Sweden has a unique approach to coronavirus. They have not shut the country down, as nearly every other country in the world has. There is a lot of controversy in Sweden among virologists and government. Regardless, if you want to go to a bar in Stockholm and have a beer or two, then head to your favorite restaurant to eat, there is no restriction.
Swedes do keep one-meter social distancing. They do work from home, but it is not mandated. Schools for those under are open. They travel less and public transportation has seen usage plummet. Sweden protects those most vulnerable to coronavirus. And the government has banned gatherings greater than 50 people.
What is to be gained? Herd immunity most likely is the answer as I read between the lines. The asymptomatic people acquire immunity and pass the virus on to others. Over time, a larger portion of the population develops a natural immunity that would not have happened if everyone were restricted to their homes.
We see headlines about the ‘unknown’ numbers of people with the virus and have not symptoms – from 50 times to even 85 times the numbers reported as officially having the disease. If this is true, and I believe it probably is, then thousands of population centers around the world are achieving the front edge of herd immunity without any fanfare. People have the virus without any problems and develop immunity.
Over time, herd immunity will prevent/slow down the future spread of coronavirus. We are hearing about the second rush of new cases towards the end of summer. Will it happen? Time will tell!
When you do not test everyone, it is difficult to know exactly what the numbers are. Sweden does test those with severe symptoms. Their hospital care system is maintaining control of those cases.
Is this sensible? Some people believe so. Others believe that unnecessary deaths are the result. A few believe it will do nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19. Who is right? Again, time will tell.
Lockdown in countries is not to stop the spread of coronavirus. There is literally no way to stop its spread. Lockdown results in a plateau of new cases and allow hospitals and medical care to control those new cases. There was an article today in my hometown of Houston, that the football stadium temporary medical facility has had no patients. The U. S. Navy hospital ship in New York City has not seen the anticipated usage that was envisioned.
Media plays a major role in how people respond. We hear about the deaths and new cases, but rarely ever about the number of recoveries. A death rate of 8-15% is unacceptable for those over 70 years of age. The rapid infection and subsequent deaths of those in elder-care facilities have made headlines.
Is lockdown the only medical option, or is media hyping it? Are we pawns in the political process? Maybe! It is hard to separate medical and political expertise daily.
Sweden’s Public Health Agency is viewed by its nation as credible with high approval ratings. The announcement from the beginning was that people were going to become infected and very few would need hospitalization. That is true in every country. When those high-risk population groups (obese, hypertension, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and more) are protected, the percentage requiring hospitalization is low.
The implementation of masks, gloves, hand-washing, and social distancing has protected many with marginal pre-existing health issues. Can a person get a beer or two and eat in a restaurant while observing adequate social distances? If the staff (management, cooks, servers, cleaners, etc.) are tested daily, then it makes sense that a segment currently closed could be viable soon.
Sweden’s coronavirus new cases are in the top twenty in the world. They only report those with severe cases and do not test those without symptoms. The death rate is higher compared to other Scandinavian countries. Are the other Scandinavian countries going to have similar death statistics when they remove the lockdown restrictions? Time will tell.
I believe many statistics are misleading. A death with coronavirus and death because of coronavirus are being reported the same. A person with pre-existing conditions could have a heart attack or stroke and die before coronavirus became an issue. What is the real cause of death? Is it a political reality to report everything as a coronavirus death and maybe sort it out months from now?
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has assessed that one-half of Stockholm’s population has the virus. Some epidemiologists believe half the Swedish population has already contracted the virus. Short-term immunity, as seen with other coronaviruses, may be the ticket to seeing the end to this current pandemic before the end of this year. Swedes are remaining vigilant and maintaining social distancing and other self-protective measures. Most believe the worst is over.
“When it comes to studies and other types of coronaviruses, they have shown that people get immune. Maybe not long-term immunity, but even if we only get this kind of short-term immunity, it may be enough to stop this pandemic,” says Dr. Frans.
As with many things in our lives, given enough time, our Monday-morning quarterbacking view will prove this or that worked, or, we should have done this earlier.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – https://RedOLaughlin.com