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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/2/20

Sweden's Triumph; Staying Free in a Lockdown World

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Reprinted from www.unz.com

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Why is the media so preoccupied with Sweden? And why is the media so determined to prove that Sweden's approach to the coronavirus is wrong? Are we supposed to believe that the same MSM that promoted every bloody coup, intervention and war for the last 30 years has suddenly become a selfless advocate for elderly Swedes fighting off a lethal infection?

That's baloney. The reason the media publishes roughly 15 articles blasting Sweden for every one article voicing support is because the media has a stake in the outcome. The media wants to dispel the idea that there is any alternative to the authoritarian lockdown approach. Thus, the Swedish model- that leaves parts of the economy open and trusts people to follow the government's "distancing" guidelines - has to be obliterated. That's what's really going on. The media has no interest in a smallish north European country of 10.4 million people. What they care about is the example that Sweden is setting for other countries around the world. If those other countries follow suit and settle on an approach that is based on science and trust rather than politics and coercion, then the elitist plan to prolong the crisis and restructure the economy begins to unravel. So, Sweden must be annihilated. It's that simple.

The first line of attack against Sweden is its "death rate" which is significantly higher than its neighbors in Norway or Denmark. And while there are only 4,395 deaths in Sweden today as opposed to over 100,000 in the United States, the information is always presented in the most sensationalist terms, like this goofy clip from the National Review:

"There have now been ten times as many COVID-19 deaths in Sweden than Norway on a per capita basis. According to the Worldometers website, 435 out of every one million Swedes have died from the virus, while the virus has killed 44 out of every million Norwegians." (National Review)

Wow, "435 out of every one million Swedes have died from the virus!" Those barbaric Swedes, they're killing their own people!

This is alarmist nonsense. Think about it: "435 out of every million" is just 1 in every 2,500. Is that enough to justify the shutting down of the economy and suspending civil liberties? Of course, not. And, keep in mind, the great majority of these fatalities are among people that are 70 years-old and up with underlying health conditions. Like everywhere else, roughly 90% of Covid fatalities occur among the over 60-crowd with co-morbidities".

So I put this question to you: Is one death in every 2,500 sufficient reason to strangle the economy and put the country under house arrest?

The answer is "No". The lockdown was not only a mistake, it was a fear-fueled, knee-jerk reaction to the exponential spike in Covid-positive cases for which policymakers were completely unprepared. So, instead of consulting a broader range of experts with varying opinions on the topic, the Trump administration adopted the Chinese model that was supported by Dr Fauci and the Vaccine Mafia. As as result, 40 million Americans have lost their jobs, every sector of the economy is in freefall, and the US is headed for another Great Depression. In contrast to this madness, Sweden's infectious disease experts developed a sensible, science-based plan which was laid out in an article by Dr. Johan Giesecke at The Lancet. Here's an excerpt:

"It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes-a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK's experience with that of other European countries"

These facts have led me to the following conclusions. Everyone will be exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and most people will become infected. COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire in all countries, but we do not see it-it almost always spreads from younger people with no or weak symptoms to other people who will also have mild symptoms. This is the real pandemic, but it goes on beneath the surface, and is probably at its peak now in many European countries. There is very little we can do to prevent this spread: a lockdown might delay severe cases for a while, but once restrictions are eased, cases will reappear. I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in 1 year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken.

Measures to flatten the curve might have an effect, but a lockdown only pushes the severe cases into the future -it will not prevent them. Admittedly, countries have managed to slow down spread so as not to overburden health-care systems, and, yes, effective drugs that save lives might soon be developed, but this pandemic is swift, and those drugs have to be developed, tested, and marketed quickly. Much hope is put in vaccines, but they will take time, and with the unclear protective immunological response to infection, it is not certain that vaccines will be very effective.

In summary, COVID-19 is a disease that is highly infectious and spreads rapidly through society. It is often quite symptomless and might pass unnoticed, but it also causes severe disease, and even death, in a proportion of the population, and our most important task is not to stop spread, which is all but futile, but to concentrate on giving the unfortunate victims optimal care." ("The Invisible Pandemic", The Lancet)

As you can see, the Swedish team that developed the policy was not "gambling" with Swedish lives as the idiot media likes to say. They were applying decades of science to a problem that required them to make tough decisions about the best way to navigate an epidemic for which there is no known cure and no effective treatment. And their choice was clearly the right one. They elected to keep the economy open as much as possible while making every effort to protect the old and vulnerable. It was an excellent plan despite the notable failures in its implementation, the biggest of which was the surge of fatalities at the rest homes which has been nothing short of a catastrophe. More than half of Sweden's death toll comes from these homes for the elderly, while a whopping 4,200 of the 4,386 people who have died from the virus have been over 60. That is NOT a misprint. (See Sweden's official state statistics here) A mere 186 people under 60 have died from the infection.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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