I graduated from medical school in January 2020. Long before starting to study to be a doctor, I had become interested in how diet and health are related, with a particular interest in the paleolithic diet. I think this was borne primarily out of my strong interest in evolution and biology – it just made sense that the diet humans were evolutionarily adapted to over the course of millions of years would also be the diet that is healthiest for us.
During my five and a half years of medical training, a few things became clear to me. First, while doctors receive a lot of training in how to deal with medical emergencies, they are taught extremely little about how to avoid chronic disease and maximize long term health, and much of what they are taught is wrong. Over those years, I think I received a total of three lectures about nutrition. In other words, three hours during five and a half years were spent learning about how to avoid chronic disease in the first place.
One of those lectures, during the last few months before graduating, struck a very strong chord. The lecturer showed a powerpoint slide, and said, “this is your bible. This is what you are going to tell people.”
Here’s what was on that list:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables.
- Eat more fish.
- Eat more whole grain cereals.
- Eat less sugar.
- Eat less saturated fat.
- Eat less salt.
- Eat low fat dairy.
- Eat less meat.
Since I have a strong personal interest in nutrition, and have spent a lot of time going through the science, I knew that at least half of the advice on that list was complete nonsense, not supported by the scientific evidence. And yet we were being told that this was our “bible”. Just the word chosen showed clearly that this was not science we were being taught, it was religion.
Another problem with medical school is that we were taught what to do in different situations, but we were rarely given any nuance in terms of the probability of success, or size of benefit, of a treatment. For example, we were taught that, after someone has a heart attack or a stroke, they should be prescribed a statin. But we were never told what that would really mean for the patient. How much longer could they expect to live?
I decided that, after graduating, I would start a blog about health and medicine, to try to get the truth out as much as possible, both to patients and to colleagues in the medical profession. Apart from helping others, it would also allow me to delve deeper in to many of the topics I hadn’t been taught in medical school.
Anyway, three days after graduating, I started working in the Emergency Room of one of the hospitals in Stockholm. For the next few months I was too busy to think further about my blog idea. And then, just a few months in to my new job, came covid.
It came suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. One day it was something happening far away, in other countries, in Italy and South Korea, and China. The next it was everywhere. For a while, it felt like every single covid test I ordered came back positive. I even had case where a patient came in with a nose bleed, and for some reason someone decided to take a nasal swab to test for covid. The test came back positive.
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that the Emergency Room was being overwhelmed, because that would be false. I went from seeing eight or more patients per shift to seeing two or three. While a very large proportion of the patients were covid positive, there were in total many fewer patients than usual. All the usual suspects in the Emergency Room were gone.
Official statistics bear this out. They show, for example, that hospital admissions for heart attacks in Stockholm were down 40% during the spring covid peak. Presumably people were choosing to stay home rather than go to the hospital and risk getting covid. And presumably this was resulting in unnecessary deaths – indirect deaths, not due to the virus itself, but rather due to the hysteria surrounding the virus.
This continued for about a month, and then the covid patients started to disappear. More and more of the tests came back negative. I noticed that the official statistics were telling the same story. From mid-April until early August there was a continuous decline in the number of people dying of covid in Sweden.
I follow the medical literature quite closely, and there seemed to be a clear consensus among the experts at that point that covid was not a seasonal virus. Putting these two pieces of data together, the decline in deaths and the lack of seasonality, I figured that we must have reached the point of herd immunity in Sweden. I was surprised that it came so quickly, but if both suppositions were true, then nothing else could explain what we were seeing in the data.
I figured that, if this was the case, then the virus could not possibly be anywhere near as deadly as it was being portrayed in the media. Only 6,000 people had died, out of a population of 10 million, and the pandemic was over. So it seemed.
I was given a few weeks holiday in late July, and with more time on my hands, I decided to start the blog that I had been planning for several months. Around this time I had a conversation with my mother, who follows the mainstream news media closely, about covid. I hadn’t been following the news myself, but had rather been going straight to the source for my information, looking at the official statistics and the scientific studies, and it became clear that we had very different world views in relation to covid.
From my perspective, based on my experience in the hospital, and what was being shown in the official statistics and scientific studies, it was clear that covid was no worse than a bad flu, of the kind seen several times per century. It was certainly nowhere near as bad as the horrific 1918 flu pandemic, which is estimated to have killed 3% of the world’s population, and which was particularly dangerous to young people. And yet covid was frequently being compared to that pandemic in the media.
By summer, it was clear that covid was nowhere near as bad as had initially been feared. In Stockholm a large field hospital had been erected to deal with the expected deluge of covid patients, but it never had to take a single patient. And yet, the reaction from media and governments seemed more in line with a global ebola outbreak than a bad flu.
I realized that my mother was typical of most people, who were getting their news from the mainstream sources, and so I decided to write an article about it on my new blog. After writing the article, I sent it to Malcolm Kendrick, a British doctor I admire, who had written a couple of very skeptical articles about covid, in order to see what he thought about it. He liked it so much that he asked if he could re-post it on his website.
I had a feeling that the article might generate some interest, but it immediately went viral. In less than two weeks, my blog had received half a million visits. The Spectator newspaper in the UK contacted me and asked to reprint my article, as did several other newspapers and blogs. And multiple TV and radio channels asked to interview me.
It was clear that there was a huge hunger for an alternative view of the pandemic to that being presented in mainstream media. At the same time, I had only just started the blog, and it wasn’t really a blog about covid. My main interest is in what people can do to maintain their long term health, and that is what I want my blog to be about. So, although I wrote the odd article about covid over the next few months (mainly because I kept getting a large number of e-mails from people asking me about my opinion on different things to do with covid), I tried to focus on the other things, that I personally think are more important and interesting over the long term.
Then came autumn, and with it the second wave. Considering that the consensus among the “experts” was that covid wasn’t seasonal, I was surprised, again. “Non-experts”, like Ivor Cummins, who had said all along that covid was acting in a seasonal manner and would be back in autumn, were right. And with the second wave came a renewed wave of hysteria that was in many cases worse than the first time around.
In Sweden, that was certainly the case. The Swedish government struck a much more alarmist chord the second time around, even though it was clear that the first wave had been much worse, at least in terms of the number of people dying. And even though there was now robust evidence that the fatality rate was much lower than had been believed initially, and increasing evidence that the fear mongering and lockdowns during the first wave had done much more harm than good, there were renewed calls for even stricter measures. Just as with the official dietary guidelines, the mainstream response to covid started to feel more like it was based on religion than on science.
Amid the renewed hysteria, I was contacted by a publisher here in Sweden, who asked me to write a book about covid, to get a more nuanced and scientifically sound view out in to the public arena than was being presented in mainstream media. I’ve now been working on that book for a few months, and I’m currently putting the finishing touches to it. It will be out in the early part of 2021, in English and Swedish, and my hope is that it will contribute to changing the way the world thinks about covid.
Let’s hope 2021 ends up being a saner year than 2020.
You might also enjoy my article about how many years of life are lost to covid, or my article about how long immunity to covid lasts after infection.
54 thoughts on “A very odd year”
Hej Sebastian! Tack för ett fint inlägg och tack för att du tar ansvar att förmedla mer balanserad medicinsk information.
Hi, I soo like your posts, calm and honest. And although I am not into medicine by profession, I tried to learn a lot about health and food the past 20 years, organism, vegetarian food, paleo, supplements, homeopathy and lots of other alternative healing chances, stress topics and so on. I watched Dr. Bruce Lipton and other experts on these topics and with all this I never ever was scared about the virus, but a lot about the collateral damages.
I can’t wait for your book, keep going, stay as calm and have a safe life!
Early 2021 I guess?
Yes, early 2021, sorry! I fixed the error in the text.
Thank you, Sebastian. Your blogposts are very illuminating- a sane voice in a world gone mad. I look forward to reading your book when it’s published.
Happy New Year!
I am a pathologist. I share Dr. Rushworth’s view of nutrition. The essential problem in medical training and in pathology is that before we can know what is abnormal, we need to know what is normal. Unfortunately in pathology we have no idea what is normal as normal is defined as “not having that disease” or something is defined in the negative, without regard to meaning of the language. The best example: in the stomach, inflammation with neutrophils is “active”. So when inflammation was seen with lymphocytes and mononuclear cells it was called “inactive”. And “inactive” when it comes to lymphocytic and mononuclear inflammation is as far from the truth as one can imagine.
I could not agree more with Dr. Rushworth’s view of COVID
When it comes to nutrition, diseases of chronic aging, and COVID-19, the Semmelweis effect is alive and well.
Tack igen. Ser verkligen fram emot boken! Önskar oss ett Gott Nytt Sansat År! ✨🍾🌺
What a way to start your professional life, Dr. Rushworth. I also think you are brave and true to your beliefs; should you ever publish a scientific article, your conflicts of interests might not include honoraries nor consultancy fees from Big Pharma.
The dietary education of doctors is horrible, as you say. Maybe the idea of nutritional terrorists, err, therapists, is to patch up this front. However, they do have the same “bible” combined with less understanding. In regards to the “bible” list, I personally ended up doing 180 degrees the opposite, with the exception of “Eat more fish” and improving “Eat less sugar “”including starches””. The more saturated fat, the better…!
One day, you may want to have a look at PUFA’s, where there is human trial data available, kind of. TPN (IV feeding) in USA was only allowed to be based on soy oil (omega-6) and it fries peoples livers in 1-2 years. E.g. https://vector.childrenshospital.org/2018/08/omegaven-clears-fda/
Someone here mentioned Semmelweiss. The doctors in US could not believe that it was the “hearth healthy” oil that was harming the liver, despite the facts of fishoil (omega-3) treatment. Like with Semmelweiss, the doctors were content with growing bodypiles, the nurses not so…
The medical world with respect to longevity, can improve a lot. Looking forward to your book.
annette larkins diet is EXTRAORDINARY
there are aome youtube videos about her raw food diet
and she drinks distilled WATER
PLEASE MAKE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS SHORT AND TO THE POINT
PLEASE GIVE DIAGRAMS, TABLES, CHARTS, ie most people are visual learners
and thank you
Thank you for your work. Let’s hope you get many more readers of your blog.
Ät mer Honung.
Dr Rushworth, thank you for your articles this year. Your blog has indeed been a welcome stream of sanity in a sea of madness, and I look forward to the release of your book.
On the diet point, which you don’t expand on much, Garth Davis, MD has done a lot of research on diet, starting from the same point as you (that very little is taught at medical school) but coming to some different conclusions, e.g. that on the paleo diet. http://proteinaholic.com/
Congratulations in the book deal. It is very important to have different voices heard in public and yours seems calm and reasonable. I think in a few years time we will look back at 2020 and wonder what went wrong with our public experts and politicians.
Please, restrain for a book. For now.
When you will be older than 50, you will have the natural criteria [and common sense] to be happy being a doctor. And tons of human experiences.
Now, several short texts will not harm you.
A book will be were your scientific enemies will fed for decades.
Thanks for your work towards other humans.
Another brilliant article, and a good summary of the year 2020.
Whether people realise it or not, this scaremongering lockdown and its consequences was not accidential, it was very carefully planned and executed that way. For example, the definition of ”Pandemic” was changed from, ”an infection being deadly or cause severe illness to a majority of people, in most or many countries”, to todays definition, ”being infectious on a worldwide scale”. On top of that, WHO changed the definition of ”Herd Immunity” just a couple of days ago, it used to be, ”immunity developed through previous infections, so the infection level is neither growing, nor declining exponentially”. Now, since a couple of days it’s, ”by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it, and if a threshold of vaccination is reached”. The old defintion of natural herd immunity, through natural spreading of an infection amongst the population, is gone.
When you have an ethiopian war criminal like Tedros at the top of WHO, and who also is deeply influenced by communist China, (incidentally where the virus originated), I guess, that’s what you can expect.
Dr. Rushworth, thank so much for being a voice of sanity amid this year’s continuing hysteria. Good luck with your book.
Is it possible that by radically suppressing virus transmission of the virus by lockdown strategies we are making things worse? For example, there now appear to be mutations that are more contagious than the original. Would we have achieved a better result if we had “locked down” long term care homes, given accurate advice to citizens, and let the virus proceed through the population?
Thank you, Dr. Rushworth. I don’t know a single person who’s been sickened by this. My neighbor, who does intake for outpatient procedures in a local hospital, had her hours cut, as did others involved in this part of the hospital. It seems to me that this is a disease of both age and poor metabolic status. Quarantining the healthy to the destruction of economies, and calling positive results with an unreliable test in the absence of symptoms “cases” is madness, in my view
Thank you, Dr. Rushworth, for some sanity again in this increasingly insane world. While it’s clear that politicians have an agenda that has nothing to do with science, what I don’t understand is the doctors that go along with it. In Canada, hundreds of doctors have pressured governments for masks, more lockdowns, and such things, claiming that Covid is the biggest health crisis in modern times. Why do you think they are doing this? Do they really believe what they’re saying? I understand the average person is scared to death, but why don’t these doctors know better? Any thoughts on why so many doctors are trying to perpetuate the hysteria?
Many doctors don’t have a very good understanding of statistics. If you work in a hospital, and especially if you work in an ICU, and you only see the sickest covid patients and don’t realize that you’re seeing a highly selected population, then you’ll probably think covid is pretty horrific.
As one of the early subscribers to Dr Rushworth’s blog, I certainly looking forward to the book. I hope it deals with the globalist agenda and their control of the narrative. Why? Because, it will show that either Dr Rushworth is wrong–or he is right, but not getting in lock-step with the approved globalist orthodoxy..
To another ‘thomas’ commenting here (thomasolsson8)–a very interesting and important point you make: to control the narrative, you must control the message–and that means controlling the meaning of words. It’s all part and parcel of their agenda. An agenda to separate us into identity groups, thus easier to be controlled by the ruling class.
This fellow traveler is a great read/listen too
Off topic, but relevant to everyone. https://youtu.be/VhSX7IzHkrE Get rid of your instagram account.
Thank you for being the voice of reason in a world of chaos. I’m a RN in California and everyone has lost their minds from following the politics and the media in regards to COVID. I’m sharing your blog with everyone I know. We had strict lockdowns and mask mandates in March, despite that we are seeing a heavy seasonal surge now . I suspect we just delayed the inevitable. Our state is enforcing more lockdowns, and we are still seeing a rapid rise in cases. California is now making policies (such as when kids can go back to school and lockdowns can end) on testing positivity rates and ICU census!
I hope more likeminded people like you help people differentiate between fact and media hysteria. Wishing you all the luck with your book and career. I’m excited to read more about nutrition and health posts too!
Sebastian, I 100% agree with you and enjoy all your articles. As a retired RN who received a celiac diagnosis in my 60’s, I firmly believe that an informed educated lay person is more knowledgeable about diet than the average physician. As soon as I cut out the ‘healthy’ grains (lectins), leafy greens, especially spinach which is extremely high in oxalates, fruit which is high in sugar as are starchy vegetables, my GI issues resolved within days and as an added benefit my arthritis joint pain is 95% gone and I am now thriving on a largely carnivore diet.
I believe you meant that your book will be out in early 2021. I look forward to reading it. Thank you and have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Dr Rushworth: what an impressive career start! I hope we get a few decades more of your analysis, free from the crutches of the medical-pharmaceutical industrial complex! Regarding your point on medicine and health, have you looked at complementary and functional medicines? Here in the US they are thriving likely due to our obscenely inefficient mainstream medical system. best wishes for your book, I will be sure to read it.
Thanks, I agree, I think they are thriving largely thanks to the ineffectiveness of much of standard health and medical advice. From my perspective there are just two types of medicine, evidence based and non-evidence based. In the cases where traditional and complementary treatments can be shown to work, they should be included in the evidence based category and used by physicians, and not just be ignored because they’re ”complementary”.
My Doctor is a GP. He says he came out of med school with a really clear understanding on so many things in medicine. Now that he has been in practice for 20 years, he says the one thing he knows for sure in medicine is that no two patients will react the same way to anything.
Earlene x: Good for you! I didn’t have anything seriously wrong with my health. yet the carnivore diet (after six months) has had some remarkably positive effects. A sense of calmness, as if I have no more inflammation, and better sleep. At 71 I hike in the mountains once a week, strenuous hikes, and I have more stamina now, and recover faster. The only thing that didn’t work was combining carnivore with intermittent fasting. I eat three medium to large meals a day, mostly fatty meat including organs and bone broth, eggs, seafood, some cheese, and some pottasium-rich fruits. I think the greatest impact has been from eliminating the nightshades and cruciferous vegetables (I gave up grains and legumes about five years ago) The only vegetables I routinely eat are garlic and onions–I grow them, so they’re high quality. I also drink coffee and red wine. I think it is the best way of eating I’ve ever done.
Thank you for this blog. It was the covid articles that brought me here, but I also find the other articles to be interesting and informative.
You doing God’s work Dr Rushworth. Much appreciated
We in Western Australia are most fortunate, minimal initial lockdown / shrt toilet paper scarcity…. plus climate & season – Summer – at present. Incoming PAX are quarantined for 2/52, with no entry from hotspots. But medical staff are still terrified of … another ‘wave’ …and treating covid will be restricted to “Standard therapy” the MATH+ of Dr Marik et al won’t stand a chance here; Semmelweiss effect again !
Looking forward to your book
This looks interesting, but I don’t know how truthful it is. https://youtu.be/-K_w2OtHm0c It’s no good asking most of mainstream medicine, as they have a totally different approach. Interesting when you think modern medicine has been promoted by Rockefeller for profit, a bit Bill Gatesish.
I was wondering about this new strain which is getting such a reaction. You assessed the original covid of April as not seasonal, so what is this new strain and how does it fit the picture? Though it ‘seems’ to be more virulent, is it actually worse? Are the numbers of cases actually higher, or is it that more people are being tested (or something else)? Are there more people in hospital because more are sick, or is it just more panic? I notice that deaths are still much lower than in April.
I am starting to hear of more people having had covid (by which I mean I know of 3, out of the hundreds of people I have met this year). I have been out ‘in it’ in the situations the governments have been trying to avoid, and yet I am still not seeing what the media is saying. I have been stuck in hostels, and moving around Europe to survive the lockdowns. I have been meeting hundreds of people coming and going, and living together in hostels (mostly doing the same as me – trying to survive when they have no home to go to), and I have literally met one person (with two friends who also got it) who was sick with it a month ago, and another who had it in January.
Thank you for so much for your articles.
I haven’t had time to look in to this supposed new strain, so can’t really comment on it.
It seems viruses in general have many mutations, and as I understand it, they become less virulent as they mutate, but sometimes more infectious. As for anyone in particular having a particular virus, we now know that is questionable, because the data put out by governments is basically often dishonest, to suit their intended actions. So in the UK Hancock says it is a more infectious, more dangerous virus mutant, and we have many thousands more cases today. This is because he (or his controllers) wants an excuse to shut everyone in their houses. I think from the testing and the claimed results, we have no idea what people might have contracted, if indeed contracting a virus is even possible. Look at the cellular theory of disease, and diseases are an expression of an innate problem. What about ebola? We have seen pictures of the virus, we have seen coloured pictures of the virus. This means someone is embellishing the “truth”, as electron microscopes can present only black and white. In 2020 influenza has been almost cured, heart attacks have reduced, sepsis is much rarer etc etc. Why would this be? Everyone is dying of covid instead.
There is much you are not saying in this response. It seems to me that if you spoke more openly your valuable blog would be suddenly closed down. So many doctors and scientists have been savagely silenced, not only now but throughout the years. Tread gently; we need your voice.
Some interesting articles…
Developers of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Tied to UK Eugenics Movement – unlimitedhangout.com:
Further Anomalies of the Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine – AGE OF AUTISM:
Developers of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Tied to UK Eugenics Movement – unlimitedhangout.comhttps://unlimitedhangout.com/2020/12/investigative-series/developers-of-oxford-astrazeneca-vaccine-tied-to-uk-eugenics-movement/
once again I really enjoyed your article.
It seems that I have become addicted to the blog, when several days have passed since the last article I get anxious thinking what new and brilliant topic you are going to narrate with your communication skills.
By the way, yesterday I found some very curious information. The conclusion is that sarscov2 is a very benign virus for humanity: it made all varieties of flu disappear
I wish you a very happy, successful and prosperous new year.
Luis, your fan from Uruguay
May the Force be with you… This is not going to be a simple proposition. First there is the issue which you pointed out of funding for research that is unlikely to generate pecuniary benefits to a specific company though the benefits to society could be large. Then there are the incentives faced by doctors: in your country they don’t graduate overloaded with debts and the fee for service model is less prevalent than in the US. But still: I know nothing about the Swedish medical system but I suspect the medical establishment in your country like in most is culturally conservative. So if you want to change that culture you are going to need levers. I am not sure what they are, convincing the public health authorities that medicine focused on health is more cost efficient? Getting patients group to press for change? Setting up a new medical journal? In any event that is certainly a very worthwhile career to have… Godspeed Dr Rushworth!
There are several more suspects of crimes: Those from foundations [of the Bills], Rockfellows, serums & all. Before ‘The End’ is posted in the skies, they will be gone.
Very well said!
Dr. Sebastian, I really enjoy your blogs here in the USA. Thank you. Media here is all in on the Plandemic and it is great to hear more honest voices like yours not driven by financial gain. I was curious if you could discuss further your perspectives on nutrition. I work for a health care company and our focus for our clients is wellness, health engagement and disease prevention. Nutrition should play a huge part in that. Eager to learn more of your perspectives. Need to move the obesity/overweight rate down here in the USA. I believe it stood at 70% before COVID so Lord knows how hight it is now after the tyrants have locked up many for months without exercise. Thanks for what you are doing and keep up the good work!
William, what a coincidence, I have just stumbled across Stephen Gundry https://youtu.be/qW8YCvrCjrU. There is a lot about nutrition, and of particular interest is at about 1 hr, there is something about vitamin D. There is plenty of talk about vit D toxicity that I’ve seen,, but Stephen talks about only one case was seen, and this was where the unfortunate was taking about 1,000,000 IU a day. If you feel sick, 50,000 IU three times a day for 3 days apparently will be useful. This is just one of several really useful points in the video.
REALLY appreciate your work!!
Thanks for sharing this link and I look forward to viewing today,
William, The Gundry video was good, so I watched another longer one. In that one I disagree with his implied support for the draconian lockdown measures inflicted by the tyrants. He said antisocial distancing and masks must have some beneficial effect. Fortunately I found this one https://youtu.be/mioR_WrkRaU. This goes into detail about the microbiome and microbiota, along with Gundry’s information, it gives what I think are powerful reasons for avoiding pharmaceutical products, and concentrating on food intake.
Something that is appealing is the description of how gut flora affects obesity, or lack of it. This is the sledge hammer to crack the nuts who go on about obese people being lazy and gluttonous. I’m not overweight, but I’m lucky in that respect. Those who think a calorie is a calorie, have not yet woken up. There also appears to be a large effect on the likelihood of succumbing to diseases.
Hi Sebastian! Can you please give us your thoughts on the coming Pandemic law that are about to be put in place here in Sweden, and what you think will become of it? I have the worst expectations, and that is that they will close down the country as fast as possible and krank down on our freedom of movement and freedom of doing business!
Thanks for the great work your doing there.
I have the same concerns that you do. The new law will cause lots of harm without providing any benefit. It is pure populism.
It is clear that despite a much less rigorous lockdown, the Swedes have, since August had a much lower death rate from coronavirus than almost any other Western nation. Yet if you google Sweden/coronavirus all you see are innumerable reports of how badly they are doing.
“Sweden’s king says ‘we have failed’ over COVID-19, as deaths mount”
“The Inside Story of How Sweden Botched Its Coronavirus Response”
Your blog is the first attempt I’ve found that attempts to analyze their approach and to tease out specific strategies that may have been effective. I can’t thank you enough for putting the time and energy into preparing it.
Possible theories to explain the low Swedish death rates include the fact that Nordic countries are sparsely populated, or that they are a more disciplined society, or that it may be related to their weather or their ethnic distributions, or maybe it is because they consume large quantities of cod liver oil (I don’t recommend cod liver oil as a supplement). Maybe the strain of virus infecting the Nordic countries is less virulent than the one affecting other European countries.
Or could it be that Scandinavian countries have strict criteria as to what constitutes a Covid 19 death while in other European countries deaths from pneumonias or sepsis may be incorrectly attributed to Covid-19?
One thing is clear. The vast majority of coronavirus deaths occur in the elderly.
Infographic: The Pandemic’s Disproportionate Toll on the Elderly | Statista
It seems to me that the key to the Swedish success must relate to the fact that they have figured out ways to protect their elderly while letting the rest of the population live their lives with minimal restrictions.
I have a theory that would like to run by you and your readers.
It has been extraordinarily difficult to prove that masks are an effective barrier against the coronavirus because double-blind trials are effectively impossible. Personally, I believe that masks are probably effective, but I am far from certain.
Let’s assume for a moment that masks are not effective.
When I went to the grocery store this morning, there were hundreds of elderly people all dutifully masked to the hilt. If masks were in fact, not effective, these people would unknowingly be putting themselves at risk.
Are the elderly in Sweden discouraged from shopping in large grocery stores? More generally, I wonder what strategies the Swedes may be using to protect their elderly that the rest of us could learn from. Sweden had a large number of deaths in long term care facilities in the spring. Have they now developed specific strategies to protect their vulnerable patients?
Rather than looking for ways to figure out how the Swedes are deceiving us, I think it would be more helpful to try and figure out what they are doing right.
Thanks again for the hard work you are doing in preparing this blog
I don’t think Sweden is doing a better job protecting people than other countries. I think it’s more the case that the parts of the world that were hit hard in spring are being hit much less hard now, partly because the most vulnerable have already died in the first wave, and partly because a significant amount of population immunity developed in those areas in spring. I think that is what you see if you compare different parts of Sweden. Skåne, in the south of Sweden, was barely touched in spring, and is being hit very hard now, while Stockholm, which was hit much harder in spring, is suffering less severely now.
Incidentally, Skåne is right next to Denmark, and Denmark was also touched very lightly in spring, but is being hit much harder now. So this further strengthens the case that it wasn’t lockdown that was protecting the Danish in spring, it was just the luck of the draw – Stockholm received a bunch of cases of covid from northern Italy in late February and early March, and therefore had a local explosion before the seasonal effect put a dampener on the virus. Skåne, just like Denmark, didn’t import a bunch of cases from Italy, and the delay of a few weeks that that gave it in terms of importing covid, allowed it to avoid the worst of the spring wave.
We have sent these questions to all Parliament members:
Dear Member of Parliament!
As one of the world’s leading scientific nations, Sweden has a great responsibility to take well-balanced and evidence-based measures to manage the spread and effect of viruses in society and to minimize side damage.
We are a number of citizens who have produced an important addition to the Pandemic Act, it concerns the scientific nature of the individual future measures:
– Each individual future measure decided on the basis of the new law needs to have a clear scientific basis. This is especially important as the measures will have a strong impact on people’s everyday lives.
– These scientific motivations need to be communicated openly to the public.
– Each measure also needs to be followed up scientifically on an ongoing basis and adjusted according to the outcome.
– The reasonableness of each individual measure also needs to be measured by weighing the positive against the negative effects of the measures.
What we are proposing is not mentioned in the text of the law, and it is an important addition to increase efficiency and legal certainty and to create greater public acceptance.
Hoping for a good decision!