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https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/09/19/covid-19-does-swed...
At the beginning of August I wrote an article about my experiences working as an emergency physician in Stockholm, Sweden during the covid pandemic....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....My personal experience is that people followed the voluntary restrictions pretty well at the beginning, but that they have become increasingly lax as time has gone on....

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.

DB2
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Maybe one in a hundred people is choosing to wear a face mask in public.

Almost no-one wearing a mask in London either. Cafes and bars packed with people. Almost no masks, including the servers.

UK edging toward another lockdown as infection rate soars.

Denial works fine, until someone shows up that is infected. Then the fire starts again.

Steve
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Do not ignore the Covid-19 Lessons Learned by Sweden

21.9.2020

Sweden initially closed high schools and universities, and told vulnerable people to self-isolate, while encouraging people to be more hygiene-conscious. The Swedish health agencies had clear and consistent guidelines from the start, unlike the shambolic approach from our government. But they also have a sensible population who did as they were told, and a more equal society without the dire levels of poverty created by Tory austerity policies. [Ditto for USA]

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/21/dont-ignore-sw...

Jaak
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Maybe one in a hundred people is choosing to wear a face mask in public.
---
Almost no-one wearing a mask in London either. Cafes and bars packed with people. Almost no masks, including the servers. UK edging toward another lockdown as infection rate soars.


New cases per 1m people
http://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/?chart=countri...

Germany 21
Sweden 24
Switzerland 49
UK 59
Denmark 76
Netherlands 103
US 132
France 148
Spain 236

DB2
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Interesting.

So, to conclude: Covid is over in Sweden. We have herd immunity. Most likely, many other parts of the world do too, including England, Italy, and parts of the US, like New York. And the countries that have successfully contained the spread of the disease, like Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia, are going to have to stay in lockdown for at least another year, and possibly several years, if they don’t want to develop herd immunity the natural way.


Swedish infection numbers are relatively low, there is no "second wave" (at least yet), NY is indeed similar.

UK on the other hand clearly has one, Denmark, France and Spain even more so. Italy, Germany, and Switzerland are somewhere in between (Germany and Switzerland at least have exited lockdown long ago btw).

That said, Sweden has had five times the mortality of Denmark (or other neighbours) without anything significant to show for in terms of less economic impact. Even if Corona were already over for Sweden, it will take other comparable nations a good while to "catch up"... maybe longer than it takes to develop a working vaccine.

I wished there was an all-around satisfying scientific explanation. France and Spain one may explain away as people hugging each other or sitting in large family groups for hours over lunch.

Looks like the fat lady hasn't sung yet though.
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New cases per 1m people

Please try to keep up :^)

Closing time: UK pubs must shut early as COVID cases surge

LONDON (AP) — British pubs will have to close early and people who fail to obey quarantine rules will face stiff fines under new lockdown restrictions to curb a surging wave of new coronavirus infections.

In a live televised briefing, Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said after a slow rise in new infections over the summer, the number of new COVID-19 cases is now doubling every seven days.


https://apnews.com/34c3cdf0a82d21e2b623b5815dd6de0e

We all know the drumbeat in the US is no-one needs to do anything. Carry on as if covid didn't exist. But denial is not necessarily effective against a virus.

Steve
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British pubs will have to close early and people who fail to obey quarantine rules will face stiff fines under new lockdown restrictions to curb a surging wave of new coronavirus infections.

The UK doesn't have a hard lockdown. For example, you can still have a wedding but with a limit of 15 people. Semi-hard?

Governments Enter the Lockdown Twilight Zone
www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2020-09-22/governments-en...
When the coronavirus first raced around the world, many countries opted for hard lockdowns, ordering people to stay indoors, shutting schools and businesses.

We’re now in a somewhat confused Twilight Zone of pseudo or partial lockdowns. Fearful of outright rebellion, and of snuffing out signs of economic recovery, each government is opting for its own hodge-podge of curbs. In some countries gatherings are limited to four, in others six. Some have strict, monitored quarantines, others simply rely on people to “do the right thing.” Above all, governments are trying their best to avoid a return to the restrictions of March and April....

And hard choices lie ahead. The northern winter is nearing, and with it the traditional flu season. In the U.K., where workers are being told again to stay home if possible, scientists warn daily cases could hit 50,000 next month. Mass testing in Europe is straining labs and complicating contact tracing.

DB2
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That said, Sweden has had five times the mortality of Denmark (or other neighbours) without anything significant to show for in terms of less economic impact.

The data do not support this statement because it looks like Sweden will finish the year with fewer total deaths than the previous 10 plus years. So this looks like a great year for Sweden and the decision not to lockdown and shutdown the economy was the correct decision.

And looking back:

• Sweden, did not lockdown, did not impose face masks, did not shutdown their economy and they did not close their borders.

• Sweden assumed - correctly - that Covid-19 is just another flu and not a pandemic.

• Sweden continues on track for close to zero deaths before the end of summer. They did this without collapsing their economy, without violations of human rights and lockdowns.

• And no extra deaths compared to previous years. Just a normal year!

• So again, we have to ask, Where is the Pandemic in Sweden?

Number of deaths in Sweden from 2010 to 2020
Year 	Deaths_Thousands
2010 90.5
2011 89.9
2012 91.9
2013 90.4
2014 89.0
2015 90.9
2016 91.0
2017 92.0
2018 92.2
2019 88.8
2020 67.1

The year 2020 is through September 14, 2020. See https://www.statista.com/statistics/525353/sweden-number-of-...

And look at the latest weekly deaths - This is for week 36, ending September 6, 2020:

Year Deaths
2020 200
Avg_2015-2019 227

See https://www.statista.com/statistics/1115707/sweden-number-of...

-=Ajax=-
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The UK doesn't have a hard lockdown. For example, you can still have a wedding but with a limit of 15 people. Semi-hard?

Two people is all you need for a regular wedding, three for ménage à trois.

The Captain
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Swedish infection numbers are relatively low, there is no "second wave" (at least yet), NY is indeed similar.
______________________________________________________________

Interestingly, the hospital I'm associated with in Brooklyn, NY, after nearly topping out at over 150% of maximum capacity in April, currently has zero COVID-19 cases.

Of course nearly everyone in Brooklyn wears a mask. Yes, there are requirements to do so, but most would do it anyway. (And after a couple of months of having meat wagon sirens as lullabies they might continue wearing them after the pandemic has passed)

I will not bother telling you my opinion of those who insist on sitting maskless and close together at crowded events (like political rallies. It must warm the cockles of Darwin's heart.

Jeff
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I will not bother telling you my opinion of those who insist on sitting maskless and close together at crowded events (like political rallies. It must warm the cockles of Darwin's heart.

Any thoughts on that report of few Swedes wearing masks?

DB2
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Sweden is a big failure as shown below:

Total Covid-19 Deaths to Date:
Sweden - 5865

Sweden's neighbors:
Denmark - 640
Estonia - 64
Finland - 341
Latvia - 36
Lithuania - 87
Norway - 267
Total - 1435

Jaak

P.S. - Sweden's neighbors have twice the population of Sweden.
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Nothing is very clear about the coronavirus:

New measures could be introduced in Stockholm after a renewed rise in coronavirus infections in the region, Swedish officials said on Tuesday.

https://www.thelocal.se/20200922/is-stockholm-about-to-ramp-...

In England we get daily mixed messages, a bit like the weather forecast, and just as accurate.
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And no extra deaths compared to previous years. Just a normal year!

So again, we have to ask, Where is the Pandemic in Sweden?



Everything BUT a normal year. According to the Economist, they had 52 excess deaths per 100k pop during the peak period. Denmark had 8 per 100k (over a bit shorter period), Norway -4.

Sweden did have less than-expected deaths this year prior to Corona hitting, and now, apparently, so, in average over all 2020, with a lot of luck, they may get away with showing no excess in average.


https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/15/tracking...
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So, to conclude: Covid is over in Sweden. We have herd immunity.

They do, while they have substantial (self-restrictions) in place. If they start behaving like they did before the pandemic, Covid will be back.
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They do, while they have substantial (self-restrictions) in place. If they start behaving like they did before the pandemic, Covid will be back.

One thing no one mentions when they talk about the Swedish Miracle is the body count.

Deaths per 1 MM population:

Germany 113
Denmark 111
Norway 49
Finland 62
Sweden 518

One of these things is not like the others. I'm glad Dr. Rushworth enjoyed his summer.
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Deaths per 100000: UK=62.9, Sweden=57.6, Canada=25.0, Germany=11.3, Denmark=11.0.

Very poor data and understanding on long term consequences of Covid-19 for survivors but some horrific stories out there..

Tell me again how Sweden is doing great. I would say the jury is still out on the whole herd immunity thing too, any supposition that herd immunity exists assumes a much greater seropositivity rate than the current rate of 17% using documented data.
Plenty of "experts" making guesses in press statements that it's much higher. In public health though we use numbers, not guesses.

I really wish people without public health training would stop making the claim of herd immunity when they really don't understand what they are talking about. Talking to you, Rand Paul.
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jaagu: Total Covid-19 Deaths to Date:
Sweden - 5865
Sweden's neighbors:
Denmark - 640...


Your data contradicts the actual body count from Sweden. There are no extra deaths compared to the previous 10 years in Sweden. Therefore, if Sweden has 5865 Covid-19 deaths, then where are they?


SuisseBear: According to the Economist, they had 52 excess deaths per 100k pop during the peak period.

Irrelevant. Sweden has no extra deaths compared to the previous 10 years. Just a normal year! Evidently Covid-19 is just another flu season in Sweden.


syke6: One thing no one mentions when they talk about the Swedish Miracle is the body count.

That is exactly what we are talking about. The body count! In fact, There are no extra deaths compared to the previous 10 years in Sweden.

Again, given the data, we have to ask. Where is the Pandemic in Sweden?


-=Ajax=-
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Again, given the data, we have to ask. Where is the Pandemic in Sweden?

Understanding, as I do, that facts roll off Ajax faster than Charlie Sheen can do a line of coke, but for the benefit of others ... the pandemic in Sweden is right here:

https://emanuelkarlsten.se/number-of-deaths-in-sweden-during...

See that huge hump between the 11th and the 25th week? That’s the excess mortality in Sweden.

There is noise in the numbers, as you would expect. For instance there have been “bad” flu years and “good” flu years in the past, introducing statistical wobble when making a comparison. (Although, I note, there is a chart linked graphing every recent year and astute observers will note, as someone said “One of these things is not like the other.”) For very long duration comparisons there are population changes, which ripple through the various age groups over time (recall that different diseases target different age groups for whatever reason), and there are also “if” factors such as the vulnerable dying of Covid who would also have been vulnerable to the yearly flu or N1H1 in a different time.

If it needs to be spelled out:

Number of deaths in Sweden during the pandemic – compared to previous years’ mortality

In 2019 unusually few Swedes passed away, 89 000. Not since year 1977 have so few people died in Sweden, according to Statistics Sweden. The year before, 2018, 92 000 people died and there was an unusually high number of deaths from the flu.

Statistics Sweden has chosen the last five years and created an average of how many people have died per year. The data can then be compared with 2020 and with that measure an excess mortality can be established. During the 15th week of the year, we saw the highest death rate in Sweden this millenium.

https://emanuelkarlsten.se/number-of-deaths-in-sweden-during...

So yeah, it’s real, and as syke posted elsewhere, the feckless response from government has led to shortages of N95 masks and other PPEs, here in the same country that started tanks rolling off the assembly lines just weeks after Pearl Harbor. We can’t even get $1 masks out to health care workers timely.

https://boards.fool.com/i-am-invested-a-few-north-american-e...

So yeah, the “herd immunity” theory is a joke, the “let the states figure it out” is a joke, the entire “this is all a hoax” is the cruelest, most obtuse genocidal response of the past 50 years.
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"So yeah, the “herd immunity” theory is a joke ..."

If by "joke" you mean, "lie which is killing people by the tens of thousands", I agree.
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https://www.ft.com/content/5cc92d45-fbdb-43b7-9c66-26501693a...

Sweden is currently doing much better than Spain, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, UK and EU average.

The issue isn't what strategy was best from April-July, but the strategy that saved the most life-years in the long-run. Currently, it may very well be Sweden.

They currently have 14 Covid patients in the ICU, total. Out of 10 million citizens.
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New scientific article finds that Tokyo has 46.8% antibodies, no lockdown, low death rate, and big increase in immunity during summer: "Seroprevalence increased from 5.8% to 46.8% over the course of the summer."

'Conclusions and relevance: Covid 19 infection may have spread widely across the gen pop of Tokyo despite the very low fatality rate. Given the temporal correlation btw the rise in seropositivity and the decrease in reported Covid cases that occurred without a shut-down, herd immunity may be implicated.'

Dynamic Change of Covid-19 Seroprevalence....
Medrxiv.org
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https://www.ft.com/content/5cc92d45-fbdb-43b7-9c66-26501693a...


Great article, thank you for posting. Tegnell is man of the year for me.

"... So he looks at schools not just as a place where the virus might spread but also the most important part of health for a young person. “If you succeed there, your life will be good. If you fail, your life is going to be much worse. You’re going to live shorter. You’re going to be poorer. That, of course, is in the back of your head when you start talking about closing schools,” he adds. ..."

How many years have the lockdowns in other countries cut off people's lives? Sweden's long term strategy is sound.
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People actually still read Ajax's posts? Amazing.
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Sweden is currently doing much better than Spain, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, UK and EU average.

The issue isn't what strategy was best from April-July, but the strategy that saved the most life-years in the long-run. Currently, it may very well be Sweden.

They currently have 14 Covid patients in the ICU, total. Out of 10 million citizens.

==============================================================

To date Sweden has been a big flop with massive total deaths. Your looking only at current situation is myoptic. By the end of the year Sweden will still be the leader in deaths/million compared to neighboring countries.

Come back again on October 30, November 30, and December 30 and see if you are still full of praise for Sweden.

Jaak
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Goofyhoofy: See that huge hump between the 11th and the 25th week? That’s the excess mortality in Sweden.

And do you see that Sweden has a lower death count before and after your huge hump? Look again!

Remember, data do not go away just because you choose to ignore them.

Bottom line: There are no extra deaths compared to the previous 10 years in Sweden and there is no Pandemic! Just a normal year!

And again: Sweden, did not lockdown, did not impose face masks, did not shutdown their economy did not close their schools and they did not close their borders.

Sweden assumed - correctly - that Covid-19 is just another flu and not a pandemic.


-=Ajax=-
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

People actually still read Ajax's posts? Amazing.



Perhaps they are not aware of the "Ignore this person" button that looks like this?: 😐

Speeds up the morning commute and if they didn't want us to use it they wouldn't have given it to us?


Tim <now if I could find one for certain people on my TV>
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Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
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Sweden is currently doing much better than Spain, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, UK and EU average.
The issue isn't what strategy was best from April-July, but the strategy that saved the most life-years in the long-run. Currently, it may very well be Sweden.


Today’s headline:

As debate over Sweden’s covid-19 response continues, cases in the country are on the rise

Sweden, where a shutdown-free pandemic response prompted a global debate, is seeing another wave of covid-19 cases, with the country’s state epidemiologist warning this week that it was heading in the “wrong direction” as winter approaches.

Sweden’s public health body recorded 554 new covid-19 cases Thursday — the highest since early July — and 417 on Friday, according to its online tracking tool, capping off what epidemiologist Anders Tegnell had warned would be a “record week” for new cases.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/09/25/sweden-coron...

Belgium (87) is the only one it’s doing “much” better than, Spain (66) and Italy (59) are barely better, Sweden is at (57) deaths per 100,000. It’s doing fantastically worse than Germany (11), Denmark (11), or Norway (5). Worse than 26 other European countries. A tiny bit better than UK, at (62).
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1111779/coronavirus-deat...

If you’re wondering about Belgium, about half their deaths are “unconfirmed” but suspected to be the virus because others in the same nursing home or living quarters had the virus. That is not the way other countries count now that testing is more widely available, if you count only “confirmed” deaths as Sweden does, then Belgium falls well below Sweden.

Spain and Italy, it should be noted, have larger than normal elderly populations and traditions of family gatherings which are not present in Scandinavian countries. The virus got out of control quickly there, and as here, there is a segment which didn’t (doesn’t) believe it so the rates continue to be higher than other countries.
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"So yeah, the “herd immunity” theory is a joke ..."

Like I've said before, without a vaccine we will achieve “herd immunity” when all the people who are susceptible to the disease have died or survived and passed on their resistance to the disease to their offspring.

So either by lack of a vaccine or because of natural immunity herd immunity will be achieved.

Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity
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Speeds up the morning commute and if they didn't want us to use it they wouldn't have given it to us?

Tim lives in his own cloistered world untroubled by competing opinions or facts that don't fit into his world.

Desert (doesn't have to worry about Tim debating this with me unless one of y'all reprints it;-) Dave
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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/29/world/europe/sweden-coron...

Vilified Early Over Lax Virus Strategy, Sweden Seems to Have Scourge Controlled
After having weathered high death rates when it resisted a lockdown in the spring, Sweden now has one of Europe’s lowest rates of daily new cases. Whether that is an aberration remains to be seen.

For their part, the Swedes admit to making some mistakes, particularly in nursing homes, where the death toll was staggering.

The Swedes were not alone in that error.

In response to the recent outbreaks, many European countries are imposing new restrictions. But political leaders, anxious to avoid unpopular and economically disastrous lockdowns, are relying mostly on social-distancing measures, while trying to preserve a degree of normalcy, with schools, shops, restaurants and even bars open.

In essence, some experts say, they are quietly adopting the Swedish approach.


Last month, I saw some reports on www.dw.com of German citizen protest of the lock down in Germany*.
*https://www.dw.com/en/germany-protests-coronavirus/a-5445665...

More from NYTimes link:
“There are indications that the Swedes have gained an element of immunity to the disease, which, together with everything else they are doing to prevent the infection from spreading, is enough to keep the disease down,” Kim Sneppen, professor of biocomplexity at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, said in an interview.
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More from NYTimes link:
“There are indications that the Swedes have gained an element of immunity to the disease, which, together with everything else they are doing to prevent the infection from spreading, is enough to keep the disease down,” Kim Sneppen, professor of biocomplexity at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, said in an interview.


Back in Venezuela when I saw a friend of mine drinking unfiltered tap water I asked her what she was doing. "Bolstering my immune system!" she replied.

Excessive caution weakens the immune system. Sweden traded early deaths for fewer later deaths while protecting their economy. Is this good or bad? It's a question of choice because you can't have both. I've read that the Inuit abandon the elderly when they can no longer keep up, I don't know whether this is true or not but if it is, this is in essence what the Swedes did. It's also the triage that doctors have to do when overwhelmed.

The Captain
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I guess it's easy to say that it's just culling society to skim off the 70+ year old tranche and let the virus turn them into fertilizer - unless you belong to that tranche, in which case you should be careful what you wish for :-)

Of course, in the early days of NYC's infection, the disease took a number of demographic strata - not all of them elderly.

Jeff
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I guess it's easy to say that it's just culling society to skim off the 70+ year old tranche and let the virus turn them into fertilizer - unless you belong to that tranche, in which case you should be careful what you wish for :-)


Not just easy but accurate: https://boards.fool.com/sweden-elderly-care-fatality-rate-34...

Depending on the nation it was 40% to 80% of the death toll.

I do miss going to the gym for strength & cardio exercise plus the pool. But 40% of Covid-19 cases in my county are 20 to 39 year old that shake it off. When I went to the gym I saw 2 segments of customers-the 20 to 40 year olds & the retired geezers evenly split in number. I can see the gym parking lot going to town; it is packed now that the gym has reopened. For me, a 69 yr old man, going to the gym now would be a game of Russian roulette that I would eventually lose. I hoping for a very effective vaccine so I could return to the gym.
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I guess it's easy to say that it's just culling society to skim off the 70+ year old tranche and let the virus turn them into fertilizer - unless you belong to that tranche, in which case you should be careful what you wish for :-)

Some people take themselves too seriously. I cannot set policy for Sweden, the US, Portugal, or Venezuela. At most I can comment on their policies. At 81 I'm in the hight mortality cohort and there is nothing I can do about that either. I certainly can and do take care of myself as I see fit. I've had to face end of life scenarios where I could and did make choices which were not all that popular with folks who believe that life should never end. But reality is that we are given three score and ten plus overtime for technology, give or take a few.

It's not "easy." It's "necessary." It's "rational."

The Captain
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without a vaccine we will achieve “herd immunity”

There is no evidence to support that. You are making an assumption that Covid 19 is more like measles, something you can only get once, and not like other viruses that convey temporary immunity.

The science is even still out on whether or not everyone even develops antibodies after being infected - and we of course have no idea how long those antibodies last.

The science on SARs suggests that antibodies start to decrease in year three and beyond, strongly suggesting that any immunity may be temporary.

passed on their resistance to the disease to their offspring.

No evidence of that either - and highly unlikely. Almost no antibody immunity is passed from mother to child. If it was, then almost no children would need various immunization shots.
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Sweden traded early deaths for fewer later deaths while protecting their economy. Is this good or bad?

Jury is still out. Sweden's economy has fared better than some countries in Europe, but worse than others. Compared to peer nations like Denmark, Norway, and Finland, Sweden's death toll as been 5-10 times higher. When the smoke clears we'll be able to determine what did work/what didn't work but right now it is too soon to tell.
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Sweden traded early deaths for fewer later deaths while protecting their economy. Is this good or bad?

Jury is still out.


The front line commander cannot wait for the armchair analyst's report about the outcome to lead his troops. Catch-22.

The Captain
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I want to see more analysis of how Sweden's social policies played a role. If Swedes get sick they can stay home and get paid under sick leave. They can go to the doctor covered by universal healthcare. If Swedes need to stay home and care for sick family members they get paid under family leave. If Swedes lose their jobs they have excellent unemployment benefits. All of this reduces the spread of the virus and keeps the economy running. I haven't seen much discussion of how this impacted covid, a few articles claim it has a big impact with little data, most articles ignore it.
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All of this reduces the spread of the virus and keeps the economy running.

Hold on. Yes, it reduces the spread of the virus. But how exactly do you think it keeps the economy running? Is the entire Swedish economy operational from home computer screens and the internet?

All of those benefits need to be paid for by taxes on income and business. If businesses are shut down, they can't sell things and make a profit which is then taxed. If businesses are shut down, they have to lay off people who are then not getting paid - which means they're making no income and the taxes on $0 income are, zero.

And if the government is not collecting tax revenue because nobody's and no business are making any income, then the government has to issue DEBT which some other suckers need to buy, to PAY for that sick leave and PAY the doctors for universal healthcare and PAY for those UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS they are paying out to these poor people who are not working because the economy is shut down.

And eventually, when the government isn't collecting enough in taxes from income to cover the PAYments on the debt they've issued for all those awesome benefits, and the PAYments to their people for those awesome benefits, they default. And then all those lovely social programs are effed.

This "wow they have great benefits and can just pay people to not work" thought stream is just... unreal.

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. - Winston Churchill.

FC
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