Against the Corona Panic, Part XI: Stay-Open Sweden set to lose 0.02% of total population to Coronavirus, in line with usual peak flu years; 2020 may equal 2018 in total mortality; why did we destroy the economy over this?


For earlier entries “Against the Corona Panic,” see:
Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven,
Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve

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coronavirus-epidemic-arc-in-sweden-may-8-update

The end of the Panic Pandemic should be at hand by now. It would (long) be, if the matter were entirely evidence-driven. The apocalyptic virus it was so aggressively marketed to be has turned into a minor flu virus.

The evidence pointing against the Panic had been there all along, but ignored and suppressed. Strangely, the pro-Panic side doesn’t want to hear the good news, which raises questions of its own.

Not only did the pro-Panic side ignore the evidence and actively suppress the early evidence, they busily set up a religion around the Panic, entrenching it and giving it eternal privileges from criticism or skeptical inquiry, and immunity from logical consistency (flattening the curve turned into an extremist policy of total elimination of the virus, a fool’s errand). As  core doctrines of the Corona religion were steadily refuted, they dug in. How this happened, reconstructing what went wrong with the Coronavirus Mass Delusion event of 2020, is the most interesting question of the hour.

For the time being I want to return to SWEDEN, where, with the epidemic in clear decline, we can by now see the outlines of the full-scope of the epidemic’s “hit.” Given that the country stayed open and took only moderate measures, this should be of great interest.

I think it may be helpful to present the final mortality impact of coronavirus in Sweden in terms of total-mortality against past peak-mortality years and pandemics, for perspective. No longer do we need models by pro-Panic, sloppy, pseudo-academic hitmen suffering from CoronaParanoia delusions (or with darker motivations, beyond the scope of this post). We have reality. We have hard data from observed-reality from Sweden’s “Stay Open” scenario, which the anti-Panic side argued for all along.

The surprising fact is the coronavirus epidemic of 2020 in Sweden, once all deaths are counted, is going to be demonstrably lower than previous epidemics. It’s true that people are dying, and these deaths may cause the highest mortality in Sweden since…2018.

How you place 2020 in historical mortality perspective in Sweden depends on how you count (% of population dying, or total deaths?), on which more below. Maybe it will go as high as 2002 by one measure. But there are always caveats and context: 2019 and the first thirteen weeks of 2020 had below-average mortality in Sweden (as elsehwere), so some of this is the catch-up effect. The point is that with Sweden’s epidemic in decline and herd immunity approaching nationally, it is clear that this was not an unusually dangerous flu virus that requires extreme measures. This was clear all along, but observed data is not really arguable anymore.

I wrote about these things, and much else about Sweden, in mid-April (Part III) and late April (Part VII, Sweden Vindicated) and returned to it a few days ago (Part X, Deaths With vs. Deaths From in Sweden).

Others, such the American Institute for Economic Research, later noted the same things I found, namely that the Ferguson model applied to Sweden “yields preposterous results.”

I believe my graph on Sweden Reality vs. Ferguson Fantasy shows this more clearly than any other figure I have seen.

Now, as of May 10, with data complete through the end of April and the end in sight, it is possible to make “calls” on the final magnitude of the epidemic’s impact, which can be compared to those of previous years, which is the purpose of this post: Making that call and contextualizing it.

This post will show the following:

  • The updated graph for the Coronavirus Epidemic in Sweden (the observed ICU and Deaths curves) — The same general trend holding and the Deaths curve pushing its way towards completing its bell-like curve, probably receding to a very low level by June before reaching zero, the natural epidemic cycle complete;
  • The observed-deaths curve in comparison to the pro-Panic side’s predictions they were releasing in March and early April (reality is much lower);
  • The full ICU and Deaths data in table form;
  • The epidemic in Sweden is mainly a Stockholm epidemic, probably moreso even than be expected by the epidemic starting there first;
  • Calculate the now-in-sight final scope of the epidemic’s “hit” in full-year, total-population mortality terms in Sweden, in light of the likely magnitude of the “deaths with vs. deaths from” problem — It looks to be ca. +0.02%;
  • Perspective‘: A review of Sweden’s full-year mortalities for 1900 to 2019, with peak-mortality years and pandemic-flu years highlighted and comments on how these past years compare to the excess-mortality attributable to the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic of 2020;
  • A word on herd immunity in 1918;
  • 2020 coronavrisu’ true epidemic profile as fitting between 2009 Swine Flu and 1968 Hong Kong Flu, probably closer to Swine Flu;
  • In just how minimal an impact the Stay Open, moderate-response approach is to daily life, as observed in Sweden;
  • With the dataset through the end of April now all-but-complete and with the sustained decline holding, further comments on dating the peak;
  • Thoughts on dating the tail-off — When will corona-positive deaths return to low levels? (before June 1, but this depends what you mean by low levels);
  • Some reflections on the Panic in light of the conclusions of this post: On the victory of the pro-Panic side, on when I personally came to the anti-Panic side, on Corona-Politics, and on Donald Trump‘s foolish “They are suffering very badly in Sweden” comment;
  • Final Thought: Is there any hope left for the pro-Panic side? They needed more deaths in Sweden, and didn’t get them. The decline holds, as it has held for now almost three weeks. It’s over. Also including thoughts on whether Neil Ferguson will commit suicide.

The reason for this focus on Sweden: They are our best dataset on what a “Stay Open” scenario would be (have been), and therefore what the impact of the epidemic would be without the destructive shutdowns or ‘lockdowns.’ The lockdowns were wrong, should end, and should not be revived in any form.

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Graphs of the Epidemic in Decline in Sweden

Here are the graphs from the latest update from the Swedish Public Health agency (a graph series that has run here for the past weeks with occasional updates), with the Deaths curve continuing its downward slide:

coronavirus-epidemic-arc-in-sweden-may-8-update

Coronavirus Deaths in Sweden - Actual Deaths vs Ferguson Projections - May 8 update

The second graph includes, for comparison, the influential, pro-Panic estimates by Neil Ferguson of Imperial College [UK], also known as “Doctor Frankensson,”who gave life to the monster of CoronaPanic and ensured its victory over the forces of light.

Here is the full table of the data in the first graph (click to expand):

Coronavirus epidemic ICU and deaths - table and summary - May 8 update

The Deaths curve shows a clear ascent, peak, and descent period. It is expected to show a longer “tail-off” period than a true bell curve would be.

  • Ascent: March 10 to April 5;
  • Peak: April 6 to 17;
  • Descent: April 18 to circa May 14,
  • (Followed by sustained decline to low levels, indistinguishable from background deaths, by no later than mid-June.

I will return to the question of dating the peak towards the end of this post.

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The Swedish Epidemic is Really a Stockholm Epidemic

Though it is a side-point to the main one here, this may be of interest.

The lion’s share of excess deaths in late March and April were in Stockholm County, which registered 6,328 deaths in 2020 through Week 16. Its average for 2015-19 was 5,142 deaths. When Weeks 17 and 18 (just completed) are included, it could go as high as +1,750 deaths in Stockholm County for 2020 through May 3.

These excess deaths are mainly nursing home patients and an inevitable fall-off in deaths will follow (the culling effect). Some of these are due to reported failures at Stockholm nursing homes employing refugee staff who could not speak Swedish.

In most other regions, there is no net increase in deaths through April 19. Some regions had a small increase. Others had still not caught up to the average.

Here are all the regions’ near-final death totals as a percentage of the recent-past average for the same period (Weeks 1 to 16) (as of reporting date: April 30). All of them may end up going up by a small number as the small numbers of laggards are logged.

  • SWEDEN: 103% of normal deaths in 2020 to April 19 (compared to 2015-19 avg.);
  • Stockholm: 123% of normal deaths;
  • Norrbotten: 110% of normal deaths;
  • Södermanland: 109% of normal deaths;
  • Dalarna: 109% of normal deaths;
  • Västmanland: 105% of normal deaths;
  • Jämtland: 105% of normal deaths;
  • Uppsala: 103% of normal deaths;
  • Östergötland: 102% of normal deaths;
  • Jönköping: 101% of normal deaths;
  • Kronoberg: 101% of normal deaths;
  • Gotland: 100% of normal deaths;
  • Västra Götaland: 99% of normal deaths;
  • Halland: 97% of normal deaths;
  • Västernorrland: 96% of normal deaths;
  • Skåne: 96% of normal deaths;
  • Kalmar: 96% of normal deaths;
  • Örebro: 94% of normal deaths;
  • Gävleborg: 93% of normal deaths;
  • Värmland: 93% of normal deaths;
  • Västerbotten: 92% of normal deaths;
  • Blekinge: 91% of normal deaths;

For Sweden without Stockholm County, it was 101%, i.e., just about normal (100%).

This is probably partly because the virus’ transmission phase started later outside Stockholm. Still, none of these regions are showing no signs so far of rising to Stockholm excess-mortality levels, or they would have done so by now. Stockholm showed moderate excess deaths in Week 13, and significant excess deaths in Week 14, 15, and 16.

A large neighboring region to Stockholm, Södermanland, had a rise in deaths starting about the same time, but it rose much less, standing at only 110% normal mortality, now also apparently past its peak. This might be expected to be more like the national norm, considerably lower than Stockholm’s due to the nursing home staff problem. The other high-end cases, Norrbotten and Dalarna, I expect could be explained by having high-average-age populations.

The rest of this post will examine full-country mortality.

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Total Population Loss in Sweden to the Wuhan Coronavirus; a proxy for the virus’ true impact in the Stay-Open Scenario

(Executive summary: It looks to probably be circa 0.02%.)

Based on the shape of the current Deaths curve the trendline as it works its way down, and the signs that regions outside Stockholm are showing lower excess-mortality, total coronavirus-positive deaths may reach as high as 5,000 in Sweden.

Also, relevant to full-year total-mortality: There are zero deaths associated with the pro-Panic side’s much-prophesied “swamped hospitals.” In March and into April, one heard this line everywhere: We have to disemploy hundreds of millions and disrupt/ruin lives, and destroy the economy “because swamped hospitals.”

The health care system in Sweden never came close to being swamped. Nor was it swamped in any other country. The Panic-pushing media’s intense focus on micro cases conned many, but the facts are that hospitals have never been emptier, an odd cognitive dissonance doctors began reporting by the very end of March and still largely suppressed. (The precise opposite problem turned out the be the really salient one: People too frightened by the media’s pr-Panic agitation to go to hospitals for any reason and dying unnecessarily at home, by the thousands in some places, of treatable problems like heart attacks; I see no way to avoid attributing these sorts of marginal deaths to the pro-Panic side, even if they meant well, they were wrong.) Meanwhile, healthcare workers have been furloughed without pay for lack of work.

But as to those five thousand total coronavirus-positive deaths. Sweden still reports its corona-deaths in these terms. We have reason to believe that as low as one-third of the deaths are “deaths from the virus” (not deaths with the virus; not deaths from the culling effect, in which the virus takes those closest to death who were already dying of something else and would have died in 2020 anyway, maybe one week later, maybe one month later, maybe three months later, maybe six months later).

The Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic in Sweden will therefore cause a total excess population loss (people who wouldn’t have died anyway) of fewer than 2,500 people in Sweden, which is in the low several-hundredths of one percent of total population. In percentage terms, the Wuhan Coronavirus’ direct, virus-caused mortality “hit” is therefore looking to be 0.015% to 0.025% of population. If the tail of the Deaths curve in the coming week turns out to be wider that the trendlines suggest, maybe this will be more like 0.02% to 0.03%. This is in line with a usual peak-flu-event.

Impact on full-year mortality. All else equal, deaths go from a baseline-expected rate of something like 0.91% to 0.93%. As a percentage of population, this puts deaths at about the 2013-15 level. (see also “Comparison with past total-mortality and past flu pandemics” section).

Another way to understand the number is to think of it as: 53 weeks of usual mortality occurring in 52 weeks (i.e., the 52 weeks of the calendar year 2020), with that “extra week” (or two, at very most) being entirely composed of the usual mortality profile in terms of age and condition.

Were the Shutdowns worth it at all?

The pro-Panic side will also fall back on “We lessened the impact by social distancing,” which I looked at closely in Part VIII and, surprisingly, found lacking. When held up to the light and demanding evidence, Corona always falls apart. A true giant with feet of the brittlest of clay.

Sweden stayed open, did not mandate draconian “social distancing,” and the epidemic there is passing with modest impact but no worse than peak-flu events seen regularly. The pro-Panic side is fully discredited by this; the anti-Panic side, fully vindicated. given that the counterproductive Lockdowns are causing excess mortality in the most Panic-addled hotspots (e.g., NYC), these Panic-deaths could exceed what the virus’ actual impact, judging by the Swedish experience. In Part IV I calculated that New York City has at least twice as many Panic deaths than virus deaths, a textbook case of why not to trigger a panic.

We also know that the average corona-positive death in Sweden is about 82 years old, and that considerably more of the deaths are over age 90 than under age 70, with very few (if any) deaths reported to be people under age 50 without serious health conditions. Even among the victims who are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, they are not among the most healthy of their age-bracket.

A population loss amounting to +0.02% in excess-mortality is just the “body count.” The true impact needs to combine that with the victim age-condition profile. when doing so, we see the true impact is at least ten times less given much shorter life expectancies of the victims, or a loss of 0.002% of the total population’s aggregate-expected-life-years.

This is so mild a figure as to frankly be laughable in world-historical terms. I am confident that people of the future will remember this event as a mass delusion event, an example of media-filtered reality in one of the very worst forms imaginable (More work needs to be done on the concept of the “media-run state” as it exists in the West in our era.) Decades from now, one might hear things like this: “Many years ago, in 2020 AD, a strange thing indeed happened. A mass-hysteria began, countries fell like dominoes to it, shutting down their societies, triggering major recessions, over a flu virus that threatened a net loss of 0.002% of life.” Posterity, if any, does not look kindly on such recklessness.

And then there is this: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

A core part of the anti-Panic side would argue that even if the impact were not the observed +0.02% in final-year mortality, but ten times higher at +0.2% mortality (0.90% to 1.10%), it would still not come near justifying the shutdowns, social disruptions, unemployment, soft martial law (so-called ‘lockdown’ orders, an originally prison-slang-word now shoved into mainstream international English by this bizarre mass-delusion event), the political Corona Coup d’Etat, the serious blows to personal liberty, the rapid advance of the surveillance state, the disarming of opposition of all kinds and the silencing of dissent, and the setting up of a bizarre state religion, the Corona-Cult, which is enforced by intense propaganda of the kind usually seen only in wartime.

Founding Fathers on Coronavirus

While that is all true, it is also true that the numbers matter. Seeing so many people play so loose with data, or ignore it entirely in favor of fantasy-scenarios unmoored from reality, is what has inspired me to write this series.

As for whether the 0.02% hit were really a 0.2% hit. This is a fair thought exericse. But we need not concern ourselves with the pro-Panic side’s fantasy scenarios of something like +2.0% deaths on full-year mortality from this kind of flu virus. Such a fatality rate would considerably exceed the 1918-19 pandemic, in body-count at least. The doom-prediction guesstimates were always dubious, always likely far too high, and are now shown to be at least 100x too high, even as high as 200x too high for those of the pro-Panic side who played fastest and loosest with their doom-numbers.

The circulation of and repetition of the “millions will die” doom-predictions in the media amount to criminal acts. Info-terrorism. A mega-scale example of yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater (or a crowded civilization, as it were, if you prefer).

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Comparison: 2020 total-mortality and total-mortality in 1900-2019 including past flu pandemics

We need perspective on Coronavirus. We need context. To make any informed decisions, those are two thing we really need. Here is what we do not need: We don’t need contextless fear-fluff from fanatics.

There is no better way to achieve sane, informed decision-making capacity, or by metaphor to plant the flag firmly the isle of Perspective, than by looking at total mortality numbers for Sweden going back 120 years.

Presented below, in terms of percent of population dying per year by decade, with a few years highlighted, are these numbers for Sweden. Sweden is known for its excellent mortality record keeping back centuries. These numbers are reliable. Since we now have the ballpark of the coronavirus epidemic’s final mortality hit, we can contextualize what it means.

Total Mortality in Sweden by Period (% of population dying by decade/year)

Sweden’s transition from high-fertility/high-mortality to low-fertility/low-mortality was underway as the 20th century opened, and the secular decline trend pushes the figures from north of 1.5% to <1.0% by the 1950s. They rose again due to the effects of low fertility.

(The year 1900 itself was as high as 1.684%. Without handy 1890s data, it’s hard to say if this was unusual or not.)

  • 1900s: 1.52%; in steady decline
  • 1910 to 1917: 1.39%; in steady decline
  • 1918-19: 3.25% in two years (1918: 1.80%; 1919: 1.45%) [Spanish Flu pandemic]
  • 1920s: 1.22%
  • 1930s: 1.17%
  • 1940s: 1.06%
    • (1944-45: 2.185% in two years [1944: 1.102%; 1945: 1.083%])
  • 1950s: 0.97%
    • (1957: 0.99%) [influenza pandemic]
  • 1960 to 1967: 1.00%
  • 1968-69: 2.09% in two-year period (1968: 1.04%; 1969: 1.05%) [influenza pandemic]
  • 1970s: 1.06%
  • 1980s: 1.11%
  • 1990s: 1.08%
  • 2000s: 1.02%
  • 2010s: 0.92%
  • 2020: 0.93%? [Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic]

Recalling that the final “hit” of the 2020 coronavirus epidemic in Sweden will probably be +0.02% in full-year mortality, we can compare it with previous pandemics, as well as the general trends of the past 120 years, with some interesting insights.

1990s/2000s/2010s vs. 2020

The general down-trend in deaths in terms of % of the population over the last thirty years is obvious. The chance that coronavirus-associated excess mortality in %-terms will even come close to the averages for the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s can now be said with certainty to be “zero.”

We cannot say what else will happen in 2020 (maybe a meteor will hit Stockholm?) but if all else is equal, 2020 full-year mortality will be in the 2010s range (mean: 0.924%). The fact that 2019 was so unusually low (0.860%) may also puts upward pressure on 2020.

In absolute terms, total deaths in 2020 could reach or exceed 92,500 (assuming a baseline of 90,500, the 2010s norm, and +2,000 virus deaths who wouldn’t have died otherwise), or perhaps something like 95,000 if rounded-out by catch-up deaths from the low-year of 2019 (which only logged 88,766 deaths). If 95,000 is right, this would put full-year mortality at equal to 2002 in absolute terms; 92,500 would be about the same as 2018 (92,185).

In percentage terms, 92,500 to 95,000 total deaths in 2020 would be 0.890% to 0.915%, which is about equal to the average for the 2014-18 period.

You can tell there is some wiggle room here for how one wants to present mortality in Sweden, but no way you choose to do it shows alarmingly excessive mortality, and the reference years are going to be those in recent memory. In other words, we’ve seen these kinds of flues before, and often.

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1993 and 1988 vs. 2020

The highest mortality in our era for Sweden, if our era refers to the past several decades, was in several small spikes in the late 20th century, including 1993 and 1988.

In the 1990s excluding 1993, average mortality was 1.076%/year (see table). The year 1993 clocked-in at 1.113%. The year 1993 was therefore at +0.04% over its immediate neighboring years’ deaths average. This doubles the 2020 coronavirus-associated excess mortality that looks likely (+0.02%).

The same story holds for 1988. In the 1980s excluding 1988, mortality was 1.101%/year. The year 1988 came in at 1.147% deaths, which is a +0.05%, potentially double or possibly up to triple the now-expected impact of the 2020 coronavirus.

Do people have any memory at all of the 1993 and 1988 flus?

The average native-born adult in most of our countries today is born in the late 1960s. Therefore, most adults now living remember these years 1993 and 1988. That is to say, they remembered something about the years 1993 and 1988, something about what they were doing, or maybe world events of some kind, at least roughly. How many in Sweden have any memory of the flu season being bad those two years?

It is highly unlikely that if you quizzed someone who was in his/her late teens, twenties, thirties or forties at the time (therefore socially aware) about what they remember of the year 1993, say (and peak years will often differ by country), I cannot imagine even one in one hundred saying, “Oh, 1993, that was that terrible flu year.” Maybe if one person out of our hundred were, by chance, a specialist in epidemiology, he might get around to mentioning that the flu was bad that year, if you spend a half hour with him asking him for everything he can think of about 1993, and allow him to consult reference material. Most likely in our thought-experiment, zero of a hundred will mention flu for 1993. And yet, as we know see, 1993 might be twice what 2020 is.

1993 is one thing. but what about the 1968-69 pandemic, which has recently gotten so much renewed attention in the Corona era?

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1968-69 vs. 2020

In the total-deaths-% table above, you can see the influence of the 1968-69 Hong Kong Flu pandemic:

Deaths were at 2.09% of population for the full two-year period, for about +0.09% for a given two-year period over the average for the time. The impact of the Hong Kong Flu in Sweden was presumably felt about November 1968 to February 1969, about the same time it affected the US. I excess deaths in these years are attributable primarily to the Hong Kong flu strain (first identified by specialists as a new strain in July 1968 in Hong Kong), deaths could be expected to carry into both years about equally.

There were definitely excess deaths associated with the 1968-69 pandemic strain, but I feel it’s important to say again two things of relevance to today:

(1) There were no major disruptions to life anywhere in 1968-69 over the flu pandemic (much less a coup d’etat in which a pro-Panic factions seized control of governments and set up, defacto, “virus-response”-oriented juntas);

(2) As usual with these flu epidemics, the demographic most hit was the elderly and weak.

In fact, the year 1970, after the modest “hit” from the Hong Kong Flu cleared out of the system, registered the lowest mortality (0.995%) seen in the entire period 1960-2008. The culling effect in action. This should be regarded as evidence that many of the 1968-69 excess deaths were those closest to death anyway, and would have died within the next year anyway. The same is definitely applicable in 2020.

The other notable thing about the 1968-69 bump is that it could easily be missed entirely at a glance, amid the general rise in deaths in the 1970s associated with underlying demographics, an aging population. Rising deaths in the 1970s reflect high fertility in the 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, and 1910s (and lower fertility after that) and the major advances in health care during those people’s lifetimes, with more than ever living to old age. That is, natural factors overshadowed the 1968-69 flu impact, and the same is true with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

As for direct comparison with 2020. The 1968-69 impact (+0.09% measured by full-year total-mortality) looks to be as least (conservatively) three time worse than the 2020 coronavirus epidemic in Stay-Open Sweden, possibly as high as six times worse.

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1957 vs. 2020

The 1950s excluding 1957 were at 0.966% total mortality/year (see table), while 1957 was at 0.993%, +0.027%. The 1057 pandemic was relatively mild in Sweden, therefore. Odds are now that the 2020 coronavirus-associated rise in total-mortality will not reach this level for full-year 2020 in Sweden.

If you look closely at the 1950s numbers, you also find that 1954, 1955, and 1956 were all mild years, meaning more survived these winters than would statistically be expected to, and 1958 and 1959 were also mild years. Viewed in terms of three-year brackets, the 1957 pandemic is shown to have had no clear impact at all.

The same will also apply to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic: Winter 2018-19 was the mildest season in years in Sweden (as in many other European countries). The lowest mortality ever recorded in Sweden, as mentioned above, came in 2019, at 0.86%. This can be seen as thousands of expected deaths that did not occur. Many of the coronavirus-positive deaths reported in March to June 2020 will include people in this category, a correction to the baseline.

EVen more recently, across most European countries, winter 2019-20 was unusually mild with weak flu activity and below-average deaths, including in Sweden:

Statistics Sweden reports that in 2015 to 2019, an average of 22,401 deaths occurred in Weeks 1 to 12. In 2020 (before coronavirus), it was only 21,131; deficit: 1,270. A death-deficit for the last months of 2019 was also shown. A large portion of the excess coronavirus-positive deaths are a correction back to the baseline, which was only hit well into the peak period for the epidemic in Sweden. (Source: “Number of deaths reported to Statistics Sweden, per week, 2015-2020,” Statistics Sweden, preliminary; reporting date, April 30.)

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1944-45 vs. 2020

The final big flu season before the rise of antibiotic treatments was the 1944-45 winter season (see table).

Like the viral pandemic that hit in 1918 (see below), this one was associated with war, peak-level troop deployments by the tens of millions, and the significant disruptions to life at all levels, across the world, including in countries at peace. In addition to the direct, war-associated excess death going on, disease epidemics also raged in various forms in various places, affecting civilians far from warzones (including the US, as measured in the small spike you see in the middle of the 1940s in the graph below), and even civilians in non-belligerent countries like Sweden.

With 2.185% of Sweden’s resident population dying in the two years between Jan. 1, 1944, and Dec. 31, 1945 and the normal rate for the time being about 2.08% for a two-year period, 1944-45 excess mortality in Sweden was again as high as +0.1%, which is around five times greater than the 2020 coronavirus’ impact looks set to be.

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1927 and 1931 vs. 2020

In Part III, I included this graph, relevant here:

Flu-related deaths per 100k 1930 to 2005

In the second quarter of the 20th century, flu deaths were much higher than they were in our era. In Sweden, we see (in the table above) that two of the peak years for total mortality in that period were 1927 (1.270%) and 1931 (1.254%).

The period 1921 to 1929 excluding 1927 comes in at 1.20% deaths/year, meaning 1927’s total-mortality (1.27%) included an excess of about +0.07%, potentially three to four times greater than the 2020 coronavirus impact in relative terms.

The period 1930 to 1939 excluding 1931 was at 1.16% deaths/year, meaning 1931’s total-mortality (1.254%) included an excess of about +0.1%, around five times greater (three to seven times greater range) than the 2020 coronavirus impact in relative terms, and on the same scale as the 1944-45 flu.

There many more deaths in absolute terms (see graph) than occurred in the later epidemics such as those mentioned above for 1988 and 1993, but excess is what we are interested in.

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1918-19 vs. 2020

The 1918 influenza was an unusual flu pandemic in that there was no fall-off in mortality after it was over. It took the young and healthy at a higher rate than the old and sickly. It amounts to the last of the very-bad flu epidemics in history, and towers over everything else:

influenza mortality per capita 1905 to 2005

Circumstances in 1918-19 were particularly bad. As Knut Wittkowski has written:

In 1918/19, the world was in a disarray because of WWI and there were no antibiotics to fight the bacterial pneumonia that came after the influenza infection and killed people.

He elsewhere says this, in response to someone bringing up 1918:

[quote from a critic] “[Wittkowski] say[s] just go about your business[, that] it will come and go like every other respiratory disease but that’s not true as several have been disastrous […] 1918 […]” [end quote from a critic]

During the 1918/19 “Spanish” flue, the world was still devastated from WWI and there were no antibiotics available, yet, to treat the pneumonia that killed most people. This example doesn’t fit.

Among the others, COVID-19 (which is at least halfway through in the Northern hemisphere) may turn out to be similar to the 2009-10 Swine Flu, but not as bad as the 1957-58 Asian Flu and the 1968-69 Hong Kong Flu.

Nobody talked in 2009-10 about shutting down the economy […]

2020 coronavirus pandemic profile as between Swine Flu 2009 and Hong Kong Flu 1968, maybe closer to Swine Flu

Wittkowski is a world-class epidemiologist with near thirty-five years’ experience. He could see the epidemic curves this time going in their usual way, and by mid-April began suggesting the true Wuhan Coronavirus would have a profile (impact) between the 2009-10 Swine Flu and the 1957 and 1968 flu pandemics. This analysis corroborates that, at least for Sweden, the Stay Open moderate-response natural experiment. It looks that way from the best information we have as of May 8.

Wittkowski suggested it could be closer to Swine Flu than to the 1968 influenza. It would be hard to measure this for Sweden’s case because Swine Flu was so minor there. Sweden showed no excess in mortality for 2009-10, meaning the Swine Flu strain’s impact was extremely minimal.

This (2009-10) was a time Sweden was actively bringing in young-age-profile refugees at a rate of thousands per month, a policy that depressed the final mortality-percentage by inflating the young population, which continued in the 2010s with the policy of bringing in substantially more refugees, notably during/after the 2015-16 Merkel wave.

The impact of the 2009 Swine Flu strain appears to have been <0.01% in total-mortality terms almost everywhere, implying a modest or even insignificant share of usual flu deaths that year everywhere.

The initial hype about Swine Flu, in 2009, already long forgotten within a year by circa late 2010, came from many of the same people in the pro-Panic coalition of early 2020. Any history of the 2020 Corona-Panic will have to re-examine Swine Flu mini-panic in full; Swine Flu Panic in 2009 didn’t break through, but Corona-Panic in 2020 did. Why wonder why, and there are good ideas being proposed.

Herd Immunity in Practice, 1918

Returning briefly to 1918-19: Deaths were highest among those infants under age 1 and young adults age 25 to 34. Why was this?

Research in 2001 proposed that the same flu strain had circulated in one or more seasons in the 1840s and earlier, before fading, and gave those who survived it at the time immunity. This particular virus strain never broke through again, over the next about seventy years, until it found its “super-spreading networks” via soldiers and other war disruptions related to the disastrous World War I. (Troop deployments are also found to be the vector by which the 1968 Hong Kong Flu entered the US in fall 1968, via soldiers returning from Vietnam.)

This would explain the unusual finding that those in ther seventies and over showed no excess mortality in 1918-19, even lower than expected excess mortality for the year, while younger people died. The oldest had immunity from the wave(s) of the same virus, or a close variant, to which they were exposed to in their youth. The herd immunity they developed will have prevented further outbreaks in the third quarter of the 19th century, because so many were immune. (“Observations on Mortality during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,” Jeffrey Luk et. al., Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol. 33, Issue 8, 2001.)

This means that the act of attempting total suppression of flu viruses, even among those not in at-risk groups (which is the irrational demand of the pro-Panic side across the West), even if theoretically possible, would people will not get immunity and would be vulnerable for years to come, meaning no net gain.

_________________

The minimal impact on society of the “Stay Open” approach (vs. the disruptive and destructive impact from extremists dictating policy in the pro-Panic juntas in some other countries)

Here is a sign of just how little life in Sweden has been impacted for most:

Movement in restaurants, shops, and other activities linked to retail and entertainment is down 13 percent in March/April compared to January/February

Foot traffic at restaurants and other entertainment venues are still at 87% its usual level!

The small decline is in line with the oldest and most vulnerable staying home more often, with others carrying on as usual.

If not for the pro-Panic coup d’etat, this could have been all of our experiences, and the epidemic would be all but over across the West. Experience also shows no major difference in impact between full-shutdown countries (including the most extremist among them, such as the martial law in Michigan), moderate-shutdown countries, and no shutdown countries.

Schools in Sweden have also remained fully opened, and children will have been among the primary drivers of herd immunity, as usual.

Epidemiologists and other experts, to the extent that the pro-Panic side and those running the show in the CoronaPanic juntas now in power bother listening to (humoring) them, say schools never should have been closed, given that children are not at risk. Statistically, children affected at the same rate as, or lower, than the usual flu.

We have to make these kinds of major decisions on data, not on media fear-fluff anecdotes. Children unaffected; closing schools is an entirely negative action that hinders herd immunity; do not close schools. Very simple.

A strong faction on the pro-Panic side now wants classes at both the K-12 and university levels closed in much of the US even in Fall 2020. Since the extremists dictate policy on the pro-Panic side (the problem of “purity spiraling” applied with disastrous policy results), they may just get it. Maybe the pro-Panic side elsewhere will also get push and get it.

If the extremists succeed in more shutdowns, especially of schools, it would be the mark of a truly unserious culture, one too terrified of a minor virus of the sort we have seen regularly to continue on with the work of civilization. (“Of the sort we have seen regularly” is demonstrated by every study showing fatality rates in the range of the various influenza strains, also demonstrated in this post’s review of a century of mortality for Stay-Open Sweden against their approaching-completion Corona-positive Deaths curve.)

___________________

Thoughts on dating the peak of the epidemic in Sweden

Returning to the graph at the start of this post:

coronavirus-epidemic-arc-in-sweden-may-8-update

Given the five-day rolling average and the now-all-but-complete data through the end of April, some revised thoughts on the “peak.” The general outlines we have tentatively known since about the third week of April and could be guessed at already as of mid-March with early information and given what we know of how all these flu epidemics work:

– Dating the “peak” is going to be, in some ways, subjective.

– The broadest peak period, above 50 deaths/day (amounting to several times normal flu deaths; numbers dropping far below 50/day, especially considering the Deaths With vs. Deaths From problem) are soon lost in background flu noise), is March 31 to May 3.

– The “three-week hit” for an epidemic flu strain (See also Wittkowski on the three-week hit of a flu epidemic) is still clearly visible in this near-final data. It covers the period of the middle of the fifth week and all of the sixth, seventh, and eighth weeks in the graph, April 3 to April 24. The period above 75/day in the rolling average.

– On the other hand, the true peak period, or “peak of the peak” — in which numbers are at sustained high levels and no longer growing nor yet in sustained decline — is clearly the sixth and seventh weeks. This turns out to be an eleven-day window, April 6 to April 17, at or above 90/day as measured in the rolling average. (Actual deaths hit 90 for the first time on April 5, reached a two-day peak April 14-15 (224 coronavirus-positive deaths in two days), and were still near i,t at 89/day, as late as April 17-18.

The three-week hit and the peak-of-the-peak periods are probably associated with the peak of the epidemic in Stockholm County, which had the highest number of deaths in absolute and proportional terms (see deaths in Sweden by region as a % of normal through April 19). Both would have been higher but for the counter-measures in place to protect the vulnerable, which no doubt prevented some deaths but merely delayed others deaths to the following few weeks.

See for yourself in the data table:

Coronavirus epidemic ICU and deaths - table and summary - May 8 update

___________________

Dating the tailing off and completion of the epidemic deaths curve

Now that we have completed the tenth week (of the graph) (see also table), with reliable/reasonably-final data through end of the ninth week:

The epidemic continues in clear decline, which confirms the “declaration of victory” made here April 29, on behalf of the anti-Panic side.

– Based on the shape of the Deaths curve, the five-day average could even go below 30/day as soon as next weekend (mid-May) at the most optimistic, and no later than late May, once the effect of the Stockholm’s higher death rate fades;

– The curve will fade back towards zero in June, with the tail end of the epidemic in Sweden. This visualizable as the completion of the bell-shaped curve we have seen forming for the past two to three weeks.

_______________

Reflections on the Corona-Panic, Corona-politics, and the pro-Panic vs. anti-Panic split, in the context of the Swedish data

– Trump swings and misses on Sweden. It was in the above-discussed “peak of the peak” period (April 6 to 17 as proposed above) that US President Donald Trump foolishly attacked the Swedish strategy (April 8). Ironically, this was originally also the US strategy, and the one Trump himself favored, until the pro-Panic coup d’etat of mid-March. Real leadership would have been moving US policy back towards the Swedish strategy, not “demagoguing” against Stay-Open Sweden during its very-much-expected peak death period, which was under control with no destructive shutdowns.

I first wrote against the Panic elsewhere on March 26, when Sweden’s deaths curve was on the definite upswing. I was inspired to begin this series thereafter, in early April (Part I was published April 5), right at the beginning of Sweden’s broad peak-deaths period (see dating the peaks[s]).

Further reconstructing my own reaction to the emerging Corona-Panic, in light of this rear-view look at the past two months, as seen through the data for Stay-Open Sweden:

I turned against the Corona-Panic in the second week of March. In the preceding weeks, I followed with skeptical interest, always wanting more evidence and steadily finding the data and narrative mismatched greatly.

– I was actively anti-Panic by the third week of March. There is little that disorganized forces can do after a coup d’etat occurs and a religious cult-like takeover occurs of the culture, except speak out for Truth, Reality, Rationality, and Honor to the extent they can.

– I had hoped (mid-March) that the victory of the pro-Panic forces, which I sensed gathering and which had crossed a Rubicon, would not be as total as it was; I remember feeling/hoping that the Panic might pass by April 1 (I felt/hoped this even before the early shutdowns, which said “until April 1, to flatten the curve”).

– When a “Panic passing by April 1” scenario proved unlikely, as the pro-Panic side dug in and jealously guarded its gains, I was , I was was gladdened to see the Easter reopening (April 12) proposed by Trump.

– In retrospect, writing now May 9-10, even Easter reopening was hopelessly optimistic given the scope of the pro-Panic side’s revolution. Now it looks like the best-case-scenario is for the effects of the pro-Panic side’s revolution to be fully lifted some time before the end of the year 2020. The Corona-Rubicon was a lot deeper a river than we realized. The Panic won a full victory; true-believers in the Panic still hold “the whip hand,” with experts sidelined or suppressed. Experts such as Dr. Wodarg are reduced to giving interviews to dissident media outlets.

– While I always leaned towards Corona-skepticism, as I say, I believe it was specifically the period March 13th to the 17th that was critical in my decisively coming to the realization that the anti-Panic position was not only the correct one, but that the anti-Panic side badly needed advocates. The more we learned in late March, the more solid this was. Everything was confirmed and reconfirmed and triple-confirmed in April. The medical debate is now over, but few on the pro-Panic side seem to care.

– While anti-Panic was the “more correct” one by mid-March, by some point maybe early April it became so stark as to be like a sane, healthy man dealing in the light of day (anti-Panic) vs. a paranoid, delusional man scared of daylight and UFO abduction (pro-Panic).

– I realize (1) that the anti-Panic side’s total vindication was a done deal by or before May 1 (as in, no longer arguable by reasonable people from the evidence available), but that (2) this is just in the realm of “truth.” In Corona-politics terms, anti-Panic forces were routed during the same time window when I realized Corona was a false god, and indeed an evil god, a god of destruction. That was mid-March, with the escalation-spiral of madness and corona-demagoguing by politicians getting worse and worse.

– The anti-Panic side had to find itself. Having lost the initiative, dissidents on the losing side of the revolution had to cautiously find each other. Many former friends and allies had joined the cult during the mass-conversion event, and were loyal servants of the new, pro-Panic regime. Families were often divided. Dark days were ahead. The Lockdown-fanatics held the whip hand, empowered by their brainwashed-zeal within the new religion.

– Sweden’s first death was only March 10, and at that time its Deaths curve had weeks of ascent left before its peak (April 7 to 16) and the decline began (second half of April). Taking the pro-Sweden position in March was clearly something hard to do for many. An example, I think, is the the early-April Donald Trump line, “They are suffering badly in Sweden” comment. I suspect it (the idea) was fed to him by the pro-Panic junta around Doctor Fauci, and is easy to accomplish with someone like Trump. A simplistic look at total deaths alone, as if that told the relevant story, can do the job. The “relevant story” requires non-Panic conditions and expertise.

– It was right after the “peak of the peak” period that Part III (“Just the Flu Vindicated”) of this series was published (April 19). After a substantial review of evidence supporting the anti-Panic side, Part III praised the Swedish response as the most rational. At that time of writing (April 18-19), it wasn’t yet clear that the peak had been passed and that the decline was about to begin. Given reporting delays, this was starting to become clear by about April 23, and of course data analysis always awaits more data to corroborate apparent trends. What was already clear by April 18-19 is that Sweden was not going to see any huge spike in deaths as guessed at by people like Doctor Frankensson (Ferguson).

_______________

Some Final thoughts in light of this discussion on Sweden:

Is there any “hope” left for the pro-Panic side?

They needed more deaths in Sweden, ASAP, and they didn’t get them.

As expected, the most substantial update of the week from the Swedish Public Health authority came on Friday May 8. Weekend- and holiday-associated delayed reporting is usually updated by late week, with the biggest update on Friday before the next weekend. The pro-Panic side was reduced to betting it all on this May 7-8 late-week updates to bring forward hundreds of new deaths, or their last chance was over.

The data would have needed to violate all known rules of epidemics and other natural phenomena of this kind and suddenly reverse itself to start approaching the extreme Ferguson model that caused so much needless, senseless damage.

It occurs to me that in Japan, Ferguson would be found dead from suicide by now, or soon. The man is shameless. Ferguson instead has been shamelessly violating the ‘lockdown’ that he himself agitated for — and got, to the great loss of all of us — to carry on a sexual affair with married woman. There is a reason that infidelity is grounds for failure to get a government security clearance; blackmail, yes, but also a sign of character.)

As for the pro-Panic side’s prospects. Since we heard no news reports of any shocking, early-May death spike, the chances of “Ferguson being right after all; the apocalypse is here!” were very low, if not already zero. As the substantial May 8 update showed no major upswing to reversed the decline trend, it really is over.

Coronavirus Deaths in Sweden - Actual Deaths vs Ferguson Projections - May 8 update

The pro-Panic side loses on the evidence. They still have the lies and the media-directed mass manipulation. They still have the energies associated with the mass-hysteria they created. But those, they always had.

What do we have?

_______________

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109 Responses to Against the Corona Panic, Part XI: Stay-Open Sweden set to lose 0.02% of total population to Coronavirus, in line with usual peak flu years; 2020 may equal 2018 in total mortality; why did we destroy the economy over this?

  1. This is a great summary of the Kung Flu story in Sweden. Sticking to this one country has let you, and us commenters, understand the numbers much better than with a hodgepodge of data from many different countries and cities. Additionally, we see the result from this experiment in freedom that was Sweden’s “stay open” policy. I am trying to think of a better expression, just because the policy was a lack of ORDERS to the people, rather than an order to stay open or stay closed. “Leave the people the F alone to make their own wise decisions policy” doesn’t quite roll of the tongue. It sure worked well.

    The emergency orders of LOCKDOWNS, school closings*, and entertainment curtailment has stressed out Americans in many ways. Though my family will be fine financially, many others won’t. We have other stresses due to conflicts between the hysterical and the non-hysterical. Can a week full of “I told you so”‘s make up for this for me? That remains to be seen.

    You can definitely put me in the core group of anti-panickers you mentioned, who, even if the death toll FROM the Kung Flu were 10x higher, and I’d go 100x, these emergency orders would be un-called-for. As the unz commenter Digital Samizdat wrote: “If this were a real plague, do you think we would all still be arguing about whether or not it was a real plague two months on?”

    Do you think the other side will admit anything? I don’t just mean just the pundits**, but how about family members?

    * Though I still say this could be a silver lining, especially with the universities, as I think it’s somewhat more likely they will stay closed in the fall vs. the grade schools (though the latter would be a paradigm shift for Americans in a good way, though I HATE HATE HATE that I used that term!)

    ** BTW, I liked your lines about that Fergusson idiot! I wonder how many people supposed experts like he ended up indirectly killing.

    • Hail says:

      Sweden’s “stay open” policy. I am trying to think of a better expression, just because the policy was a lack of ORDERS to the people, rather than an order to stay open or stay closed. “Leave the people the F alone to make their own wise decisions policy” doesn’t quite roll of the tongue. It sure worked well.

      It looks like at least 80-85% of people in Sweden decided to live basically normal lives. Maybe they wash their hands more often, I don’t know, but the report from The Local Sweden that foot traffic at restaurants has been at 87% previous levels shows the “freedom to make our own decisions” in action. The other 13% or so did choose to stay home. For the most vulnerable, this makes sense.

      Visits to parks in Sweden (all open, of course) are also way up; whereas parks were, against all reason, ordered closed entirely by our Corona Panic juntas (how much that is enforced/respected is another story).

      Sometimes people do know what’s best (for themselves)!

      • For national and State parks, closing them down was nothing but a power trip. I see no other reason at all, unless one is completely hysterical.

        As far as our local parks, I can just tell you that the rules were not enforced on us, day in and day out, too! I saw at least one Mom with some common sense let her little ones go on the taped-off playground equipment, or maybe she was a nanny that was too young to be brainwashed yet. (She looked pretty slim and fit for having punched out 2 kids, so I’m going with nanny.)

    • Hail says:

      By the way, you may get a kick out of this (from LockdownSceptics,org [UK], an anti-Panic news aggregator and active discussion site):
      ________________

      [T]he distance we’re supposed to keep from each other varies from country to country:

      WHO recommendation – 1 metre
      USA – 6 feet [i.e., 1.83m]
      Germany – 1.5 metres
      Australia – 1.5 metres
      France – 1 metre
      Italy – 1 metre
      Sweden – Use your common sense

      As William Sullivan points out in American Thinker, social distancing rules are snake oil, not science.

      ___________________

      “Use your common sense”

      Public policy mistakes are sometimes easy to see coming, but always (theoretically) clearer in hindsight. It’s useful to reassess. The problem here was a Panic was created, and we got stuck in it, and are still stuck in it against all logic in mid-May. There was no ‘Off’ button once the Panic beast was unleashed.

      How it was created is a long story. Governments probably made mistakes at several junctures that exacerbated the Panic.

      Was the entire “six feet of social distancing” order a mistake? It sounded so scary, especially as a government order, that it genuinely pushed into the Pro-Panic side huge numbers of marginals (the people I call Neutrals, in the Pro-Neutral-Anti three-way Corona-Split I like to think of).

      What I’m trying to say is, even if we assume social distancing was a good idea (which, for the healthy, is debatable…but leaving that aside for sake of argument): Why mandate a certain distance, a specific number, and drumbeat that distance/number via the media? Why not just say “use common sense; avoid crowds”? I think early in the Panic cycle, this was the recommendation. When did “You must social distance by six feet, or else” start?

  2. Rasmus Persson says:

    Currently in Sweden, and as of some time that I have been intermittently checking (maybe a week or two), the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU wards decreases at a rate of 10 per day (discharges and deaths outnumber new arrivals by ten people a day). As of today, there are 439 COVID-19 patients in the ICUs. Linear extrapolation tells us that there will be none left after 44 days.

    • Hail says:

      Thank you for this info.

      I understand that the number of current corona-positive ICU patients had fallen below 500 by ca. May 6? for the first time (announced May 8). On April 29, it was reported to be 549. If it is already down to 439 on May 11, that is clearly a very steady drop.

    • Hail says:

      I suspect the drop may reflect the fading of the problem in Stockholm, which shows a strong peak in April.

      Sweden’s response strategy was excellent, and we all should have done it. But nothing is ever textbook-perfect. There were some problems in Stockholm nursing homes. In two more weeks, we will have a better idea for the other regions, but as of April 19 half the regions showed below-average deaths for the year so far, and Sweden without Stockholm County was at normal deaths for the year.

      • Rasmus Persson says:

        Stockholm is definitely winding down. The number of discharges is reasonably proportional to the number of current patients (that is equivalent to making the assumption that recovery or death from the ICU is a Poisson process). In this case, we have exponential decay which is very quick to begin with but then slowly abates. On top of this, we have the influx of new patients, but since the rate of admission has fallen, the exponential decay becomes pronounced.

  3. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Part IX: “Corona-Paranoia” and the case of pro-Panic US Congresswoman Haley Stevens, a character study | Hail To You

  4. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Pt. VII: Sweden’s vindication is complete; Graphing the actual coronavirus epidemic in Sweden against the pro-Panic side’s wild projections | Hail To You

  5. Bo says:

    Either this is the biggest f***-up in our lifetime or theres a hidden agenda.

    Youre right on Trump, should’ve stuck with Easter to reopen.

    Fauci = Rasputin

  6. Allen says:

    Have you seen this:

    Study just released today- seems to suggest what many of us have been saying all along- the PCR tests are complete garbage when used on their own and should never be used for a diagnostic tool.

    The study is from testing done to MLB ballplayers and employees, as listed below only 0.7% tested positive. This was a large test and while certainly not representative of the overall population that that 0.7% number is so low suggests that we might expect to see a tremendous drop off in numbers of “official Covid cases” AND “official Covid deaths” if both tests were applied to all of those tested and to those that died with what is “presumed” to be Covid.

    Doesn’t it at least call for a change in the testing procedures and a complete revisiting of the “established figures?”

    Also:

    “The Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that companies selling coronavirus antibody tests must submit data proving accuracy within the next 10 days or face removal from the market.

    The antibody tests are an effort to detect whether a person had been infected with the coronavirus, but results have been widely varied. Since mid-March, the agency has permitted dozens of manufacturers to sell the tests without providing evidence that they are accurate.

    The F.D.A.’s action follows a report by more than 50 scientists, which found that only three out of 14 antibody tests gave consistently reliable results, and even the best had flaws. An evaluation by the National Institutes of Health, working with other federal health agencies, has also found “a concerning number” of commercial tests that are performing poorly, the F.D.A. said.”

    ……….

    Just 0.7% of Major League Baseball employees tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

    The small number of positive tests, announced Sunday, was positive news for a sport pushing ahead with plans to start its delayed season.

    Researchers received 6,237 completed surveys from employees of 26 clubs. That led to 5,754 samples obtained in the U.S. on April 14 and 15 and 5,603 records that were used. The survey kit had a 0.5% false positive rate.

    ….

    Spring training was stopped March 12 and opening day was pushed back from March 26 because of the pandemic. MLB intends to give the players’ association a presentation this week for a possible start to the season, and has said frequent testing would be necessary.

    Antibodies are produced by a person’s immune system if they have been infected by a virus. These tests are different than the polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests used to detect active infection.

    “By using two different technologies, both PCR to diminish the active virus, as well as the antibody, the serology tests, that will give you better information and may even be able to alleviate some of the concerns with false positives,” said Daniel Eichner said of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City. another of the study leaders.

    “So I would definitely advocate if anyone was going to put a program together to get their sport of their work back, is to utilize both different technologies,” he said.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mlb-coronavirus-antibody-survey-finds-just-07-testing-positive-2020-05-10

    • Hail says:

      [The MLB is] pushing ahead with plans to start its delayed season

      The Fauci junta may just issue a ban on baseball.

      Who needs sports in a time of Permanent Virus Revolution?

      Maybe they can relocate to Sweden and play games there until the Fauci junta is overthrown.

  7. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Pt. VI: Where has the regular flu gone? The CDC reports unprecedented crash in non-COVID flu-positives, raising questions | Hail To You

  8. Bill P says:

    Here’s an interesting article that appears to suggest that the virus was circulating in Washington State in December:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/q13fox.com/2020/05/08/local-woman-discovers-she-had-covid-19-thanks-to-antibody-test/amp/

    It’s poorly written and contradicts itself, saying she had it “weeks ago … during the holidays,” but she goes on to say she wondered whether she could have had when she first heard reports of it overseas.

    I think we’re going to find that this disease was in circulation well before anyone realized it was here, and it was the Chinese propaganda campaign that seeded the panic.

    • Hail says:

      A positive case in Italy dating to December was also recently confirmed.

      This also means the Italian government (and the US, re: early Washington state cases) began pulling the “panic trigger” many weeks into the epidemic. If Part VIII is right, the same general lesson may apply in lots of other places, even in later-affected places. The epidemic will run its course. Life goes on. Protect the vulnerable. Otherwise, don’t panic.

      If only we had experts to consult on these things! (See also, Wittkowski asks, Does Fauci understand “basic epidemiology”?)

    • Hail says:

      Moon of Alabama writes a post on the virus circulating in Europe as of November 2019.

      The Novel Coronavirus Went Global In November – Or Maybe Even Much Earlier (May 11)

      It’s a flu virus, 99% asymptomatic, with exactly the same profile as usual flu victims for those who do go downto it, and of course no one noticed. The Panic alarm was pulled months later.

      To quote myself:

      This is so mild a figure as to frankly be laughable in world-historical terms. I am confident that people of the future will remember this as a mass delusion event, an example of media-filtered reality in one of the very worst forms imaginable

      Now Sweden’s experience in the past two months has proved conclusively that it is a fly virus (but we knew that all along). We are we still in shutdown mode?

      • Bill P says:

        I think it’s time to start paying attention to the anecdotal evidence that was ignored in the early stages. Some of these people are testing positive.

        I live in Western Washington about an hour’s drive from Everett, where the first case was diagnosed in the US. My youngest had a days-long fever in December that spiked to 104, which had never happened to him before. His fever gave me quite a scare, so I took him to the hospital, where he was tested for pretty much everything. No positives for known viruses or bacteria. Fortunately, his fever broke the same day it spiked and he was fine. Shortly after that my oldest son and I both developed a nasty – but not really all that alarming – cold with a dry cough.

        Was it this virus? I have no idea, but now I’m starting to wonder. Initially I wrote off the possibility because we’ve been assured for months that the virus didn’t get out of Hubei until January, but that is now known to be wrong in Europe, and I can assure you that there is a lot of direct, daily travel between Washington and China. What’s more, they’ve already been so wrong about so much that there’s no good reason to trust what comes from official sources.

        • Hail says:

          they’ve already been so wrong about so much that there’s no good reason to trust what comes from official sources

          A sentiment which also makes me wonder about the Chinese government’s role. They pulled the alarm bell first.

          Were they just “wrong”?

          Or did they know what was going on; did they know e.g. that it was not dangerous, that it was already circulating in other countries when they started their province-wide lockdown theatrics, and that lockdown theatrics would get the West to overreact and order senseless shutdowns?

          Maybe it will take a long time to get the full story. But they successfully created a pro-Panic/anti-Panic split in the West, with the unfortunate victory of the pro-Panic side. They created this split one way or another, either accidentally or deliberately.

          • Bill P says:

            I’m no fan of the CCP, but their actions are understandable if you know China. Before social media became a big thing, you got your news through the grapevine in China. Nasty viruses are common there. Disease is rampant, and medicine is still backward for most Chinese. Before this virus tensions over healthcare were a big problem. Doctor killings are quite common in China. It’s a real mess that way. Americans have no idea how bad it is. Used to be that the Chinese leadership could sweep this stuff under the rug, but that isn’t the case anymore.

            So to show that they still have the “mandate of heaven,” the commies mounted a big propaganda campaign and mobilization to show how they are solving problems (they frequently do this during floods and other natural disasters, so there’s precedent). Because reports from Wuhan were spilling out all over on Chinese social media, they had to do something. The Chinese population is aging, and nothing tugs at Chinese heartstrings like an elderly parent suffering from sickness in an overrun hospital. One of the most common criticisms of the Cultural Revolution in modern Chinese media and art is the collapse of institutions that occurred in that period, such as hospitals, that caused needless suffering and death. The current leadership doesn’t want to be tarred with that brush, so they put on a big show over this infection, which they initially thought could be safely ignored as usual.

            For whatever insane reason, western media and politicians allowed themselves to be overcome by this Chinese propaganda campaign. Maybe it’s what they wanted on a subconscious level. It seems to me sometimes that there’s a thirst for hysteria here (e.g. Greta Thunberg), and the Chinese just gave them an excuse to act on it.

          • Hail says:

            Great comment and insight on the CCP and its response in January.

            There was a reported sudden about-face on Wuhan, I think the evening of January 19-20; without that unnecessary about-face, after which the videos of hazmat suits started flowing across the world, there probably would never have been a CoronaPanic.

            Coincidentally, the decision came exactly one year, around 365 days to the hour, before the inauguration of the next US president (either re-inauguration of Trump or inauguration of Biden, or some dark horse) at noon EST Jan. 20, 2021.

      • Hail says:

        Moon of Alabama writes a post on the virus circulating in Europe as of November 2019.

        (Unfortunately, Moon of Alabama, who is on the pro-Panic side, deleted a link to this post in that comment section.)

  9. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Pt. V: A Hero of the Hour, Dr. Knut Wittkowski | Hail To You

  10. Federalist says:

    Hail, excellent post as usual.

    In Part VIII, we saw that the transmission rate in Germany followed a bell curve pattern and fell to 1.0 or slightly lower before the lock down measures were put into place. In other words, the virus more or less did what it was going to do regardless of the measures designed to slow the spread.

    Why, then, does Sweden appear to have more quickly acquired herd immunity than in places with restrictive measures? It would make sense that without these restrictions the virus could spread more quickly in Sweden and thereby produce herd immunity sooner. But why would this be the case if the lock down measures made very little difference in the spread of the virus?

    • Hail says:

      Federalist, Good question.

      I believe the way to understand what happened in Germany (the R0 graph in part Part VIII), and other countries in which the epidemic-arc was about at the same place (which is most of the West), is that the natural virus cycle was well on its way to natural completion by March 10 and was disrupted by social distancing, defacto even in Sweden (due to media coverage many times what this flu strain was worth), but much less disrupted in Sweden.

      “On its way to natural completion” both holds in theory and in practice, suggested by the surprising finding was that no observed social-distancing-style changes in behavior which we can measure predate the peak and start of the decline in R0 in Germany.

      The Flattening the Curve mantra (I don’t think I have heard that phrase in a few weeks now) was right, in the narrowest sense, but it also elongated the duration of the epidemic and did not change the number of deaths. It actually increased the number of real-world deaths due to the Panic conditions locked into place by the social-distancing orders. It is also pretty clear in retrospect that the core assumption, the media’s “swamped hospitals” never occurred and never was going to occur. It didn’t occur in Stay-Open Sweden.

      Certainly Sweden is arriving at herd immunity sooner. Everyone else, just later. This is why the low-info pro-Panic person who says “look at Sweden’s higher death rate in the immediate term” is wrong. They got through it with minimal social-economic destruction. No more was needed than is in any other peak-flu period.

      I’d love to see a reconstructed R0-change-over-time graph for Sweden, for comparison’s sake; the clearest finding out of Germany, which ought to be better known, is that R0 fell to a low level before the lockdown order. Political leaders didn’t yet realize this had happened, because the true R0 for a given day is only calculable much later.

      The question is, in light of what we know from observed-data is, were general-shutdowns necessary including months of stay-at-home orders and disruption of economic and social life? The answer I see is a decisive ‘No,’ really on all fronts.

  11. Federalist says:

    In Part VIII, we saw that the transmission rate in Germany followed a bell curve pattern and fell to 1.0 or slightly lower before the lock down measures were put into place. In other words, the virus more or less did what it was going to do regardless of the measures designed to slow the spread.

    Why, then, does Sweden appear to have more quickly acquired herd immunity than in places with restrictive measures? It would make sense that without these restrictions the virus could spread more quickly in Sweden and thereby produce herd immunity sooner. But why would this be the case if the lock down measures made very little difference in the spread of the virus?

    • Hail says:

      See above, and I would say while few experts are willing to say this lest they be crucified by the media, there is a good case for “getting herd immunity sooner.”

      A further comment: Many have noticed that the narrative subtly shifted in April to a defacto strategy of virus-elimination, a fool’s errand. A section of this post on the 1918 influenza strain points to research that found older people may have gotten the same/very similar virus strain in the mid-19th century, and still had immunity by 1918, resulting in the far-below-normal death rates for older people even as younger people, who lacked exposure to the virus, died in large numbers. Herd Immunity is a good thing.

      • Federalist says:

        “Many have noticed that the narrative subtly shifted in April to a defacto strategy of virus-elimination, a fool’s errand.”

        This is one of the most frustrating aspects of the CoronaPanic. The whole reason we were supposedly doing all of this was to “flatten the curve” so that the hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Well, the hospitals are less busy than normal. So, what the hell are the lockdowns and all of that for now? What would have to happen for these pro-Panic crowd to say that the lockdown/social distancing measures should end? What is the goal? What are we trying to accomplish now? Immortality?

        If they are trying to eradicate the virus, that is, as you say, a fool’s errand and it’s also a con. They certainly did not sell this as virus eradication.

        P.S. Sorry for the double post earlier. I’m not sure how I managed that.

  12. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic Pt. IV: What about New York City? A Case Study in Hysteria Pandemic vs. Virus Pandemic | Hail To You

  13. Rich says:

    Physician, former military.
    You’re welcome to my posts over at The Automatic Earth as Dr. D Rich.
    I knew Fauci and Redfield back in the mid-80s.
    They put one of my incompetent classmates in charge of Beebe healthcare in Delaware as “the answer” at the start of this manufactured crisis.
    It’s a rigged game with only the cheerleaders being rewarded.
    No worse than ordinary flu indeed.
    However, the economy was crashed between September 2019 and January 2020 with over $4 trillion given away in Overnight REPO and QE4.
    COVID-19 only became the excuse to paralyze the heard with implementation of planetary scale Economic Austerity.

    • Hail says:

      Thanks for this comment. The role of Fauci in the Crisis/Panic. Iff you knew him, you might have something more informed to say, or have written on it elsewhere (in which case, please do link).

      Fauci may be an attention-lover, loving the spotlight, one of the little drivers of the Panic.

      I am reminded of Dr. Giesecke of Sweden’s description of Neil Ferguson as “arrogant.”

      Sweden’s Johan Giesecke on Ferguson, and on the latter’s clinging to the Corona apocalypse cult even as it unravels:

      “I know [Ferguson] a little and he is normally quite arrogant, but I have never seen him as tense and nervous as during that interview.” He dismissed Ferguson’s prediction that deaths in Sweden will start to rise again.”

        • Hail says:

          Some have suggested a problem is an “old guard” being in charge. Fauci himself is soon to be 80, of course. But it’s not about chronological age, this criticism. It’s about life-station, and the complacency and arrogance of decades in power. Fauci is a man who has been head of his little fiefdom, the NIAD, since 1984. That’s 36 years. Reminds you of Robert Mugabe or someone like that: President-for-Life.

          Looking it up, I see the Swedish corona-response leader, Anders Tegnell, has had a 35-year career so far. Born 1956. But no decades-long semi-sinecure heading some governmental fiefdom.

          Sweden’s heroic anti-Panic stalwart, Dr. Johan Giesecke, who advised the government to appoint Tegnell, was born in 1949. Giesecke was state epidemiologist for Sweden, 1995-2005, and at age 70 is in semi-retirement.

          The youngest of all these is the reckless, alarmist, Panic-pushing, semi-criminal Neil Ferguson (b.1968). So it’s all over the map.

          • Rich says:

            My perspective is not just personal (ie. I met and dealt with guys, Fauci, Redfield specifically). I trained and practiced medicine among these guys for more than 30 years. What these characters don’t possess in fecklessness and servility, they make up with glib chutzpah. Supposedly, these men are charming but such an assessment is lost on me. To me, these men appear sickeningly earnest and pathologically acquisitive. They will take and more importantly accept “credit” for just about anything, particularly stuff these men are either unqualified to do or could never imagine in their wildest dreams. The term for this phenomenon in psychology is “acquisitive projective identification”, literally and factually acquiring other’s accomplishments as if they’re your own.
            Useful men to the powers that be.

      • Rich says:

        Additionally, you’re the perfect counter to this glib insider, Scott Gottlieb except he’s got the bully pulpit at PBS.

        From another comment of mine at xymphora:
        Just watched this glib, know-it-all on PBS and wondered how such a young guy knew it all about…….coronaviruses. From his wiki page this young buck was recent past commissioner of the FDA. Sounds like he was “planning” for this crisis, an expert investor and held a top secret security clearance, seriously, while working for the FDA. That makes sense to someone except me, I suppose. He doesn’t at all seem self-serving and seemed quite sincere with his concern “for the lower socioeconomic folk most at risk severe COVID-19 disease, the most likely people unable to socially isolate and use dirty public transportation a known vector of coronavirus.”

        I give you an excerpt from Scott Gottlieb MD’s wiki page:

        “He returned to FDA from 2005 to 2007 as the agency’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, where he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and granted a top secret security clearance. He was a member of the Biodefense Interagency Working Group to help draft a strategic plan for U.S. biodefense countermeasures. He also worked on advancing a framework for the creation of a generic drug user fee program, final implementation of the physician labelling and pregnancy labelling rules, and pandemic preparedness. In that latter role, Gottlieb recused himself from key parts of the planning effort on a bird flu vaccine in 2005, because he had done consulting work for companies whose products might be use.”

        • Hail says:

          Looking back over Scott Gottlieb’s role in the past few months, he does appear to be a leading pro-Panic figure, with an early op-ed in the Wall Street Journal predicting those phantom “swamped hospitals” that were never observed anywhere at national level, certainly not in Stay-Open Sweden.

          Sounds like he was “planning” for this crisis

          The proverb about “everything looking like a nail to the man who has only a hammer” may apply to Corona.

          • Rich says:

            Theyre running the same gameplan as 911 except anthrax served the hysteria factor poorly because it just wasn’t infectious enough and killed its host too fast to threaten many potential victims
            And big Medicine is playing the same role (Fauci, Redfiield, Gottlieb and lo and behold Gilead again), mouthpieces for torture’s necessity, bough off by $81 million dollar contracts to likes of Mitchell and Jessen, and rewarded for servility to power rather than ethical and moral stalwarts.
            There’s always the risk these edgy websites/blogs are flytraps and honey pots to identify the resistance. Ask John Murtha’s family how well that turns out.

  14. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Pt. III: “Just the Flu” Vindicated by the Data; Or, Why to End the Shutdowns Now | Hail To You

  15. Several questions/observations.
    #1 is “why? Who benefits from this? Is big business? He asked, sounding like Ida Tarbell?
    #2 At least here in MA, despite the golf courses opening, as well as the gun shops, it seems that, rather than recognizing that, even if this was as serious as Baker and the junta said it was, it’s winding down, and it’s time to get back to whatever is left of normal. The reverse seems to be happening- mandatory masking (got yelled at by a cop, so I’m pissed), towns cancelling their summer camps for kids, no legion ball, no summer college lax- no hockey for ME…
    There is even talk, at both the K-12 and college levels, of not opening in the fall -WTF!
    #3. This whole notion of “you can open IF you do the following….either there’s an extraordinary danger of there is not. A Minneapolis restauranteur pointed out that allowing him to open to half his normal number of customers is worse than useless- he can’t remain profitable on that basis. And his bistro is one of those places every city has- a long standing institution that may well not come out the other side.
    When this all began I was worried- I’m in the target range, over 65, asthma, could stand to lose a few, although you won’t see me on “My 600 Ib Life” anytime soon. The reaction of people like Cochran and Sailer gave me pause- they’re smart guys not prone to overreaction. But the more I saw this unfolding the more incredulous I became. I know it’s anecdotal, but how many people know people that have been affected personally? Where are the bodies in the corridors of hospitals and on the streets? I know people believe all kinds of stupidities ( that’s for you, Achmed) – heck, I’m a practicing Catholic, but this is just beyond the realm of my understanding. Thoughts?

    • Hail says:

      why? Who benefits from this? Is big business?

      The better question may be: Who thought they could/would benefit?

      It’s clear now that the Panic got out of control, but as it marched along in March, people were seeing how they could take advantage of it for their own limited-term gain. It was a giant social dilemma game, like a prisoner’s dilemma. In the terminology of the social dilemma games, enough people “defected” that the entire playing field lost.

      This has to do with the formation of the pro-Panic and anti-Panic coalitions, early stages in late January to February, but in full form in March, with maybe the low-info stragglers following into April.

      Coalition formation is fundamental to politics; no need for a Master Plan Conspiracy, just dynamic coalition formation in practice. What specific, immediate-term, selfish, but rational-seeming goals drove the pro-Panic coalition during its formation phase? I have lots of ideas.

      There are some individual winners, but far fewer than there would have been had a deus-ex-machina intervention stopped the rise of the Corona-Response about March 13, say. That far and not an inch farther. Given that too many “defected” and the game gave a “negative payoff” to all players, it’s probably best understood as a social dilemma game.

  16. Mr. Hail, I don’t want to speak for you there, so you should get on Steve Sailer’s blog and point out some of your great posts on the situation in Sweden for him – How Much Actual Evidence Is There That 1/3rd of Stockholm Has Been Infected?.

    Just in case I can’t make a link myself (if you see garbage or something missing just above) let me just put it in directly:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/is-there-any-evidence-that-1-3rd-of-stockholm-really-has-been-infected/

    There are no comments so far, but some may be in moderation and you know how quickly people write in there. Please go ASAP and give Steve some information.

    • Federalist says:

      Yes. At this point, I don’t expect Steve Sailer to renounce his CoronaPanic religion but there are probably some rational readers and/or commenters who would be interested in your posts on the matter. The places where one can read a rational analysis of the issue aren’t obvious.

      I found your blogs, Hail and PS, through Sailer’s comment section.

      • Hail says:

        There are some good comments there, in the most recent thread.

        I notice the ProPanic:Neutral:AntiPanic ratio is still tilted heavily towards the right, with anti-Panic commenters outnumbering Pro-Panic commenters as much as several to one.

        Anti-Panic commenters probably at least equal Pro+Neutrals combined. This despite the host himself being on the pro-Panic side, which might be expected to cause people on the Anti-Panic side to withhold somewhat. I don’t think Sailer is putting his thumb on the scale and deleting comments so this is a fair sample in that sense.

      • I started writing on unz over 3 years back specifically to put in links, haha. I really got hooked on the writing, iSteve, then some others… Being able to comment easily was great. No matter what I think of the slightly deranged proprietor, the man writes a mean bunch of code.

        • Hail says:

          Ron Unz wrote about early April, “Well, we’ll see in a few weeks who was right,” meaning the pro-Panic or anti-Panic side. He said we’ll have to wait and see.

          I think at this time he was using the phrase “the debunkers” to refer to the anti-Panic side, instead of the later “Crazy Flu Hoaxers.” He came out on the pro-Panic side, but at times was still generous of spirit to the anti-Panic side.

          Now it’s a few weeks later. We can judge who was right. Why continue kicking the can down the road?

          I believe the key to judging who was right is Sweden, the no-lockdown, light-response, natural experiment. I see nothing to suggest that Sweden will lose anything over 0.03% of population to this flu virus, probably less (as explained in this post). This is about 100x less than the influential horror-scenarios that swept the pro-Panic side to victory in March.

          Anatoly Karlin wrote a post in I think February that I think may have convinced Ron Unz to hitch up to the pro-Panic wagon-train, titled “Millions Will Die.” If 0.025% of total population death rate holds for the world, the whole thing would skate in at 1,925,000 worldwide, failing to qualify for the plural "millions". 1.9m may seem like a lot when shoved at someone without context, but is not a large rise in deaths considering there are 7,700,000,000 humans now living.

          • A simple calculation that one does not have to be any of – a statistician, an epidemiologist, a scientist of ANY sort, and a graduate of anything higher than 6th grade! – to do, is just figure about 1 in 100 people die each year in countries with anything resembling normal demographics. (You live to 60 average up to over 80 average – everyone dies, round it off – WTH is so hard about it.).

            Therefore anyone can come up with the rough calculation that 70 to 90 million or so human beings die every year. When people talk about 2 million in the world succumbing to the Kung Flu (REALLY dying FROM it, that is), or even 10 million, on can see that, compared to 70 to 90 million dying of natural causes, this is not the freaking Black Plague, dammit! Have you seen any guys coming down the street with carts, or nowadays in Fed Ex vans, saying “bring out your dead”? OK, then, it’s not the next Black Plague.

            Perspective, bitchez!

          • Hail says:

            The numbers are so bad for the pro-Panic side, certainly in anything like historical terms, and often even in recent terms (2010s vs. 2020) that I can only imagine what historians of the future will remember about the CoronaPanic.

            With numbers like these, we can only understand this mass-delusion event in religious terms. The Corona Cult. I’ve been meaning to get together a post on this.

    • Hail says:

      I got in two comments now numbered 93 and 94.

      I posted some of those studies (randomized population samples) he’s referencing, and which the Washington Post just got around to reporting in mid-May, back about mid-April. They were not secret then.

  17. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic | Hail To You

  18. ganderson9754 says:

    For some reason my long comment didn’t take this AM- excessive boringness perhaps?
    My questions/comments are
    1. Who is benefitting from all of this? I hate to go all Ida Tarbell, but is it the modern day Robber Barons in Silicon Valley and Washington State? But how does a cratering economy really help them?
    2. In MA, it seem to may that as this ‘crisis’ receded, the juntas are doubling down on the restrictions- were’s now required to wear masks in public in MA (I’m pissed cuz I got yelled at by a cop the other day) they are closing down parks and hiking trails, and a number of towns in Western MA where I live have cancelled their summer camps for kids, both athletic and the just get out and be kids camps! . No Legion Ball, summer college lax, sportsball (I know a lot of folks in ‘our thing’ don’t like sportsball, but I still do, despite all the issues and problems) How on earth does that make any bleeping sense at all? At least the golf courses are open, but I think that’s more about a woman course owner in Central MA telling Charlie “Tall Deval” Baker that she was opening last weekend, no matter what Baker said. This put the gov in the position of sending out the Staties to arrest her, which I don’t think he wanted to do. Gun stores are open, too. I hear talk of schools not re-opening in the fall- both K-12 and colleges. I see no signs of reopening coming from Boston- and when we do, what’s it going to look like?
    There’s a video up on Powerline by guy who’s the owner of an iconic, family owned restaurant in NorthEast Minneapolis- his take is that if this goes on much longer he’s toast, and if he is allowed to open, under the social distancing (a term I never wish to hear again) rules at say, half capacity, it won’t do him any good, because he can’t make money that way. A lot of businesses are in the same boat.
    3. We’ve lost our collective minds, I can’t believe what I’m seeing (apologies to Jack Buck) When this first broke I was a bit concerned- particularly since people I trust and think are smart like Cochran, Sailer and Jim Miller were worried. And I’m in the risky age bracket, with a touchof asthma and a few pounds to lose. It became clear to me early on, though, that this was way overblown. And none of the people who run things seem capable of admitting their mistakes and changing course. Is there any way out of this madness?

    • Hail says:

      The original comment was sent to the spam folder for some reason, but is now rescued.

    • Mr. Ganderson, firstly, thanks for the report from Massachusetts. You mentioned (in your other comment?) a long-established eatery. We have an example right near me – it’s closing for good. Now, maybe the guy was getting tired of running it anyway, and this is the last straw – I don’t know him personally. I am bummed, though, and my brother will be devastated. I haven’t told him yet – “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that you’ve likely already had the Kung Flu, and I’m talking to you. The bad news …”

    • Hail says:

      if he is allowed to open, under the social distancing (a term I never wish to hear again) rules at say, half capacity, it won’t do him any good, because he can’t make money that way

      Social Distancing. As a term, the first time I recall encountering it was a Steve Sailer post which I have just looked up: It was March 7. This was still early in the Panic cycle and before the term was in general use. (Sailer as usual proves ahead of the curve, at least in that sense.)

      https://www.unz.com/isteve/severe-social-distancing-cut-1918-death-rate-by-30-50/#comment-3756604

      The way other commenters were reacting on March 7 (see link), it’s the first time they’d heard it, too. The title of the post included a modifier which sounded funny at the time: “Severe Social Distancing.”

  19. ganderson9754 says:

    One more thing: why does anyone listen to Fauci?

    • Hail says:

      Good question. Jokes about Fauci and Stockholm Syndrome are probably in circulation. If not, I nominate someone to make a clever quip including those three words.

  20. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Pt. II: “Honor the Truth, be Steadfast, Defend the Nation” — Say ‘No’ to jockeying for political advantage on the coattails of Corona Hysteria | Hail To You

  21. peterike says:

    More good stuff from Watts Up With That.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/12/lockdown-fail-in-one-easy-graph/

    Here’s the money graph for quick viewing.

    • Hail says:

      Thanks; Lockdown orders have little relation to the spread of the virus and to deaths in observed reality because everywhere is different, everywhere is at a different place along the “epidemic curve” and subject to other local, specific conditions.

      I can imagine what the pro-Panic side would say about that graph (cases started earlier in the place at the top-left, strongest-lockdown plus highest cases). Plus there is the question of what share of actual positives this figure of “cases” is, which will vary place to place depending on level of testing.

      Those problems are avoided if we have observed-reality data for a place at the end of its epidemic. With the epidemic now ending in Sweden, we can see the true impact of the epidemic without a lockdown (an insight which was the inspiration for this post).

      By early May, deaths in Sweden were pushing near to half the mid-April peak level; by the end May, it will probably be a third of the peak or lower. No-Lockdown Sweden (as well as some others in Europe for whom “Weakest Lockdown” also applies) shows the final impact of the epidemic sans lockdown. I calculated the full-year excess mortality from this virus strain would be +0.015% to +0.03%, potentially putting Sweden at a no-coronavirus total death rate @ 0.90% to a yes-coronavirus total death rate for the year a @ 0.92%. I cannot imagine it would be wildly outside this range elsewhere.

  22. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Part X: The problem of “deaths with vs. “deaths from”: Only one-third of corona-positive deaths as genuine “deaths from” in Sweden | Hail To You

  23. Hail says:

    Youtube deleted the Wittkowski interview on May 9 (“removed for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.” The terms of service now include a ban on violation of CDC guidelines; there is also now apparently a blanket ban on Dr. Erickson anywhere on Youtube; he has been declared a heretic).

    This after suppressing it in search results for the previous five weeks.

    The reason they probably didn’t delete it sooner is the host was a major source of high-end documentary traffic for Youtube, Journeyman Pictures.

    Here is the latest from Wittkowski:

    The COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is ending in Europe, including Sweden, Latvia, Hungary, and Iceland and it shows signs of abating among late-comers like the UK (green) and Belarus. Health systems have managed the last “flu” of the season, irrespective of when and how governments intervened

  24. A C Osborn says:

    Hail, you have a lot of like minded individuals posting here.
    I am not one of them.
    1. You are comparing a country of 10 million population and a Population Density of 24 people/km squared with countries of 40-60 million up to 328 million populations and densities up in the 100 people/km squared.
    You admit that basically it is a Stockholm epidemic and I agree, it is the hightest density part of the country on a par with most Capitol Cities in other countries, with one major difference. There are only about 1 million in Stockholm, compared to 10 million in London and 9 million in New York, who also have a much higher density than either Stockholm or London.
    When you compare the performance of Sweden with their neighbors who did lock down things do not look so rosy.
    Norway, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland all did much beter and even the very densely populated Netherlands did slightly better than Sweden.
    Other countries who did notably better are Czechia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tawain, need I go on?
    I was interested in Czechia because they also have a population of 10 million and also had a more relaxed shut down rather than lock down, but they opted for home made face mask use and it shows in their numbers.
    Although you say Sweden have done well, what is apparent is that their cases and deaths have dragged on as if they were one of the high population countries that were hit hard by COVID-19, rather than a very low densely populated country with many people living in single accomodations.
    Since March the 28th when I took my first snapshot of the worldometers COVID-19 page when Sweden were 19th on the list and it has had a 7.4 fold increase in cases and a 31 fold increase in deaths as of today.
    By comparison the numbers for Czechia who were 20th on the list are 3 fold increase in cases ( with twice as many tests) and a 22 fold increase in deaths. Sweden are now 24th on the list and Czechia are now 48th on the list.
    On just Deaths/Million population Sweden are 9th worst in the world and Czechia are 56th.
    To give you an idea of the COVID-19 growths since March 28th for the other countries I mentioned.
    Sweden Cases 7.4 fold, Deaths 31 fold.
    Czechia Cases 3 fold, Deaths 22 fold
    Norway Cases 1.9 fold, Deaths 9 fold
    Austria Cases 1.9 fold, Deaths 7 fold
    Denmark Cases 4 fold, Deaths 7 fold
    Finland Cases 5 fold, Deaths 24 fold
    Switzerland Cases 2 fold, Deaths 6 fold
    How about Deaths/Cases is Sweden doing well on those, well no.
    Sweden Deaths/Cases = 0.124
    Czechia Deaths/Cases = 0.035
    Norway Deaths/Cases = 0.027
    Austria Deaths/Cases = 0.039
    Denmark Deaths/Cases = 0.051
    Finland Deaths/Cases = 0.044
    Switzerland Deaths/Cases = 0.064

    I didn’t bother with South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tawain as they make Sweden look even worse.

    So do you really still think that the small country of 10 million population that is Sweden are a shining example that says Lock down doesn’t work?

    • Hail says:

      When you compare the performance of Sweden with their neighbors who did lock down things do not look so rosy.

      […] do you really still think that the small country of 10 million population that is Sweden are a shining example that says Lock down doesn’t work?

      Life is not a game of all-out-efforts to suppress flu viruses. This is what I see implied in what you write.

      Life is a game of continuing the work of civilization, the arts, religion, philosophy, learning, economic productivity, happiness, discovery, the passing on of traditions and sometimes the creation of new ones, the nurturing of social bonds, raising the next generation… (keep adding to the list for the next hour if you want).

      All of the above and more were disrupted by the Lockdown policies of some countries, and will be for apparently some time to come. Even after the Lockdown ends, the unnecessary major recession will disrupt many people’s lives, and devastating some (marginal suicides alone will easily exceed corona deaths for those under-60; worse health outcomes from the recession will swamp the corona effect many, many times over), which hobbles the aforementioned work of civilization. The major empowerment of a Chinese-style “police state” is another of the worrying corona trends.

      Meanwhile, Sweden was minimally affected, and the end of its epidemic is in sight without any serious population loss, as we of the anti-Panic side have argued all along. The evidence is in, and now the observed-data is in. We all should have continued with our Sweden-style approach and not let the media break down the normally-firm policymaking barrier against irrational hysteria.

      Sweden was minimally affected but Lockdown countries were majorly affected. And frankly it may all be for nothing: They still have to figure out a way to “deal with” the virus anyway, given that their population immunity process was knowingly and intentionally suppressed by governments, a bizarre sight only understandable in terms of governments caving into the media-directed Panic. (It’s not a big deal to “deal with” the virus; it’s just a flu virus, maybe slightly worse than the normally circulating strains but nothing alarming.)

      Since the virus will keep circulating somewhere, the Lockdown countries will always be at risk. If, in October 2020, Norway starts seeing an upswing in cases, will they pull the Lockdown trigger again? I can’t imagine countries will do this, to devastate their own people’s livelihoods for nothing, to appease a belief about the mystical forces of an unseen force. All as if in a religious ritual. Then again, maybe this is how vanished civilizations of the past ended up vanishing?

  25. Federalist says:

    Sweden is set to lose .02% of its population due to coronavirus. .02% is .0002. So, Sweden will lose approximately 2 out of every 10,000 its people to the virus. The most recent death rate I’ve found for Sweden is 2017 with 9.1 people out of every 1000 dying in a year.

    So, (very roughly) 91 people out of 10,000 would be expected to die in Sweden in a typical year. Even if we assume that none of the people who died from corona in Sweden would have died otherwise in the same year (which can’t be true), then 93 people would die per thousand rather than 91. It’s 2 extra people per thousand (at most). Is that right?

    • A C Osborn says:

      So why are you comparing 12 months of normal deaths with 2 months of COVID-19 deaths whenthere are still 20,082 infected?
      For COVID-19 it is currently 0.035%, but so what, for the Netherlands who are the most densely populated country in Europe it is 0.032%.
      Norway = 0.004%
      Austria = 0.007%
      Denmark = 0.009%
      Finland = 0.005%
      Switzerland = 0.022%

      • Hail says:

        The reason to compare full-year brackets is to get a better idea of what the full impact really is.

        If you zero-in a specific peak-flu-event, any number of years can look disastrous. The pattern would be artificial, as peak-flu-event deaths are always followed by a period of below-average deaths, and will be this time too, given the known age-condition profile of COVID victims.

        If the media did this any other year, as it could if zeroing in on a specific peak-flu-event, it would be the height of recklessness, near-criminal irresponsibility, inciting a destructive Panic for nothing. Which is about what happened in March 2020; the media incited a Panic for nothing and indirectly caused many of the excess deaths, probably even a majority from what we now know, as well as the recession that will have long-term negative health effects. This was already clear in its outlines even at the time the Panic was incited (March), but the drumbeat was strong and few could resist at the time. Those crying “logical analysis!” were drowned out.

        By mid-May, the medical debate is over. The virus was just another flu virus. Track anything intensely, and then get a lockstep media ‘drumbeat’ behind it, and you’ll get the same effect.

    • Hail says:

      Federalist, Your calculation is right except that the 0.02% applies to the likely range of “deaths from the virus,” not total all-cause-but-positive-for-virus deaths.

      As of the end-of-week May 15 update, the total number of corona-positive deaths looks to likely be in the 5000 to 6500 range by the end in June. This is the total number of all coronavirus-positive deaths by the time the curve “tails off” down towards zero. The current number is 3,674 but the process of decline continues across all metrics.

      This puts total coronavirus-positive deaths at 0.048% to 0.063% of total resident population.

      We are interested in excess mortality for the year, not in number-games about how many people had some virus at death (a game that, given control of the media, could be ‘drumbeat’ any given here and spark a panic any year). We can calculate and make reasonable guesses at plausible ranges of “deaths with” (people dying anyway, would have died absent any virus epidemic soon) and “deaths from” (absent the virus would have survived a good deal longer; not dying). I calculate the plausible range for Sweden is 36%, +/- 7%.

      Applying this to the total coronavirus-positive deaths, we have probably under 0.025% excess deaths, which is in line with a not-unusual flu season. This potentially increases, as you say, final-year mortality from (e.g.) 0.9% to 0.925%.This is also not unusual excess mortality. Depending on what the exact deaths-with-deaths-from “multiplier” is, it is still possible Sweden will not exceed its 2018 full-year total-deaths; it won’t come anywhere close to Sweden’s highest %-deaths in recent memory, which was about 1.1% throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with a few bumps at the time noted in this post. I would surprised as this point if it breaks +0.03% for the year in 2020, all else equal.

      By the way, 1.0 to 1.1% is still about the general rate for native-Europeans all across Europe and the US due to high average age and decades of low fertility. Sweden’s lower overall rate is because of the policy of bringing in refugees who are much younger on average and have a much lower total-mortality rate; the major increase in refugees since the Merkel wave of 2015-16 is shown in final-year mortality for Sweden, which curiously has kept dropping almost every year since 2003, down to 0.86% in 2019.

      I don’t think Sweden has released a full report on deaths by ethnicity, but we have several reports suggesting the magnitude of true excess deaths among native Swedes is much lower than it is for migrants (see Dr. Wodarg’s theory on this). Possibly the final coronavirus impact is more like 1.100% –> 1.115% (+0.015%) for native-Swedes, versus a migrant-origin rate of say 0.600% –> 0.645% (+0.045%). This is speculative.

  26. peterike says:

    Trump Juice shown to work.

    “Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin plus zinc vs hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin alone: outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients”

    Conclusion: This study provides the first in vivo evidence that zinc sulfate in combination with hydroxychloroquine may play a role in therapeutic management for COVID-19.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.02.20080036v1

    • Hail says:

      The anti-Panic figure Dr. Wodarg published on May 2 to the effect that (my words) the drug works for Europeans but can trigger serious side effects in people who are malaria-adapted by millennia of selection, resulting in unnecessary deaths among Blacks and others. In other words, in some of those cases no treatment could have been better.

      This could be pne explanation for why Somali migrants were so prominent among the deaths in Sweden.(Vitamin-D deficiency has also been proposed for the Somali migrant case) and Blacks in the US.

      • Jehu says:

        Vitamin D deficiency is rampant among blacks and Indians in the NW USA. I know a lot of Indians at work who require vitamin D injections on a monthly basis to avoid what amounts to just hard core general inflammation. My guess is most of Scandinavia is pretty similar. General inflammation is also strongly associated with heart disease—and guess what, I knew two pretty young Indian guys, both in great shape with lots of regular exercise, no other typical heart disease markers, who both expired in their 40s and 50s of heart attacks after living in the Pacific Northwest working in tech.

  27. Hail says:

    Updates on age at death for corona-positives in Stay-Open Sweden (based on an analysis of the Swedish Health Ministry info latest data as of May 17)

    The mean year of birth for someone who dies corona-positive in Sweden has fluctuated between 1937, 1938, and 1939 over the past six weeks. As of today, I calculate that it is likely hovering between 1937/1938 and is unlikely to move from there by the end of the epidemic.

    About 84% (of the small number, in relative terms) of deaths are people born before 1947.

    Share of total corona-positive deaths by birth cohort
    b.1920s, about 24.5% of deaths (incl. a small few b.1910s centenarians)
    b.1930s, about 41.5% of deaths
    b.1940s, about 22.5%
    b.1950s, about 7%
    b.1960s, about 3%
    b.1970s, about 1%
    b.1980s, about 0.3%
    b.1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 0%; Zero deaths recorded so far born in 1990 or later.

    It is remarkable that even with essentially complete death data over two months of the epidemic’s death-curve cycle, and a sample size now near 3,700 (total corona-positive deaths of all causes), on its way to as high as 6,000, there is still not even one corona-positive death logged to a person under 30. This is a substantial share of the Swedish population, and not one has died! Not even one with undiagnosed, late-stage leukemia (as the notorious “amateur soccer player age 21 suddenly dies of coronavirus!” corona-prolefeed story in late March out of Spain; it mentioned his late-stage leukemia only in a note in the very last paragraph of a long corona-prolefeed news story).

    The distribution here, so heavy on those over 80, skews higher than for normal deaths. In other words, if 100% of the deaths were “deaths with” and 0% were “deaths from,” we would actually expect a younger total-death profile. This means of that portion which are dying “from” the virus, they are very old. Not that that is anything new, nor unexpected in a flu epidemic period.

    About 91% of deaths are to retired-age persons (those having reached 68th birthday under current Swedish law are designated to have reached retirement age, regardless of their exact status; at this age they are eligible for retirement benefits and may be forced to retire in some circumstances). Another 8%+ of deaths to those of older working age (45 to 68) and <1% of deaths to those of younger working age (below 45). As far as I know, zero working-age deaths were otherwise in good health. That's zero; not even one. Fifty-seven (57) individuals under age fifty have died and my understanding is that all 57 had serious health conditions.

    This all definitely implies a below-average mortality period after the epidemic ends in Sweden. Below-average mortality will hold in Sweden for much of the middle period of 2020, all else equal. Final, full-year mortality will not see more than a blip from this, as it won’t anywhere, possibly excluding the places extremists took over and induced thousands of marginal Panic-related deaths.

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  31. Hail says:

    New Sweden ICU-intake and Deaths graphs/table. Incorporating the fresh, Friday May 22 update from the Swedish Health Ministry.

    Friday afternoon Swedish time is the most substantial update of the week. We can therefore now say with confidence have final data through May 9, largely final through May 13/14, substantially complete thru maybe May 17. On past experience, ICU data becomes complete more quickly than Deaths.

    Both Deaths and ICU-intakes are now at, or in sight of, one-third their peak levels in April.

    Did my earlier prediction (first made in late April) of “Under 30 Deaths/day by mid-May” hold up (see previous graph)? It’s still too early to say. It looks like the period May 11 to 21 (“mid-May”) will probably come in 30 to 35 deaths/day.

    I’d say tentatively that it was the right call in that some days in mid-May will start to come in under 30 deaths/day (for the first time since March 24). This comment is time-stamped so we can check back with the May 29 update and especially the June 5 update. Maybe it will only be late May when we start seeing <30/day.

    The important thing is, the epidemic in Sweden is ending even on the most-lagging-indicator of all, deaths, and still on track to align with the findings of this post (Part XI, Sweden set to lose 0.02% of population to this flu virus; on ca. 5000 total deaths by end, with something more than half of those dying of other causes with the virus).

    Lesson: No lockdown. No problem.

    • Hail says:

      Brief update as of May 25 (referencing the May 22 data table above)

      – The May 5 Inflection point for Deaths still holds. Sustained decline in five-day-average starting May 5 holds, with data now near-complete until about May 15.

      – Week 10 of the epidemic is now 100% complete data for Deaths. Stragglers have raised the total for the week from 490 to 499. I do not expect this to rise (or decline) again by more 0.5%, on past experience. Some deaths may be re-dated. Week 10 is now in the books.

      – Week 11, getting towards completion, looks to come in at 325-350 deaths. It’s still too early to say for Week 12, but there is reason to believe it will be <250, as predicted in the table here.

      – Both Weeks 10 and 11 are complete for ICUs, suggested by no recent changes. The evident trend that ICU intakes are at one-third the peak level (now: <15; peak: 40-45), on a sustained basis, is confirmed.

      Absolutely nothing suggests Sweden will have a sudden spike in deaths. Total deaths still look in the 5000-range (<6000); total deaths attributable to the virus remain likely in the 2000-range (0.02% of population range).

  32. Hail says:

    Updates for Sweden, May 27

    ___________________

    How close is it to being well and finally over in Sweden? When will the pro-Panic side (internationally) admit Sweden was right (re Stay Open, No Panic approach)?

    Despite some (including Hail To You) making the call, by mid- and late-April, that Sweden’s victory was a lock — that is, declaring a victory on the observed-data which followed/confirmed the randomized population studies (which, by late March, were all strongly against “Corona as Apocalypse Virus”) — the emotional commitment of many Corona-Believers is such that there is certainly no general acknowledgement of the Swedish victory as of this writing. Nor is one imminent, as I once believed.

    Acknowledgement may come when the Deaths curve (the most-lagging indicator) in Sweden is down to negligible levels. Or even to zero. Or, likeliest, even to zero plus x days, say one week or ten days without a single new corona-positive death.

    (These are not reasonable thresholds to demand when decisions affecting the livelihood of us all are at stake, but people do not understand the nature of the statistical/data curves, including epidemic curves; the pro-Panic media is running the show, now coasting along with the Corona Cult; even after Stay-Open Sweden goes to zero new deaths in a few weeks, there will be pro-Panic diehards. They are already among us, insisting that “the pandemic will last until 2022”).

    _________________

    Herd Immunity in Sweden

    Stockholm, Karolinska Institute. An ongoing study. In a sample of health care workers (n=11,000; of which one third had been analyzed by May 15reported May 18):

    – 5% were found to be corona-positive at time of testing;
    – 10% were found to have antibodies, indicating past infection (and implying easy recovery without symptoms or with minor symptoms).

    = 15% had had contact with the virus (ca. 480 of the ca. 3,200 analyzed) by ca. April 25 (samples collected April 20 to May 15, and earliest 30% tested by press time with others backlogged, implying a median sample collection about April 25). Statistically, and on an all-population basis, we would expect zero deaths in this group (1 death in 480 positives would be 0.2%, which is two to ten times the all-population fatality rate). The authors noted no deaths to this group have been reported.

    The high ratio of current to past positives as of ca. April 25 (if I am correct in my interpretation explained above) indicates that the transmission period was peaking in early-mid April.

    On Herd Immunity. The natural extent of the spread of any given virus in any given place at any given time, is theoretical (not firmly knowable) because every virus is subject to dynamic factors constantly changing, including timing, weather, and the occasion of chance super-spread events at chance times.

    One reason coronaviruses have been observed to reach a lower spread in Europe is their tendency to peak late in the season, with a March peak usual (just like this time), before spring pushes all these viruses into retreat for the middle months. A spread of 15% by about April 25 may have already been on the way towards its full spread (say, 25%).

    ___________________

    Ongoing Decline of Deaths curve

    Deaths for late May are likely to = Deaths for late March

    Based on the pattern in ICU intakes observed throughout the epidemic, Deaths in late May (May 22nd to 31st) could come in at or under one-third their peak level seen in mid-April.

    Coronavirus-positive Deaths in Sweden by Period
    – Mid-March (10th to 21st): 49 deaths
    – Late March (22nd to 31st): 336 deaths
    – Early April (1st to 10th): 873
    – Mid April (11th to 20th): 903
    – Late April (21st to 30th): 791
    – Early May (1st to 11th): 766
    – Mid May (12th to 21st): 412, with some stragglers left to account for given reporting delay; final could reach 500;
    – Late May (22nd to 31st): (350?) (based on ICU pattern in that Deaths curve follows, but lags, ICU curve)

    Total deaths for March 1 to May 31: up to 4,750 (scope of true final will be knowable by Friday June 5). Total in June: Hundreds more (not thousands).

    Of the ca. 4,750 deaths expected through May 31:

    – more than 2,000 were nursing home patients;
    – about 2,250 were non-nursing-home patients over age 70;
    – ca. 450 deaths were between age 50 and 69, almost all of these with serious pre-existing health problems
    – Fifty deaths at age 49 or younger.

    For that last group, those under 50, the final will be about 1 death per 100,000 for the full age range, which is a small fraction of the automobile accident death rate per year. Reportedly Somalis and other migrants are a large share of these youngest deaths.

    We can assume at least hundreds of the elderly, non-nursing-home deaths were deathbed patients, and the typical condition of these deaths corroborate that they were in many cases on the way out anyway.

    With a final scope of the Deaths curve possibly reaching 6,000 by the end, this still puts the likely final scope of the epidemic at 0.02% of total population (i.e., who would not otherwise have died in 2020), again hypothetically raising full-year mortality from 0.90% to 0.92%, which is not excessive or alarming at all for a flu epidemic and comparable in scope to many seen in the past few decades. These <0.03% excess deaths are also much older than the average resident, pushing the full aggregate-life-year loss to a negligible number, something probably well under <0.01% of society-wide total-remaining-life-years. For those who understand these two concepts, ‘Corona’ immediately crumbles like a house of cards, a fraud.

    As to when the pro-Panic side might start to admit Sweden was right. This requires sociological, psychological, and anthropological-religious explanations, but if the tide starts to turn by “Zero deaths” point, it means it won’t yet be in June. The madness and the pointless destruction will go on. But they were wrong.

  33. Hail says:

    Update May 28. Regions:

    How much higher will the corona-positive death rate be in Sweden than in the rest of Sweden? Probably near of these; 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x.

    Following up on the section The Swedish Epidemic is Really a Stockholm Epidemic:

    Stockholm County still has almost half of all corona-positive deaths in Sweden by reporting date May 28, reflecting the early spike related to nursing homes there.The two bordering counties, Uppsala and Sörmland (combined pop. at 680,000 as of Dec. 31, 2019) are less affected but also above national-average.

    Stockholm County population density is 7.5x as high as that of its immediate neighbors, Sörmland+Uppsala.

    Comparing Stockholm with another large population center: Västra Götaland. This province is dominated by the lesser-Stockholm-like city of Gothenburg (metro population 1 million).

    Population, as of Dec. 31, 2019:
    – Stockholm County: 2,377,000 [22.9% of national pop.]
    – Sörmland+Uppsala: 680,000 (combined) [6.5% of national pop.]
    – Västra Götaland: 1,726,000 [16.6% of national pop.]
    – Rest of Sweden: 5,617,000 [70.6% of national pop.]

    Coronavirus-positive deaths, as of reporting date May 28:
    – Stockholm County: 2,016 [47.3% of national corona-positive deaths]
    – Sörmland+Uppsala: 388 (combined) [9.1% of national corona-pos. deaths]
    – Västra Götaland: 511 [12% of national corona-pos. deaths]
    – Rest of Sweden: 1,351 [31.7% of national corona-pos. deaths]

    The proportional number of deaths in urban Gothenburg is much lower than in urban Stockholm.

    The number of total all-cause-but-corona-positive deaths in Sweden outside Stockholm is still <0.010%, while for Stockholm it is 0.085% reflecting deaths to malaria-region-ancestry migrants and nursing home patients and for Sörmland+Uppsala it is 0.057%. The spread began in Sörmland+Uppsala about the same time.

    The per capita the corona-positive death rate is:
    1.5x as deadly in Stockholm vs. neighboring provinces, or
    – up to 3x as deadly, vs. Västra Götaland (which is dominated by urban Gothenburg). This is probably too high because Gothenburg’s epidemic started later.

    The true figure for how many more per-capita deaths there will be in Stockholm than the rest of Sweden probably leans closer to 1.5x than 3x. This means the final deaths figure will stay in the five-thousand range (<6,000 all-cause corona-positive deaths) as was predicted in this post and which I am continuing to check and still looks likeliest. These are hypotheticals because local factors contribute a lot as does time. In places where the epidemic started later, with spring-like weather arriving, the impact will be lower than the hypothetical value.

    This again corroborates the <0.03% population loss estimate in a Stay-Open, minimum-economic-damage scenario, which is of course trivial, comparable to a usual peak-flu-event, and lower than the risk of driving a car for almost everyone except the very most elderly, sick, or frail (and much less risk than riding in a car regularly for prime-age-healthy cohorts).

    The final scope of epidemic may therefore be:

    Stockholm: 2300 corona-positive deaths
    Rest of Sweden: <3700 corona-positive deaths
    Total: <6000, of which true deaths caused by the virus are something less than half.

  34. Hail says:

    Sweden is making moves to relax its general behavior advice to those over age 70 who are otherwise healthy, and this will probably be a reality soon (first week of June?).

    All domestic travel advice (“consider avoiding nonessential travel”) will probably be lifted in June, according to comments made last week by Dr. Tegnell, the head of the Coronavirus Response Team.

  35. Hail says:

    Quoting from above:

    Coronavirus-positive Deaths in Sweden by Period
    – Mid-March (10th to 21st): 49 deaths
    – Late March (22nd to 31st): 336 deaths
    – Early April (1st to 10th): 873
    – Mid April (11th to 20th): 903
    – Late April (21st to 30th): 791
    – Early May (1st to 11th): 766
    – Mid May (12th to 21st): 412, with some stragglers left to account for given reporting delay; final could reach 500;
    – Late May (22nd to 31st): (350?) (based on ICU pattern in that Deaths curve follows, but lags, ICU curve)

    As of the latest big Friday update (afternoon May 29), the “mid-May” total (for the 12th to 21st) is now very near finalized. It came it at 488.

    Stragglers (very late reported deaths or date-of-death revisions) will still push this slightly up but most likely “mid-May” will not exceed 500, continuing the downward trend of the bell curve.

    It’s still too early to make any call on Late May, which we are still in. Early data suggests the call made above for Late May (total 350 corona-positive deaths for the ten-day period) is possible, and very likely no higher than 400.

    With the virus still circulating in May especially outside the Stockholm region, many who die will be corona-positive regardless of cause of death.

    Given that at this time of year 2,250 people in Sweden die in a ten-day period (all-cause deaths, normal rate), the true total for Late May could be 2,400 deaths, indicating up to 150 excess deaths from the virus and at least 200 deaths with the virus of other causes, with some of those <150 excess still largely coming to the culling effect (deaths that may have occurred in later months of 2020 instead moving up to May). If this is right, it means if deaths for late May are normally 100%, now they are at ca.105%, and will continue to decline towards 100% in June, as the the epidemic ends in all regions. Following the end of the epidemic, we would expect a decline to <100% normal deaths for a sustained period of a few weeks.

  36. Boulderdash says:

    Hey Hail. Just wondering if you have any thoughts on the situation in Belarus. Similar population and confirmed cases but only a tiny fraction of the death rate compared to Sweden.

    • Hail says:

      The case of Belarus might be dismissed by the pro-Panic side, saying “They are not reporting correctly; they are not a transparent democracy.” I am sure this is the go-to. Maybe there is even truth in it, but I suspect the real truth is more along the lines of strict reporting of true victims, not victim-inflation (see below). It’s much harder to wave away Sweden and its social-democratic government and its world-topping commitment to openness.

      I suspect there are two big reasons Belarus is reporting lower death totals (assuming no overt falsification is going on):

      (1) I suspect they are measuring this flu virus’ spread fairly in a way all other flu virus epidemics have been measured, by the standard “deaths from the virus” (primary cause of death driven by respiratory infection) and not “deaths with the virus but from all causes,” as is the norm in Western Europe and the US (in some cases also tossed in some “suspected cases” who are untested). Sweden follows the Western norm for this. A cancer patient with a terminal diagnosis dying corona-positive is not a fair “corona-death,” but Sweden’s numbers still count many or possibly all such people.

      (2) I suspect Belarus may also not be counting the most elderly who are dying “of” the virus, but if you are past 90 and die of some unobvious cause, they are assuming old age is the cause.

      This leaves Belarus’ reported several-hundred total corona death count equivalent to that portion of Sweden’s that are both unambiguous deaths-from (ca. 20% of total) and non-elderly (maybe a fifth of that; .2*.2=0.05%).

      I don’t know either of the above for sure but it is my guess. If anyone

      Why focus on Sweden? Sweden is such a knockout becauseif the epidemic is shown to be such a minor affair even there (it is), with its open reporting and with its Western-norm, media-demanded “count all corona-positives-at-death as corona-deaths,” the Wuhan Coronavirus really is a big washout, yet another media spectacle, another case of media-filtered reality, the creation of something that never existed (major and alarming pandemic vs. pretty-normal high-end flu strain). Sweden is the gold-standard.

  37. Hail says:

    On “If Corona is over, why does any of this (sorting out the truth of Corona and fighting the pro-Panic narrative) matter any more?”

    Besides the obvious value in knowing the truth, and in evaluating the role of the media and the sociological phenomenon of moral panic and how it begins, and how destructive it can get:

    The race riots in the US at the end of May 2020 are very obviously a follow-on effect of the wrong, destructive, pigheaded, and often-malicious lockdown policies. The pro-Panic side is guilty. The riots cannot be understood at all outside a Corona Lockdown context.

    That the riots align exactly with the beginning of reopening schedules immediately suggests the connection. As does the bizarre lack of any kind of articulated, specific grievances (lots of race solidarity and lots of virtue-signalling, depending on race involved), all pent up for three months. The (flimsy) pretext of a single ambiguous case in Minnesota, with the only clear demand being that the mob wants “facts-last, emotion-first” lynchmob-style execution of the arresting police officer involved in the fight also raises questions. (This was the only clear demand I have seen articulated.)

    Both the media’s role yet again in fomenting an artificial crisis, and the “facts-last, emotion-first, embrace the moral-panic” nature of it reminds me of the Corona Response in general.

    The timing and the nature of these race riots point to the base cause being the total victory of the pro-Panic side in March, the pro-Panic coup d’etat, and the pro-Panic juntas’ refusal to yield an inch even when it was clear the panickers were wrong as became crystal-clear in April. They even dragged it out through May, against all logic, almost as if intended specifically to harm the population, as in “a victor’s peace.”

    The pro-Panic side was playing with fire, metaphorically, and they should have known it. Now others have ‘played’ literally with fire after the lockdown lifted and they’d spent over two months with nothing to do, often without jobs of any kind, and no school. The economic damage is realbut the moral/prestige damage is greater.

    The USA, ruled by pro-Panic mob that locked down society for no reason, put tens of million out of work for no reason, and which bizarrely engages in top-down encouragement of opportunistic looting/arsonist mobs, does not seem to be a serious country.

  38. Hail says:

    Newest updates to Stay-Open Sweden graphs with the big Friday end-of-week update.

    Sweden still on track to end its epidemic, with no shutdowns and minimal economic-social disruption/damage, on the scale shown in this May 10 post.

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  43. Hail says:

    Update (June 9-10), one month after original writing (May 9-10):

    The Deaths curve for Sweden continues to decline each week since its peak in the sixth and seventh weeks of the epidemic in mid-April.

    Pegging “Week 1” as the first Sunday-to-Saturday week in which someone was taken into an ICU with a respiratory disease thought caused by the Wuhan-Coronavirus (for Sweden this was March 5):

    Week 1: 0 deaths
    Week 2: 5 deaths
    Week 3: 44 deaths
    Week 4: 190 deaths
    Week 5: 451 deaths
    Week 6: 665 deaths
    Week 7: 660 deaths
    Week 8: 546 deaths
    Week 9: 541 deaths
    Week 10: 507 deaths
    Week 11: 380 deaths
    Week 12: 355 deaths
    Week 13: 246 deaths

    Week 1 here is March 1 to March 7.
    Week 13 is May 24 to May 30.

    Data through the end of Week 13 is now close to final, with minor revisions of late-straggler data only.

    Given that the baseline death rate per week is 1,750 for Sweden (full-year), when corona-positive deaths go below 250 for a given week it means these deaths are no longer really noticeable above the baseline (especially given the deaths-with/deaths-from problem) and the epidemic is, for any reasonable practical purposes, over. This was already the case by ca. May 25.

    The only reason there is still any talk of Corona anymore is leftover media hype and the technological capacity to do (unnecessary) mass testing, creating the illusion of the epidemic ominously continuing. In previous eras,without mass testing, nothing more would be thought of the matter following the brief rise in flu cases in late March into April, and certainly no one would care by late May and June.

    We are cursed with information-saturation that perpetuates a false crisis.

    We also now have word that an astonishing 75% of corona-positive deaths in Sweden “have been either in nursing homes or receiving at-home care.” This obviously corroborates the notion that a large share of the deaths were deaths-with and not deaths-from. The death rate for that cohort (nursing home residents) is going to be high any given year.

    Looking at the trajectory remaining for the Deaths curve, we can expect a final corona-positive death total of 5750 (+/- 250), which is 0.055% of the total Sweden resident population dying in 2020 while Wuhan-Coronavirus-positive, vs. something like 0.85% dying while corona-negative. The conceptual group “Natural/Expected Deaths” will include many/most of the positives and almost all the negatives.

    Of the 5,750 deaths,

    – around 20% are probably unambiguous deaths from the virus to otherwise-healthy people, generally in their 60s/70s,
    – 40% are ambiguous cases with serious pre-existing conditions (deaths to old/sick people with the virus playing a possible role), and
    – 40% are unambiguous deaths-with the virus who would have died imminently anyway.

    Splitting the difference of the ambiguous cases, we get 40% of deaths being truly to the virus, or 2,300 true-deaths of 10,400,000 total resident population, putting us right back at our 0.02% estimate for the final true death toll, proposed in this post a month ago.

    Nothing about the new data that has rolled in in the past thirty days has changed that. This continues to confirm that Coronavirus was never a particular threat nor a reason for shutdowns/lockdowns. A terrible mistake.

  44. Pingback: Rushing a Vaccine to Market for a Vanishing Virus – Investing Video & Audio Jay Taylor Media

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  48. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Part XIV: Total Mortality data in Europe now confirms the Wuhan-Coronavirus was comparable in magnitude to flu waves of the 2010s; the Panic and lockdowns are fully discredited | Hail To You

  49. Pingback: Against the Corona Panic, Part XIV: Total Mortality data in Europe now confirms the Wuhan-Coronavirus was comparable in magnitude to flu waves of the 2010s; the Panic and lockdowns are fully discredited | Hail To You

  50. Hail says:

    Update: This series of posts proves itself right again, with IMHE now catching up to my predictions, predicting 5,750 total corona-positive deaths by the end of the epidemic, which is (amazingly) exactly what I predicted on June 10, and within the range of the predicions I have made on Sweden back to late April.

  51. Pingback: Against the Corona-Panic, Part XV: The coronavirus death curves in Stay-Open Sweden and the Stay-Locked-Down USA are remarkably similar over four months, discrediting lockdown-pushers | Hail To You

  52. Pingback: Against the Corona-Panic, Part XV: The coronavirus death curves in Stay-Open Sweden and the Stay-Locked-Down USA are remarkably similar over four months, discrediting lockdown-pushers | Hail To You

  53. Pingback: Against the Corona-Panic, Part XV: The coronavirus death curves in Stay-Open Sweden and the Stay-Locked-Down USA are remarkably similar over four months, discrediting lockdown-pushers | Hail To You

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