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Monday, August 3, 2020

Whitney: Looks Like Sweden Was Right After All

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“>Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

Why is the media so fixated on Sweden’s coronavirus policy? What difference does it make?

Sweden settled on a policy that they thought was both sustainable and would save as many lives as possible. They weren’t trying to ‘show anyone up’ or ‘prove how smart they were’. They simply took a more traditionalist approach that avoided a full-scale lockdown. That’s all.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? And that’s why Sweden has been so harshly criticized in the media, because they refused to do what everyone else was doing. They refused to adopt a policy that elites now universally support, a policy that scares people into cowering submission. The Swedish model is a threat to that approach because it allows people to maintain their personal freedom even in the midst of a global pandemic. Ruling class elites don’t want that, that is not in their interests. What they want is for the people to meekly accept the rules and conditions that lead to their eventual enslavement. That’s the real objective, complete social control, saving lives has nothing to do with it. Sweden opposed that approach which is why Sweden has to be destroyed. It’s that simple.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with Sweden’s fatality rate, which is higher than some and lower than others. (Sweden has 543 deaths per million, which means roughly 1 death in every 2,000 people.) But like every other country, the vast majority of Swedish fatalities are among people 70 years and older with underlying health conditions. (“90% of the country’s deaths have been among those over 70.”) Sweden was not successful in protecting the people in its elderly care facilities, so large numbers of them were wiped out following the outbreak. Sweden failed in that regard and they’ve admitted they failed. Even so, the failures of implementation do not imply that the policy is wrong. Quite the contrary. Sweden settled on a sustainable policy, that keeps the economy running, preserves an atmosphere of normality, and exposes its young, low-risk people to the infection, thus, moving the population closer to the ultimate goal of “herd immunity”.

[ZH: in Sweden (pop. 10.25m) – where there was no lockdown, huge international criticism of its strategy, and one of the highest fatalities per head in the world – only 70 people under 49 years old have died of Covid-19, out of 5,482 total virus deaths (1.3%) so far. For context, average annual deaths in Sweden over the last 5 years for under-49-year-olds have been 3,417.  ]

Presently, Sweden is very close to reaching herd immunity which is a condition in which the majority have developed antibodies that will help to fend-off similar sars-covid infections in the future. Absent a vaccine, herd immunity is the best that can be hoped for. It ensures that future outbreaks will be less disruptive and less lethal. Take a look at this excerpt from an article at the Off-Guardian which helps to explain what’s really going on:

“Sweden’s health minister understood that the only chance to beat COVID-19 was to get the Swedish population to a Herd Immunity Threshold against COVID-19, and that’s exactly what they have done…

The Herd Immunity Threshold (“HIT”) for COVID-19 is between 10-20%

This fact gets less press than any other. Most people understand the basic concept of herd immunity and the math behind it. In the early days, some public health officials speculated that COVID-19’s HIT was 70%. Obviously, the difference between a HIT of 70% and a HIT of 10-20% is dramatic, and the lower the HIT, the quicker a virus will burn out as it loses the ability to infect more people, which is exactly what COVID-19 is doing everywhere, including the U.S, which is why the death curve above looks the way it looks.

Scientists from Oxford, Virginia Tech, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, all recently explained the HIT of COVID-19 in this paper:

We searched the literature for estimates of individual variation in propensity to acquire or transmit COVID-19 or other infectious diseases and overlaid the findings as vertical lines in Figure 3. Most CV estimates are comprised between 2 and 4, a range where naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune….

Naturally acquired herd immunity to COVID-19 combined with earnest protection of the vulnerable elderly – especially nursing home and assisted living facility residents — is an eminently reasonable and practical alternative to the dubious panacea of mass compulsory vaccination against the virus.

This strategy was successfully implemented in Malmo, Sweden, which had few COVID-19 deaths by assiduously protecting its elder care homes, while “schools remained open, residents carried on drinking in bars and cafes, and the doors of hairdressers and gyms were open throughout.

One of the most vocal members of the scientific community discussing COVID-19’s HIT is Stanford’s Nobel-laureate Dr. Michael Levitt. Back on May 4, he gave this great interview to the Stanford Daily where he advocated for Sweden’s approach of letting COVID-19 spread naturally through the community until you arrive at HIT. He stated:

If Sweden stops at about 5,000 or 6,000 deaths, we will know that they’ve reached herd immunity, and we didn’t need to do any kind of lockdown. My own feeling is that it will probably stop because of herd immunity. COVID is serious, it’s at least a serious flu. But it’s not going to destroy humanity as people thought.

Guess what? That’s exactly what happened. As of today, 7 weeks after his prediction, Sweden has 5,550 deaths. In this graph, you can see that deaths in Sweden PEAKED when the HIT was halfway to its peak (roughly 7.3%) and by the time the virus hit 14% it was nearly extinguished.”

(“Second wave? Not even close“, JB Handley, The Off-Guardian)

In other words, Sweden is rapidly approaching the endgame which means that restrictions can be dropped entirely and normal life can resume. They will have maintained their dignity and freedom while the rest of the world hid under their beds for months on end. They won’t have to reopen their primary schools because they never shut them down to begin with. Numerous reports indicate that young children are neither at risk nor do they pass the virus to others. Most Americans don’t know this because the propaganda media has omitted the news from their coverage. Here’s a clip from the National Review which helps to explain:

Kari Stefansson, CEO of the Icelandic company deCODE genetics in Reykjavík, studied the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland with Iceland’s Directorate of Health and the National University Hospital. His project has tested 36,500 people; as of this writing,

Children under 10 are less likely to get infected than adults and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults. We have not found a single instance of a child infecting parents.”

(“Icelandic Study: ‘We Have Not Found a Single Instance of a Child Infecting Parents.’“, National Review)

This is just one of many similar reports from around the world. Most of the schools in Europe have already reopened and lifted restrictions on distancing and masks. Meanwhile, in the US, the reopening of schools has become another contentious political issue pitting Trump against his Democrat adversaries who are willing to sacrifice the lives of schoolchildren to prevent the president from being reelected. It’s a cynical-counterproductive approach that reveals the vindictiveness of the people who support it. In an election year, everything is politics. (Watch Tucker Carlson’s short segment on “Kids cannot afford to stay locked down.“)

Here’s a question for you: Have you ever wondered why the virus sweeps through the population and then seemingly dissipates and dies out? In fact, the virus doesn’t simply die-out, it runs out of people to infect. But how can that be when only 1 of 7 people will ever contract the virus?

The answer is immunity, either natural immunity or built up immunity from other Sars-Covid exposure. Here’s more from the Off Guardian piece:

“Scientists are now showing evidence that up to 81% of us can mount a strong response to COVID-19 without ever having been exposed to it before:

Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes revealed preexisting T-cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals, and validation of similarity to common cold human coronaviruses provided a functional basis for postulated heterologous immunity.

This alone could explain WHY the Herd Immunity Threshold (HIT) is so much lower for COVID-19 than some scientists thought originally, when the number being talked about was closer to 70%. Many of us have always been immune!

(“Second wave? Not even close”, JB Handley, The Off-Guardian)

What does it mean?

It means that Fauci and the idiots in the media have been lying to us the whole time. It means that Covid-19 is not a totally new virus for which humans have no natural immunity or built-in protection. Covid is a derivative of other infections which is why the death toll isn’t alot higher. Check this out from the BBC:

“People testing negative for coronavirus antibodies may still have some immunity, a study has suggested. For every person testing positive for antibodies, two were found to have specific T-cells which identify and destroy infected cells. This was seen even in people who had mild or symptomless cases of Covid-19..

This could mean a wider group have some level of immunity to Covid-19 than antibody testing figures, like those published as part of the UK Office for National Statistics Infection Survey, suggest…..And these people should be protected if they are exposed to the virus for a second time.”

(“Coronavirus: Immunity may be more widespread than tests suggest“, BBC)

Now, I realize that there’s some dispute about immunity, but there shouldn’t be. If you contract the virus, you either won’t get it again or you’ll get a much milder case. And if immunity doesn’t exist, then we’re crazy to waste our time trying to develop a vaccine, right?

What the science tells us is that immunity does exist and the reason the vast majority of people didn’t get the infection— is not because they locked themselves indoors and hid behind the sofa– but because they already have partial immunity either from their genetic makeup or from previous exposure to Sars-CoV-2 which was identified in 2002.

It’s worth repeating that the reason everyone was so scared about Covid originally was because it was hyped as a “novel virus”, completely new with no known cure or natural protection. That was a lie that was propagated by Fauci and his dissembling Vaccine Mafia, all of who are responsible for the vast destruction to the US economy, the unprecedented spike in unemployment, and the obliteration of tens of thousands of small businesses.

As the author points out, we should have known from the incident on the Diamond Princess (Cruise Liner) that immunity was far more widespread than previously thought. Readers might recall that only 17% of the people on board tested Covid-positive, “despite an ideal environment for mass spread, implying 83% of the people were somehow protected from the new virus.”

Think about that for a minute. All of the passengers were 60 years old or older, but only 17% caught the virus. Why?

Immunity, that’s why. What else could it be? Cross immunity, natural immunity, or SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity. Whatever you want to call it, it exists and it explains why the vast majority of people will not get the highly-contagious Covid no matter what they do.

It’s also worth pointing out that even according to the CDC’s own statistics, the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is a mere 0.26% whereas “According to the latest immunological and serological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) is about 0.1% and thus in the range of a strong seasonal influenza (flu).” (“Facts about Covid-19”, Swiss Policy Research)

So the death rate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in every 500 (who contract the virus) to 1 in every 1,000. How can any rational person shut down a $21 trillion economy and order 340 million people into quarantine, based on the fact that 1 in every thousand people (mostly old and infirm) might die from an infection?? That was a act of pure, unalloyed Madness for which the American people will pay dearly for years to come. Once again, the US response was crafted by people who were promoting their own narrow political, social and economic agenda, not acting in the interests of the American people. We should expect more from our leaders than this.

So what does all of this say about the sharp spike in Covid positive cases in the south and the chances of a “second wave”?

There’s not going to be a second wave (The massive BLM protests in NY city has not produced any uptick in deaths, because NY has already achieved herd immunity. In contrast, Florida will undoubtedly experience more fatalities because it has not yet reached HIT or the Herd Immunity Threshold. Cases are increasing because younger- low-risk people are circulating more freely and because testing has increased by many orders of magnitude. At the same time, deaths continue to go down.

On Wednesday, US new cases rose to an eye-watering 62,000 in one day while deaths are down 75% from the April peak. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the pattern has been the same as in countries around the world. The trajectory of infections was mapped out long ago by UK epidemiologist and statistician, William Farr. Take a look:

“Farr shows us that once peak infection has been reached then it will roughly follow the same symmetrical pattern on the downward slope. However, under testing and variations in testing regimes means we have no way of knowing when the peak of infections occurred. In this situation, we should use the data on deaths to predict the peak. There is a predicted time lag from infection to COVID deaths of approximately 21 to 28 days.

Once peak deaths have been reached we should be working on the assumption that the infection has already started falling in the same progressive steps. …

Farr, also illustrated that those who are the most ‘mortal die out’, and in a pandemic are those in most need of shielding….(So, Farr saw the wisdom of the Swedish approach a full 180 years ago!)

In the midst of a pandemic, it is easy to forget Farr’s Law, and think the number infected will just keep rising, it will not. Just as quick as measures were introduced to prevent the spread of infection we need to recognize the point at which to open up society and also the special measures due to ‘density’ that require special considerations. But most of all we must remember the message Farr left us: what goes up must come down.”

(“COVID-19: William Farr’s way out of the Pandemic”, The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine)

What this tells us is that the fatality rate is a more reliable barometer of what is taking place than the spike in new cases. And what the death rates signals is that the virus is on its last legs. We are not seeing the onset of a second wave, but the gradual ending of the first. Also, the fact that tens of thousands of young people are contracting Covid-19 without experiencing any pain or discomfort, confirms that immunity is widespread. This is a very positive development.

Here’s how Dr. John Thomas Littell, MD, who is President of the County Medical Society, and Chief of Staff at the Florida Hospital, summed it up in a letter to the editor of the Orlando Medical News, He said:

“Why did we as a society stop sending our children to schools and camps and sports activities? Why did we stop going to work and church and public parks and beaches? Why did we insist that healthy persons “stay at home” – rather than observing the evidence-based, medically prudent method of identifying those who were sick and isolating them from the rest of the population – advising the sick to “stay at home” and allowing the rest of society to function normally.”

(“Second wave? Not even close”, JB Handley, The Off-Guardian)

Why? Because we were misled by Doctor Fauci and the Vaccine Gestapo, that’s why. In contrast, Sweden shrugged off the dire predictions and fearmongering, and “got it right the first time.”

Hurrah for Sweden!

Zerohedge

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