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Sweden Is Not the Model
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There is a lot of conflicting information about Sweden. Some claim that “open” Sweden has no higher infection and death rates than its neighbors, a claim contradicted by this report: https://www.zerohedge.com/health/swedens-covid-19-handling-failure-or-success

Others tauting the “open” Swedish model ignore that according to the Swedish Riksbank de facto the Swedish economy is closed. Sweden has experienced a sharper drop in first quarter GDP than the US, with the Swedish economy down 11%. The Riksbank’s estimates are a 70 percent decline in restaurants and cafes, a 90% decline in cinema, sports, and other crowd events. a 40% decline in car sales, a 23% fall in exports, a 30% decline in shoes and clothes purchases, a 75% drop in Swedish recreational travel.

The “open” Swedish model is a bet on herd immunity which at our present state of knowledge is merely an assumption.

Still others ignore population densities. What might succeed in a low density area would produce a different outcome in high density New York City.

It appears that arguments reflect the authors’ preferences, not the facts.

Some people think the virus is a hoax concocted to serve various agendas. Others think the threat is overblown and that the response is a result of fear and panic. Others understand that little is known about the virus, are confused by disputes about how to treat it, and puzzled by its differing effects on individuals. The claim that it doesn’t affect children is at odds with reports from pediatric hospitals.

President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Sweden 
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  1. At present, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.

    That means that one of the two paths to immunity is blocked. The other path is “herd immunity,” in which a critical mass of infection occurs in lower-risk populations that ultimately thwarts transmission.

    Herd immunity is the only path currently available. Let that sink in for a minute. The only path available.

    US policy has avoided herd immunity so far, doing extreme and perhaps irreparable damage to its economy. Now, roughly 6 weeks from the onset of the virus, many states plan to reopen their economies and get back to work. But it is critical that we understand what that means. It means that after 6 weeks of shutdown, many states are now taking the path that Sweden has been on from the very beginning, the right path, the rational path, the scientific path, the path that returns the country to normal activity while causing as few deaths as possible.

    There is plenty of food for thought here, for those who like mulling over these things.

  2. g8way says:

    In America, The Model should be one which respects civil liberties, respects the inalienable rights granted by our Creator. The Swedish Model is more consistent with American freedom, rights, and civil liberties than what has happened in the US, which has been completely inconsistent with any historical precedent, even though there continues to be no evidence that the current virus/disease is unprecedented.

    • Agree: AaronInMVD
    • Replies: @onebornfree
    , @Reg Cæsar
  3. No lab can manufacture viruses. At best manipulate the DNA or RNA of existing viruses. And there is no indication of that in the various strains of covid-19.

    The existence of a high-security lab in Wuhan would be a possible cause only if Chinese scientists were a bunch of goofs, a hypothesis I’m not ready to subscribe to.

    On the other hand, from Ukraine through Georgia through Africa, there are hundreds of US labs where dangerous research in pathogens that would be banned in the USA is carried out. And the domestic facility in Fort Detrick got closed at the initiative of the CDC (not the Pentagon) for grave security failures. One should not forget either the 2001 episode involving weaponized anthrax of the kind that is produced by the Pentagon.

    There are several papers claiming that some parent strains of covid or pre-covid mutants that should be expected to exist are not to be found in China. On the other hand, the USA has a plethora of covid strains. US covid data is consistently classified. The Italian request to exhume “flu” casualties from the outbreak that killed 80,000 in the USA was turned down.

    What gives?

    • Replies: @22pp22
    , @Realist
  4. ‘rights, and civil liberties than what has happened in the US, which has been completely inconsistent with any historical precedent,’

    tell it to Mary Mallon

    ———————————-

    immunity is not locked into only two paths

    http://astarbiology.com/edexcel/types-of-immunity/

  5. Anon[401] • Disclaimer says:

    Thanks for this out-of-fashion, money-worship-free, thoughts, Mr. Roberts.

  6. EndTheFed says:

    Battle of the incompetents?

    China bio-attack US; US bio-attack China? Either way, committed to a mutually assured destruction, it’s the nature of bio-warfare. Substantial evidence the US was funding China for bio enhanced function research; the goals of which pretty much define what the SARS-COVID 2 seem to have actually achieved. Between the 2 governments we seem to have gotten what we paid for this time.

  7. @Mike Whitney

    What herd immunity? Where is the herd immunity for the common cold (a type of coronavirus) and the flu, and humanity has been exposed to it since forever? You’d have thought we would have achieved it by now after millennia of exposure. The only herd immunity for the flu is that of the vaccinated herd and not the non-vaccinated one, and you need a new shot each year to maintain it. Even then it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch the flu. They haven’t yet developed a vaccine for the common cold coronavirus so what chance is there that there will ever be a vaccine for this Covid-19 coronavirus? We’ll just have to accept the fact that seasonal deaths due to the flue (Covid-19 included) will be higher each season and get on with things.

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  8. swamped says:

    “Others tauting (sic) the “open” Swedish model ignore that according to the Swedish Riksbank de facto the Swedish economy is closed. Sweden has experienced a sharper drop in first quarter GDP than the US, with the Swedish economy down 11%”…which is more than a little misleading, since one quarter does not an economy make. For the entire year of 2020, the latest economic forecast from Statista for Sweden predicts a 4% decline in GDP, rather than the 1.1% growth predicted at the start of the year. However, estimates for future growth have been revised upward. 2021 GDP is predicted to be 3.5% growth rather than 1.6% growth as thought earlier. And the 2022 estimate is now 3.4% growth rather than the previous 1.9%. So Sweden looks set to more than make up for any brief temporary losses now with much greater gains in the near future. Not to mention, the even more important advantage of not forfeiting their priceless freedom like the pussies in Amerika.

  9. jsinton says:

    So how many virus deaths justify imploding the world economy and everything else with it?

    • Replies: @Longfisher
  10. @jsinton

    My dear friend,

    I guess you’ve not realized that the world economy has already imploded?

  11. President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.

    Or you could say that this financing which began under Obysmal simply slipped by, undetected by Trump.

    That makes sense because in government, budgets get re-upped every year without much analysis of how the money’s being spent. I’m not sure I can blame Trump for not noticing a $3 million outlay to an obscure NGO doing work with horseshoe bats in Wuhan, a project he had nothing to do with.

    But I sure can blame Obama and Fauci for launching this initiative without vetting the lab or its practices. Fauci should be fired.

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  12. 22pp22 says:
    @Jean-Marie L.

    I am not a virologist and so am unwilling to stick my neck out too far, but this Peak Prosperity video seemed plausible. My scientific training is in geochemistry and palaeonotology and so there is always the danger that I will base my opinions on the views of the person with the best communication skills.

    I follow PP, because the site has an excellent track record on being right.

  13. joe2.5 says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Add to that that we have not the foggiest idea of the quality of immunity conferred by a 19 infection. Yet. All we know is that there isn’t a high number of immediate reinfections. Plus, perhaps more important, there are no clues at all at this time to predict if any vaccine is possible, if yes if it will be dangerous or even deadly to the recipients (as some other vaccines did), and what kind of protection it will give…

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  14. joe2.5 says:
    @Bragadocious

    “But I sure can blame Obama and Fauci for launching this initiative without vetting the lab or its practices. Fauci should be fired.”

    Why? For financing biowarfare research in the US war interest? First, they should provide proof positive that it wasn’t propagated out of Fort Detrick and taken to China with the military games delegation.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  15. @22pp22

    this Peak Prosperity video seemed plausible.

    You could write a few words to tell what the video is about, who speaks, what is his thesis or what are his ideas. I don’t think it’s very likely that someone opens a link with a video without having the slightests idea what it is about.

  16. onebornfree says: • Website
    @g8way

    “In America, The Model should be one which respects civil liberties, respects the inalienable rights granted by our Creator.”

    Exactly. Roberts continued pro-government, pro-lockdown blathering is the exact opposite of that “Model”, of course. But for him, it’s nothing new. For Roberts, [like 99% of the writers and commenters here], there’s always a government solution involving more government, and less freedom for individuals, for problems usually entirely caused by the government in the first place.

    And so it goes……

    Regards, onebornfree

  17. Realist says:
    @Jean-Marie L.

    The Italian request to exhume “flu” casualties from the outbreak that killed 80,000 in the USA was turned down.

    What gives?

    I have said, it is possible that Covid-19 was present in the US as early as last fall and misdiagnosed.

  18. Realist says:

    President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.

    Yes, this country seems to be on a trajectory to insanity…on so many levels.

    • Replies: @onebornfree
  19. Tor597 says:

    @Paul Craig Robert’s

    Do you have sources that cite the economic numbers you wrote about? Much of what I’ve seen about the Swedish economy uses different stats.

  20. ” We’ll just have to accept the fact that seasonal deaths due to the flue (Covid-19 included) will be higher each season and get on with things.”

    Which is exactly the implications of the early assessments about the virus indicated. The Swedish Dr. Tengell, made those observations, which set up that underlying premise. We don’t have to accept it, but in all likelihood that will be the case.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  21. Rashkae says:

    Swedish model is the correct model, except for high density population areas where it is not.

  22. @joe2.5

    Add to that that we have not the foggiest idea of the quality of immunity conferred by a 19 infection.

    Yes, we do.

    Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID-19
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0897-1

    Abstract:
    “We report acute antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in 285 patients with COVID-19. Within 19 days after symptom onset, 100% of patients tested positive for antiviral immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Seroconversion for IgG and IgM occurred simultaneously or sequentially. Both IgG and IgM titers plateaued within 6 days after seroconversion. Serological testing may be helpful for the diagnosis of suspected patients with negative RT–PCR results and for the identification of asymptomatic infections.”

    Media report:
    https://www.news1.news/n1/2020/04/coronavirus-the-chinese-study-100-of-patients-cured-of-covid-19-develop-antibodies-burioni-good-news.html

    All we know is that there isn’t a high number of immediate reinfections.

    South Korea has dismissed those it had reported (and I don’t know of any others):

    Testing faults blamed for South Korea coronavirus reinfection results
    https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/testing-faults-blamed-for-south-korea-coronavirus-reinfection-results/

    Plus, perhaps more important, there are no clues at all at this time to predict if any vaccine is possible, if yes if it will be dangerous or even deadly to the recipients (as some other vaccines did), and what kind of protection it will give…

    Yes, we have clues. Several vaccines are in advanced stage of research or have even been preliminarily tested. Here’s one:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/covid-19-vaccine-protects-monkeys-new-coronavirus-chinese-biotech-reports

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  23. @Mike Whitney

    Who gives a damn about herd immunity? The thing can be avoided by Vitamin C/D & cured with Hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with other antibiotics & zinc.

    The idiocy on this is stunning.

    Imagine dwelling on herd immunity & vaccination(s) in the face of a “virus” (mind you there is no test which actually isolates or can test for COVID-19) which has a 99.5-99.8% survival rate.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @utu
  24. joe2.5 says:
    @Brás Cubas

    – Presence of antibodies doesn’t mean full immunity or even any immunity. Check the common cold.
    – I know the news from Korea, others from various places in Europe are still being checked.
    – Vaccines don’t necessarily work; some only work for a short while; some virus vaccines are downright dangerous and have been stopped for the respective diseases.
    – Preliminary testing is only re immediate safety, won’t know more before several months

    How come you just ignore even the most basic stuff and link to news instead of medical sources?

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  25. One issue is that a lot of people are going to die before we achieve “herd immunity”, I’m a retired epidemiologist and my estimate is that the number of dead in the USA will ultimately be between 600, 000 and 1.8 million, maybe more. Policies, like the present ones can delay some of these but not permanently prevent them. In the absence of a vaccine this is the death toll we are facing.

    Another issue is that attempts to delay or prevent these deaths incur costs that will ultimately cause other deaths.

    The question becomes what is the price, in terms of economic collapse, social chaos, individual despair, and ultimately deaths caused by these, which we are willing to pay in order to delay or prevent some of these deaths. Contrary to Cuomo’s idiotic statement that every life is priceless (Would he be willing to expropriate the lifetime earnings of three citizens to keep one alive?) preventing all these projected deaths is economically and socially unsustainable. The ultimate cost of policies with this goal would likely be economic and social chaos which will eventually cause many more deaths than they were intended to prevent.

    Unfortunately, it’s now far too late for policies designed using reasonable cost benefit and cost efficiency analyses, if any such were ever possible. We’re now stuck with cratering economies, destroyed to no good purpose.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    , @nickels
  26. @joe2.5

    How come you just ignore even the most basic stuff and link to news instead of medical sources?

    Don’t be absurd. I linked to Nature and Science magazine. The other media-related links were only added to make things easier to read for laypersons, or *were* news (the South Korea incident).

    Presence of antibodies doesn’t mean full immunity or even any immunity. Check the common cold.

    Well, I did:

    The time course of the humoral immune response to rhinovirus infection.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2249538/

    Vaccines don’t necessarily work; some only work for a short while; some virus vaccines are downright dangerous and have been stopped for the respective diseases.
    – Preliminary testing is only re immediate safety, won’t know more before several months

    Nothing new there, but that does not translate to “no clues”, since research results seem promising.

    I know the news from Korea, others from various places in Europe are still being checked.

    You seem to know a lot, but are not generous enough to share your sources with us common mortals.

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  27. onebornfree says: • Website
    @Realist

    “President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.”

    Fauci apparently ran/oversaw the entire Wuhan level4 bio-weapon lab, courtesy of Obama.[And no, I’m not going to “prove it” for you here- do your own research.

    Regards,onebornfree

  28. joe2.5 says:
    @Brás Cubas

    To be informed of every new data the bet is to follow medical journals and their daily updates. Not the news. Limited protection for rhinoviruses was observed, you’re right, while the reports on that are mainly more pessimistic than in that small study. Also, you again confuse detection of antibodies with presence of effective immunity, and initial feasibility and safety testing with efficacy.
    Not nearly enough data to justify optimism re immunization; may come out either way.

    • Thanks: Brás Cubas
  29. @EliteCommInc.

    There are so many unanswered relevant questions, besides the origin of the virus: reliability of tests, reliability of protective measures, treatments, what fraction of excess deaths is due to the virus or due to the emergency measures and stresses, discrepancies between the per capita death rates for different countries and reporting of deaths, and more. When I wrote “get on with things” I didn’t give much thought to how that would be but I presume it won’t be like before and some restrictive measures will persist until we have more answers to pertinent questions. For example, when they open up travel how will they ensure social distancing in planes, trains and buses?

    Also I’m concerned how we will resist this rising medical-police dictatorship and the increasing surveillance and population control but at the same time protect our health. Pandemics due to infectious diseases can definitely pose a disastrous threat to public health and the state and society should take extraordinary measures, but is this one really deserving of such restrictive controls? Of course it is better to err on the side of caution until we know more. Also it seems to have conveniently played into their hands to increase such controls and that has me wondering and undecided about much.

  30. @Jus' Sayin'...

    As an epidemiologists where do you get the idea that herd immunity will be achieved? I have seen so many experts showing time series graphs with peaks for flu deaths each season going back for years on end and then they claim that somehow, by some magic, there will be heard immunity for Covid-19. Surely those peaks due to flu deaths would have disappeared a long time ago if herd immunity were possible. I have witnessed flu and cold epidemics throughout my life in all locations and climates and it just goes on. Yet so many experts talk about it and now even the politicians and journalists are parroting them when it runs contrary to all reason and historical experience. One doesn’t need a Ph.D. in medicals sciences to know that this is nonsense and even the most uneducated man should be able to acknowledge this yet we have all these scientists from top institutes talking gibberish about this herd immunity for a coronavirus. Where is the proof that this has ever been attained for the cold or the flu? Well yes, the epidemic runs its course and disappears until it hits you again next season. Some kind of “herd immunity” that? Seems more like wishful thinking than science to me.

    • Replies: @nickels
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
  31. Polymath says:
    @Mike Whitney

    I’ve observed an extraordinarily high correlation between “let that sink in” being part of an argument and the conclusion being wrong.

    It’s true here too. In addition to “immunity”, either in “vaccine” or “herd” forms, we also have “treatment”, some of which is highly promising (HCQ/azithromycin/zinc in the early stages, plasma therapy later on). But we need to make sure that by the time they are fully developed and mass-produced it will not be too late for most people to benefit.

    Take your false dichotomies away and stfu. You have been flagged as a sophist and future comments by you will be much less likely to be read.

    • Agree: Levtraro, utu
    • Replies: @Weston Waroda
  32. nickels says:
    @22pp22

    I saw a vid where PP claimed the mortality rate if the flu is .02% and thus .1% covid is 40x more deadly.
    I had to conclude he is a fear mongering hack.

  33. dvorak says:
    @Mike Whitney

    Herd immunity is not desirable for a virus with a high death rate, like SARS-COV-2.

    Crushing the virus is what is needed:
    http://paulbuchheit.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-third-solution.html

  34. nickels says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Dude.
    Every flu that spreads is a novel virus. If it wasn’t novel it wouldn’t spread.
    Herd immunity for a give flu strain lasts a few years until the flu becomes novel again. That could happen with covid too.
    But big whoop-its just another flu.

  35. nickels says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Why such a high death total? Do you think it will revive coming out of lockdown? Or something else?
    I’ll give an ear to an epidemiologist, but not to anyone else.
    Witkowski says it has come and gone.

  36. Here’s some fun facts, you stupid deluded denier liars:

    https://ritholtz.com/2020/05/sweden-vs-its-neighbors/

    And don’t attack the source. We’re on to that little troll trick.

  37. @nickels

    Every flu that spreads is a novel virus.

    Not quite. If it were so than the flu shots wouldn’t work as they are combination vaccines prepared for existing strains. They cannot create a vaccine for a non-existent future strain. Now sometimes some new strain appears in the mix of circulating flu viruses and the vaccine may fail to offer protection. But only the vaccines offer immunity to those vaccinated and only for the duration of one year, new strains or no new strains forthcoming in the next season. No herd immunity whatsoever for those not taking the flu shot. And yes Covid-19 could end up behaving like other flu viruses and mutating thus causing problems for the vaccination programme.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  38. @Commentator Mike

    But only the vaccines offer immunity to those vaccinated and only for the duration of one year, new strains or no new strains forthcoming in the next season.

    Correction: new strains may invalidate the vaccination. Regardless, what is the point of talking about herd immunity, Mr. Nickels, if it will not offer any protection as new strains will be appearing. And I am not promoting vaccines and am uncertain about them, but that’s the generally accepted view: herd immunity is achieved by vaccination.

  39. Huskynut says:
    @22pp22

    I watched the video from the link – just want to recommend others do so also.
    Thanks 22pp22 for some good concrete data to engage with.
    If what Chris says in the video is true, then the odds of Covid appearing from it’s closest know relatives via mutation would be 4^12, ie a ludicrously large number.
    There are presumably means by which RNA sequences combine (outside a genetic sequencing machine) rather than via individual discrete mutations.
    But it shifts the burden of proof to the virulogists to demonstrate how such a significant alternation could occur outside manual sequencing, as the two current stories:
    – it mutated
    – we woulda been able to see if it was synthetic
    are clearly debunked

  40. @joe2.5

    How does one prove a negative?

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  41. @Mercury Johnson

    Imagine dwelling on herd immunity & vaccination(s) in the face of a “virus” (mind you there is no test which actually isolates or can test for COVID-19) which has a 99.5-99.8% survival rate.

    And yet, that’s where ‘The Best & Brightest” have taken us.

    The only problem with using Hydroxychloroquine and supplements is that Trump grasped at it as being useful, therefore the MSM, the financially conflicted medical experts, and political opportunists have waged a ruthless war to supress and attempt to discredit it.

  42. karel says:
    @Mike Whitney

    herd immunity? For cows maybe. First, there is no evidence for any sustained immunity that may protect anyone in particular. Reinfection cases with Covid 19 have been reported elsewhere. Second, most people advocating herd immunity may have had problems with mathematics at school. Almost one million new cases per day will be needed to assure that everyone gets infected in the USA within one year. With 100 000 cases per day, it will take ten years and no health system can possibly cope with such a load before collapsing. Suggestions that only 60 or 70 percent of the population sample need to get infected to get some kind of collective immunity, have a little affect on the calculations above.

  43. @Commentator Mike

    An explanation of herd immunity (This all depends on the assumption that a once-infected person gains immunity to further infection, a reasonable first approximation to reality.):

    The speed at which an infection spreads through a population is related to R0, the average number of uninfected persons whom an infected person will infect. If r0 is less than 1 the spread of infection will slow and then die out. If it’s greater than 1 the infection will spread. If R0 is much greater than 1 the infection will spread rapidly.

    If one has some mathematical intuition it’s rather obvious that R0 will be related to the product of the number of those in the population who are infected times the number of those who are uninfected. The two extreme cases are those where no one is infected and R0 is 0 and those where everyone has been infected (and presumably has immunity to further infection) and R0 is again 0. In between these two extremes R0 rises then falls and at some point will fall below 1. This is just common sense and an application of the Intermediate Value Theorem. Herd immunity starts occurring at that point where R0 falls below 1.

    Anyone who cannot follow this argument can blame their inability on my lack of pedagogical skill and consult a good book or article on the subject, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity and within this particularly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity#Mechanics.

    But the bottom line is that absent an effective way of preventing new infections, e.g., a vaccine, a new infectious organism will burn its way through a population until R0 drops below 1, preferably far below 1. That’s what herd immunity is.

    Until herd immunity is achieved people will become infected and a certain proportion of these will die. The proportion among those who become seriously ill from a SARS-CoV-19 infection is about 1%, about ten times greater than the proportion who die from a serious infection by a virus causing a flu.

    Social isolation essentially divides a large population into a very large number of isolated sub-populations. These same dynamics can then work their way through each of these separately. Again ideally, after the period that an infected person remains infectious ends, the infectious agent will have burned its way through any of these groups where it is present and die out in those groups. When social isolation ends, even though the virus didn’t burn its way through most groups it will basically be extinct and a lack of immunity in the other groups will no longer matter.

    This is the theory. Unfortunately, social isolation is never perfect, Inter-group interactions must occur. People will break the rules. So when isolation ends there will be a resurgence of new infections. This will continue until R0 is less than 1 for the entire population.

    Things about SARS-CoV-2 that complicate this analysis are:

    (1) There seems to be a large proportion of the population that is immune to any serious effects from an infection yet whose members are infectious for some period after infection. Evidence is growing that this proportion varies significantly by race, e.g., it seems to be lower among Amerindians.

    (2) There seems to be significant variations among the different epidemics that constitute this pandemic in the initial and intermediate values of R0.

    (3) We still don’t know a lot.

    Bottom line: A lot of people ARE going to die. Some mitigation of this cruel reality is possible but only at enormous cost and with serious consequences. These consequences are likely to include social and economic dislocations that will, on their own, cause deaths. The worst case scenario is that these consequential deaths may exceed the deaths that mitigation efforts prevent.

    • Thanks: Commentator Mike, joe2.5
    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    , @joe2.5
  44. @Jus' Sayin'...

    Thanks for the textbook explanation. It still doesn’t explain why this mechanism hasn’t worked to rid us of the common cold and the influenza in the past, or why we should expect Covid-19 to be different. I’m not in that field, but textbooks tend to describe generalisations that may not be applicable to all cases in reality. Maybe it’s a reasonable explanation of what happens within one outbreak in one season, but I gather it can be more complicated. Some people can catch the cold or flu even several times in one season, but then this may be because various strains are circulating at all times and immunity to one doesn’t offer protection from another, and hence the flu vaccines are cocktails updated each year.

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
  45. @Polymath

    Such sophistry. Herd immunity vs vaccination isn’t a false dichotomy, philosopher-genius. Immunity as a phenomenon is the natural, inexorable result whether “through vaccine or herd forms” as you stated in your brilliant eloquence. Since there has been no successful, safe vaccine for RNA viruses despite many attempts, herd immunity is what we are left with unless you are a genius virologist among your many other skills and have a great gift for mankind. Let that sink in. Effective treatment is important as you rightly point out. But treatment is a medical issue, not an epidemiological one, immunity is a question of epidemiology and we will get that one way or the other.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    , @joe2.5
  46. KenH says:

    Still others ignore population densities. What might succeed in a low density area would produce a different outcome in high density New York City.

    That’s why a one size fits all approach doesn’t work and you can’t devise national policy based upon outliers like NYC but PCR wants the lockdown model across the board.

    We can’t keep everything locked down and nationalize the local grocery stores and pizzeria.

  47. joe2.5 says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    I have to pick two nits:

    1. Herd immunity is achieved either by contagion (as you wrote), or vaccination (as you of course know better than most people), both sometimes being possible for the same disease — e.g. like measles before and after vaccine introduction.

    2. The social and economic consequences would have been very much lower, therefore somewhat tolerable, if our political leadership(s) and medical establishment had heeded both the advance warning and the lessons from China, applied vigilance and all measures (test, trace, isolate, support, treat, and never go out unmasked), the need for a general lockdown would have been substantially shortened viz limited to isolating the at-risk portion of the population. Which of course is pure utopia in our maximally corrupt and maximally fucked-up, decadent empire.

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
  48. joe2.5 says:
    @The Alarmist

    Ah, but there is a priority hierarchy of two negatives to prove. Before theorizing a willing or accidental release from Wuhan, one has to prove that the relatively much higher probability of a Fort Detrick origin is excluded. Both rather on the improbable side but surely not impossible.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  49. @joe2.5

    Considering China has a long history of being the origin of many pandemics, it only makes sense that the USA would unleash it there, for plausible deniability.

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  50. @Weston Waroda

    immunity is a question of epidemiology and we will get that one way or the other.

    Like for the common cold coronavirus or influenza? For how long will this herd immunity last? Until next season and then repeat each year?

  51. joe2.5 says:
    @The Alarmist

    Very good point. Also, I’ll take back “improbable”: it doesn’t sound so improbable, now, that our Deepstate Masters would be so stupid as to believe that the epidemic would devastate the Chinese economy and stay there without circling the world to hit the States and even if it did, that they could take care of it easy peasy because our medicine or anyway our everything is #1.

    The more you look at these cloak-and-dagger guys’ history, the more it sounds like a perfect Laurel & Hardy comedy plot — real life always beats slapstick.

  52. joe2.5 says:
    @Weston Waroda

    “Since there has been no successful, safe vaccine for RNA viruses despite many attempts, herd immunity is what we are left with unless you are a genius virologist…”

    Any common-or-garden medical person is enough to answer yes, but: herd immunity via contagion instead of vaccination also needs reliable, quality immunity for a sufficient length of time. Same as for the vaccine. No herd otherwise, as with other RNAv that are definitely rather iffy as you know. As Commentator Mike I believe says, flu protection depends on the vaccinated, not so much on the infected. Anyway, that aspect is almost entirely unknown as yet for this particular agent and disease.

    In fact, there is no certainty either way as yet: the vaccine tentative might well be negative / hazardous or it may prove an exception to the rule and be relatively effective and durable…

    • Replies: @Weston Waroda
  53. It works like this. If there is a vaccine, those vaccinated create a group immunity, and the disease spread is stopped, even if only 80% of the population, say, is vaccinated. Like a forest fire, there isn’t enough fuel for the fire–the virus– to burn through and spread. Enough immunity in the community removes the fuel from the virus, so to speak. In the case of the flu, only about half the population gets the flu vaccine, and they are immune, assuming the flu vaccine for that year actually works. So when enough of the remaining 50% that did not get the vaccine have the infection and recover, immunity for the group is achieved and the infection dies out. Vaccinations and infections work together to confer immunity to the entire group. That is why one way or the other, you will get herd immunity, you can’t stop it from happening.

    The idea being tossed around that recovery from the covid virus doesn’t confer immunity isn’t proven, but the expectation is that recovery gives at least some immunity for some period of time. It would be unusual if it proves to be otherwise. One of the medical treatments for the covid infection is the use of convalescent plasma, plasma donated by people who had the virus and recovered. Since this has been an effective treatment, we ought to be able assume that there is some degree of immunity conferred upon recovery from the infection, how long or to what degree being unknown.

    • Replies: @joe2.5
  54. @Commentator Mike

    “It still doesn’t explain why this mechanism hasn’t worked to rid us of the common cold and the influenza in the past”

    I’d argue that it does. Ten thousand years of exposure – since the beginnings of urbanization – have culled from the populations and gene pools, which were exposed to them, those most susceptible to severe illness from influenza and other highly contagious viruses. as a result we have the present situation regarding these diseases. If we are willing to suffer several millions or perhaps tens of millions deaths for some unclear length of time then eventually the same situation will probably hold for SARS-CoV-2 and other, similar viruses.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  55. @joe2.5

    I agree. But that train has left the station. I’d say the same regarding the coming economic catastrophe. We’d be in a lot better economic shape, facing the current situation if our greedy and corrupt elites and the establishment that supports them hadn’t been pillaging the economy for their personal benefit over the last two score decades.

  56. @Jus' Sayin'...

    Perhaps the flu has removed the most vulnerable from the population in the past but it’s still around killing many each year as the time series graphs of deaths show, with the number of infected and dead going up and down each year depending on the severity of the pandemics (I’d say the flu is a pandemic as it affects almost every location on earth). I don’t know if data shows that as time goes on the deaths get less and less, and if so if it is due to the herd immunity or just improvement in general health, treatment, increasing vaccination, etc. I really hope this Covid-19 does disappear but judging from the cold and flu it seems unlikely. I am not knowledgeable enough about the theory of viral infections but just writing as a layperson based on experience and the data and information made available to us so far. Definitely other similar infections like bird flu, swine flu, SARS don’t reappear with a regular frequency, and when they do they don’t seem to spread widely in the general population to cause pandemics or many deaths. But this Covid-19 has spread far and wide and taken a hold in the population so I’m not sure if we’ll be easily rid of it.

  57. utu says:
    @Mercury Johnson

    “Who gives a damn about herd immunity? The thing can be avoided by Vitamin C/D & cured with Hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with other antibiotics & zinc.”

    Smoking is better than vitamins.

  58. utu says:
    @Mike Whitney

    Sweden has 7.5 higher mortality per capita than other three Scandinavian countries when population density is accounted for. As of today 3,040 people died in Sweden of Covid-19. If Sweden adopted similar countermeasures as other countries 3,040*(1-1/7.5)= 2,634 lives would have been saved.

    As of today the UK had 30,615 fatalities. Because of the countermeasures implemented in the UK and not following the Swedish model 30,615 *(7.5-1)=199,000 lives have been saved so far.

    If America acted four or six weeks sooner, if the President and his administration called for unity and sacrifice and outlined a constructive plan tens of thousand of lives would have been saved. Instead the President was sending mixed signals and CDC was dubious on the effectiveness of masks and so on and on. Somebody should be held responsible for thousands of deaths that could have been avoided. This won’t happen.

    Demagogues like Mike Whitney and all the flu hoaxers and the anti-lockdown advocates are here to build an alibi for the government, so nobody will be held responsible, nobody will calculate how many lives could have been saved if action was taken earlier, if masks were made mandatory…. If it was just a flu, why bother, right? The flu hoaxers in the best of the libertarian tradition work for the PTB and the oligarchy. Nihil novi sub sole.

  59. @g8way

    The Swedish Model is more consistent with American freedom, rights, and civil liberties than what has happened in the US…

    We saw that with the auto bailout. The only division of GM not rescued by its national government was Sweden’s Saab.

  60. joe2.5 says:
    @Weston Waroda

    “Since this has been an effective treatment…”
    We aren’t smoking from the same hookah. I’ve seen several negative papers — already accepted and published. Not a one to confirm reliable efficacy.

    “how long or to what degree being unknown.”
    Precisely. Which makes any recommendations w/ regard to herd immunity, natural or by vaccination, the stuff of science-fiction as of now.

  61. We live in a complicated World and I think we owe thanks to Mr. Roberts for offering his perspective based upon his experience and observations. Mr. Roberts has scant few friends in Washington which tends to qualify him as one attempting to convey an unpopular truth and his frequent use of the term “insouciant” in his writings is unparalleled by any modern writer that I am aware.

    In the past, I have sent him what I thought was some useful information yet never received one response regarding it. Mr. Roberts is undoubtedly overwhelmed with input from others (or underwhelmed with the information I’d sent) that time simply does not allow him to respond to everyone who writes. The only time he responded was when I’d asked how I could send a financial contribution to keep his site afloat.

    He is correct on some things and yet he can’t be correct all the time. Nobody is. I think his (rightful) disgust for the International behavior of the Nation he once served clouds his judgement on the innocence of China’s or Russian’s aspirations towards the West.

    The familiar sales pitch on the severity of this virus is quite clear. All mainstream media outlets spout the same line; we face a “virus of mass destruction”. The invasion this time won’t be into an innocent Nation, but the State and tech conglomerates intractably into our lives and bodies.

  62. c matt says:

    The “open” Swedish model is a bet on herd immunity which at our present state of knowledge is merely an assumption

    An assumption based on the fact that it has worked with many other viral pandemics and is consistent with scientific knowledge regarding human immunology? Sure, like the sun rising in the East is also an assumption based upon accumulated knowledge.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  63. c matt says:

    Others think the threat is overblown and that the response is a result of fear and panic.

    Given what we do know, these folks would be what is colloquially referred to as “correct.”

  64. @c matt

    Well there would be no need for vaccines if that is true. Maybe herd immunity does work for deadly diseases but it’s a question of how many you’re willing to let die and how many or few will survive. And these is no guarantee that the survivors would be immune to the next bout of the same disease, unless vaccinated.

  65. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:

    In my opinion, Sweden has zero credibility when it comes to health. Sweden forced the German government to pay $billions in penalty when Germany decided to close its nuclear plants, following the Fukushima disaster (a predictable disaster as GE and friends designed the Fukushima’s electrically-powered cooling sections BELOW sea level). The imbeciles.

    (Sweden had investments in nuclear energy in Germany, under one of these absurd FTAs energy treaty. When a foreign country invests in an energy sector of your country, your government loses its ”sovereignty” and must reimburse foreign investors if they not make the amount of money they planned to do.) MONSTERS.

  66. anon[263] • Disclaimer says:

    I gave up reading Paul Craig Roberts’s articles after he turned to negativism about World War II. Someone who thinks Hitler was not to blame for the war and the holocaust cannot be taken seriously on any issue. His articles on covid end up having the opposite effect to what he wants.

  67. Bill P says:

    How about a simple solution:

    If you want to lock down, feel free to do so, but don’t force it on others. Eventually the infection will run its course and then you can come out of hiding.

  68. @joe2.5

    Everybody is an epidemiologist these days.

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