Tuesday, November 09, 2021


I have received a couple of notices from blogger.com saying that some of my posts have been depublished on the grounds that I was spreading misinformation. My post of 22 August was particularly mentioned. It was a rather extreme post so I am not too bothered by its loss.

What is not clear is whether today's post is visible to readers. It starts with a media report about Sweden. I would be obliged if people would let me know if they can see it. My email is jonjayray@hotmail.com

The second post today was about an alternative way to medicate covid so maybe that was the problem. I have deleted it but will keep a record of it

UPDATE: Many readers have confirmed that they have seen the post below about Sweden. I will post the expunged post somewhere else in due course. Its claims that a certain treatment could be a useful palliative for people infected by covid seemed well supported by scientific studies but it was a bit unorthodox.


How Sweden's lockdown gamble paid off: Nation has suffered fewer coronavirus deaths than most of Europe and has a lower infection rate

Sweden has suffered fewer Covid deaths than most of Europe and is still recording lower infection rates, according to figures that suggest its lockdown gamble has paid off.

The Scandinavian nation became an international outlier last year when it defied scientific advice and refused to follow the rest of the world in shutting down society to curb the virus' spread.

Not only has Sweden's economy bounced back faster than any other country in the EU, latest data shows that it has also fared better than most in terms of lives lost during the pandemic.

Sweden has suffered almost 1,500 confirmed Covid deaths per million people, according to Oxford University-based research platform Our World in Data, which is lower than the European average (1,800).

The UK — which has endured three national lockdowns and several regional fire-breakers — has recorded 2,100 per million, for comparison, while Belgium and Italy both have rates above 2,000.

When looking at excess mortality during the pandemic, Sweden ranks just 21st out of 31 European countries with 5 per cent more deaths since March last year than would be expected. Britain, Italy and Spain, on the other hand, have each suffered around 10 per cent more deaths than average during Covid.

Statisticians say excess mortality is the most accurate way to measure the toll of the pandemic on health because it accounts for testing disparities between countries and includes knock-on fatalities.

Sweden also has a lower infection rate currently than most EU nations, with just 100 per million people testing positive daily compared to 800 in Austria, nearly 700 in Belgium and Ireland, and 500 in the UK.

Although Sweden chose not to lock down completely early in the pandemic, it did introduce stricter legally-binding curbs last winter as cases and deaths rose.

These included a ban on groups of eight or more people, limits on numbers in gyms and shops and an 8pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

While Sweden appears to fared done better than continental Europe during the pandemic, it has performed significantly worse when compared to its closest neighbours.

Norway and Finland, for example, have suffered about 200 Covid deaths per million people since the virus was first seeded on the continent — seven times lower than Sweden's toll.

In Denmark the rate is around 400. All three nations have had tougher restrictions during much of the pandemic, which are likely to have played a role.

When looking at excess mortality, Norway and Denmark have recorded fewer deaths than normal during Covid and Finland has seen little over 1 per cent more fatalities than average.

Cambridge University epidemiologist Raghib Ali told MailOnline: 'Whether you think Sweden's strategy was a success story comes down to which countries you compare it to.

'If you think it should have a similar rate [of Covid deaths] to its neighbours Finland, Norway and Denmark or other countries like Germany and the Netherlands?

'Whichever side you come down on decides whether it did better or worse.'

Dr Ali said that one takeaway from Sweden's voluntary lockdown system was that it shows the power of people's small behavioural changes.

'Although Sweden didn't have a Government-enforced lockdown, it did have a type of voluntary lockdown that was well-adhered to.

'What we've learned from Sweden - and the UK - is that people's voluntary behaviour can get countries over a peak without mandated restrictions, even though they alone cannot prevent big outbreaks.'

It comes as daily Covid infections in the UK continued to plummet today, bolstering hopes that the third wave may have already peaked.


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