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Denmark, Sweden and Pandemic Politics (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 525.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris compare how Sweden and Denmark are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

It now appears that after rejecting a lockdown strategy, Sweden may be changing course towards a more strict policy as Covid-19 cases are seeing a steep rise, especially in comparison to neighbor Denmark, which will be slowly easing lockdown restrictions next week.


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Via Forbes…

Topline: After taking a laid back approach to the pandemic that has involved no lockdowns like the rest of Europe, Sweden’s daily coronavirus death rate has spiked over two days and has put more pressure on officials to enact tougher restrictions on movement to hinder the virus’ spread.

  • Unlike other European countries with widespread shelter-in-place orders, Sweden has not enforced a nationwide lockdown and instead aims to isolate and treat confirmed coronavirus cases—with many businesses, gyms, restaurants, bars and schools remaining open.
  • Experts say the Swedish government approach may be a contributing factor in why Sweden has experienced high death rates compared to other countries, with nearly 8% of Swedes infected with coronavirus dying from it, compared to less than 2% and 4% for neighbors Norway and Denmark, respectively.
  • On Thursday, there were nearly 10,000 cases nationwide, with 719 Swedes in intensive care. More than 100 Swedes have died per day for two days in a row, according to the Swedish Public Health Agency, bringing the total death count to 782.
  • Statistics show Swedes appear to be practicing social distancing on their own, resulting in drops in public transport ridership and half of Stockholm residents reportedly working from home—but it may not have been enough to slow the virus’ spread.
  • Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has continuously advocated for laid back measures, saying on Swedish TV Sunday that the pandemic could be defeated by herd immunity, or the indirect protection from a large portion of a population being immune to an infection, or a combination of “immunity and vaccination.”
  • However, critics have argued that with a coronavirus vaccine could be more than a year away, and insufficient evidence that coronavirus patients that recover are immune from becoming infected again, the strategy of relying on herd immunity and vaccinations ineffective.

Key background: Recent numbers show Swedes appear to be following social distancing guidelines even when they’re not required by law. Passenger numbers on public transportation in Stockholm have fallen by half, and polls indicate that half of residents there are working from home. However, some critics say people need more stringent guidelines to follow as both deaths and new cases spike. Last month, more than 2,000 academics signed an open letter to demand tougher measures from the government. According to YouGov data, Sweden is the country least afraid of the coronavirus pandemic, with only 31% of Swedes saying they are “very” or “somewhat” scared that they will contract the virus, which could reflect the population’s higher-than-average trust in their own government.

What to watch for: The implementation of more strict coronavirus guidelines. According to Swedish media reports, the government is looking to the Swedish parliament to give it the power to impose emergency measures like shutting businesses and public transport, which for the most part remain open, CBC reported.

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SteveK9
SteveK9
April 11, 2020

There could be no sadder news than that Sweden is giving up on their sensible policy. They are near the peak right now, but if they cave, then the counter factual story, that our response was insane, will never get out there. There are a few other countries where there is hope, but not many.

TravelAbout
TravelAbout
Reply to  SteveK9
April 11, 2020

I saw this video a few days ago from another site that provided a link to it. Everyone should see it; this gentleman has impeccable credentials & no obvious agenda other than telling the truth.

John Ellis
John Ellis
Reply to  SteveK9
April 12, 2020

As 90% of the gain produced by our hard labors ends up in the
hands of the 25% most wealty, we need to know your net worth?

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo
Reply to  SteveK9
April 12, 2020

Saw it. A very knowledgeable doctor. However he lumps Covid19 with other coronaviruses, but it seems to be acting differently: long asymptomatic infectious phase, killing all ages and healths, reinfecting recovered patients. Perhaps the standard “herd immunity” approach followed by Sweden won’t succeed in this case. We wait and see.

Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Reply to  SteveK9
April 12, 2020

Many thanks! This is a video that should be seen by everyone, to make up their own mind. Prof. Wittkowski is able to clear up a lot of questions in this video — so please have a look. Some of his thoughts: • Self-isolation may prolong the duration of COVID-19 • Staying indoors can make virus worse • Social distancing won’t work for an airborne contagion • Let everyone back outside, which pushes natural herd immunity • Open schools now, so virus may spread harmlessly among young, shortening the time that the elderly and immune-compromised must be sequestered • Our… Read more »

Clarity
Clarity
Reply to  SteveK9
April 12, 2020

Sorry, Steve, I stopped listening when around the 4 minute mark he talked about there being no new infections and that the virus had already peaked. Even at the beginning of April, the time when he was interviewed, the claim that the epidemic is over, that there are no new cases in China and South Korea was simply not so. Before that, he states that if you let the virus run its course, but protect the elderly and vulnerable, after 4 weeks the elderly/vulnerable can rejoin their families because then the virus would have been extinguished. So if that is… Read more »

Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Reply to  Clarity
April 12, 2020

“I stopped listening when around the 4 minute mark…” So, you didn’t even go through the whole video? And yet you decided to hold forth anyway, simply because you thought you had a right to an opinion in any case? You say “it begs the question why herd immunity is even necessary, because the virus is gone after 4 weeks anyways. No immunity needed.” You entirely missed the point: that herd immunity occurs WITHIN that 4 week period itself, as a PART of it. This is discussed at length several times, especially later on when the interviewer requests more unpacking.… Read more »

Clarity
Clarity
Reply to  Paul Martin
April 13, 2020

Dear Paul. Elaborating in a rather detailed fashion on the fundamental mistakes of the first 4 minutes hardly classifies me as a lousy listener. And I certainly have a right to an opinion on those 4 minutes! And what to conclude from that quality of content. I also missed no part. I merely pointed out that the good Professor contradicts himself. Here is why: First flaw is that you will not get a 100% infection rate across a nation, never mind the world, in such a short period of time as 4 weeks. This is not the movies. Exponential expansion… Read more »

Daniel Martin
Daniel Martin
April 11, 2020

I’m afraid that Sweden will pay a heavy price for taking the Corona pandemic all too lightly.

SteveK9
SteveK9
Reply to  Daniel Martin
April 12, 2020

Sweden is doing fine, and will do fine. Their numbers are low and tend to jump around, but they had 17 ‘Covid deaths’ today.

Clarity
Clarity
Reply to  SteveK9
April 12, 2020

Sweden curiously always has low numbers on the weekends. Could be the way they are reporting them, could be the way they are determining how people actually died. They have an abysmal recovery rate. That is unusual too. For the size of their population their rates are high. Canada has had Corona a lot longer, has just passed 23000 cases, but has ‘only’ 653 deaths. So twice as many cases overall, twice as many active cases, 2/3 of deaths, for a population 4 times that of Sweden. So no, I would not say that they are doing fine.

ghartwell
April 11, 2020

We are having to face the fact, as a public, that FLU DOES KILL PEOPLE every year. And so does this one. We also need to come to grips with the fact that the weaker your immune system, the more likely you are to die. And face the fact that the elderly have weaker immune systems. And that those with preexisting health conditions are much more likely to die from a flu, any flu, including this flu. So achieving herd immunity means people will get the Flu and either overcome it or die from it. I support Sweden’s less totalitarian… Read more »

Clarity
Clarity
Reply to  ghartwell
April 12, 2020

We all die anyways, may as well do away with health care altogether, certainly hospitals. Children used to have a very high rate of mortality. Why did we bother to change that? Child birth used to be very dangerous, very natural to die during child birth. What an argument to let people slowly suffocate from a hardening of the lungs which slowly fill with fluid until you agonizingly slowly drown in your own fluids. Herd immunity is only possible if we can develop anti-bodies to that class of virus and we haven’t been able to create those anti-bodies against other… Read more »

ManintheMoon
ManintheMoon
April 11, 2020

The key figure is not the number of infected – which depends on the number tested – but on the death rate, ‘Experts’ who spectacularly got it wrong from the beginning and are all the time rowing back on their doomsday predictions, are absolutely terrified that Sweden will show that the lockdowns were counterproductive. The death figures in the lockdown countries, which are nothing like what was being predicted, are being inflated as much as possible by including anyone who had coronavirus when they died, even if they were at Death’s door anyway before they caught it and it didn’t… Read more »

mpathi
Reply to  ManintheMoon
April 11, 2020

Thank you for your important post, we need to defend common sense in this issue, especially as others don’t do it.

ManintheMoon
ManintheMoon
Reply to  mpathi
April 11, 2020

Thanks for that. Unfortunately we’re a small minority, I fear, but I still think it helps. I notice the BBC have stopped taking comments on their articles even though most followed the official line. The Estabilshment hate people knowing there’s any dissent at all – it might make them question what they’re being fed.

Clarity
Clarity
Reply to  ManintheMoon
April 12, 2020

Bergamo deaths stats for the last 6 years average 210 deaths for the month of March for the 5 years prior to 2020, with a low of 185 and a high of 255. In March of 2020, up until March 26th they had 881 deaths. These are all deaths for the month of March. 2015 – 255 2016 – 205 2017 – 190 2018 – 185 2019 – 213 2020 – 881 (up to March 26th) average of 210 if calculated for 26 days, then 176 on average = 20% of 881 How is that for a death rate that… Read more »

John Ellis
John Ellis
April 12, 2020

We have only one defense against carona-virus, a biological weapon designed by Western states to be super-deadly and contagions, namely antibodies created by a healthy immune system.
And so, stop eating animal products that are all diseased, and stop eating processed food which is 50% fat and void of nutrition. Namely, put nothing in your grocery cart that is more than 10% fat. Specifically, eat for breakfast crushed bananas over oatmeal. For dinner eat lentil bean stew with natural brown rice, vegetables and tomato sauce.

SteveK9
SteveK9
Reply to  John Ellis
April 12, 2020

Go right ahead, but don’t tell me (or anyone else) how to live.

Glaucio Sombra
Glaucio Sombra
April 12, 2020

A HUGE WAVE OF TOTALITARIAN UNFAIR PLAYS COMING EVEN IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, ALREADY. REINFORCEMENTS.

Nick
Nick
April 13, 2020

Corona virus discussion always seem to focus on “numbers”, how many infections, how many new infections, how many deaths etc. This “number” is critically dependent upon an accurate test to determine whether one is in fact infected with a virus or not. In the absence of such a test, the numbers are meaningless or anyone’s guess. Also, if you follow the route of the USA and deem anyone who dies, even without having been tested, but with a suspicion that this person may have been infected, as having died from COVID19, then the numbers will be high, but highly suspect.… Read more »

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