Year 2020 Review: How did the Nordic Countries Manage Covid-19; And is Sweden heading to disaster–Again.

  To date, the the measures taken or not taken by the Nordic nations to protect their citizens countries have resulted in *):

    • Sweden: 7,514 deaths
    • Denmark: 941 deaths
    • Finland:  453 deaths
    • Norway: 387 deaths

In the early stages of the pandemic, when the Covid-19 deaths were growing exponentially, the National Public Health Authority (FOHM) in Sweden repeatedly made claims that the number of deaths in Sweden only seems worse, because the countries are in different phases of the epidemic. 

As that was proven not to be the case, Anders Tegnell warned the other nations that they will regret the measures they have taken, and will see massive numbers of deaths after the summer.  These warnings seemed out of place, given that the FOHM dream of 50% immunity by contagion in Stockholm by June 2020 had miserably missed its target.  It now starts to seem, that despite sacrificing thousands of old people for that dream , there is little to show for what was sacrificed.  Indeed, once again, the virus is spreading uncontrolled in Sweden.  Yet, the Swedes have a long winter ahead of us, the supposed immunity is not there to protect them. And – apparently – that was the plan.

Just as before, the neighbors, whom Sweden had warned that they would face death and doom come winter, for not doing like Sweden, are doing just fine. The exact opposite of what Sweden promised up is happening:  Sweden has started to see their death toll accelerating, while the other Nordic countries have slight, steady increase, and a relatively stable situation.

Number of Covid-19 Deaths in the Nordic Countries March 12 – December 15, 2020

DFNS_20-12-14

The Swedes have repeatedly denied, that the measures taken by the neighboring countries have done any good. among these are:

– Recommendations, and in some situations, requirements for public to wear face masks. —  Sweden recommends people  to not wear masks.

– Closing of school at the peak infection times and areas.  In Sweden, children are said not to spread Covid-19.

– Recommendations for people to isolate after being exposed.  Sweden insists the infected do not spread the virus if they do not have symptoms.  People who have been exposed, like people whose family member is sick, should continue to go to work and school as normal for as long as they are not sick.  This applies even to staff in care homes.

–  Mask wearing for staff who work with old people.  Sweden: should not use it, it does not help

– Mask wearing for hospital staff who work with covid-19 patients.  Sweden: not needed unless you are in close contact with the patient, ‘such as inserting a tube’.

Famously, Anders Tegnell of FOHM attacked the Danish Government in an interview on March 28, claiming the Danes make their decisions more based on political considerations than on scientific ones.  We now have the numbers:

The effect on Danish lockdown March 13, 2020

In March, Denmark faced a difficult situation. A new, deadly virus was spreading fast, despite their best test-and-contain efforts.  Case numbers were doubling every day.  On the 13th March, the government decided about one of the first national lock-downs in Europe.

2021-11-28 17_15_43-CompatWindow

Deaths per 1,000,000. The first graph shows the number of deaths for 218days starting March 13, the day Denmark entered the lockdown.  Since deaths is a lagging indicator, we can expect see the effect of the measures taken from two weeks later, in the middle of the graph.

The second graph is the same data, zoomed out, showing the long term effect of the measures taken by the Danish Government.

Denmark made the good judgement to take measures to stop the spreading of the virus even before anyone had lost their lives – this came to save thousands of lives.  As the first graph shows, the death rate  is initially higher in Denmark than it is in Sweden.  About two weeks after the lockdown, the graph over the deaths in Denmark is settling on a linear path, while is Sweden it shoots to exponential growth.

On the second graph, we can see the long-term effect.

In Sweden, very little was spoken about the people dying.  The rhetoric has circled around ‘the shape of the curve,’ ‘flattening the curve’ and the over and over repeated ‘I feel we are just about to reach the top of the curve.’  What the FOHM and the media failed to mention about the curve, is that if you allow the curve to grow exponentially, when you eventually reach the point where it ‘evens out’ or ‘reaches the top’ – the plateau is no longer a good place to be.  It is the worst possible place. It is the place where thousands of people are dying. 

The curve, unlike it was spoken of, is not something you ever wish to get to the top of.  You want to get back down on the other side.

So instead of people dying, the Swedes were focused the curve with all its ups and pumps, and how it needs to be flattened.  As the Swedes have been saying, we cannot compare the deaths in the different countries.  But we can do it the Swedish way, and compare the curves: Which ones are flat?


*) This is based on numbers that ECDC published December 15.  From that date, ECDC will no longer issue daily statistics, but will be reporting weekly instead. My scripts will have to be re-written. I will post a short edit on January, with the latest year-end stats.

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