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Sweden, Damn Sweden!
Those bastard Swedes threw a big spanner in the machine and no amount of lying is going to hide the damage.
2020 - The Year of COVID-19 and Conspiracy Theories from Tin-Foil Hat Wearers Like Me
Our main conspiracy theories in 2020 (made as early as March) were:
COVID-19 is amenable to risk-stratification, i.e. protect the elderly and those with co-morbidities and the rest should just get on with life.
Closing schools and businesses, quarantining healthy people, closing international borders, making healthy people wear masks, putting up perpsex screens and one-way systems, telling people to keep their distance, restricting gatherings, and any other experimental intervention on the circulating population won’t have any positive bearing on COVID mortality.
COVID-19 has the same mortality risk as a bad ‘flu.
2022 - The Theories are established as facts.
One of the things we must always be grateful for is Sweden. They didn’t get it all right (properly protecting the elderly) but with probably the world’s top epidemiologist in charge (Anders Tegnell), they were certainly more “mainly right” than Ferguson in terms of ignoring all the other experimental measures adopted by the rest of the world.
Mr Tegnell said it would take about one to two years to know whose strategy had worked best and at what cost to society. He stressed that Sweden’s approach was to look at the “wide public health matter” in which an important consideration was that “people should be able to keep a reasonably normal life”.
So, here we are, two years later and in two days time it is officially over in Sweden.
What are the results of Tegnell’s crazy plan to let the majority of the population who are not at serious risk lead a “reasonably normal life”?
And just how deadly was the COVID plague relative to the last few years?
Conspiracy Theory #1
Figures 1 and 2 show deaths (from all causes) and excess deaths, respectively, of those aged under 65 in Sweden over the entire course of the COVID pandemic.
Despite deaths being 8% below usual in the year running up to COVID, in COVID’s first year they were 3% below normal and in the second year 6% below normal.
So, that pretty much confirms that COVID is amenable to risk-stratification.
Conspiracy theory #1 - check!
Conspiracy Theory #2
Figure 3 shows deaths (from all causes) for 65 to 89 year olds in Sweden. It is clear that excess deaths (let’s attribute them all to COVID) manifest in only two periods - the initial epidemic in spring 2020 and the residual in autumn/winter 2020-21 befor it becomes endemic.
The patterns are distinctly Gompertz, indicating that they are natural (and indeed follow the same shape and duration as distributions from all other countries regardless of interventions.
In the second year as COVID hysteria continued everywhere else around the world, things had returned entirely back to normal in Sweden in terms of mortality.
So non-pharmaceutical interventions, none of which appeared in any pandemic planning pre 2020 made no difference whatsover on outcomes.
Conspiracy theory #2 - check!
Conspiracy Theory #3
Figure 4 shows the excess deaths for 90+ year olds in Sweden over the course of the emergency.
Deaths were 4% lower than usual in the year preceding COVID and 4% below in the second year of the “pandemic”. They were 9% above usual during the COVID period.
In other words, the “deadly disease” mopped up those who might ordinarily have died the year before or the year after anyway. Don’t call me callous, this is what the data shows.
So, for the vulnerable, COVID-19 in its original, most virulent form had the same impact as a bad ‘flu.
Conspiracy theory #3 - check!
So, once and for all, can we call an end to the dogmatic beliefs that government policy saved anyone from the deadliest plague since the Spanish ‘flu of 1918.
Because it didn’t.