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Posts Tagged ‘Sweden

What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

From the government that is, which is not surprising, even with a Prime Minister with a Bachelor’s degree in the subject who has been lauded as a great communicator from the start.

The real problem is sooner or later you get a reality so ugly that no amount of communication – otherwise known as spin and bullshit – can cover up for it.

So, having saved us from Covid for 18 months, our government has just surrendered to the virus, announcing a “transition plan” to loosen restrictions while Covid is still spreading in the community. This is exactly the sort of insanity which has led to outbreaks and mass death in the UK and NSW, and there’s no reason to think it will end any differently here.

I’m just glad I don’t live in Auckland (and glad that there will still be a hard border to slow the coming shitshow’s spread to the rest of Aotearoa). But I’m also sorry for everyone who lives there. You deserved better than this. And you deserve a government which will keep you safe, rather than sacrificing your lives for a pack of greedy whiners.

Meanwhile, I guess Aotearoa’s days of being a “model Covid response” are over. The government has just decided to surrender to the virus, because they were sick of the whining from the Auckland business class. They’ve basicly become quislings for the virus, just like Boris Johnson and Gladys Berejiklian. And we’ll be paying the price for their cowardice in deaths and long Covid.

That’s Hard Lefty, NoRightTurn, who at least has the reputation of brutal honesty when his own side lets him down – which is often – although you should note the deliberate exclusion of Victoria from his list, thanks to it’s Lefty, Lefty, Lefty reputation and government. I guess he’s a fan of Dan Andrews, in spite of “outbreaks” and “mass death”. I’ll be interested to see how Chris “Wonder Woman” Trotter copes, given his recent, tub-thumping demands for Virus Justice.

But this is so typical of the Left; the mentality of waging yet another Moral Equivalent of War: that’s Jimmy Carter on energy in 1979, to go with similar outstanding successes such as LBJ’s “War on Poverty”, Nixon’s “War on Drugs”, and GW’s “War on Terror”.

The trouble actually goes all the way back to the original phrase of early Yank philosopher and “progressive” William James, who pondered how to…

…”sustain political unity and civic virtue in the absence of war or a credible threat” and “sound a rallying cry for service in the interests of the individual and the nation.”

It’s a crap idea, but the Old Left just can’t let go of it (Trotter on The Coming War Against Climate Change), for the obvious reason that all other means of persuasion have failed them.

The basic problem is that nothing outside of war can actually be turned into one, in either strategy, tactics or final victory. This is why you had Trotter weeks ago thundering against The Business Class “selfishly” attacking the brave elimination strategy and why we now have NRT moaning about “surrendering to the virus” (I know, right? These viruses are fanatics. Fanatics I tell you).

Yes, after firebombing Tokyo and most other cities into rubble and dust we need something else. Unfortunately the mRNA vaccines have not turned out to be the Atomic Bomb for the virus. We’ve nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the little bastards still won’t surrender. Let’s look for other targets on which to unleash our rage.

Getting back to the specifics of what the government announced yesterday, let me return, once again, to what the Swedish epidemiologist said about lockdowns in April 2020:

Getting out of the lockdowns will be the big challenge since the question is around which restrictions can be lifted, followed by watching for upticks in cases and deaths at each stage, with increases met by what? Reinstating the restriction?

Like an alcoholic, Adern has now accepted the first truth that’s been obvious to most other non-warmongers for a long time now: opening up had to happen sooner or later and when it does there will be “the sad realities that come with it – cases, hospitalisations and deaths.”.

I’m not going to knock her for this, even if it comes awfully late into this brutal strategy. It’s a glimmer of light. What she’s actually doing is backing into the scenario explained in the Swedish quote; she’s making it clear by implication that although cases, hospitalisations and deaths are coming, that will NOT mean another lockdown. She appears to have finally reached a point where she’s not going to follow all the advice of her “experts”. Whether that’s because of political reality or not is not something I care about.

The fiddly, vague bullshit of “steps” is her technical “out” from the purity of “levels”, with L4 lockdowns and the crude rules of L3 and below. Hell, we might even be looking at L3 or such just on specific places like small towns or suburbs – which would actually be the track, trace and quarantine option that health authorities worldwide planned for epidemics before the insanity of lockdowns was embraced in 2020.

She’s not explicit about that. She can’t be at this stage, but she wants all her worshippers (especially the MSM) to get used to this idea and she’s hoping that the vax rate and reduced lethality of Delta will mean the numbers, especially the last two, don’t grow relentlessly.

I think we will see jumps in those numbers, but I don’t think it will be terrifying, let alone exponential growth leading to “mass death”, aside from the MSM’s “If It Bleeds, It Leads” hysteria. Personally I think that it’s a smart move (finally), even if the “steps” stuff is eye-rolling nonsense.

When it comes to communication this should not be forgotten either, because we shouldn’t rush to war.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 5, 2021 at 7:00 am

Xinese Xi Snot Graphing

It’s been a while since I looked at the progress around the world against Xi Jinping’s bastard child experiment.

Here’s a comparison I’ve not seen before: Israel vs Sweden.

South Korea with yet another demonstration of how masks don’t work against this virus and never have.

Comparisons within the USA.

Here’s a fun one. Try to guess which state out of these two had the tougher policies on social distancing, lockdowns, masks, vaccinations and other policies over the past eighteen months.

Getting away from all those messy continental borders that can’t be completely sealed, here’s the good old island state of Hawaii again, from just over a month ago.

Obviously all these measures need to be tested to destruction.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 19, 2021 at 10:00 am

The Delta and the Vax

Who likes charts?

Of course you all like charts. They provide clear, concise information at a glance. A picture’s worth a thousand words and all that.

Herewith four charts showing four aspects of the Chinese Xi Snot virus across three countries – Israel, Sweden and India.

First up is their vaccination rates (fully vaccinated)

Next are their confirmed case rates.

The result for intensive care (India’s data is not good enough to be included here.

The all important Case Fatality Rate (CFR). The CFR is the total number of deaths divided by the total number of people that have the disease’s symptoms. In contrast, the IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) is the total number of deaths divided by the total number of people that carry the infection.

Unlike the Flu there are no solid estimates yet for national Covid-19 IFRs since the virus has not been around long enough to build the data around that key factor of people who get infected but show no symptoms and do not get tested. In the USA the CDC annually calculates the IFR for flu since it has decades of data that allow it to be confident that its figures are correct. The flu IFR is about 0.1% and there are no age-specific breakdowns of that figure.

Nevertheless, at the end of 2020 the CDC did try to calculate the IFR values of Covid-19 (Alpha) and even break it up into age-specific estimates, which are now very low at:

  • 0.003% for 0–19 years
  • 0.02% for 20–49 years
  • 0.5% for 50–69 years
  • 5.4% for 70+ years.

Israel has the latest Delta variant raging away but with no increase in the death rate, while similarly vaccinated Sweden has seen only a slight uptick in cases, while India moves along seemingly unchanged. Given that Israel pushed early and fast on their vaccination programme, the implication is that the population’s immune systems there are not as well protected against variants of the virus as in India and Sweden, likely because their immunity has been built more from exposure to the disease than to vaccinations.

On a side note the tiny island nation of Iceland, which has something like 71% of its population fully vaccinated has made a similar announcement to that of the Prime Minister of Australia in abandoning a zero-Covid-19 policy:

Icelandic health authorities hoped to achieve herd immunity through widespread vaccination, but those hopes were dashed when the fourth wave of infection began in late summer 2021. Local data shows, however, that vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that vaccines are very effective at staving off serious illness.

Based on this information, the government’s current policy is to curb the spread of infection using mild social restrictions, rather than imposing harsh restrictions in order to eliminate the virus entirely. This policy allows Icelandic society to operate as openly as possible at any given moment.

The implications for New Zealand are clear:

  • Opening up the nation internally and across the borders will mean Covid-19 variations spreading through the population.
  • A vaccination rate of 70% across the whole population seems to be the best that might be achieved.
  • Vaccinations will not provide full protection against the variants, though it will greatly reduce the chances of severe illness and death in the most vulnerable, people aged 70+.
  • Herd immunity cannot be achieved by vaccination alone, especially given the targeted nature of the mRNA vaccines, and that their immunisation potency appears to decline in a matter of months (hence the talk of ongoing booster shots).
  • The death rates for these variants will not approach even the CFR flu-like levels of Covid-19 (Alpha).
  • Therefore future decisions on lockdowns should not be based on case numbers but on hospitalisation and deaths.
  • Push hard for treatments that work against Covid-19 infections, starting with monoclonal antibody treatment, which appears to be very successful.

Frankly there should be no further lockdowns at this point.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 3, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Swedish Death 2020 – and Lockdowns

The last in this series.

As usual it takes until well into January before a nation’s death statistics are settled, and this is even more true of Chinese Lung Rot deaths.

Here then the final update for Sweden’s death toll in 2020, both total and for Covid-19.

The annual death rate for 2020 was 0.94%, compared to the average of 0.92% for the previous decade. Moreover the death toll is lower than it was in 2010-2012 and the same as 2013. I don’t recall any great wave of hysteria about those years.

You’ll recall that it was predicted that Sweden was going to suffer worse than other nations because it had not gone full lockdown (true) and was instead going for “herd immunity” (false). Actually they went for “social distancing” and kept their schools, cafes and the like open. To put it bluntly, the excess deaths are just not there: the people who died with or of Covid-19 would have died of the flu or Pneumonia instead, just as they do every other year. The Swedes can be well satisfied that they didn’t crush their economy with extremist lockdowns.

Speaking of which, this miracle happened the other day in the USA.

So now that OrangeManBad is safely gone the US MSM can start reporting stories about the failure of the lockdown approach and key politicians in the USA can start saying that they have to re-open their cities and states before they completely destroy their local economies – even as those states face levels of Covid-19 case numbers and deaths that triggered the original lockdowns months ago. In some cases, worse.

Also, so much for the Leftie theory that the virus was done with urban areas (controlled by Democrats) and was now sweeping into the lands of the Low Sloping Foreheads (controlled by those hick Republicans).

As noted months ago by Professor Johan Giesecke (one of the world’s leading epidemiologists, former Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO):

Getting out of the lockdowns will be the big challenge since the question is around which restrictions can be lifted, followed by watching for upticks in cases and deaths at each stage, with increases met by what? Reinstating the restriction?

And even with vaccines it seems. These people just can’t let go of their sense of control. Here’s the UK, which went for extreme lockdown – and still is.

And New Zealand:

Interesting that in the UK and NZ the death rate has been slowly increasing in recent years, apparently the result of ageing populations and declining birth rates.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 22, 2021 at 7:00 am

Swedish Numbers Update

Since I wrote this post on November 6 about Sweden’s death toll from Chinese Lung AIDS – And in Other Numbers – there has been some excitement among the commentariat with the appearance of the expected second wave of the virus as the Northern Winter commences.

Herewith the good old Worldometer graph for the nation:

As a result I thought it time to update my spreadsheet from October 30 to December 4th (the latest date for which Statista has Total Deaths from all causes) and see where Sweden stands:

The numbers speak for themselves. Even if the current daily death rate from Chinese Sinus Rot continued to December 31 – and of course it is dropping – Sweden’s annual death toll will be almost exactly the average population death rate for the last decade of 0.92%.

And in US news on this matter of counting deaths., here’s the John Hopkins medical article that was rapidly pulled – but not fast enough to miss the WayBack Machine – A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19.

Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Hopkins, critically analyzed the effect of COVID-19 on U.S. deaths using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in her webinar titled “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data.”

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She explained that the significance of COVID-19 on U.S. deaths can be fully understood only through comparison to the number of total deaths in the United States.

After retrieving data on the CDC website, Briand compiled a graph representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared. 

Comparing to total deaths is the smart thing to do as well as looking at what has happened to other types of deaths. And the result?

Analysis of deaths per cause in 2018 revealed that the pattern of seasonal increase in the total number of deaths is a result of the rise in deaths by all causes, with the top three being heart disease, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia.

“This is true every year. Every year in the U.S. when we observe the seasonal ups and downs, we have an increase of deaths due to all causes,” Briand pointed out.

When Briand looked at the 2020 data during that seasonal period, COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was highly unusual since heart disease has always prevailed as the leading cause of deaths. However, when taking a closer look at the death numbers, she noted something strange.

As Briand compared the number of deaths per cause during that period in 2020 to 2018, she noticed that instead of the expected drastic increase across all causes, there was a significant decrease in deaths due to heart disease. Even more surprising, as seen in the graph below, this sudden decline in deaths is observed for all other causes.

Looks like the USA has discovered an incredible cure for elderly people who die from heart disease and other diseases.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 10, 2020 at 8:17 am

And in Other Numbers

And while we watch the good little Democrat machines of Philadelphia and Atlanta slowly, slowly creep Biden’s numbers closer to Trump’s here are some other numbers to discuss.

Some months ago when the fighting over the Swedish approach to Chinese Lung Rot disease was first cranking up I decided to start a spreadsheet tracking the death tolls of that country, as reported by Worldometer for covid-19 and Statista for total deaths, population and so forth.

First up is the latest decade of Annual deaths and the population for Sweden, plus the resulting daily death toll and Annual death rate.

As you can see the annual deaths are fairly stable around 90,000 per year from all causes. As the population has increased the death rate has slowly declined from about 0.95% to 0.90%.

Then we come to 2020. According to Statista the total deaths from all causes as of October 30 was 75,644, or 249 per day. The years 2015 and 2016 had the same daily death rate of 249, and the ten-year average was 248.

Subtracting out all the covid-19 deaths as of October 30 (5,972) – and assuming for the moment that these were people who would not have died but for the disease – yields an expected year-end death toll much lower than anything in the last decade: 83,881.

But of course it’s a false assumption that the Swedes who died of Covid-19 would not have died of something else, likely something similar that attacks the lungs like influenza or pneumonia as is the case every year.

So I’ve added those back in and then added on the current 7-day moving average deaths from Covid-19, currently four per day, for the rest of the year of 62 days from October 30.

The result is a predicted total death number – from all causes – of 90,101. And with Sweden’s estimated population for 2020 that’s a death rate of 0.87%.

Which are numbers completely in line with the previous decade and a death rate that is actually below the decade’s average. That is the result of course of extra care and attention paid to infectious diseases this year by the Swedish population, even if they did not go for the extremist lockdown positions of other nations. Businesses stayed open, as did restaurants and cafes, and kids continued to go to school. Mild “social distancing” occurred at the discretion of the population, who followed medical advice but were not under orders or threats from the Police. There was no panic or hysteria among public figures, the public, or their MSM. All very Swedish!

There is no covid death spike on the horizon that would change these basic numbers very much at all by December 31.

The key takeaway here is that if you had never seen or read anything but these numbers you would have no idea that there had ever been a disease epidemic called Covid-19 in Sweden in 2020.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 6, 2020 at 2:16 pm

“It is too early to say”

Zhou Enlai’s famous quote, made during Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to China in 1972, in response to a question about French revolts, was actually not referring to the French Revolution of 1789 but the revolts of 1968.

I was reminded of this while watching the following scenes of people fleeing Paris just the other day before the commencement of a new curfew and lockdown process in response to a second wave of Chinese Lung Rot cases and deaths.

The reason is contained in this graph.

That chart is more than a month old and things have not improved since then for France, or the rest of Europe for that matter. Well – with one notable exception:

Sweden is also experiencing the expected increase in cases, but thanks to their previously despised herd immunity strategy these new cases are not translating into deaths, which is why Sweden is not hitting the panic button and locking themselves into their homes. It’s also why this chart is so painful to look at.

The real tell will come in early January 2021 when the final figures for all deaths in Sweden are confirmed and the excess deaths are seen. If that number is low or statistically insignificant then we’ll know that the Swedish people who died from Chinese Sinus AIDS were the people who would have died from influenza and pneumonia, diseases so similar to Covid-19 that the CDC in the USA has, from the start, tracked daily deaths as “PIC” (Pneumonia, Influenza, Covid-19), knowing how hard it is for post-mortem analysis to confirm the culprit.

Still, even the Europeans must be grateful they’re not run like the US Democrat states of New York and New Jersey.

Incidently, the Zhou link contains probably the best explanation of the reason for the common misinterpretation of Zhou’s comment on France, and also perhaps the perfect explanation for the lockdowns.

“I cannot explain the confusion about Zhou’s comment except in terms of the extent to which it conveniently bolstered a stereotype (as usual with all stereotypes, partly perceptive) about Chinese statesmen as far-sighted individuals who think in longer terms than their Western counterparts,” Freeman said in a follow-up email. “It was what people wanted to hear and believe, so it took” hold.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 31, 2020 at 10:01 am

What Was That About Sweden?

For quite some time there was considerable derision hurled at Sweden by people who should have known better – Democrats, Greens, Laborites and Labourites.

‘Those brainless buggers are going to have a yuuuuuge death toll because they haven’t locked down and trashed their economies like we have’ they screamed.

Well, looky here, Mabel!

From this afternoon’s The Australian:-

Sweden ‘vindicated’ as Covid cases ease

Sweden has registered its lowest rate of positive coronavirus tests yet even after its testing regime was expanded to record levels in what one health official said was a vindication of its relatively non-intrusive Covid-19 strategy.

Sweden attracted worldwide attention earlier this year when it famously stayed open throughout the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: AFP
Sweden attracted worldwide attention earlier this year when it famously stayed open throughout the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: AFP

Over the past week the country carried out more than 120,000 tests, of which only 1.3 per cent identified the disease.

At the height of the pandemic the proportion was 19 per cent.

Meanwhile in the rest of Lockdown Europe there appears to be a second wave.

While the Swedish death rate had already collapsed to 2-3 per day in early August.

Written by adolffinkensen

September 10, 2020 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Europe, Healthcare, Science

Tagged with ,

Swedish models again

My Photo

No not her!

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The mathematical models used by epidemiologists to forecast how the Chinese Lung Rot disease was going to progress.

While it’s true that we are still some months away, perhaps a year, from a full assessment of the health impacts of the Wuhan Flu, enough time has passed since it started in China in January for some conclusions to be drawn.

First up of course is something known since at least February when it was hitting Italy, as well as China, and that was that the primary victims were old people, especially those with co-morbidities; other diseases. Anybody younger than 60 with no other illnesses was highly unlikely to even show much more than cold-like symptoms, let alone die.

But the other great debate that is still churning along as we pass the peak and head into its decline is what strategies were the best for combating the disease, with the lockdown of the healthy populations – to greater or lesser degrees – being the most common solution of governments.

There were a couple of exceptions to this, notably in Europe, but also among the US States which, thanks to the Federal nature of their government, could react differently. The Federal government, particularly President Trump’s administration, could issue guidelines and offer support, but the primary decisions as to what to do lay in the hands of the State Governors, as usual.

Stockholm during Wuhan Flu (Getty Images)

The most prominent nation that refused to follow the lockdown policy is Sweden, and they got hammered by the media and epidemiologists around the world about this, which was amusing because it was Swedish epidemiologists and health experts who recommended against the lockdown.

Sweden has suffered 3,646 COVID-19 deaths as of this writing: a rate of 361 / million popn, putting them 6th worst on the global list.

But the epidemiological models predicted far worse for Sweden’s approach. These models were very similar to that of the British Imperial Model that predicted 500,000 dead Brits if lockdown was not done. In the USA the IHME models followed the Imperial version closely, although the growing revelations of terrible programming in the Imperial Model have cause people to wonder how similar they really all are.

Nevertheless, the one aspect they’ve all had in common is predicting horrendous death tolls unless governments went early and hard on population lockdown. In the case of Sweden the models effectively took the attitude that it was too late for lockdown and mitigation, as reporter Johan Norberg notes in the Spectator UK:

Sweden did not close borders, shut down schools, businesses, restaurants, gyms or shopping centres and did not issue stay at home orders.

Maria Gunther and Maria Westholm at Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s biggest daily, just took a look at two of the most influential models in Sweden, both were inspired by the Imperial College study and published on the preprint server MedRxiv in April. Both were used by critics to argue that the Swedish model would quickly break our health care system – and that we had to make a U-turn into lockdown, as Britain did.

The vertical scale in these graphs are the daily numbers of patients requiring ICU treatment.

H. Sjödin et al: ‘Covid-19 health care demand and mortality in Sweden in response to non-pharmaceutical (NPIs) mitigation and suppression scenarios’, 7 April. 

The graph suggests critical care demand would peak above 16,000 patients per day by early May, and pre-pandemic intensive care unit capacity would be exceeded 30-fold.

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J. Gardner et al, ‘Intervention strategies against Covid-19 and their estimated impact on Swedish healthcare capacity’, 15 April.  

It was an even more pessimistic assessment, showing a peak of over 20,000 patients by early May – with an ICU requirement around 40 times the actual capacity.

82,000 Covid-19 deaths by 1 July.


As the article goes on to note the Swedish Public Health Agency rejected these models – which again it must be noted were from early to mid-April and simply took for granted that it was already too late for lockdown. Sweden had rolled the dice and now would have to ride the consequences of mass infections that would overwhelm their healthcare system as Italy’s had been, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. Still, it’s not as if the Agency did not plan for some surge:
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It instead planned for a worst-case scenario that was much less pessimistic, suggesting a peak around 1,700 ICU patients in the middle of May. Still more than three times more than the pre-pandemic capacity. Sweden, almost alone in the world, refused to lock down.

And here are the actual numbers: around 500-550 per day since mid-April. No surge. No exponential growth. Not only was Sweden’s ICU capacity not exceeded the pandemic never even came close to swamping the system

And the Swedish numbers would be even better had they done a better job protecting the highest risk populations of retirement homes and other places where old people were concentrated. The Agency and the government have acknowledged they screwed that up.

As the article summarises:

One reason why the models failed is that they – just like most countries’ politicians – underestimated how millions of people spontaneously adapt to new circumstances. They only thought in terms of lockdowns vs business as usual, but failed to consider a third option: that people engage in social distancing voluntarily when they realise lives are at stake and when authorities recommend them to do so.

Shocking thought I know. Trusting your people to do the right thing. The irony is that without the cooperation of people the lockdowns themselves, even with all their harsh police measures, would not have worked.

In Britain, it’s argued that if the number of Covid deaths is far lower than the models predicted, well, this is the result of lockdown! Some even argue that the difference between the predicted and the actual is the lockdown effect. But you can’t say that for Sweden. We banned gatherings of more than 50 people, but that was about it. All other behavioural change was voluntary: something the models did not properly understand.

And Sweden did this without screwing over their economy or their civil liberties by setting the cops and their own citizens on each other.

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I thought I’d play with some of the Statista.com numbers for Sweden. So based on the previous ten years the nation by May 8, 2020 would have normally expected 32,040 deaths, whereas they currently have 38,409. That difference is a little less than twice the counted Wuhan Flu death toll, which could mean several things: virus deaths uncounted; deaths arising from people being too scared to go to hospital for needed medical care; Statista.com screwed up? It’s a large list of possibilities.

But let’s assume they’re all virus deaths. What does that do to the expected death toll for 2020? Since the Wuhan Flu infection and death rates have plateaued they will decline. So it’s reasonable to assume that the overall death rate falls back to the 2010-2019 average: adding on the current excess deaths it would mean 97,024 deaths for 2020, higher than any time in the last decade.

And what does that do to the total population death rate? It puts it on the same level as 2010 and 2012. And while you could add on another thousand Wuhan Flu deaths it’s also quite possible that the death rate will be lower than average for the rest of the year because elderly people have died sooner than they otherwise would have. At this stage it looks like Sweden has not suffered any significantly abnormal death impact.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 16, 2020 at 5:10 am

Australia for the Win?

Given how dreadfully useless our MSM is I like to make a point of linking to other blog sites for actual thinking, research and argument. To that end here is some material from Australian economist Jim Rose, and his blog Utopia.

In this article he takes a comparative look at how Australia and New Zealand are coping with the Wuhan Bat Soup virus, NZ locked down, Australia is social distancing.

New Zealand                                                            Australia

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That data from Google Mobility for April 17 gives the lie to the claim that the Australian “lockdown” is similar to ours. In every major category from Retail & Recreation to Residential, the NZ figures are tougher than Australia’s – often vastly tougher.

Yet both nations are tracking similarly for the virus. As Rose said:

With many sections of media screaming for tighter lockdowns, as they sung the praises of New Zealand’s PM Jacinta Arden, insisting that Australia must follow New Zealand‘s lead; closing hardware stores, shutting down the building industry, banning takeaways (so you couldn’t even get a coffee) and hairdressers – our PM had to make a decision. 

And he stood firm, stating ‘’every worker is an essential worker’’ as he rejected imposing a New Zealand type lockdown that many were calling for. 

Several weeks later, we now see that Scott Morrison was right…

If our PM had of followed NZ, as many ABC types where calling for – we’d have a million more at least unemployed, and we’d be tens of billions more in debt.

No wonder I’m not seeing any more Facebook/Twitter or blog postings and comments filled with snark and mockery about the stupid, Right-Wing, Conservative, Christian PM of Australia – “ScoMo” and “Scotty From Marketing” as the snide had it in the early days of April.

And what will they be saying about the comparison in a few months time when the Australian economy has got up off its knees in better shape than us?

Meantime, while I had not looked into what Australian medical experts were saying it seems Rose has that also:

Peter Collignon (one of Australia’s leading infectious diseases experts) said the latest data showed New Zealand, with a population of 4.7 million, had about 20 new COVID-19 cases a day compared with Australia, population 25.5 million, averaging about 50 a day. 

He said the good news was that both countries had managed to reverse the curve, but while New Zealand had imposed more draconian “level four” lockdown measures, Australia’s less stringent approach appeared to have been as effective. 

New Zealand has been locking everybody in their houses, there’s no going to Bunnings, and there is no evidence they are doing any better,” Professor Collignon said. 

I actually worry that what may be happening in New Zealand is if you come down too hard, people stop complying as much as they should.’

The blog followed this up with an interesting comparison of Australia to Sweden in terms of “lockdown”.

 

There’s actually not as much difference between Oz and Sweden in terms of mobility reduction as there is between Oz and NZ.

And of course the more locked down you are the tougher it is to get out of it, which brings me to one of the key insights of the infamous Spanish Flu of 1918.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 26, 2020 at 7:55 pm