Update on the Swedish covid response

Since my article at the end of October detailing exactly what had been happening in Sweden in relation to covid up to that point, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for a new update, detailing events in November and December. Here it is.

I ended my previous article by stating that there had been a slow increase in hospitalizations and deaths in October, and that the slope of the curve suggested that the peak would end up being significantly lower than in spring. That slow increase continued through most of November, and appears to have stabilized at a level of around 70 deaths per day at the beginning of December (as a reminder, in spring deaths peaked at 115 deaths per day in mid-April).

This makes Sweden similar to the UK and the Netherlands, two countries that Sweden has been tracking closely throughout the pandemic, with a second peak in deaths per day that is a little over half what was seen in spring.

Here in Stockholm, the number of people being treated in hospital for covid has been stable since late November, with around 800 people being treated simultaneously for covid in hospitals (in spring around 1,100 people were simultaneously being treated for covid in Stockholm at the peak).

Since the total number of hospital beds in Stockholm is around 3,850, it should be plain to everyone that the healthcare system has never been close to being overwhelmed, in spite of claims to the contrary in media. And while it is true that hospitals are currently at 100% capacity, it is false to claim that that situation is in any way unusual. Sweden has among the lowest number of hospital beds per 100,000 population in Europe, and the hospitals are always running at 100% capacity this time of year.

My feeling (shared by multiple colleagues I’ve spoken with) is also that we’re being more generous with which covid patients we admit to the hospital than we were in spring, when we were more worried about the system being overwhelmed. In other words, if we had been as strict with admitting covid patients in autumn as we were in spring, the number of people in hospital in Stockholm with covid would not currently be 800, it would be quite a bit lower.

Other parts of Sweden, that were only hit lightly in spring, have however been hit harder the second time around. For example, Skåne, in the south, has been hit much harder in autumn than it was in spring. Parts of northern Sweden have also been hit harder.

One thing that I think is very interesting, that has received little mention in media, is that the proportion of people with antibodies has been rising by 2-3 percent every week. In Stockholm, 37% of those tested for antibodies in week 49 were positive (up from 20% six weeks earlier). That suggests that the level of immunity is rising very rapidly in the population, and makes it questionable whether the vaccine will arrive in time to have any meaningful impact on the course of covid-19 in Sweden, even if people start to get vaccinated shortly after Christmas, as is currently planned.

Overall, the situation is no more serious now than it was in spring, at least if you look at deaths, ICU-admissions, and hospitalizations. During the spring peak, 2,350 people were being treated simultaneously for covid in hospitals in Sweden as a whole. At present, 2,500 people are being treated in hospitals for covid, but, as mentioned, these 2,500 are on average less sick than the 2,350 being treated in spring, which is likely why deaths are lower even though hospitalizations are up a bit. Another data point in support of this is that at present, 290 people are being treated for covid in Intensive Care Units (where the very sickest people end up). In spring, that number was 550.

In the parts of Sweden that were hit hard in spring, like Stockholm, the situation is clearly less serious now than it was then. Of course, if you ignore hospitalizations, ICU-admissions, and deaths, and just look at cases, the situation looks a lot worse than in spring, but that is due to the fact that we’re now testing ten times as many people per week as we were at the end of April.

Apart from that, we know a lot more about covid now than we did in spring. We now know that the overall fatality rate is less than 0,2%, and that the risk to healthy people under 70 years of age is infinitesimal. But if you see reporting in media, and if you look at the actions of the Swedish government, you get a very different picture. What follows is an update on all recommendations and restrictions coming from the Swedish state during November and December.

As I mentioned earlier, a decision was made in October by the Public Health Authority to start imposing recommendations on a local rather than national basis. This was followed by a tightening of recommendations in multiple counties over the next couple of weeks, so that by November 3rd (when tightened recommendations were imposed in Örebro, Halland, and Jönköping) fully 7 out of 10 Swedes were living in counties with tightened recommendations. On that day, the government also announced that people would be forbidden from gathering in groups of more than eight at the same table in restaurants. And it was reiterated that employers should allow employees to work from home, if possible.

On the 11th of November, the government announced that restaurants and bars would be forbidden from serving alcohol after ten pm, and would need to close at 22.30 at the latest.

On the 16th of November, the government announced that the number of people allowed at all public events (plays, demonstrations, lectures, sports events etc) was being decreased to eight, significantly lower than the previous lowest limit of 50.

On the 19th of November, the government authorized the Public Health Authority to make decisions to stop visits to nursing homes on a county by county basis (during spring and summer, all nursing homes in Sweden were closed to visitors, but this restriction was lifted at the beginning of October). On the 4th of December the Public Health Authority decided to make use of this measure, closing nursing homes to outside visitors in 32 Swedish municipalities (out of a total of 290).

On the 3rd of December, the government announced that high school students (ages 16-19) would return to distance learning, as had been the case during a period in spring. Initially, the plan is that this will apply until January 6th (this has later been extended to January 24th).

And then, on the 18th of December, the government went even further, imposing the most severe restrictions yet. Restaurants and bars are now ordered to stop serving alcohol at 20.00, and groups in restaurants are not allowed to number more than four. Shopping centers and other public venues like supermarkets and gyms are ordered to set a max number of visitors, so that crowding can’t happen. All public venues that are run by the state, such as libraries, public swimming pools, and museums, are ordered to close, and stay closed at least until January 24th. The government has also recommended that people start wearing face masks in public transport during rush hour.

In total, this means that the restrictions and recommendations in place are now much more severe than the ones that were in place in spring. As I think is clear, the Swedish government has played a much more active role in autumn than it did in spring, when it was happy to let the Public Health Authority do most of the decision making.

The rhetoric from the Swedish government has also been more alarmist the second time around, with the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, delivering speeches that make it sound as if Sweden is going to war, for example telling people on November 16th to “do their duty”.

The Health Minister, Lena Hallengren, said in a speech on November 16th “don’t consider these measures voluntary”, about the voluntary recommendations that the government is asking people to follow. To me, that’s pretty clear evidence that the only reason Sweden hasn’t followed other countries in imposing severe legally enforced restrictions is that the Swedish constitution has prohibited it.

In conclusion, the Swedish government has officially lost its mind. In the name of protecting public health, the government is doing its utmost to destroy public health. In spite of the fact that some of the biggest risk factors for severe covid are obesity and lack of exercise, the government is seriously telling people to stop visiting swimming pools and gyms; in other words, to stop exercising.

Why the change in tone from the Swedish government during November and December?

If one were cynical, one might think it was due to the fact that the governing Social Democrats received a big boost to their opinion ratings in April and May, in the usual “rally around the flag” fashion seen when a nation faces some type of crisis, but since then they have been polling worse month on month. Maybe they saw their polling numbers, panicked, and hoped that they would get a boost in the polls if they could appear more assertive. Or maybe they’ve just capitulated to international pressure to “get in line”.

You might also be interested in my article about why Sweden had more covid deaths than neighboring countries, or my article about whether lockdown is effective.

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118 thoughts on “Update on the Swedish covid response”

  1. Of course, if the new vaccines turn out to have serious mid to long-term adverse effects, the EU will be forced to abandon those plans.

  2. As always, thank you Sebastian for providing a balanced factual view which contradicts the official goverment/media narrative, be that in the UK, Sweden, or anywhere else. Voices of reason from people like yourself are imperative to understand what is actually going on. Glad to see your subscribers keep on growing!

  3. Thank you, Dr. Rushworth. Not good news. The rush is on by industry to poison everyone with unapproved, experimental vaccines. Neither of the vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) which have been rolled out in the U.S. are approved. They have been given “Emergency Use Authorization.” This sort of authorization is only available when there are no other drugs or vaccines available as treatment. But this is a lie. Both HCQ and ivermectin, among others, have been shown by doctors treating patients all over the world to be effective. Vitamin D, zinc, and selenium status are also crucial. The world is entering a dark place. Echoes of the 1930’s. Industry capture of government has become widespread. Sweden had become a beacon of sanity, but I’m not so sure now.

  4. My guess is they won’t have serious adverse effects. My guess is that this corona variant will wane in severity all by it’s natural self and politicians can then simply take credit for saving the world. Meanwhile, the end-goal of having a vaccin-passport (see my reply earlier) has been reached and the digital passport that globalists so desire is in effect.

    This was never about a severe and utterly dangerous virus as the numbers for that simply don’t add up for it to be a category A type of virus.

  5. Telling people not to visit swimming pools and gyms is not telling them to stop exercising. I haven’t been to a pool since I was 12 and I’ve never been to a gym. But, thankfully, I’ve got two functioning legs and a pair of trainers. I walk. And walk and walk. That is exercise.

  6. “Or maybe they’ve just capitulated to international pressure to “get in line”.”

    Well–that is the one that I would pick as correct…

    Expect to be further ignored or even ‘cancelled’, Dr. R. This is what happens when ‘you’re right over the target.’ The globalist force you speak of, some have referred to as the ‘800 pound gorilla in the room.’ Well–the globalist force is a juggernaut that makes that gorilla a flea…

    Even here in Alaska, ‘The Last Frontier’, and what I thought is the last, freest place on the planet–has been slowly, inexorably knuckling under to the ‘force.’ Where it goes from here may be into territory requiring some very tough decision points…

  7. Thank you Sebastian for an excellent post. Question, do you have any knowledge regarding how much this autumns strain on the hospitals, differ from any severe influenza season, say during the last 10 years or so? Is this in fact much worse, or is it actually in line with other recent years when influenzas have hit older/fragile people extra hard, and created a “crisis” at the hospitals?

    1. Thanks Nils, that is a good question. I haven’t been able to find the statistics that would answer that question definitively, but if you look at overall mortality this year, I would think it’s clear that 2020 is not markedly worse than more severe influenza seasons.

  8. Thanks for the information. Here in the German media they pound on Sweden saying that their “record” death toll now finally leads to lockdowns and masks. Then I checked the daily new deaths per million and Sweden is similar to Germany according to ourworldindata.org. Of course we already had weeks of lockdowns and increasing mask mandates since April and did not do better than Sweden. The more I look at it the more I think that lockdowns simply track the course of the infection and not the other way around.

  9. Thanks for another great article. It’s sad to see that the Swedish government becoming more in step with the madness of other European governments. As per AKthomas’s comment above I suspect that the ‘get in line’ is the correct reason. Please continue with the articles and help shed some light.

  10. The actions of the politicians are so irrational that it leaves open the possibility they are being bribed, extorted, or both by unknown but very powerful entities.

    1. It’s not always easy to say exactly what someone’s died of, especially if they have multiple serious underlying illnesses. It can be hard to differentiate a heart failure exacerbation from covid (both can cause difficulty saturating), and having heart failure makes you much more likely to die of covid if you get it. It’s really up to the individual doctor writing the death certificate what they put as the cause of death.

  11. Sebastian, Thank you for sober words in an insane world.

    When covid has passed we are going to face far greater problems in most Western countries:
    1. Paying back the enormous debts. 2. Finding ways to balance the budget with reduced incomes and many businesses ruined. 3. Finding ways to improve medical care with less available funds. 4. Need for major financial and administrative reforms. 5. Need to restore individual freedoms and encouragement of individual responsibility. 6. Need to address wasteful government spending. 7. Need to reduce the size of government – do we really need so many?

    I predict that the EU will, without major and substantive reforms, disintegrate within a generation, perhaps sooner.

  12. Sorry to hear the Swedish government has tightened restrictions as much as they have. Sweden to me was always the guiding light in amongst the madness of the U.K., Europe and most of the of the world. These damaging restrictions will do far more to damage public health than Covid. I find your articles very informative and unbiased, it keeps me up to date with all the different aspects of Covid. Thank you.

  13. Thank you for the analysis. As someone seriously considering moving to Sweden, for the simple fact that all the other EU countries – including my own – seem to be limiting human freedoms, human expression and basically the right to a normal life, what is the impact, do you think, these and future government restrictions and recommendations will have regarding everyday life in Sweden? How far can these restrictions go and how can the people, if they are unhappy with the direction, voice and act upon their concerns? How are people in general taking this in?

    Our media have been spreading rumours that the Swedish government is preparing changes to the Swedish Law that would allow the government to order lockdowns and close shops/bars/restaurants much like is being done in other parts of the world. How likely and/or feasible would something like that be? There’s been a lot of animosity in the media toward Sweden and its approach to this disease in general, so a lot of them seem to be revelling in this news.

  14. Dear Sebastian,
    you said that this news is not often mentioned at the media, inspite of all do you have any online-links to this fact?

    “One thing that I think is very interesting, that has received little mention in media, is that the proportion of people with antibodies has been rising by 2-3 percent every week. In Stockholm, 37% of those tested for antibodies in week 49 were positive (up from 20% six weeks earlier). That suggests that the level of immunity is rising very rapidly in the population..”

    This would be very interesting! Thanks a lot!
    Maria

  15. In Stockholm, 37% of those tested for antibodies in week 49 were positive (up from 20% six weeks earlier). That suggest
    —————————————————————————————————–

    I paste a translation from Aftonbladet:
    “Since the antibody tests are for people who have previously had symptoms of covid-19, the proportion is not representative of Stockholmers in general. The total prevalence of antibodies among those living in the region is probably much lower, according to Petter Brodin.”
    IL

    1. Yes, but that should apply as much every week, so if you see the antibody levels rising 2-3% per week among those being tested, then that suggests it is a real effect, that you would see even if you took a random sample of the population. Although the absolute number might be higher or lower, the trend is real.

  16. Dr. Rushworth,
    First I have to thank you for fairness: you published my sad opinion on ‘bad days’.
    Clint Eastwood at Republican National Convention (30/Aug/2012): “It is that, you, we — we own this country. We — we own it. It is not you owning it and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours”.
    Is this notion which plainly lacks in european societies.
    The politicians, either, do not think that they are the public servants of their country.
    I hope that all that would end without bombing and shots — a war.

  17. Thank you for the update. Regarding: “In conclusion, the Swedish government has officially lost its mind.” Welcome to our world! Lol.

  18. Can you tell us more about the parts of the Swedish constitution that have the effect of prohibiting the sort of lockdowns that have been common elsewhere? It sounds like the constitutions of most other European countries are severely deficient (or are being flouted by their respective governments)…

  19. Sebastian, have you been following the developments of therapies for covid?

    These guys, the FLCCC alliance, seem to be cream of the crop ICU-doctors, whom have developed a treatment protocol based around Ivermectin: https://covid19criticalcare.com/i-mask-prophylaxis-treatment-protocol/i-mask-protocol-translations/

    Collection of the studies made on Ivermectin this year: https://c19ivermectin.com/
    98% protection against covid as a prophylaxis.
    86% protection against covid with early treatment.
    48% in late treatment.
    90% against “long covid”.

    Very high safety profile. Very cheap.

    They, as well as all who know this, are very frustrated this is silenced. A very strong hearing of one of these doctors in the US Senate two weeks ago (9min): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CuHq12B_Tvk

    Argentina, Peru, Egypt and India are the ones heeding to this call. Because the effects of the vaccine will be a long way away, this information really needs to reach the people, if not the Health Authorities in EU and US. At least that there is very easy and cheap protection and early treatment that should be undertaken by all who are at risk or healthcare professionals, at least. Even without Ivermectin being recognized (hey, it only gave the Nobel prize of medicine 2015), that Vit-D, Zinc and Quercetine (see the I-MASK+ protocol in first link) could probably push this virus out of our lives, and put an end to these sad times.

    Thank you for your integrity and work for knowledge and transparency Doctor!

  20. Thanks again…It seems that most of the politicians just don’t understand science. They are desperate for being elected again and, since so many people crave for “safety” and “protection” they try to deliver what’s required from them…Mrs. Merkel’s behavior is no exception, even if she is a physicist…However just think about this: no politician agreed to reduce his/her revenue during this difficult year. But they’re asking us to pay full taxes, while for so many of us there is much fewer business…I wonder if they have any understanding for how things work in general…or, perhaps, they’re almost all a bunch of idiots.

  21. Dear Sebastian,
    thank you for continuing your posts, a rare voice of reason in this world gone mad.
    Your last paragraph is of course correct, in that your politicians, like ours , have realized the only way to get votes is to “get in line”.
    It would seem these days that science and reason should be ignored.
    Left wing political parties seem to enjoy the position of power and control of the populace, in the name of “saving lives”.
    Spreading fear and panic, chasing case after case by using PCR testing incorrectly then sending the media on wild goose chases after the “mystery cases” etc etc, seems to make good evening news, and great exposure for politicians.
    Keep up the good work.

  22. Thank you for your level-headed coverage.

    Here in the US we face a constant barage of pharmaceutical advertising on most major media.

    I’ve wondered whether the pharmaceutical interests are largely driving the hysteria, as they might benefit financially from constant testing of asymptomatic people and the vaccines, and their advertising may be a significant component of total advertising revenue. Is there pharmaceutical advertising in Sweden or other EU countries? Are pharmaceutical companies major players politically like they are here?

    1. Yes, there is pharmaceutical advertising, but when it comes to prescription drugs it isn’t targeted directly at the general public as it is in the US, rather it is targeted at doctors. I don’t think they have the same kind of influence here that they do in the US, but they definitely have influence.

  23. Very helpful update on the Covid situation in Sweden. Many thanks. Could you please comment on the present treatment protocol(s) in place in Sweden for mild and moderate Covid cases? Is Ivermectin in use at all?

  24. Very sad to hear that Sweden has capitulated. Pro lockdown friends gleefully linked me legacy Media pieces celebrating the supposed “failure”. There is of course zero evidence that any of these arbitrary measures now adopted do anything whatsoever. On aggregate Sweden will end up no worse than most lockdown nations. Overall death may be slightly higher than recent years but a clear analysis explains this. Relatively low mortality in recent years and population increase. Per capita the death toll for 2020 will likely be no worse than 2012. Not sure why my friends believe Sweden is a “failure” when it’s outcomes have been better than most lockdown nations. It’s odd.

  25. Please keep these coming. Sadly too late for us Melbournians, 7 months of lockdown here, lifted a month or so back. We are slowly recovering from what has been the longest and hardest winter ever – those of us that survived the mental toll, that is. Needless to say, the waitlists to get an appointment with a psychologist are miles long…..we have not yet seen the total cost of this harsh lockdown.

  26. As one of those people who requested an update, thank you for once again providing unfiltered information on current happenings in Sweden. It really helps to be able to compare what we hear from the media to what you know is actually happening there. For various reasons, goings-on in Sweden are of immense interest to many of us in other parts of the world (I’m in the US).

    The politicians and the citizens who believe that there is an unusually deadly virus among us which must be beaten somehow are intent upon dragging us into their hysteria. They exhort us to “follow the Science” at the same time that they take actions which fly in the face of not just science but plain old common sense. They insist on mitigation actions which have never been used before, and for good reason, they don’t work and aren’t needed. They have caused more misery than COVID-19 ever could or ever will.

    One thing that we can hope for is that voices like yours will multiply and eventually overshadow the destructive voices which currently carry the day. .

  27. @ShirleyKate
    The majority of people in the high risk groups, the obese and the elderly cannot run or go on the long, brisk walks. They can get an effective workout at the gym and the pool. As an example, for most people in those groups, and not only in those groups their knees may not allow them to run but they can get a good workout on a cross trainer.

  28. Shirley, that’s a good hint: bum knees can be prevented or helped, by moving them around for example on a bike. But what Sebastian means is that due to the new measure children are no longer allowed to join sports clubs e.g. no swimming. Here in Germany sport for children is forbidden since almost March…. But learning a sport is often important to stay healthy for many years. My daughter has allergic asthma, but in Germany she is not allowed to go to her swimming training, nor to figure skating, nor to mountain bike training…. All closed. How are we supposed to take care of that too? Besides our jobs, besides her little brother and besides homeschooling…?

  29. Dr Rushworth,

    There have been suggestions that what we are seeing is a pseudo-epidemic arising from inadequate testing.

    https://lockdownsceptics.org/the-pcr-false-positive-pseudo-epidemic/

    The argument seems convincing to me. We should return to real medicine of symptoms first, differential diagnosis and if necessary, followup tests to confirm most likely cause. We should cease wasting time and money testing asymptomatic people. That would save them the psychologically damaging consequences of house arrest in response to the almost inevtivable positive outcome of the PCR test.

    1. I agree. Before Covid we never tested asymptomatic people, and we rarely tested people who were symptomatic but not sick enough to be admitted to hospital. And if we are testing, we shouldn’t just test for covid, we should test for the full panel of common respiratory viruses, like we did pre-covid.

  30. Thank you for your insight on the Swedish situation. It’s unfortunate that Sweden has followed suit with much of the rest of the world when it comes to mitigation measures.

    What’s happened to Anders Tegnell? I’ve only seen one interview from him, and ironically, it was with someone working with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Has he been pushed to the side?

  31. I might have misunderstood the technical instructions on the CDC website, but it appears Covid would be the UCOD in this case based on the examples given.

  32. Regards Anders Tegnell, can anybody in Sweden confirm that the following interview has actually been given by Anders Tegnell? The tone of the presentation seems to me to beat up how bad it is in Sweden
    I am in Australia so hardly know general situation in Sweden apart from saw Sweden as a rare country that kept its head while many other countries just seem to roll over.

    https://fortune.com/2020/12/17/public-confidence-sweden-anders-tegnell-coronavirus/

  33. Most of the published data I’ve seen suggests that acquired active immunity lasts between 2 and 7 months. You didn’t mention that, only to say that immunity seemed to have risen to about 37%. Do you have any evidence to suggest that this value will persist? Isn’t it likely that it will fall back with the passage of time? You also mention that the CFR is “infinitesimally small”. However, even if its less than 1%, that’s awful lot of sick or dead people. Finally you don’t mention the risk of “long Covid” for the people who do get Covid-19. Personally I would be a little more downbeat overall – your comments encourage the skeptics but not those that unfortunately suffer from this debilitating disease – your comments most welcome!

    1. Hi Stephen,
      The data I’ve seen suggests much longer immunity after infection, at least a few years for most people. 90% still have antibodies at six months, and many more still have memory B-cells. I wrote an article about it a few weeks ago. If immunity after infection only lasts a few months, then the vaccines are unlikely to be effective, which would be a big problem going forward, since the world’s entire strategy right now builds on lasting immunity. As for long covid, I’ve written an article about that too, 98% are fully recovered at 12 weeks, and the shape of the curve up to twelve weeks suggests the number that still have problems at six months is very samll. IFR for people under 70 is much less than 1%, more like 0,03%, I’ve written an article about that too.

  34. Dear Mr Brown, after we allow science to run our entire lives, it can do very little: no working warning-app, no good vaccine product, and tests that respond to viral residues.
    Policies should not make our health worse, they should put us in the best possible position against covid infection! But occupational fears are worsening our health: the inflammation levels in the blood of an acquaintance have increased 6-fold since March, he is now taking cortisone-inhalants for the first time in his life! His knees, which have been operated in the past, are also suffering from the lack of exercise in his home office. If he doesn’t find ways and time to move more, his aching knees will make him an “invalid” in the long run. The measures must not harm our society, otherwise nothing is worthwhile!

  35. “One thing that I think is very interesting, that has received little mention in media, is that the proportion of people with antibodies has been rising by 2-3 percent every week. In Stockholm, 37% of those tested for antibodies in week 49 were positive (up from 20% six weeks earlier). That suggests that the level of immunity is rising very rapidly in the population, and makes it questionable whether the vaccine will arrive in time to have any meaningful impact on the course of covid-19 in Sweden, even if people start to get vaccinated shortly after Christmas, as is currently planned.”

    Many bad mistakes in this paragraph. This paragraph is the only thing I read tbh because it was linked elsewhere. Antibody testing is more and more being done on the group that has a confirmed covid test. The group that was unsure about having had the virus is now abysmal, because testing has ramped up incredibly. There is not a 20,30 or 40 % herd immunity in Stockholm, that is purely wishful thinking. And on top of that, whatever immunity you have is constantly decaying. We need the vaccine, and we will need regular booster shots maybe twice a year.

  36. I think your observations are on point. The instigation of wearing masks is nonsensical based on the numbers. It is troubling to hear a crack down is beginning on mask wearing in Sweden.

  37. Apparently there is about a 2 week lag. So it looks like they are still rising (Dec 06). No reporting new data until Tuesday Dec 22 which should backfill early Dec numbers. Surprisingly (or not) overall mortality is below expected and trending down (EuroMoMo). So as Covid attributed deaths have risen overall mortality is sinking. Same can be seen in some regions in the UK.

  38. Sweden offers no treatment before a person becomes admitted to hospital, enters covid19 phase 3 = imminent need for hospital treatment.
    People are told to stay at home if they feel sick and wait for recovery or a worsened status.
    No antivirals or similar prescribed in the outpatient stages.

  39. Thank you for your update. I have a question regarding the clinical evaluation of covid patients: How much of a factor is the PCR test in all of this? If the PCR test is decisive in this respect, it should be very accurte and reliable. What woud be the impact on the complete clinical evaluation of the Covid-19 epidemic if the pcr test would be abbandonded?

    https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/

    https://www.who.int/news/item/14-12-2020-who-information-notice-for-ivd-users

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zkE00ANmITzyXaSM-S_44ZWEJTxoUtp3/view

    1. Good question. I think the PCR test is to a large extent driving the hysteria, not because the test is necessarily bad, but rather because we’re testing more and more people, which means that case numbers just keep rising and rising. This is the first time in history, as far as I’m aware, that we’re testing people who are asymptomatic, and that people are allowed to decide to get a test for an airborne virus on their own, without a clinician in any way being involved in the decision. Pre-covid, we generally only tested people who were being admitted to hospital, and when we did, we tested for multiple different viruses, not just one virus.

  40. Of course, a vaccine has always been a good mainstay in disease control. The Swedes know this too, because a big Swedish-British company (Astra Zeneca) is developing and researching it!
    But do we have a vaccine right now that prevents infection and infectiousness? And in sufficient quantities? No.
    For example, for 85,000,000 Germans we would have to vaccinate almost 80,000 people every day for three years! And because the vaccinated immunity does not last that long, these people will have to start from scratch in 1-2 years…. No economy in the world and no children, but can freeze in lockdown for years. A sensible combination of vaccine and herd immunity (where it has been shown to do little harm) is the only fair and workable solution.

  41. Re the broader aspects of fast-tracked coronavirus vaccination, recently the UK Royal Society and British Academy published a report supporting the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, which discusses ‘anti-vaccination groups’, and calls for criminal prosecution for spreading ‘misinformation’.

    But who defines what is ‘misinformation’? It seems to me anyone questioning vaccination is tagged as ‘anti-vaccination’ and ridiculed and marginalised…and may soon be at risk of criminal prosecution?

    This is not a good situation in our liberal democracies, as legitimate debate on fast-tracked coronavirus vaccination is being stifled.

    I have challenged the Presidents of the Royal Society and British Academy about the oppressing of people who question vaccination policy.

    See my emails:

    – Failure to disclose conflicts of interest – COVID-19 vaccine deployment report: https://vaccinationispolitical.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/failure-to-disclose-conflicts-of-interest-covid-19.pdf

    – The vast conflicted network influencing coronavirus vaccination policy: https://vaccinationispolitical.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/the-vast-conflicted-network-influencing-coronavirus-vaccination-policy.pdf

  42. “In conclusion, the Swedish government has officially lost its mind.”
    So have, I’m afraid, most governments.

    Thank you very much for your articles, Dr. Rushworth. Much appreciated.

  43. ‘Or maybe they’ve just capitulated to international pressure to “get in line”.’

    Perhaps Bill and Melinda have been sprinkling some festive dollars into Swedish politicians pockets?

    How are Bill and Melinda going to shift all those vaccines unless a state of terror is maintained?

  44. I would argue that social media/alternative media is the only place you are able to find the truth.
    Governments and the MSM networks are the ones pumping out misinfornation and lies that is not being challenged by MSM journalists.

  45. Thank you Elizabeth for posing these crucial questions to the officials! I doubt however that Anders Tegnell is the one who is in charge of this now. He hasn’t been seen a lot in the press conferences anymore. And as in other countries, these (rather political) decisions are being made based on a belief system which cannot be doubted:
    that vaccination is better than the “wild” disease,
    that the current “pandemic” situation can and needs to be resolved,
    and that the vaccine is the only way to resolve it.
    This tunnel vision seems, with the help of “case numbers”, to make the world blind for all real and possible negative impacts of the mandated “cure”.
    We have sent our open letter, which addresses the tests and restrictive measures vs strengthening resilience and natural immunity, to the health authority and plan to send it to the members of the Swedish parliament as well, calling for a science-based dialogue and a sustainable strategy. https://www.skrivunder.com/kan_sveriges_coronastrategi_omprovas

  46. “We now know that the overall fatality rate is less than 0,2%”

    How do you square this “knowledge” with the fact that more than 0,08% of the ENTIRE population of Sweden has already died from COVID-19? With over 8200 deaths to date, for the fatality rate to be less than 0,2% it would be necessary that 40% of the nation’s population had been infected by now. Yet the antibody test results (despite being skewed to the upside as you acknowledge they are) demonstrate that that is far from the truth. Far fewer have been infected, while the death rate is a known factor.

    1. Hi Steve,
      Last week more than 30% of those being tested for antibodies in Sweden tested positive. And apart from that, the most vulnerable will be hit hardest early in any pandemic, so the initial IFR will be higher than the overall IFR.

  47. And as you acknowledged before, most of the people being tested for antibodies are people who have a reason to believe they had already had Covid – not a random sampling of the population. You understand the significance of that.

    I understand the urge to defend a position once taken, but an opinion “grounded in science” should change when more and better data makes it untenable. Over a half a billion people live in nations with acknowledged population death rates from Covid over 0,1% – including the U.S. and the U.K., both of which continue to see their case numbers soar. That wouldn’t happen if half the people in those countries had already recovered from Covid. If Sweden had anywhere near 40% of its population previously infected their presumed immunity from reinfection would dramatically slow the spread of the contagion – you understand how that works. But case numbers in Sweden continue to rise, not fall.

    It’s possible to find data points to support any position, no matter how absurd – I’m sure you’ve seen that play out before. The key to being “grounded in science” is to recognize valid data which strongly and directly contradicts a conclusion you had previously believed to be true.

    1. Hi Steve,
      The reason cases continue to increase is primarily because testing continues to increase. It’s not a good metric. Although it’s too early to be certain, deaths in Sweden appear to have peaked in early December, at a level significantly lower than in spring, and now appear to have started trending down.

      Yes, the sample being tested for antibodies is not random, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the proportion with antibodies in the sample is lower than the real proportion in the population. Although a lot of people take the antibody test after having had respiratory symptoms, which will tend to push up the proportion with a positive result, there is also the fact that people who know they’ve already had covid don’t keep retesting themselves, which will tend to push down the result. Early on, the first trend will be stronger, but as more and more people get covid, the second trend will be stronger, and the antibody testing will show a lower proportion with antibodies than you would see in a random sample. So it’s perfectly possible that we’ve now reached a point where the antibody testing is underestimating the proportion with antibodies. Like I said before, although the absolute number can’t be relied on fully, the trend is real, and has been increasing by a couple of percent every week.

      If we assume an IFR of 0,2 and that 70% need to be infected for herd immunity to be achieved, that would mean the virus would have run its course when 14,000 people are dead. We’re only just over halfway to that number.

  48. Merry Christmas, Steve Condie! We hope you didn’t have to celebrate alone! We’ve all had enough stress this year. No need to get nasty on Christmas Eve!

  49. “If we assume an IFR of 0,2 and that 70% need to be infected for herd immunity to be achieved,…”

    I wonder if you are aware that the WHO changed its definition of “herd immunity” since this summer?
    This is how it used to be according to https://web.archive.org/web/20201101161006/https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-serology:
    “Herd immunity is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. This means that even people who haven’t been infected, or in whom an infection hasn’t triggered an immune response, they are protected because people around them who are immune can act as buffers between them and an infected person. The threshold for establishing herd immunity for COVID-19 is not yet clear. ”

    And now it sounds like this:
    “‘Herd immunity’, also known as ‘population immunity’, is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached.
    Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it. […]”
    https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-serology

    I find this scary, as it tilts towards mandatory vaccination, but as I understand the vaccines offered against Covid-19 are NOT creating immunity, that is they are neither preventing infection nor the disease, but rather ameliorating symptoms?! Which may be good for those in risk groups but not for the general public who would hardly have symptoms anyway…?

    How can the WHO claim that exposure to a virus doesn’t lead to herd immunity and that vaccination would?

  50. Mr McNamara, If you need a vaccine, which is approved for experimental use, please feel free to have one.

    I have not contracted anything that caused symptoms for any of the diseases going around the world at breakneck speed. Therefore I will decline the vaccine, so as not to be selfish, and allow needy people, such as yourself, to benefit.

  51. AhNotepad, “I have not contracted anything that caused symptoms for any of the diseases going around the world at breakneck speed. Therefore I will decline the vaccine, so as not to be selfish, and allow needy people, such as yourself, to benefit”.

    That doesn’t make sense. You could be infected but asymptomatic and shedding virus – so you might infect somebody who goes on to die. Having the vaccine could save somebody’s life.

  52. Hi Sebastien, maybe you could send me the data you have seen regarding  “much longer immunity”. I’d be interested to see that. No data based on SARs-CoV-2 I’ve seen gives immunity for as long as you suggest. We know for example, that depending on the viral burden at infection, the seriousness of your infection can vary, antibody titres also, and, in consequence the acquired active immunity you have. Surely it’s not true to say that 98% of long Covid sufferers fully recovered after 12 weeks. Can you provide some data about that? It would be interesting to see. Finally, how can you be so precise about IFR? (I previously mentioned CFR). For IFR, we have no reliable means to currently and accurately assess total infection rates (symptomatic+asymptomatic).

  53. @Stephen Brown
    Those who had been scared sufficiently will flock to get vaccinated and they will be protected when they do. And since you can only vaccinate a certain number of people per day they need their priority. Why is there an insistence to vaccinate those who do not want to? They will only endanger themselves which they obviously prefer over the untested vaccine. Idem for vaccinating children for whom Covid mortality is zero. The only answer I can see is money for the pharmaceutical companies.

  54. Andre socha, it sounds, from what you have written, like you are imagining a conspiracy theory from the biopharma companies. You don’t have to be scared to be vaccinated, more likely it’s just a sensible precaution. In that way, should you become infected (symptomatic or asymptomatic), you will reduce the likelihood of hurting somebody else by infecting them. It’s the same argument for vaccinating children too (although we should wait of course for clinical data first). Why do you criticize pharma companies for earning money? Everytime you buy something (food, material assets etc) it helps to make somebody some money so, if you are against those principles, why attack just the pharma companies for that?

  55. Stephen Brown wrote: “That doesn’t make sense. You could be infected but asymptomatic and shedding virus – so you might infect somebody who goes on to die. Having the vaccine could save somebody’s life.”

    A study in China of 9,899,828 people found no evidence of asymptomatic spreading. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33219229/.

    Asymptomatic transmission may be a hangover from the germ theory promoted by Pasteur, whereas Bechamp was more correct in the terrain theory. A comprehensive discussion can be found in Edgar Hope-Simpsons book on the Transmission of Influenza Epidemics. If you go back to the early days of Porton Down experiments on the common cold, a well known corona virus, they could not get reliable transmission even when the infected coughed and spat in the faces of the healthy, though trying this with influenza may produce different results.

  56. Stephen Brown, Stephen Brown wrote: “That doesn’t make sense. You could be infected but asymptomatic and shedding virus – so you might infect somebody who goes on to die. Having the vaccine could save somebody’s life.”

    Have a vaccine by all means, but first refer to Dr. Bhakdi https://thehighwire.com/videos/the-biggest-experiment-ever-done/ particularly the comment towards the end that these unproven, experimental vaccines can cause auto immune conditions. Good luck.

  57. Stephen Brown, The pharmaceutical companies have vaccine products which have not been tested for efficacy, or safety, and they have no legal liability should the products cause harm. Bill Gates has stated on video that he invests in vaccine companies as he can make a 20 to 1 return. How much information do you need?

  58. Stephen Brown, is it a conspiracy theory when you don’t not want to take an untested vaccine? This is exactly the logic for pushing for the criminalization of “misinformation”.

    You can potentially fast track vaccine development process if you put extraordinary resources into it, and by God the pharmaceutical companies did, after all there are billions at stake, but you cannot accelerate the testing process. There is no time machine to go into the future to see what side effects the vaccine has caused in three years (which has been the standard testing time until now), those three years need to pass to be certain. Of course the pharmaceutical companies are aware of that, that’s why they negotiated the indemnity. They are also aware that no country in the world would wait three years.
    I’m not blaming the pharmaceutical companies, not at all, I blame the governments and their stooges.

  59. Stephen Condie, you can shed and infect others also with the vaccine, because as I understood it doesn’t prevent infection but rather ameliorates your symptoms – I’m referring to tweets by Florian Krammer, Professor at the Department of Microbiology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He explains: “intramuscularly/as injected vaccines […] This route is good to induce IgG which is prevalent in the lower respiratory tract and helps to protect the lung, which is great. However, these injected vaccines are poor inducers of mucosal antibodies in the upper respiratory tract which is mostly protected by secretory IgA1. This might lead to immunity that protects the lung (mild/no disease) but still allows for infection and potentially for onward transmission of the virus. Natural infection or live attenuated vaccines induce mucosal immunity and live attenuated vaccines might be much better in inducing sterilizing immunity in the upper respiratory tract. By not developing live attenuated vaccines we might end up with vaccines that protect us from disease but not infection and we might still be able to pass on the virus to others. This has been observed e.g. for influenza virus vaccines.” He refers to this study: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.10.20096693v1

  60. Sorry I addressed Steven Brown who wrote “You could be infected but asymptomatic and shedding virus – so you might infect somebody who goes on to die. Having the vaccine could save somebody’s life.” Not Steve Condie.

  61. @Kora, it is not the Big Pharma that huffs and puffs about mandatory vaccination. It is the Left – the same people who bully mediocre IQ football players to kneel supposedly for BLM, then for “racial equality” etc. Like any absolutist religion seeking domination, they cannot tolerate dissenting voices and risk being exposed as fraud in a few months if in a few months it is clear that there is no difference in survival between those with the vaccine and those without.

  62. Asher Pat, Big Pharma has been exerting control ever since Rockefeller sent the Flexner brothers out to do a hatchet job on the holistic medical schools. The left are bought by big pharma, and I suspect quite a few of the right are in their pockets too, as are medical practitioners. Brandy Vaughn recently paid a high price for standing up to big pharma..

  63. @AhHotepad – “it’s all about the money” is a simplistic and in this case probably a wrong theory. People like Soros would give up all of their money if it meant that the goals of Open Society were achieved. Ideology is the explanation. It’s not the right forum to debate what is the “Left” and its aims but in short, the new Left is misanthropic and anti-humanist so it instinctively opposes civilizations that multiply human prosperity (e.g., Judeo-Christian European) and supports civilsations and ideologies that are most likely to destroy the formers such as Islamists, the Left also strives to dilute the indigenous peoples of countries of Judeo-Christian civilisation with people who are incompatible. so it isnt the money, it’s the drive to destroy Western Civiliation for the reasons above and attributing everything to “money” doesnt help.

    PS: even the supposedly greedy corporations are now so big and monopolistic, that those at the top can afford to steer their companies not on the most profitable course but rather on a course that implements their private Left views (eg Google, facebook, even the oil companies).

  64. I read the article, and to illustrate a point it contained this

    “Data from a King’s College London study in September suggested as many as 60,000 people in the UK could be affected, but the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics suggest it could be much higher.”.

    It looks like guesses from a modelling exercise. Given the success the modellers have had so far, why should this one get any credit? Joanna’s condition seems to have been given a label, has it been investigated?

    “……the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics suggest it could be much higher.” Just a minute, the ONS report what has happened, they don’t get into forecasts, so who’s input is this?

    From the description of Joanna’s symptoms, the first thing to look for would be leaky gut, since many people suffer from this, and the western diet is significant in its existence.

    As Carl Henigan has said, it’s too early to draw conclusions, and as Mike Yeadon said, this virus has ancestors. So why the “novel virus” label?

    The article gives the impression one might expect from an MSM publication.

  65. Er, who mentioned “it’s all about the money” They were not my words, they were your words, to serve your purposes. I wrote about pharma’s influence on the medical world, notithing about religeous groups.

  66. I’m curious to learn if you you know people who have, or who have had long Covid? I do and they generally have symptoms persisting longer than 3 months and which are not in fact those reported by the Guardian. The Guardian is hardly popular tabloid press and generally makes fewer presentational errors than many newspapers such as, “MSM” as you put it. They are not saints either. I guess the point I make is that this syndrome should not be trivialized, maybe they are trying to draw people’s attention to the problem, where, for some, it’s quite catastrophic. Indeed, it is too early to draw firm conclusions right now, but that doesn’t mean we should criticize for the sake of it and label and package it into a box labeled, “what some people want to hear”.

  67. I was a bit confused after all that philosophy. For me, ideology has nothing to do with the catastrophic problem we face today in terms of the impact of Covid-19 on humanity. Some people try to put a convenience label on it because that’s what certain like to hear. There are quite a few comments like that in this forum

  68. Covid 19 is not a catastrophic problem. The catastrophe is caused by the extreme actions of politicians, egged on by organisations such as SAGE in the UK, using flawed models from the likes of Imperial College. They claim to be “following the science”. This should ring alarm bells, which it does with anybody who knows about science. The lockdowns have got more extreme, yet the cases are claimed to be rising. This couldn’t possibly be because of the use at industrial scale, of a test never intended for such use, and using a protocol which produces such a high, but unspecified, level of errors, for something that more than 99% of people wouldn’t know they have, were it not for the test, could it? No of course not, the cases are rising because people won’t do as they are told, and wash their hands, and stop getting within yards of other people. Strange that we have 2 metre covid in the UK, but only a weak 1metre strain in France.

    I don’t know anyone who has “long-covid”, I don’t know anyone who had covid, I do know people who have claimed it was covid, but last year it was flu, this year it’s covid, how do they know? How many have really died from covid given the government’s continual deceit?

    Guardian funding? https://unitynewsnetwork.co.uk/revealed-a-guardian-website-receives-millions-in-funding-from-the-bill-melinda-gates-foundation/

  69. People have exhibited long term effects from viruses in the days before covid. It is nothing new, just as the virus is nothing significantly new.

  70. Stephen Brown, I’d rather refrain from quoting The Guardian’s article as a scientific evidence, especially an article that is labeled as “Opinion”.

    It was The Guardian that recently published an article “Sweden records highest death tally in 150 years in first half of 2020” where it disingenuously compared the total number of deaths, not the number of deaths per 1M population, between Sweden in 1869 with a population of 4M to Sweden today with a population of 10M. It was also the Guardian that blamed the elevated number of deaths of black people in the UK on their socioeconomic conditions and not on their reduced ability to produce the vitamin D by their darker skin.

    “One thing that is clear about long covid is that it is a social media phenomenon. The disease wasn’t discovered by doctors or scientists. It was “discovered” by people who found each other on the internet. In that sense, it shares something very much in common with conditions that most doctors agree are bogus, but for which there are aggressive patient advocacy groups, such as the aforementioned amalgam poisoning, electricity allergy, and chronic Lyme disease.”
    https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/11/17/what-is-long-covid/

  71. The Guardian is complicit in publishing, without criticising, the “case”, and the mortality figures. These have been generated by misinformation from the WHO and CDC, and possibly others. An article explaining is https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/29/asymptomatic-covid-testing.aspx.

    Infection Fatality Rate Has Been Wrong Since the Beginning

    Early on during the pandemic, infection mortality rate claims varied from 2.7% to 7%, with most being in the 4% range. According to Sheftall, that’s “about 40 times too high” and ended up causing panic and fear in the public. He figured out the infection mortality rate was wrong because he noticed something important: The wide fluctuations in mortality rates didn’t add up:

    “As a surgeon, we noticed that surgical outcomes are very close. From a very good surgeon to a very mediocre surgeon, the mortality and morbidity is very close.

    Yet, when I heard the information about what had happened in Italy, where 7%, supposedly, of the people infected were dying and in Germany, where it was much lower, I’m thinking that doesn’t make sense because the Italians would call their German colleagues and find out if something was being done differently and change something, and the rate should be very close to the same. So, I knew there was a problem.”

    Sheftall suggested that selection bias was being used in the counting of cases, and organizations such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were drastically undercounting the number of people who were infected, which inflated the mortality rate”

    Sheftall looked for data in which every case had been counted, ending up with a cruise ship, in which every person had been tested, and a small town in Germany that had also tested all residents. “When I crunched the numbers, the infection fatality rate came out to 0.14%, so I knew … there were some gross errors going on.”

  72. The New World order is imposed by all this rules. Sorry that the people dont wake up and see it. Soon we will have a dictatorship und surveillance state. That is the goal. Has nothing to do with protecting us.

  73. There are and will always spring up many stupid people. A kind of abnormalty — a disease —that has no treatment nor cure. And never it will have…

  74. But that’s the death certificate. I read that the Public health agency in Sweden automatically counts Covid deaths if a person dies * no matter what the actual cause of death is * within a period of 30 days after a positive PCR test.

    https://www.news24.com/news24/world/news/covid-19-deaths-top-4-000-in-under-fire-sweden-20200525

    ” “In Sweden, anybody who has the diagnosis of COVID-19 and dies within 30 days after that is called a COVID-19 case, * irrespective of the actual cause of death *. And we know that in many other countries there are other ways of counting that are used,” he told AFP.” (Tegnell)

    Why would they do something like that?? It artificially inflates the total. And why 30 days? Why not 45

  75. I am also interested to get your comment on the present treatment protocol(s) in place in Sweden for mild and moderate Covid cases? And not only that but also for profylaxis. If Ivermectin is not in use at all I would like to hear your opinion about why that this.

    It seems that the research and clinical results of using ivermectin should have the Swedish authorities to consider to recommend the use of both ivermectin (for instance I-MASK+ protocol) and vaccines as a strategy for flattening the curve and minimising deaths.

  76. That depends on the country. In Germany everbody who dies within 4 weeks after a positive PCR Test is be definition a Covid death. Also PCR negative patients in hospitals that are diagosed otherwise as Covid patienst fall in the Covid19 death statistics if they die.

    The even give death bodies that had been negative a PCT test. If it is positive it is a covid death. The reason for this is to tell the undertaker that the body is maybe infectious. They have special rules how to treat dead bodies of Covid death.

    To make a long story short the stats are blown up a bit.

    Refards Jens

  77. Thank you very much for your articles.

    And thanks that you provide this link. I do not speak swedish so I can’t fully undertstand this site

    https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/statistik-och-analyser/antalet-testade-for-covid-19/tidigare-data/vecka-49/

    From the numbers I guess table 3 is the one with the antibody test.

    “Tabell 3. Antal individer som testats med antikroppspåvisning vecka 49 per region, samt utfall.”

    Do you know if these seroprevalence tests were made in a representative cohort study or in a other way so that the result is representative for Stockholm or were these test excecuted at people who came to hospital because of sysmptoms?

    Kind regards

    Jens

    1. The tests are not taken from a representative sample, and neither are they taken in hospital. People are able to book a time to take the test themselves, and so most likely most people are taking it a few weeks after having a respiratory infection, to see if it was covid. So that is a confounder that will tend to push up the result. However, there is also a confounder that will tend to push down the result, which is that people who know they’ve had covid don’t usually keep re-testing themselves. It’s impossible to know which confounder is affecting the results more at the moment, so the real antibody prevalence could be both higher and lower.

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