Covid-19 interview with Ben, Rob, and Robbo

A few days back I did an interview on the Ben, Rob and Robbo show about covid-19. In the interview we discuss what measures were taken in Sweden to prevent the spread of the disease, whether Sweden has now developed herd immunity, and what the role of T-cells vs antibodies is if that is the case. We also discuss whether the Swedish government intentionally “sacrificed” a couple thousand citizens for the “greater good”, and how Sweden’s response compares to its neighbors. Finally, we talk about how long it makes sense to stay in lockdown and whether other countries should stay in lockdown until a vaccine is available or whether it makes more sense to copy the Swedish herd immunity strategy. The complete interview can be found here.

You might also be interested in my earlier interview with Sky News or my article about the Swedish experience of covid-19.

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Author: Sebastian Rushworth, M.D.

I am a practicing physician in Stockholm, Sweden. I studied medicine at Karolinska Institutet (home of the Nobel prize in medicine). My main interests are evidence based medicine, medical ethics, and medical history. Every day I get asked questions by my patients about health, diet, exercise, supplements, and medications. The purpose of this blog is to try to understand what the science says and to translate the science in to a format that non-scientists can understand.

10 thoughts on “Covid-19 interview with Ben, Rob, and Robbo”

  1. Thank you for this critically important information that truly affects millions.

    I have several questions, but I’ll just give one here:

    The CDC recently posted that statistic (with some qualifiers) that the actual percentage of deaths ‘from’ Covid-19 was 6% of the total total deaths, which included deaths ‘with’ the virus. To be expected, this information was quickly quashed. I had estimated the number was between 5 and 10%–so a pretty good guess! My question is: Have you looked into the approx 5900 Swedish fatalities to see what the percentage is?

    I live in Alaska and we have some of the best virus numbers (the numbers that count). As each state can adopt their own strategies, Alaska has made some of their mandates, more like suggestions or requests. As a result, and because of our natural isolation, we have the lowest raw numbers of deaths–and many, or most of those had major contributing factors. There were even some deaths that happened in the Lower 48–but they had an Alaskan address, so that entered our count..

    There is an astounding amount of political agendas polluting the numbers, and thus the response, I think. A poor response is that does what we do so good: Kick the can down the road…

    Really enjoy your posts!

    1. Hi Thomas, thanks for the kind feedback. I agree, there is a lot of pollution and manipulation of the data for political reasons. When it comes to the 6,000 Swedish deaths, it is certainly possible that a certain percentage are people who have died with covid, not of covid. Since most people who die of covid are old and sick to begin with, it can be hard to sort out what the exact cause of death was. I’m not sure how big a proportion of the total it is that have died with it rather than from it.

  2. The definition of ”Herd Immunity” according to wikipedia is when you reach ”endemic steady state”, which means that the level is neither growing nor declining exponetially anymore.
    If you then check the death statistics in Sweden for 2020 (SCB), you clearly see that the curve flattens out in the beginning of April, then goes down exponentially, finally in the last week of May we reach a state where the curve neither is growing nor declining exponetially, in other words we reached herd immunity in Sweden during the last week of May.

    This statistics and facts clearly supports Dr. Sebastian Rushworths experience, that there has not been any Covid patients at his hospital for over 6 weeks, besides herd immunity doesn’t mean that new cases will totally cease to exist, just that the rate will be very moderate.

    My only other opinion is that if other professionals also step forward and confirms this facts, it will be easier and quicker for everyone to return to a normal life, after all, it has now been over 3 months since we reached herd immunity according to above facts, so why do we have any restriction at all in Sweden?

    Thanks for all fantastic work you’re doing

  3. Great watch Sebastian, we really applaud your honesty from the Uk. My friend is a nurse in a & e and she has said that the place has been so quiet but they were pre- warned that they would be overrun with Covid but no… this wasn’t the case!

  4. Disgusted with the interviewers (particularly as they were from my own country……Australia) constantly interrupting you. Despite that, it was a good interview and you made a lot of sense. It’s far too soon to tell what the effects of lockdown will be, in a medical sense, until all the lockdowns are lifted. In an economic sense it will have been a disaster.

  5. Thanks Sebastian for sharing your experiences on Covid-19. So valuable!
    As I understand, the Swedish Public Health Authority dined that the aim of their strategy was to achive herd immunity. The only one who I heard speaking about it in the early phase of the epidemic was Johan Giesecke (former State epidemiologist) and I think he was citicized for it.
    Herd immunity is rather the result – but was not the official strategy. As I remember the official explanaition was that the Swedish strategy was less strict because we would be able to hold on to it for a longer time, with out too many negative effects on the public health.

  6. Hi,
    You should read the french news about Sweden… it’s almost propaganda and it’s revolting! They all say that the swedish strategy is a fail because there is 6000 deaths for a country of 10 million. When you read the news it looks like a lot of people are dying from covid every day. Very unprofessional view from a profession that is challenged more and more every year.

  7. Carin > it’s also that Sweden can’t do a lockdown because the swedish constitution can’t allow that. And it’s a proof that Sweden is a great democracy, the swedes trust the authorities and vice-versa.

  8. Great interview. It was rude of them to keep cutting you off, but I’m glad you were able to get some good info out there! Thank you for always sharing the facts, and not feeding into the media craze. We need more like you!

  9. Dr.Rushworth you are absolutely correct in all your medical descriptions.I wish you were in charge.However, covid 19 is not about medicine it is about the Great Depression 2.0. There may be two groups, one trying to stabilize the economies, and two trying to make a one world socialism . I would encourage you and others to read my take on the vents . https://medium.com/@edwardagreenhalgh/covid-19-world-economic-collapse-under-the-rule-of-law-the-lock-downs-are-illegal-and-not-a-real-5564b9b4ca8

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