Posted by Ed 5 mths ago
Brazil - pop 210M  - 72,000 covid deaths - no lockdown
UK - pop 66M - 44,000 covid deaths - severe lockdown 
Brazil's health care system would be significantly inferior to that of the UK and millions of Brazilians live in extreme poverty.

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Ed 5 mths ago
Countries with the most Covid deaths on a per capita basis - Chart
Note - Sweden is not in the top 10.... (no lockdown) 

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Ed 5 mths ago
UK Health Care Consultant Says Staff Are Being Silenced Over COVID19
I am a consultant at a major, regional hospital in Surrey. By major you can take that to indicate that we have an A&E department.
I had agreed to give an interview to an anti lockdown activist in which I would have revealed my identity. I have since changed my mind and only feel able to give an anonymous statement.

I have changed my mind simply because that all staff, no matter what grade, at all hospitals have been warned that if they give any media interviews at all or make any statements to either the Main Stream Press or smaller, independent press/social media we may, immediately be suspended without pay.

I have a family, dependents and I simply can't do it to them.
Therefore cannot reveal my identity at this time but wish to state as follows:

In my opinion, and that of many of my colleagues, there has been no Covid Pandemic, certainly not in the Surrey region and I have heard from other colleagues this picture is the same throughout the country.

Our hospital would normally expect to see around 350,000 out patients a year. Around 95,000 patients are admitted to hospital in a normal year and we would expect to see around a similar figure, perhaps 100,000 patients pass through our A&E department.
In the months from March to June (inclusive) we would normally expect to see 100,000 out patients, around 30,000 patients admitted to hospital and perhaps 30,000 pass through A&E.
This year (and these figures are almost impossible to get hold of) we are over 95% down on all those numbers. In effect, the hospital has been pretty much empty for that entire period.

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Ed 4 mths ago
How bad is covid really? (A Swedish doctor’s perspective)
Ok, I want to preface this article by stating that it is entirely anecdotal and based on my experience working as a doctor in the emergency room of one of the big hospitals in Stockholm, Sweden, and of living as a citizen in Sweden.
As many people know, Sweden is perhaps the country that has taken the most relaxed attitude of any towards the covid pandemic. Unlike other countries, Sweden never went in to complete lockdown.
Non-essential businesses have remained open, people have continued to go to cafés and restaurants, children have remained in school, and very few people have bothered with face masks in public.

Covid hit Stockholm like a storm in mid-March. One day I was seeing people with appendicitis and kidney stones, the usual things you see in the emergency room. The next day all those patients were gone and the only thing coming in to the hospital was covid.
Practically everyone who was tested had covid, regardless of what the presenting symptom was. People came in with a nose bleed and they had covid. They came in with stomach pain and they had covid.

Then, after a few months, all the covid patients disappeared. It is now four months since the start of the pandemic, and I haven’t seen a single covid patient in over a month. When I do test someone because they have a cough or a fever, the test invariably comes back negative.
At the peak three months back, a hundred people were dying a day of covid in Sweden, a country with a population of ten million.
We are now down to around five people dying per day in the whole country, and that number continues to drop. Since people generally die around three weeks after infection, that means virtually no-one is getting infected any more.
If we assume around 0.5 percent of those infected die (which I think is very generous, more on that later), then that means that three weeks back 1,000 people were getting infected per day in the whole country, which works out to a daily risk per person of getting infected of 1 in 10,000, which is miniscule.
And remember, the risk of dying is at the very most 1 in 200 if you actually do get infected. And that was three weeks ago. Basically, covid is in all practical senses over and done with in Sweden. After four months.

In total covid has killed under 6,000 people in a country of ten million. A country with an annual death rate of around 100,000 people. Considering that 70% of those who have died of covid are over 80 years old, quite a few of those 6,000 would have died this year anyway. That makes covid a mere blip in terms of its effect on mortality.

That is why it is nonsensical to compare covid to other major pandemics, like the 1918 pandemic that killed tens of millions of people. Covid will never even come close to those numbers. And yet many countries have shut down their entire economies, stopped children going to school, and made large portions of their population unemployed in order to deal with this disease.

The media have been proclaiming that only a small percentage of the population have antibodies, and therefore it is impossible that herd immunity has developed. Well, if herd immunity hasn’t developed, where are all the sick people?
Why has the rate of infection dropped so precipitously? Considering that most people in Sweden are leading their lives normally now, not socially distancing, not wearing masks, there should still be high rates of infection.

The reason we test for antibodies is because it is easy and cheap. Antibodies are in fact not the body’s main defence against virus infections. T-cells are. But T-cells are harder to measure than antibodies, so we don’t really do it clinically.
It is quite possible to have T-cells that are specific for covid and thereby make you immune to the disease, without having any antibodies. Personally, I think this is what has happened. Everybody who works in the emergency room where I work has had the antibody test. Very few actually have antibodies.
This in spite of being exposed to huge numbers of infected people, including at the beginning of the pandemic, before we realized how widespread covid was, when no-one was wearing protective equipment.

I am not denying that covid is awful for the people who do get really sick or for the families of the people who die, just as it is awful for the families of people who die of cancer, or influenza, or an opioid overdose. But the size of the response in most of the world (not including Sweden) has been totally disproportionate to the size of the threat.

Sweden ripped the metaphorical band-aid off quickly and got the epidemic over and done with in a short amount of time, while the rest of the world has chosen to try to peel the band-aid off slowly. At present that means Sweden has one of the highest total death rates in the world. But covid is over in Sweden.
People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected any more. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up.
If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place, because all those countries are going to end up with the same number of dead at the end of the day anyway.
Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.

Covid has at present killed less than 6000 in Sweden. It is very unlikely that the number of dead will go above 7,000. An average influenza year in Sweden, 700 people die of influenza. Does that mean covid is ten times worse than influenza? No, because influenza has been around for centuries while covid is completely new.
In an average influenza year most people already have some level of immunity because they’ve been infected with a similar strain previously, or because they’re vaccinated. So it is quite possible, in fact likely, that the case fatality rate for covid is the same as for influenza, or only slightly higher, and the entire difference we have seen is due to the complete lack of any immunity in the population at the start of this pandemic.

This conclusion makes sense of the Swedish fatality numbers – if we’ve reached a point where there is hardly any active infection going on any more in Sweden in spite of the fact that there is barely any social distancing happening then that means at least 50% of the population has been infected already and have developed immunity, which is five million people.
This number is perfectly reasonable if we assume a reproductive number for the virus of two: If each person infects two new, with a five day period between being infected and infecting others, and you start out with just one infected person in the country, then you will reach a point where several million are infected in just four months.
If only 6000 are dead out of five million infected, that works out to a case fatality rate of 0.12 percent, roughly the same as regular old influenza, which no-one is the least bit frightened of, and which we don’t shut down our societies for.

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Ed 4 mths ago
UK Forbids Healthcare Professionals from Discussing Coronavirus Publicly
Draconian measures prevent some healthcare professions discussing their work during pandemic
Healthcare professionals are being silenced and threatened with disciplinary action for speaking out about their work during the coronavirus outbreak, the Guardian can reveal.

Many NHS staff are increasingly concerned that their ability to share stories about their work is being restricted by a clampdown on speaking out publicly.
Tactics have included threatening emails, the possibility of disciplinary action, and some people even being sent home from work.
While there could be some logic to hospitals wanting to stop scaremongering when communications departments are overloaded with work at a busy time, many staff feel they are being blocked from highlighting their work during the pandemic.
Workers who have spoken to the Guardian say they fear being disciplined. Several professionals said they worried about losing their jobs. Examples include an email signed by the chief executive of one NHS trust forbidding all staff from talking to the media, and incidents where staff suspect emails and social media accounts are being monitored.
Requests by staff to communications departments to permit them to talk to the press have been turned down, leaving staff anxious and fearful for their jobs during the worst global public health crisis of this century. 
One nurse who wanted to highlight the vital role of his profession received an email (later recalled) from his trust to all staff, which banned public communications.
When he contacted the communications department, he was shocked to receive a response saying simply no media. The team did not say what action they might take to enforce the ban, he said, but the tone was threatening.

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Ed 4 mths ago
Doctors and Nurses in America Not Allowed to Discuss Covid with the Media
In New York City, the epicenter of the crisis in the United States, every major private hospital system has sent memos in recent weeks ordering workers not to speak with the media, as have some public hospitals.
One system, NYU Langone Medical Center, which has more than 30,000 employees at six inpatient centers, dozens of outpatient facilities and the New York University School of Medicine, sent an email on March 27 warning that staff members speaking to the media without permission “will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination.” 

Health systems including Northwell Health, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center have barred workers from speaking to reporters, though not always with the explicit threat of termination.

“Do not respond or speak to any reporters, as well as current or former employees, regarding a pending news story,” wrote David A. Feinberg, the chief marketing and communications officer at the Mount Sinai Health System, in an email to all faculty and students on March 26. Mount Sinai has more than 40,000 employees.


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Ed 4 mths ago
Watch controversial press conference held by two Bakersfield doctors that was pulled down by YouTube

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Ed 4 mths ago
Copied directly from The WHO website:
Can COVID-19 be fatal?

For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal.

Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at risk for severe disease

From the CDC website:
In light of this research data, one would expect that the United States would have the most serious problem with Covid given their obesity rates are off the charts.
Of course, obese people do not have healthy diets so they are prone to other conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease --- which also increase their risk of dying should they contract Covid. 

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Ed 4 mths ago
“COVID-19 is a serious disease, but historically it is at the bottom end of the scale. For anyone under 50 the risk of death is tiny, less than for seasonal flu. In the great majority of cases the symptoms are mild or non-existent. Our ancestors lived with far worse epidemic diseases without rushing to put their heads in a bag. In other parts of the world they still do (world-wide, tuberculosis kills many more than COVID-19).”   Lord Sumption, Historian and former High Court Judge in the UK
In 1998, 3 million people died from tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
COVID Deaths Global - 739,000
Most of those TB deaths would have occurred in 3rd world countries so that pandemic would have been far more intense than Covid.   Yet there were no lockdowns. 

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Ed 4 mths ago
Let's have a look at who has died from Covid in Sweden --  I count just over 200 people (out of 10M) deaths involving people under 60.    See the Graph

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Ed 4 mths ago

85% of Covid deaths in Sweden linked to at least one comorbidity

Comorbidities are typically cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory conditions.
Around 85% of people of all ages dying of Covid had at least one other comorbidity:
60% of men and 54% of women had two or more reported comorbidities
25% of men and 30% of women had one reported comorbidity
15% of men and 16% of women had no reported comorbidities 

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Ed 3 mths ago
Indonesia 'Lost Control' - in MARCH
Reuters March 25, 2020  “We have lost control, it has already spread everywhere,” Ascobat Gani, a public health economist told Reuters. “Maybe we will follow Wuhan or Italy. I think we are in the range of that”. 
One would have thought that by now, given Indonesia has not locked down, and its poor health care system, the country would be a seething pit of death.
Yet when I search for deaths per capita and total deaths from Covid, Indonesia barely makes into the top 100 on this list.
I actually rang the biggest public hospital in Bali recently and was told 'we are not allowed to speak about Covid'.   However after a bit of friendly banter (I lived in Bali for 7 years) the fellow I spoke to informed me that they do have a Covid ward set up, but that there are very few patients. 

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Ed 3 mths ago
After an initial spike due to Covid, deaths in Sweden are now slightly below their normal weekly levels, when 2020 is compared to the 5 year average. 
What has happened in Sweden is that Covid killed many infirm and aged people pulling forward imminent deaths,resulting in lower weekly deaths over the past month.  

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Ed 3 mths ago
The Covid-19 Catastrophe

As of late August, there have been fewer than 170,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States. If the 2.2 million projection was accurate, then the US lockdown saved in the neighborhood of 2 million lives. But at what cost?

In early March, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the economic output of the United States economy over the period 2020 through 2025 would total $120 trillion. Just four months later and because of the Covid lockdown, the CBO reduced its projection by almost $10 trillion. That $10 trillion difference is income Americans would have earned had the lockdown not happened, but now won’t.

Economists outside the CBO have estimated this loss at almost $14 trillion. For perspective, the median US household earns $63,000. A $10 trillion loss is equivalent to wiping out the incomes of 30 million US households each year for more than five years.

Our desire to keep people safe, no matter the cost, has already resulted in 10 million Americans being unemployed. By the time things have returned to normal, the total price tag, just in terms of lost incomes and adjusted for inflation, will have exceeded the costs of all the wars the US has ever fought, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan – combined.

And the costs are staggering. As of August, estimates from Chambers of Commerce indicate that around one-third of the 240,000 small businesses in New York City have permanently closed. If that ratio holds for small businesses elsewhere, we could see around 10 million small businesses close permanently across the country.

Retail bankruptcies in the US have been every bit as disconcerting.

All in, the effort to save two million lives from Covid-19 will end up costing us somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million per life saved. People generally assume the lockdown was worth this massive cost, but there are a couple of things to consider before drawing that conclusion.

First, for the same cost, could we have saved even more lives than we did by doing other things? Second, how plausible was the prediction of two million dead in the first place?

If saving lives simply, rather than saving lives from Covid-19 were our goal, we could have likely saved more than two million lives and at a lower cost. How so?

For every $14,000 spent on smoke and heat detectors in homes, a life is saved. For every $260,000 spent on widening shoulders on rural roads, a life is saved. For every $5 million spent putting seat belts on school buses, a life is saved.

Each year, 650,000 Americans die from heart disease, 600,000 die from cancer, 430,000 die from lung disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. To fight these diseases Congress allocated $6 billion for cancer research to the National Cancer Institute and another $39 billion to the National Institutes of Health in 2018.


The lockdown will cost us more than three hundred times this amount. For a three-hundred fold increase to NCI and NIH budgets, we might well have eradicated heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and Alzheimer’s. Over just a couple of years, that would have saved far more than two million lives.


The lesson here is a simple one: There is no policy that just simply “saves lives.” The best we can do is to make responsible tradeoffs. Did the lockdowns save lives? Some people claim they did – at a cost of $7 million per life saved if the initial estimates were correct – while others fail to establish any connection between lockdowns and lives saved.


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Ed 3 mths ago
"It's Like Using A Hammer To Kill A Fly" - Architect Of Sweden's COVID-19 Anti-Lockdown Strategy Finally Vindicated

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Ed 3 mths ago
No Lockdown, No Worries!
Sweden is averaging ONE COVID death a day and cases are nosediving.
Here's how it compares to Australia - where millions are confined to their homes and stubborn premiers keep borders shut.  

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Ed 2 mths ago
Covid-19: Does Sweden have herd immunity?

In my earlier article in August, I mentioned that after an initial peak that lasted for a month or so, from March to April, visits to the Emergency Room due to covid had been declining continuously, and deaths in Sweden had dropped from over 100 a day at the peak in April, to around five per day in August.

At the point in August when I wrote that article, I hadn’t seen a single covid patient in over a month. I speculated that Sweden had developed herd immunity, since the huge and continuous drop was happening in spite of the fact that Sweden wasn’t really taking any serious measures to prevent spread of the infection.

So, how have things developed in the six weeks since that first article?

Well, as things stand now, I haven’t seen a single covid patient in the Emergency Room in over two and a half months. People have continued to become ever more relaxed in their behaviour, which is noticeable in increasing volumes in the Emergency Room.

At the peak of the pandemic in April, I was seeing about half as many patients per shift as usual, probably because lots of people were afraid to go the ER for fear of catching covid. Now volumes are back to normal.

When I sit in the tube on the way to and from work, it is packed with people. Maybe one in a hundred people is choosing to wear a face mask in public. In Stockholm, life is largely back to normal.

If you look at the front pages of the tabloids, on many days there isn’t a single mention of covid anywhere. As I write this (19th September 2020) the front pages of the two main tabloids have big spreads about arthritis and pensions. Apparently arthritis and pensions are currently more exciting than covid-19 in Sweden.

In spite of this relaxed attitude, the death rate has continued to drop. When I wrote the first article, I wrote that covid had killed under 6,000 people. How many people have died now, six weeks later? Actually, we’re still at under 6,000 deaths.

On average, one to two people per day are dying of covid in Sweden at present, and that number continues to drop.

In the hospital where I work, there isn’t a single person currently being treated for covid. In fact, in the whole of Stockholm, a county with 2,4 million inhabitants, there are currently only 28 people being treated for covid in all the hospitals combined.

At the peak, in April, that number was over 1,000. If 28 people are currently in hospital, out of 2,4 million who live in Stockholm, that means the odds of having a case of covid so severe that it requires in-hospital treatment are at the moment about one in 86,000.
Read the entire article

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Ed 2 mths ago
Let's get an update on the situation in Sweden.   
It appears they have dropped from number 5 to 12 in the deaths per capita race.   
Surely by now, given their strategy of no lockdowns or masks, they should be number 1, and have millions of deaths (they still have under 6000).   Chart

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Ed 53 days ago
Sweden Update:
Sweden is danger of dropping off of page 1 in the deaths per capita rankings as it has fallen to 13 on the list  
The overall death rate in Sweden is actually lower now than it was last year no doubt because people who were already near death were pushed over the edge by Covid.
This chart also demonstrates that there have been next to no Covid deaths for months in Sweden. 

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Ed 46 days ago
As much of Europe plunges back into lockdowns, Sweden has not only flattened the curve ....  they have eliminated it. 
Covid-related deaths remain in the very low (and often zero) single digits.       All achieved without lockdowns or even masks.

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ashmorel 46 days ago
It's not true to state that there has been no lockdown in Brazil. My wife is Brazilian and I spent 5 weeks in Brazil (Curitiba in Parana State) in June - July as I had to pick up my kids who had been stranded there after my wife took them to visit their grandparents and cousins when schools closed in HK in February. There was quite severe lockdown in many states, including Parana state in order to try and contain the virus. There was also strict instructions for everyone to wear masks and maintain social distancing in place too. The issue has been that in some of the poorer areas (the favelas), these restrictions were largely ignored, as I saw myself on the 3 times I left my in-laws house in the 5 weeks I was there!

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Ed 31 days ago
Sweden hit a new record high for covid infections the other day - double their previous high.  
However they experienced only ONE death.
Since July they changed course and decided to focus on protecting at risk people, particularly people in old-age homes (which is what the scientists who authored the Great Barrington Declaration recommend
If at-risk people are protected, then death rates from Covid plummet - and hospitalizations remain low because it is the at-risk people who end up on the hospital.... 
Click Here to see the Swedish data graphs. 

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Ed 30 days ago
2616 covid infections 
0 deaths 

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Ed 28 days ago
LOCK SHOCK Sweden’s average daily Covid deaths fall to just 0.6 despite no national lockdown while UK & France soars to 200
SWEDEN'S seven-day rolling average coronavirus daily death toll has fallen to 0.6 despite the country having no national lockdown.

But cases surged yesterday to 1,980, the highest since the start of the pandemic.
Sweden has refused to implement a national lockdown during the pandemic

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Ed 19 days ago
Covid infections during their current second wave are triple that of the first wave.
Deaths yesterday - TWO
Great Barrington Declaration - 'Focused Protection'
Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home.
When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.
Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. 

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Ed 19 days ago
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Ed 18 days ago
JPMorgan Finds No Benefits From COVID Lockdowns
In a surprising report out of JPMorgan, the bank finds no meaningful curve development differences between countries with and without strong curve intervention. This makes the bank question if existing public health intervention (i.e., lockdown/ stricter social distancing) should remain in place next year, and leads JPM to conclude that "public health policy should consider approaches biased towards economic/pubic mental health over the urge to close the curve in 2021."

To reach its "startling" conclusion, JPMorgan compared countries without lockdown, keeping the economy open under certain levels of social-distancing (Brazil, US, Sweden, Japan, Korea) to countries with strong curve intervention (UK, Germany, Italy, France, China, India) to see any meaningful differential in the curve development.

Here is what the largest US bank found in its comparison between countries with and without strict social distancing measures and lockdowns:

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Ed 13 days ago
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