbiology department at Sweden’s Public Health Authority, said on Friday. “We are seeing the same pattern for patients in intensive care.” ...
  #119  
Old 04-21-2020, 11:18 AM
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There is an article titled "The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off" in The Spectator: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...t-s-paying-off
  #120  
Old 04-21-2020, 11:43 AM
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Also from the article:
Quote:
And while many other countries have introduced strict laws, including hefty fines if people are caught breaching newly minted social-distancing laws, Swedes appear to be following such guidelines without the need for legislation. Trips from Stockholm to Gotland -- a popular vacation destination -- dropped by 96% over the Easter weekend, according to data from the country’s largest mobile operator, Telia Company. And online service Citymapper’s statistics indicate an almost 75% drop in mobility in the capital.
We may have to prepare for the fact that we can't follow a Swedish plan -- it only worked because they are fundamentally better than us. There. I said it. Lol.
  #121  
Old 04-21-2020, 12:20 PM
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There is an article titled "The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off" in The Spectator: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...t-s-paying-off
I would think twice before relying on anything the right-wing Spectator says. They are Boris Johnson and Trump supporters, and they were against the lockdown from the start.

In actual fact, Sweden has just recorded its highest ever daily death toll today.

I don't fully believe the Swedish death stats, because they seem very erratic, and they are are doing little testing, so many deaths may have been recorded as being from other causes.

But Sweden's death rate per million is still the 7th highest in the world (ignoring tiny states and territories), and is now nearly 3x higher than Denmark, more than 7x higher than Norway. It's not clear that it's leveling off.
  #122  
Old 04-21-2020, 12:37 PM
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The main point of flattening the curve was keeping within hospital capacity. Sweden seems to be doing that. Their plan would seem to assume they'll have a steeper climb in the beginning. What remains to be seen is whether the somewhat slower climb but longer plateau plan other countries are using ends up with less deaths overall.
  #123  
Old 04-21-2020, 12:46 PM
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On April 10, I compared Sweden with other countries in the region:

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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
Updated death rates per million, two days on:

Sweden - 59 ➔ 79

Denmark - 35 ➔ 41
Norway - 16 ➔ 20
Finland - 6 ➔ 8
Iceland - 18 ➔18
Estonia - 16 ➔ 18
Latvia - 1 ➔ 2
Lithuania - 6 ➔ 6
It's interesting to see how the numbers have changed, and many deaths per million have occurred in the past 11 days.

Sweden - 79 ➔ 171 (an extra 92 deaths/million in 11 days)

Denmark - 41 ➔ 64 (23)
Norway - 20 ➔ 34 (14)
Finland - 8 ➔ 25 (17)
Iceland - 18 ➔ 29 (11)
Estonia - 18 ➔ 32 (14)
Latvia - 2 ➔ 5 (3)
Lithuania - 6 ➔ 14 (8)

It seems to me that Sweden's strategy is definitely not working.
  #124  
Old 04-21-2020, 12:55 PM
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For comparison, the USA has had about an extra 66 deaths/million in the past 11 days, but I'm not sure if the USA is at the same point on the curve as the Nordic countries.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 04-21-2020 at 12:56 PM.
  #125  
Old 04-21-2020, 01:07 PM
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In actual fact, Sweden has just recorded its highest ever daily death toll today.
It's silly to stare at a single number when there are a million different factors affecting things. What happens is that many hospitals will register deaths after the weekend, because despite possibly being superhuman even medical professionals need to rest sometimes. That's why reported numbers always dip on weekend days, and the average for friday to monday is around 60, which is right about where it's been for the past weeks. That's what they mean when they say the numbers are stable, even if it's not the same number that gets registered between 12 AM and 11:59 PM from one day to the next.
  #126  
Old 04-21-2020, 01:08 PM
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We can't know it's failing until we see how long other countries are in their "flat" section and how steep the drop off is for Sweden. In fact, how the second wave goes will be telling. You can't predict that future yet.
  #127  
Old 04-21-2020, 01:32 PM
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It's silly to stare at a single number when there are a million different factors affecting things. What happens is that many hospitals will register deaths after the weekend, because despite possibly being superhuman even medical professionals need to rest sometimes. That's why reported numbers always dip on weekend days, and the average for friday to monday is around 60, which is right about where it's been for the past weeks. That's what they mean when they say the numbers are stable, even if it's not the same number that gets registered between 12 AM and 11:59 PM from one day to the next.
I suggest you actually look at the chart of daily deaths in Sweden. It goes in cycles, higher and higher each time. Today is not yet shown in the chart, but it's the highest yet.

The pattern is most clearly NOT stable, but rising.
  #128  
Old 04-21-2020, 01:42 PM
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the average for friday to monday is around 60, which is right about where it's been for the past weeks.
The average for the past 7 days was 80/day.

For the previous 7 days it was 73/day.

For 7 days before that it was 64/day.
  #129  
Old 04-21-2020, 01:53 PM
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The average for the past 7 days was 80/day.

For the previous 7 days it was 73/day.

For 7 days before that it was 64/day.
So it's about a 10% increase. It's hardly the doomsday scenario some people seem to be so excited for.
  #130  
Old 04-21-2020, 02:41 PM
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So it's about a 10% increase. It's hardly the doomsday scenario some people seem to be so excited for.
It's hardly "the Swedish approach is working" either. And that's what we're discussing.
  #131  
Old 04-21-2020, 02:48 PM
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It's hardly "the Swedish approach is working" either. And that's what we're discussing.
Is it? One side seems to be saying "we'll see" another saying "it's already obviously failed". I'm not advocating that we know Sweden was right all along. But it is still certainly possible they'll end this wave with similar fatalities and not get much of a second wave compared to other countries. Part of the Swedish reasoning is that their plan can be held longer than the more serious lockdowns in other countries. Do you not at least buy that premise?
  #132  
Old 04-21-2020, 02:49 PM
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It's hardly "the Swedish approach is working" either. And that's what we're discussing.
It pretty much IS working. The people who have died this week were infected some time last month while the number of infected was rising, because people don't just get infected and perish where they stand. What the statistics show currently is that the number of new cases and the number of people in intensive care is going down, which is the desired outcome.
  #133  
Old 04-21-2020, 02:53 PM
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We may have to prepare for the fact that we can't follow a Swedish plan -- it only worked because they are fundamentally better than us. There. I said it. Lol.
That's why we literally call them better people - bättre folk. Lol.
  #134  
Old 04-21-2020, 02:57 PM
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Growth-

Current 7 day cycle 1.08
Previous 1.10
One before that 1.18

Not out of the woods.

And not as good as Nordic peers by any means and that is still more deaths per day on average in an absolute number sense.

But reports of stable ICU and hospital bed demands that by reports are within capacity are reassuring. Not a disaster.
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:00 PM
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That's why we literally call them better people - bättre folk. Lol.
That's gotta go to their heads.
  #136  
Old 04-23-2020, 05:07 AM
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Sweden reported 682 new infections and 172 new deaths yesterday. The third highest increase in infections and the second highest increase in deaths since the beginning.

Last edited by MaverocK; 04-23-2020 at 05:08 AM.
  #137  
Old 04-23-2020, 07:26 AM
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More concerning to me than the daily increase number is that their weekly average daily growth rate is NOT continuing to decrease as much most other countries have at this point. Now maybe the reports of decreased ICU admissions will reflect in a greater rate decrease over the next 7 day cycle maybe not, but they are no longer tracking right on the same curve as Switzerland, are moving slight up and away, and while that is still not currently being a disaster it is very worrisome.
  #138  
Old 04-23-2020, 08:57 AM
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Sweden today reported its highest number of new infections. Can someone please explain to me how "Sweden's way" is better?
  #139  
Old 04-23-2020, 09:05 AM
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Sweden today reported its highest number of new infections. Can someone please explain to me how "Sweden's way" is better?
It's an apples vs oranges thing. Their standard of 'success' isn't number of infected or deaths but whether or not their medical system gets overwhelmed.

If they don't reach capacity on hospital beds or equipment, they're saying that's good enough. That sounds a bit callous, but it's not entirely meritless. We've got the same arguments going on in the US about the balance of the economy vs overall health, though we have much less prep work. Sweden has already set up tent hospitals and expanded testing, equipment, and ICU capacity to a greater degree than we have, i.e. there would likely be less push back in the US to opening things up if we also did those things.

Of course, that depends on Sweden's ability to stay within the capacity of their medical system. If they get to or beyond 100%, that's a clear failure point, and they'll rightly be castigated for experimenting with their citizens' lives. If they don't, they have a strong argument for their strategy, albeit one that couldn't be replicated everywhere else and one that literally does put a price on people's lives. That first point is important. Sweden relies on its citizens trusting the advice of its government and voluntarily following guidelines, which clearly hasn't happened in several other countries, including much of the US.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 04-23-2020 at 09:07 AM.
  #140  
Old 04-23-2020, 09:19 AM
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Sweden today reported its highest number of new infections. Can someone please explain to me how "Sweden's way" is better?
I'd add that I have not ready anyone here arguing that Sweden's way is better ... just not accepting as a given that it is for sure worse. It might end up being.

It still remains to be seen, and what it informs for the rest of us if their approach ends up not being a disaster (or maybe even saves lives lost in aggregate over the entire course including in a Fall wave and due to economic fallout) will be open for discussion.
  #141  
Old 04-24-2020, 08:09 AM
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Sweden today reported its highest number of new infections again.
  #142  
Old 04-24-2020, 10:52 AM
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Their data seems to have a weekly pattern so its not easy to tell if this is a peak or part of that cycle, but it does appear to be ratcheting upwards steadily.I would imagine that their deaths relate to cases that were diagnosed around two or three weeks ago and the number of infections has accelerated somewhat since that time and that will emerge pretty obviously in deaths in the next three or four days.

Last edited by casdave; 04-24-2020 at 10:54 AM.
  #143  
Old 04-24-2020, 11:29 AM
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What is interesting about Sweden's "way", is that it is really one person's way. Rather the architect is one Anders Tegnell, who is Sweden's chief epidemiologist. He believes in gradual accumulation of herd immunity and protecting the vulnerable on the way, and he is not a fan of lockdowns. Nor however is the government, who are not even sure they have the power to force one.

Sweden believes in civic duty, and expects that the populace will do the right thing. There is no doubt that the citizens do take the responsibility to heart, and activities are much reduced across the country. But none-the-less. Anders expects the death rate to climb, peak, and then the country to enjoy a level of herd immunity. He believes that countries and Germany do not have sufficient scientific backing for their more strict lockdowns.

Heck, he might even be right. Personally I would not be betting that way. It is one thing to have the courage of one's convictions, but another to be betting the lives of one's countrymen.
  #144  
Old 04-24-2020, 06:01 PM
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One thing that's infuriating about Anders Tegnell's "way" is that he's consistently denied asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission as worth guarding against, and advises people to only stay home if they're sick. This conflicts with everything else I've read on infectiousness - for instance here. And it means that he's basically thrown aged-care workers under the bus as far as blame for the incredibly high infection rate in nursing homes goes. "Gee, they must have been not following recommendations" - well, no, the recommendations were to not start taking serious precautions until they actually were sick or had a resident sick, which is too late.

However, I will say at this point that it hasn't ripped through Sweden as fast as I was expecting it to, so that is one point in favour of Swedish Strategy. But I don't think it's peaked yet even in Stockholm (last four weeks new cases: 1276, 1432, 1346, 1537) and hasn't yet gotten significantly into the other cities of Sweden (Gotemburg, Malmo - both in the very early stages of spread) so I'm expecting the death rate to keep going up.
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Old 04-28-2020, 12:59 PM
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An update - Sweden has more COVID-19 deaths both in overall numbers and per capita: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/europ...ntl/index.html
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:59 PM
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Yes, more deaths per capita than their Nordic peer group to date. Not quite the goalpost of "out of control", "immoral", "a disaster about to happen" ... The pandemic is far from over. Maybe they will see disaster yet. Or maybe they will end of day have fewer deaths from all causes than their peer group. The Swedish tactic was be less severe in control approach and allow more of surge now, rather than delaying what they saw as inevitable, perhaps until it overlaps with a next flu season, when systems are more likely to be more easily overwhelmed. They bet their short of lockdown approach would result in a surge within system capacity.

The following from the article is accurate -

Quote:
... "The truth is that no one, no one in Sweden, no one elsewhere either, knows what the best strategy is. Time will tell."

He said that he believed that stricter lockdowns "only serve to flatten the curve and flattening the curve doesn't mean that cases disappear -- they are just moved in time."
"And as long as the healthcare system reasonably can cope with and give good care to the ones that need care, it's not clear that having the cases later in time is better." ...

... the number of people treated in intensive care units over several weeks had been stable, "so in that aspect it has to be successful."
But he added: "What it failed at, I think, is that there has been disease transmitted into elderly care facilities. We have deaths occurring as a consequence of that."
Hallengren, the Swedish health minister, told CNN: "One of the main concerns now in Sweden is to strengthen the protection for those living in care homes for older people."
She said it was still "far too early to draw any firm conclusions as to the effectiveness of the measures taken in Sweden." ...

... there had always been at least 20% of intensive care beds empty and able to take care of Covid-19 patients ...
The goal of flattening the curve is keep the surge within surge capacity. Within their specific culture their approach has accomplished that goal. It has not been (and is looking unlikely to become) the absolute disaster that so many were 100% sure it would be. They clearly failed in a big way to adequately protect their most vulnerable as well as they could have however, and would have done much better with better implementation of keeping those specific populations more protected.

Any lessons learned from Sweden has to include not only what can count as their success but also their failure, has to include the need to do better at that than they have done as the foot comes off the brake.
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Old 04-28-2020, 06:09 PM
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There's that, but Sweden has claimed their *real* goal is also to keep the total number as low as possible. Their rationale is their current actions will lead to fewer deaths later.

That's their official reasoning, anyway. Still seems like an attempt at herd immunity to me, though, no matter how they deny it.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
The goal of flattening the curve is keep the surge within surge capacity.
And to stay well within that capacity - that is the goal of flattening the curve generally.

But beyond that, Sweden has invested in a healthcare system, and one of the goals of investing in that system is to save lives, which may have been lost unnecessarily. If we find that later in the year, when COVID-19 is expected to reemerge in a second wave that coincides with flu, Sweden is focused a lot more on dealing with 'normal' health emergencies and less on COVID-19 relative to other countries, perhaps we could argue that its 'herd immunity' approach was well worth it, and Sweden knows something we don't.

Beyond additionally, there are two concerns:

I'm guessing you wouldn't disagree, but what works for Sweden may not work for everyone. Sweden might have a healthier population of young people (i.e. less obesity, fewer smokers, etc) than other countries, which means that attempting herd immunity would seriously backfire elsewhere (as it seemed to in the UK, for instance). Sweden is also much less population-dense generally, with only one major metropolis (Stockholm). "Luck" might be factoring in their numbers to some degree.

What caught my attention, though, was the epidemiologist's claim that Sweden might be achieving herd immunity by next month, which makes me skeptical to say the least. Sweden isn't anywhere near the top in terms of testing for COVID-19, and how can anyone confirm herd immunity without knowledge of exposures? It's frankly an almost Trump-like, statement without any evidence to support whatsoever

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ies-worldwide/

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Within their specific culture their approach has accomplished that goal. It has not been (and is looking unlikely to become) the absolute disaster that so many were 100% sure it would be.
I wouldn't say that at all - not when their health expert seems pretty determined to declare himself a genius when all of the evidence that we have seems to suggest that his methods are comparatively worse than other countries in a similar position, and more to the point, when he makes bold statements with absolutely no evidence to support them

What Sweden seems to have avoided up to this point is a surge that is impossible to hide. New York's and Lombardy's surges were so bad that the health system was in a state of full-blown panic. Most likely, the reason for that is that COVID-19 was circulating in places like NYC and northern Italy long before people recognized it, and due to circumstances that aren't yet clear, the disease spread within the community before it was detected. Sweden seems to have avoided that, but that has nothing to do with their health system's approach. It's just dumb luck. They also likely benefited from other countries locking themselves down, slowing the spread globally and in neighboring countries in closer proximity to Sweden.

And on that note, I'll just add that I don't think Sweden's out of the woods at all. As Michael Olsterholm has said, we're in the 2nd inning of a 9 inning game.

Last edited by asahi; 04-29-2020 at 07:18 AM.
  #149  
Old 04-29-2020, 07:23 AM
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There's that, but Sweden has claimed their *real* goal is also to keep the total number as low as possible. Their rationale is their current actions will lead to fewer deaths later.

That's their official reasoning, anyway. Still seems like an attempt at herd immunity to me, though, no matter how they deny it.
Yes, the original goal was herd immunity based on an earlier fallacious assumption that the virus was minimally harmful to younger people and the perhaps more rational assumption that the ratio of critical care equipment, emergency physicians, and hospital beds to critically ill patients would allow their health system to deal with serious cases.

But what's disturbing about the herd immunity approach is that Sweden's public health chief appears to be claiming he's close to achieving a goal he's not even attempting to measure. That's getting away from the realm of science and more into the realm of superstition, attention whoring, and politics.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
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New York's and Lombardy's surges were so bad that the health system was in a state of full-blown panic. Most likely, the reason for that is that COVID-19 was circulating in places like NYC and northern Italy long before people recognized it, and due to circumstances that aren't yet clear, the disease spread within the community before it was detected.
That seems literally impossible. We're talking about a virus that is highly contagious and quite deadly, if it was going around prior to the healthcare crises it would not have been unnoticed. If anything, in most places there appears to have been fewer than average respiratory patients before February, due to a mild winter and a mild flu season.
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