Monday, June 14, 2021

Sweden and Covid

Let me give my Sweden sermon again, because praise for it having been open has resurfaced again. I know my reach is not far, but I had hoped my observations would spread in my own little circle. But I swear the sentiment Open! Open! We should have stayed open! We should never have closed down! Sweden proves it! seems to have penetrated at least to the edge of my circle. It is apparently a powerful belief.

If you were to choose at the outset what countries would be the best comps for Sweden, everyone would have chosen Norway, Finland, and Denmark. There might have been some prediction that Denmark might even be under worse pressure, being physically connected to NW Europe. As of today, deaths per million

 Norway 144

Finland 174

Denmark 435

 Sweden 1431

They have done well recently, at least compared to the UK, France and other large western European countries. But the other Scandinavian countries have done better.  And they didn't have all those first-wave deaths. Also, because we cannot count Sweden as an open country in quite the same way as we would America, the data might actually point another way. The Swedes are a cooperative, even obedient people, and did a lot of voluntary masking and distancing, and lots of businesses and agencies closed down or modified on their own. Had this worked it would have been a great libertarian argument that you just let everyone make their own informed choices and all's good in the garden. But because it didn't work, see above, it might actually be evidence that partial measures don't actually help very much. Most of the studies from everywhere reporting - sometimes gleefully - masks don't work! have a common thread.  Go back and look for yourself.  They measure mask mandates, mask requirements, not actual mask usage. What the government mandates is only part of the story, and from what I read anecdotally from the comments section at Maggie's, a lot of people have been proudly breaking the rules all along. (Update: Compare the uselessness of much gun legislation.)

Now comes even worse news out of Sweden.  I very much hope this turns out to be exaggerated. 

David States, Chief Science/Medical Officer at Angstrom Bio in Austin tweeted: (The tweet is no longer available, but I don't know if that's suspicious. Did he withdraw it?  Was it censored? Anyway, the underlying tweet he got it from is here.  Both these people seem to be non-religious and liberal, as far as I can tell. Comments at that second link are alarming.)

Yngve Gustaffson, professor of geriatric medicine at Umea University, noted that the proportion of older people in respiratory care nationally was lower than at the same time a year ago, despite people over 70 being the worst affected by covid 19. He expressed concern about the increasing practice of doctors recommending over the telephone a "palliative cocktail" for sick older people in care homes.

"Older people are routinely being given morphine and midazolam, which are respiratory inhibiting," he told the Svenska Dagbladet* newspaper. "It's active euthanasia, to say the least."

*Sweden's leading newspaper, not a tabloid.

So if that's how one quietly keeps the hospitals from overflowing, that's just horrible.


Grim said...

It does seem as if Scandinavia, and indeed Western Europe, has an unspoken preference for euthanasia as a solution to old age in general. As we, and they, have developed a preference for abortion as a solution to pregnancy.

Definitely among irreligious liberals, there seems to have become this notion that the world would be better with fewer people in it.

Narr said...

A better world with fewer people? Depends on which people, obviously.

(Not all that liberal.)

Cousin Eddie

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have a feeling I might be one of the less-popular ones on several grounds.

Narr said...

Oh, I'm definitely on some lists, and it only seems reasonable to have a list of my own.

I was born that way.

Cousin Eddie

Assistant Village Idiot said...

That reminds me of the study over a decade ago about people who just didn't like homosexuals and had been repulsed by them as long as they could remember. The researchers concluded that for that group, the tendency seemed to be inborn. Nowhere could I find that they had picked up on the irony.

I imagine the keywords would make it only moderately difficult to track it down again should I ever need to.