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    realclearpolitics.com | 10 min
    20 reads18 comments
    9.6
    realclearpolitics.com
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    • Alexa
      Scout
      1 month ago

      I was just reading in the John Hopkins daily C19 report something about Sweden that makes me question the validity of some of the statements in this piece.

      Sweden and several U.S. states never locked down and they didn’t see any of the promised doomsday exponential growth either.

      Sweden encouraged social distancing but only limited mandatory restrictions to prohibit gatherings of greater than 50 people. They mostly relied on people's sense of civic duty to sort them out.

      Now...Sweden has reported COVID-19 mortality among the highest per capita in the world, including compared to other Nordic countries, which have reported significantly fewer deaths.

      So to me, that sounds like their lack of social distancing was actually quite detrimental. Maybe the spike wasn't as spikey, but having the highest death rate per capita seems like a lose to me...

      Also, bc Swedens so reliant on outside imports, are facing their worst recession since WW2.

      I would suggest taking some of this article with a grain of salt, it appears that it isn't entirely backed up by the data.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        1 month ago

        Maybe the spike wasn't as spikey, but having the highest death rate per capita seems like a lose to me...

        But wasn't the stated goal of the lockdowns and social distancing to slow the spread and flatten the curve? If everyone is going to get infected eventually, which again I thought was basically agreed upon, then the only thing that matters is making sure that people aren't dying due to a lack of ICU beds (as well as learning which treatment protocols work best, of course!).

        In that sense, as long as hospitals aren't overrun then the lockdowns are only serving to delay the inevitable at a cost that I don't think anyone has yet fully realized, right?

        • Alexa
          Scout
          1 month ago

          I know early on the "flatten the curve" messaging was there to sell people on slowing the spread, is that still the message? I know the mask recs changed as time went on so I can't say with confidence what is still the goal/intention. I haven't heard any sources talking about flattening curves in a hot minute.

          I imagine in these instances it's the "herd immunity" approach (which got the UK flayed early on) that everyone's going for.

          In that sense, as long as hospitals aren't overrun then the lockdowns are only serving to delay the inevitable at a cost that I don't think anyone has yet fully realized, right?

          Honestly don't know on this one! I don't have enough data to make that conclusion (hence all the salt grains).

          I'm actually really curious to find out but gonna have to exercise patience for now, since we know the death rates per capita (58 per 100,000 in Spain, 43 per 100,000 in Sweden, 32 per 100k in the US, etc..) its TBD if our death rate per capita catches up. If that happens, maybe the spike was as predicted. This is where epidemiology gets tough because its a lot of wibbly wobbly statistical projecting.

          I assume if the overall death rate caught up over time it would prove that hypothesis, otherwise it could be that...any number of things. I try to avoid putting an "ice cream & shark attacks" kind of assumption on this.

          If everyone is going to get infected eventually

          This one muddies it too, cuz then we're looking at number of infections and death rate...so many variables head explodes

      • BetSheWet1 month ago

        Sweden has 6 deaths per 1,000,000... now we know the worst case scenario which isn’t bad at all

        • Alexa
          Scout
          1 month ago

          Where’s that 6 in a million number from?

          I saw reported (as of yesterday) from John Hopkins & AP news that “Sweden, a nation of 10.2 million people, has seen 4,542 deaths linked to COVID-19”

          Same article: “Sweden’s COVID-19 infection rate of 43.2 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants is lower than Spain’s (58.1) and Italy’s (55.4), but is higher than reported rates in the United States (32.1) and Brazil (14.3), according to Johns Hopkins University.”

          1. Update (6/4/2020):

            Here’s the link for that source: https://apnews.com/9598f7ad95967e4d6f507d526dce0c68

          • BetSheWet1 month ago

            Ah, sweden covid mortality per capita, 6 per million per day. Not overall, which is how my comment read

            • Alexa
              Scout
              1 month ago

              Ah ok, that makes sense

    • jbuchana
      Scribe
      1 month ago

      the system itself never exceeded its permanent capacity, and its makeshift emergency surplus capacity remained almost entirely empty.

      That's so different from what I read while New York was at its worst. I wonder which view was true? The virus situation seems, like so many subjects today, to be viewed differently whether the reporter is conservative or liberal. It seems that liberals are crying doomsday and conservatives say it's no worse than the flu. In turn, liberals say that, in this manner, conservatives view citizen's lives less important than the economy. I tend to take the liberal view on most subjects and am very wary of conservative news sources. Because of this, at first I was very concerned about how bad the coronavirus was and what it was going to do to our society. As time has gone on however, I've begun to doubt my opriginal stance, things really don't seem to be nearly as bad as predicted. Could the conservative viewpoint have been correct this time? I wonder. When there are two sides to everything in society like we have today with the great divide between liberals and conservatives, it's not surprising that "your" side is wrong part of the time, and I'm beginning to wonder if, for me, that might not be the case with the coronavirus.

      • momoprobs
        Scout
        1 month ago

        I haven't gone through for every point that he makes and investigated, but one that stands out is the phrase "New York City has had fewer than 100 total deaths from COVID-19 cases without preexisting conditions."

        The qualifier "without preexisting conditions" sticks out to me because the major risk of COVID IS exactly that: having a pre-existing condition. So if you take those people out, then of course the numbers seem low. But if you click on the link he shared to the data he's using, 12,000 people that had pre-existing conditions have died in NYC. How are they not important in understanding the impact of the disease? That's like saying "let's decide if lung cancer is important but only for people that haven't smoked."

        I'd argue he is doing exactly what he is blaming the media of doing: selectively highlighting data to make his case/story work.

        Let me be clear: I'm not defending mass media. I really buy his argument of way overemphasizing all negative news and not giving any positive news coverage.

        But to make the argument that this whole thing is overblown by only talking about people without pre-existing conditions is to only care about a very select, privileged group of people in the world and argue that we should make policy decisions only based on them. And if that's his dissenting view, that's fine, but hiding it in this way is inauthentic and manipulating. I sat here for a while trying to figure out what was wrong with this article, and if you have to do that, it's because it's been done intentionally.

        • jbuchana
          Scribe
          1 month ago

          I'd argue he is doing exactly what he is blaming the media of doing: selectively highlighting data to make his case/story work.

          I think you're right, especially about the preexisting conditions, I hadn't thought that part through.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        1 month ago

        I wonder which view was true?

        I think a big part of the trouble is that there isn't just one truth when you're dealing with predictions based on different models. I thought the article you posted a while back about how Coronavirus deaths are being counted illustrated just how difficult it is to gather good data, especially in the early days. I don't think anyone was being disingenuous about believing that hospitals were on the brink of being overrun.

        It's really too bad that everything is becoming politicized. I wish we could just instead take stock of the current situation and use it to make better decisions should something similar happen again in the future (which seems quite likely!) instead of trying to place blame and make it a left vs. right thing.

        • SEnkey
          Scout
          1 month ago

          Agreed. It's also true that a nation as diverse as the US is going to have different outcomes. New York was and is in a lot of trouble. The virus will spread there rapidly with our safety measures in place, as it did earlier this year. But Florida, Georgia, and Montana are probably not as risky, being less populous, and more geographically spread out. They probably are good to open in ways that New York City just isn't.

    • caleb1 month ago

      awesome summary of what many have suggested for weeks, and is just now coming to light to the mainstream regarding the hysteria and panic that is going on.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        1 month ago

        Awesome, indeed! Those first two visuals are the real deal. Someone in my town who lives on a busy street erected a giant sign in their front yard that says "The media is the real virus." The fear cycle is so damaging but people are waking up.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Yep!! Excellent.

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      1 month ago

      Vitally important information! The truth is out there.

      Looking back at the Readup AOTDs that were about the Coronavirus makes me feel like the platform is working. Not too many of them, but enough, no real fear mongering and good discussions in the comments. I hope this article becomes the next one in the list!

    • Florian
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      1 month ago

      Wow! Everyone needs to read this!

    • bill
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Excellent! I just hope and pray that we, as a society, can acknowledge mistakes and move forward, as one.

      Because of social media (aka “news” - the two are virtually indistinguishable at this point) the USA feels way more divided than it actually is.

      So much to think about.