September 2020 was the least deadly month in Swedish history, in terms of number of deaths per 100,000 population. Ever. And I don’t mean the least deadly September, I mean the least deadly month. Ever. To me, this is pretty clear evidence of two things. First, that covid is not a very deadly disease. And second, that Sweden has herd immunity.
I recently took part in a podcast with Ivor Cummins of Fat Emperor to discuss covid-19. Over the course of an hour we discuss what has happened in Sweden and what my experiences have been working in the Emergency Room of a hospital over the course of the pandemic. We also discuss the reasons I reached the conclusion that we must have herd immunity in Sweden, and go in depth in to the immunological reasons of how this is possible. We finish up with a discussion of mortality, and how it can be the case that 6,000 people have died of covid in Sweden without that having any measurable effect on the overall mortality rate.
“Only a minority of people in Sweden have antibodies, so they can’t have herd immunity!”
That is the most common argument I’ve been hearing for why Sweden can’t have achieved herd immunity. This is in spite of the fact that the rates of hospitalizations and deaths have dropped continuously since the peak in April, and are now stable at basement levels.
At the beginning of August I wrote an article about my experiences working as an emergency physician in Stockholm, Sweden during the covid pandemic. For those who are unaware, Sweden never went in to full lockdown. Instead, the country imposed a partial lockdown that was almost entirely voluntary. People with office jobs were recommended to work from home, and people in general were recommended to avoid public transport unless necessary. Those who were over 70 years old, or who had serious underlying conditions, were recommended to limit social contacts.
A new article has just been published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology looking to see if an oral vitamin D supplement can be used to cure covid-19. Considering that vitamin D is cheap, widely available, and safe, it would be pretty miraculous if that turned out to be the case.
There has been a lot of controversy over whether face masks decrease the spread of respiratory infections during the covid-19 pandemic. And what is the most sensible thing to do when a topic is controversial? Look at what the evidence says!