by Freddie Sayers
Friday, 17
April 2020
Video
14:36

Swedish expert: why lockdowns are the wrong policy

Freddie Sayers speaks to Professor Johan Giesecke, who says that our policy is not driven by evidence
by Freddie Sayers

That was one of the more extraordinary interviews we have done here at UnHerd.

Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, advisor to the Swedish Government (he hired Anders Tegnell who is currently directing Swedish strategy), the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO, lays out with typically Swedish bluntness why he thinks:

  • UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based
  • The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only
  • This will eventually lead to herd immunity as a “by-product”
  • The initial UK response, before the “180 degree U-turn”, was better
  • The Imperial College paper was “not very good” and he has never seen an unpublished paper have so much policy impact
  • The paper was very much too pessimistic
  • Any such models are a dubious basis for public policy anyway
  • The flattening of the curve is due to the most vulnerable dying first as much as the lockdown
  • The results will eventually be similar for all countries
  • Covid-19 is a “mild disease” and similar to the flu, and it was the novelty of the disease that scared people.
  • The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is the region of 0.1%
  • At least 50% of the population of both the UK and Sweden will be shown to have already had the disease when mass antibody testing becomes available

Join the discussion


To join the discussion, get the free daily email and read more articles like this, sign up.

It's simple, quick and free.

Sign me up
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
108 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
2 years ago

The dilemma for the UK Govt was they were faced with an NHS that was unprepared in every way … from protective clothing to ITU availability
We have that now pretty much up to speed and its time to send the children back to school and open up some shops and keep up Working From Home.
The vulnerable & elderly must take responsibility and decide whether to continue the lockdown or not

Michael Baldwin
Michael Baldwin
2 years ago

First, thanks for a very good and informative and well conducted and civilised interview in which nobody interrupted one another, so that people could calmly think rather than merely emote, including viewers of the video.

My conclusion having watched and listened to the interview very carefully is there’s actually a very powerful reason to end the lockdown almost immediately, both fully and permanently (to the extent individuals want to, people should still be left to self-isolate, wear masks etc, if they wish to), which is probably the only point of disagreement I have with Professor Giesecke, who admittedly has to “cover himself” as a public figure.

And that reason is the current NHS state of preparedness (given they get more protective equipment that is).

That is to say, right now, the NHS has oriented itself almost entirely to dealing with COVID-19, and these measures cannot be sustained.

Millions are waiting for tests and operations and care for countless other ailments and diseases, and for example, when the death toll from those who are not now being tested and treated for various other diseases, which if not detected or treated soon enough we are almost 100% sure are going to kill them, it will likely far exceed even the total deaths from covid-19 whenever that is finally counted.

So if we are going to see a further spike in patients needing ICU treatment due to covid-19 infection, the sooner the better.

And while the population has for the moment bought the mantra “we must protect lives, forget the economy” as soon as they wake up to a world in a few weeks time in which millions (who don’t yet know it) may not have jobs to go back to, unless it can be proven somehow that these measures really did save huge numbers of lives, which I doubt it ever can be, and the Swedish “experiment” suggests to not be the case, the wisdom of these measures that have been taken are going to be regarded by the public as very seriously in doubt.

And then the same public which has (allegedly, I’m not wholly convinced) been baying for lockdowns, will then be “baying for blood” if they see their lives resemble some post-apocalypse scene, economically speaking.

Yes, it would be nice to live in a totally safe sanitised world in which none of us ever caught infectious diseases, and by the way, it is not at all a new phenomenon that humans (especially in families) blame one another for giving them an infectious disease.

But beyond measures like hand washing and avoiding touching your face (thereby allowing the virus to enter your nose or mouth) if you haven’t washed your hands first after possible contact, nobody is in the long term going to be willing to adopt these restrictive measures.

Or are we willing to all wear face masks permanently?

Is that a reasonable expectation for everyone to wear face masks for the rest of their lives in any public place?

Because no doubt that would reduce the spread of infections.

But even then would it actually stop us getting anything in the long term or only delay it?

Is it actually ever realistic we can stop the spread of any one of these numerous infections very long?

Because for example, as it is clear that breathing in close proximity and touching another person is more or less a guaranteed way to spread an infection, that would mean that not only should there be a total ban on handshaking, but also upon hugging, kissing and above all sexual activity between unmarried persons, or those not committed to a long term relationship.

I am not in the least joking, because those really are the lengths we would have to go to in order to stop the spread of a virus successfully.

So in fact, the people who are the most likely to spread infections of any kind are those who are even hugging or kissing people they are not in a steady relationship with, let alone having sex with them.

The evidence of that for example is that (according to the WHO) currently about 37 million are HIV positive, and up to a million a year are still dying of HIV induced AIDS, and no vaccine has been developed since HIV first appeared around 1981, so that’s nearly 40 years of science failing to achieve that.

So unless we never reopen bars, club or even secondary school, colleges, universities, and even workplaces – all of which places hugging and kissing goes on, often followed by sex acts somewhere – there is no chance whatsoever of stopping any virus of this kind.

And it is made far worse by the fact most people will not even know they have it.

And even if they test negative for this particular virus, what about one that appears next year, or for all we know there is even one or several other viruses currently going round (as would be normal annually) that are not on the government or medical radar because they’ve been obsessively focusing on covid-19 to the exclusion of everything else.

In people’s already extremely complicated and difficult lives, this has now thrown up a multitude of new problems they didn’t have before, to which there seem to be no obvious solution.

But there is one – it’s very simple – we just get on with life as we did before.

And those who are scared of the virus can if they please carry on social distancing and wearing face masks and Hazmat suits and hiding in their homes in fear, etc, etc. (bear in mind a lot of people, the “hypochondriacs” were already approximately doing this long before covid-19) but don’t expect everybody else to.

So of course in practice, the government cannot do exactly what I suggest, as it can’t admit it has made a catastrophic error, by basically giving in to a panic knee-jerk response reaction that spread like a disease of a different sort from one government to the next, so we’ve just had government by hysteria and not reason.

In fact, Professor Giesecke points out that the Imperial College study that justified the panic and measures in this country, was little better sourced than the “dodgier dossier” alleging we were all “45 minutes away from death from Saddam’s WMDs” which Tony Blair used to justify the Iraq war.

But note how this time there was not even a debate or vote in parliament, which in fact makes it much worse in terms of government unaccountability.

So the real truth is the government and the media could have reported and responded to the average seasonal flu on any previous occasion in exactly the same way as they have reported and responded to this, and caused exactly the same panic.

And if we don’t face up to that and get a grip, they may next year be trying to do the same again.

But I doubt that, when people see the economic havoc likely caused by this, as well as quite possibly a lot of social unrest that will result if that damage turns out to be as had as some experts fear.

i.e. when compared, the thing that most people fear (unless they are in the seriously at risk group, i.e. over 70s, 80s ,or with impaired immune systems) is loss of financial security and crime and not a respiratory infection virus.

And one of the unintended consequences of this is likely to be a surge in crime.

Because while the “I’m alright jack” people who currently think and are right in thinking they still have a job to go back to may not be too greatly affected (though may see salary cuts and tax rises), the millions who may have lost jobs and businesses are going to see no other way but some kind of crime to try to maintain their former lifestyle.

And we may also be seeing the numbers of beggars on the streets swelling from hundreds to thousands in any large area like a city centre, and they may well be more aggressive than before in their desperation.

I don’t really blame Boris Johnson in the sense I doubt any other of our current politicians would have done any better.

But in reality, he didn’t lead the mob as a true leader should, a genuine Churchill, he let himself be led by the mob, and gave in to their hysterical demands (personally I am not sure it was the demands of the public, but rather the media and opposition parties).

Demands that he protect them from what we could not ultimately protect them from (i.e. the spread of any virus that is so contagious and easily spread), and did not in the way that Churchill also would have done confront them with the terrible cost that would have to be paid if he gave into their hysterical panic driven demands.

And in time, I think President Trump will see the same, that though it may well have cost him his presidency if he had not complied with the panicking public demand, it may cost it him anyway in the aftermath, as may happen with Boris Johnson also.

Mr Johnson needs to “reopen Britain” within 2 or 3 weeks and fully so, and stop pretending we can control a virus that according to the professor has likely infected half the population already and so is already totally beyond control.

He should open the schools this Thursday, making it a short first school week back; and then the business and shops the week after that; and then finally the pubs, restaurants and churches, concert hall and sports stadiums; perhaps keeping attendance at the latter mass events to say 33% of capacity, to enable people to still social distance for say a month, and then within a month everything should be back to “normal.”

And the media should be given a stern warning not to cause any more panic, and not to policitise this matter further.

But instead the focus should be on getting everybody back to work or reopening their businesses to get the economy working, which no doubt now will take probably at least several months to a year to fully do, and sadly in numerous cases may not ever be possible.

But if taxes have to rise a lot – which I am certain they will have to – on those still working or in business, then that will require a certain amount of probably much needed austerity in any case (I mean austerity on the wealthier people mostly, not on those already suffering unduly from it).

We need to face the reality we either spend hundreds of billions annually on things we don’t need – e.g. 20 or 50 pairs of shoes, when we only need 5 or 10 – or an Iphone 29 million, when an Iphone 4 or 5 still does 95% of what the later ones do, and so on – or instead we have properly funded public services like the NHS, and the ones that collect our rubbish and keep our roads in repair and our water pure and drains clear (so we don’t get flooded so easily) and so on.

So if we use this catastrophe rightly, we can (though it may take some time) come out at the end with a better world, a saner world, and indeed a more tolerant one, in which we currently fear to hug even a friend that they might give us a deadly disease (extremely unlikely).

For I think everybody is agreed, that apart from hanging on to life itself, the thing we want most of all is to be socially accepted, to be loved and to be able to express love.

And that is going to be very hard or impossible if we allow ourselves to be so afraid of our fellow man and woman as a possible disease carrier, that we now see them as an enemy on sight unless we check on our phone app and see that they are safe, maybe from covid-19, but impossible to know if they are not carrying a thousand other viruses that we can’t possible test everyone for.

So it appears to me everyone has a choice – either don your Hazmat suit for the rest of your life, or let’s go back to normal life and loving our neighbour instead of fearing him or her.

Rosie Bruce
Rosie Bruce
2 years ago

Michael, yours is the most comprehensive and sensible article on the coronavirus “panicdemic” that I have seen. Brilliant.

revshirls
revshirls
2 years ago

What impresses me most here in Sweden is that daily press conferences are given by the experts, not the politicians. This is a traditional approach in Sweden.

fergald.notify
fergald.notify
2 years ago

His entire argument is based on the idea that you can’t get out of lockdown without just letting people get sick. S. Korea are proving every day that this is not true. They are down to 18 new cases yesterdays. So when this guy claims that S Korea have given up trying to contain the virus (around 19 minutes in the video), alarm bells ring. S. Korea had a light lockdown, intense testing and smart, practical policies. Today, they just reopened the Apple store, first in the world to reopen. I don’t see any reason why their death toll will be any higher in April 2021.

https://www.bloomberg.com/n

Of course if your govt has no intention of learning from S. Korea, then yeah, you have no safe route out of lockdown.

alice
alice
2 years ago
Reply to  fergald.notify

I agree totally with you. Sweden is doing this for economic reasons. They don´t really care, the old will die anyhow, tomorrow or in a year ???? who cares. The problem is that they really think they are so superior to other countries.

pchinelis
pchinelis
2 years ago

Manufactured Crisis that serves leftist agendas.

Seb Bassleer
Seb Bassleer
2 years ago
Reply to  pchinelis

haha!

George Andersson
George Andersson
2 years ago
Reply to  pchinelis

Wow, I´ve heard non sense but this one takes the cake.

Frank Frick
Frank Frick
2 years ago

There’s logic to what Dr Giesecke said, but also logical inconsistencies right through what he says. His view behind it all is anchored in the ‘lockdown = lot of rubbish, doesn’t work anyway’ camp, so he omits or begrudges the partial benefits from the measures taken.

Every country missed the start, and therefore had runaway disease figures, which threatened hospital capacity.

No country had skills one would associate with practised isolation.

Casual voluntary isolation will axiomatically be partial in participation. And because it does require some knowledge, self-awareness and skill to be effective, it will be slack or sloppy amongst those that did try. (It is reasonable to interpret all that has “hardly any isolation benefit at all”.)

How to buy time to expand systems and build skills?

You end up where we are.

Therefore, some isolation policy was needed, which he says is what they have done to the Swedish tolerance level. (But, “isolation measures do not work”.)

I think there was an unchallenged generalisation in that conversation that all isolation policies equal an autocratic lockdown equals a political grab for power with long-term effects. It’s a risk, some places, sure.

He’s also saying that in democracies people won’t be able to tolerate it. The fact is that we can tolerate it *for long enough* to provision extra hospital capacity, and upgrade isolation behaviours and schemes.

E.g. Look at what’s happened in supermarkets”¦ They now have guided physical spacing, customer density ceilings, and isolation panels at the checkouts. When we unwind the restrictions, that should continue.

All the upskilled behaviours and arrangements can continue (they only need to cut transmission mechanisms, not obstruct the entire transaction system itself.)

As ‘the people’ start going stir-crazy, then it will de facto be backed off, and then officially down-regulated. In which case the people will be unable to blame the government. Politicians can use polls to demonstrate that.

He also says the numbers of deaths would/will turn out to be the same, in the end, and at most double what a regular influenza epidemic would cause.

His contention stems from the notion that around 50% of the population will already have had it, but didn’t know it, and so current Case Fatality Rates are being massively exaggerated but not counting them in.

That may be or may not be true in Europe. We can’t tell unless immunity testing is population-wide or in a large properly randomised cohort.
But ~> I’m in Australia and
that assumption (50% already infected) is very hard to accept here “¦
You can see from our testing in Australia, where we have tested *all around known cases through tracing*, 400,000 tests but only 6600 +ve cases. Where are these asymptomatic infected people hiding? Should be well over > 100,000 +ves in those who have had a real chance of exposure, if he were right.

He says the numbers of deaths per million will turn out to be at most double what a regular influenza epidemic would cause = 0.1%.

I think that it will be *minimum 1%* CFR, which is 10x what he said.

And, people should count up the surplus collateral deaths from ‘normal’ potential mortal Non-Covid cases caused *if* the hospital capacities got maxed out (à la Lombardy.) That is not counted in the numbers. (A parallel argument for going hard with restrictions early on.)

Weirdly, he feels that unwinding the Restrictions (most places just have restrictions, and are not welding people into their houses) poses a significant problem.

Unwinding restrictions in the stop/start manner is effectively extending isolation in a tolerable way”¦ And every little spike, being small and anticipated, is maximally traceable so that only those people and their at-risk contacts have to go into full self- isolation for two weeks.

My view of the Unwinding is that people under 50 can be freed up first to work, including all students, and this can be managed by allowing them free run Monday to Friday, and then staying home on the weekends.
But they would have to stay away from the 60+ group.

Friday night you disinfect everywhere and everything they were around, reset the environmental contamination to zero.

Then I would give the weekends to the 60+ portion of the population to do shopping and acquire services. Still observing physical spacing, and all the hygiene techniques.

mariana.enlund
mariana.enlund
2 years ago

Sweden citizen here👌🏻
He is right in what he is saying.
All thou. Are we successful with the approach?
Not really. Unfortunately.

We wanted to protect the elderly.
But first of all, almoust noone in the personal had no protection, and to this day that’s true in many places. The virus have been spreading in to 1 of 2 elderly homes in sthlm.
We have “skyddstop” in several places right now all over the country.
Things are being done, but to slow.
Second thing is that the infected is still at the same homes as the non infected. The dementia homes having serious problems with keeping the infected from wandering around.

This is upsetting.

And now the “palliativ” care is ramping up. Saying that if you get the covid, you will not be taken to the hospital or ICU. you will be cared for to the death in the nursing home.

This is debated in sweden,

And many of the deceased in the nursing homes is not getting the test to confirm if they have covid.
The clinical diagnostic made from doctors is no longer inserted in the statistic
And now they say that the postmortem test will not be done due to the overload of dead and the tests is running out.

Tegnell said that they will make a mathematical estement of how many died in the elderly homes, later.

The influenza is going down drastically in sweden. That is awesome. But covid is not. So the debate about its the same. Is horrible.

All this is said by FHM. Not from a post on FB. I’m not a moron. I’m listening carefully what docs and FHM is telling us.

Stay safe!

Seb Bassleer
Seb Bassleer
2 years ago
Reply to  mariana.enlund

well said, it gives another perspective than just the governmental one.

here in Belgium over half of the deaths are from nursing homes alone, and so far Belgium is the ONLY country that counts these nursing home deaths into their statistics (either of COVID or stress/anxiety related deaths). Many countries keep their death toll artificially low by not counting these numbers from nursing homes, since they are not considered ‘hospitals’, which is ridiculous.

dramatone
dramatone
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Bassleer

SEB, Sweden counts deaths in elderly homes.
They usually fall into our statistics with delay over the upcoming week

George Andersson
George Andersson
2 years ago
Reply to  dramatone

Yes but they are not on the reporting numbers by FHM. KTH is also doing a report of the actuals as well as interviewing people at begravningsbyrå, funeral homes.

stefan.berg
stefan.berg
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Bassleer

No, Sweden count them as well so does Norway I think. But the UK, US and Italy doesn’t. France just recently started. Half of the Swedish deaths come by nursing homes.

Fred U
Fred U
2 years ago
Reply to  stefan.berg

Sweden only counts the ones that tested positive and if there is an autopsy and that would be rare with old people.

George Andersson
George Andersson
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred U

Exactly the estimated number is much more higher, there are also people dying at home, my 41 year old neighbor died over Easter, very fit doing CrossFit, non smoker, called 1177 and he was told to stay home because of his age they said you will be OK, three days later he was gone, the death certificate has not arrived but they told his daughter it was heart and organ failure. They will not test postmortem.

joyhazucha
joyhazucha
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Bassleer

Yes in the US we count nursing home deaths, not only hospitals. I know because every day in our Minnesota state update, they specifically report this.

Nancy Windsor
Nancy Windsor
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Bassleer

The British count them

George Andersson
George Andersson
2 years ago
Reply to  mariana.enlund

A Swede to and thins are not working out, we have been dumped, living in a homogenous society where we follow the rules and laws is great, except when what we are bring told is not true. Eeintein said ” Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of Truth” and he is spot on!

Phil Carsley
Phil Carsley
2 years ago

Love the Einstein quote, thanks!

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago
Reply to  mariana.enlund

I feel for you Swedes as I have very good friends in Goeteburg and Varmland.

Every country was caught short with PPE, please check in Sweden but in Australia and Canada this was because Chinese owned companies bought all of it and shipped it by private cargo jets to China.

I do believe the doctors prediction that total deaths over 2 years will be the same proportion for Sweden. You guys are just taking your lumps now rather than gradually.

What you won’t have is the suicide, alcohol, drug and crime extra deaths due to the bankrupting of the country.

I may be moving!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
7 months ago
Reply to  mariana.enlund

.

Last edited 7 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
grahamstrouts
grahamstrouts
2 years ago

Really interesting and makes a lot of sense. He does seem to contradict himself a little thoug when asked if the Uk should end the lockdown- he quickly said no re would be a huge spike in deaths, but if you really believe what he says, then if we are already past the peak then we should have already had most of the deaths we will get.

fergald.notify
fergald.notify
2 years ago
Reply to  grahamstrouts

He also contradicts reality when he claims that S.Korea has basically given up on containment. They had 18 new cases today and are testing more than ever. They didn’t have a strong lockdown. They had testing and smart policies. I don’t see any argument for why a country couldn’t come out of lockdown andfollow S.Korea’s playbook. When someone puts forth incorrect information about S.Korea that only serves to justify their own policy I am very suspicious.

Keith Mills
Keith Mills
2 years ago
Reply to  fergald.notify

Maybe he’s referring to things such as this (citing from the news article you reference in your earlier post):

At Han River park in Seoul’s Banpo district, families — also in masks — were having picnics as children ran around, roller-bladed and flew kites. The parking lot was full and cars were lining up to find a space. Banker Shin Bo-ram decided to venture out on Saturday with his wife and two kids, who were “tired” of being indoors after schools were closed.
“I live right in front of this park but have been refraining from coming here,” Shin said. “And then we had this perfect weather today and saw a slower increase in the number of confirmed cases. I see a crowd here today and guess lots of people felt the same.”

Fearing the potential for a “second wave” of infections, Korea’s C
enters for Disease Control and Prevention urged “everyone to continue to follow social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines during the weekend.”
“We cannot put our guard down yet as there are still potential for high rate of infections,” Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said in a televised briefing Saturday morning. “We believe that we need to continue social distancing and not loosen it up.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-18/seoul-s-full-cafes-apple-store-lines-show-mass-testing-success

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
2 years ago

Well this seems to confirm much of what I – and a few people I talk to – have been saying for some time. Namely, that the whole thing is a giant scam. As ever, the media, the politicians and the experts are all wrong. It never changes. What can you do? What can you do?

Gruss Gott
Gruss Gott
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

What can you do? How about you volunteer at an ED and help the doctors and nurses there so you can see for yourself whether it’s a scam or not?

Robin P
Robin P
2 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As ever, the media, the politicians and the experts are all wrong.

Four books were written about 2000 years ago, the most influential books in history, which led to the founding of our present civilisation and therefrom the scientific and industrial revolutions and everything that has followed therefrom including websites.

One of the main points of those books, spelled out in their culminating chapters, was that the rulers were wrong, the (religious) experts were wrong, and the masses were wrong, and only the despised solitary fool who had been abandoned even by his friends, was right.

So your notion is considerably lacking in originality. Another notion from those books is “the poor are always with us”, which does appear to be still true 2000 years on, despite the huge hoohaa of “Make Poverty History” (if anyone still remembers that).

margaret-ramsay
margaret-ramsay
2 years ago

I have noticed that our updates on mortality rates always say “died with (not of) Coronavirus”. They do not say died of COVID19. Our mortality rate this year is no higher than the average over the last 5. As the immunologists tell us that most of us carry some Corona viruses most of the time, it means that death rates are being distorted. There seems to be an agenda to ramp up the fear.

Frank Frick
Frank Frick
2 years ago

How do you know that “Our mortality rate this year is no different to the last 5″?
The figures are available for this 2020 year?

I don’t think Lombardy or NYC could claim that. But I don’t have the overall mortality figure to know.

Bengt Brown
Bengt Brown
2 years ago

In many countries it’s the actual cause of death that is put on the death certificate. So if you die from a Covid-19 complication, it’s the complication that is put down as the cause of death.

dramatone
dramatone
2 years ago

After reading many of the comments here, it’s clear that many have not listened to the interview, only reading the article

Mike Bowcott
Mike Bowcott
2 years ago
Reply to  dramatone

Exactly.

Frank Frick
Frank Frick
2 years ago
Reply to  dramatone

Read mine down below … I listened to all of it.

Douglas Macready
Douglas Macready
2 years ago

This is an excellent interview.
It is good to hear from someone who has the courage to back his views.
I believe Professor Giesecke will be proved right in 12 months time. I hope the population of Sweden and their politicians can hold their nerve.

Fred U
Fred U
2 years ago

Johan Giesecke also said in and interview that if everyone stayed home when they felt sick with Covid-19 symptoms this would all be over in a couple of weeks.

Douglas Macready
Douglas Macready
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred U

He didn’t say that in this interview.
He said that in January Sweden decided to apply an evidence based policy to combat the
SARS-Cov-2 virus. Therefore the current measures taken in Sweden are supported by evidence.
There is absolutely no evidence to support a draconian Lockdown.
The UK was also adopting this policy until they U- turned overnight due to The Imperial College paper that has not even been published or peer reviewed.

Paul Carline
Paul Carline
2 years ago

Not impressed. The basic comparison between the Swedish and UK responses could have been dealt with in ten minutes or so. The more important questions weren’t even raised – such as: where did this virus come from? was it engineered? what does the professor think about the evidence that the pandemic had been predicted for at least ten years – and modelled (at Event 201) only last November? is the professor aware of the massive funding Imperial College has received from the Gates Foundation? does he believe that influenced Ferguson’s predictions? what does he think about Gates’ publicly stated goal of reducing the world population drastically? what does he think about the role of the WHO in this and earlier ‘pandemics’? is he aware of the attempt in 2009 to spike the H1N1 vaccine with live bird flu virus? That might have produced a rather more lively and informative interview. Is unherd afraid of asking the hard questions?

Malcolm Sheen
Malcolm Sheen
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Carline

We want a way out of this though more than anything. I liked the questions raised as it’s explained pretty much their whole strategy, something our government can’t do & it seems to be a case of wait & see what everyone else is doing. Not only that, it makes sense & is actually based on normal science over other countries either blind panic or doing nothing.

Jon Bosart
Jon Bosart
2 years ago

The assertion that Covid-19 is a mild disease similar to the Flu is contrary to the evidence,. Seems to be another “expert” guessing generally. Personally, I’ve heard more than enough conflicting opinion on this virus, to last a lifetime.
It is true that both cause respiratory disease, transmit via contact, droplets and surface contamination, but are certainly NOT the same when it comes to severity.
According to WHO, the body he advises? Covid-19 shows that generally across the Nations, 80% are mild infections, 15% severe and require oxygen and 5% require critical care. These figures are FAR higher than Flu.

Also, the speed of transmission of Covid-19 is far more deadly at around 3% to 4% and could spiral out of control in an uncontrolled “herd” approach. Whereas Flu is around 0.1%.

Because of this, it is preferable to directly limit it’s spread, right from the outset and reduce the strain on Healthcare systems, which could all too easily face collapse in a “herd” approach.
In other words, as they say, flatten the curve and prevent mass infection, especially as we have no confidence in the post infection immunity period, being unknown. Which also, incidentally makes any possible vaccine management more difficult.

Once the overall infection rate has reduced, then we can firstly, better understand this virus and, secondly, take the appropriate measures to control the smaller number of cases.

itrain Itrain
itrain Itrain
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Bosart

You lost me when you mentioned “WHO”

xluigi
xluigi
2 years ago

Does Professor Giesecke believe the actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is 0,1%? If so, how can he be sure?
I do hope such an assumption is not based to the mentioned and not yet done mass test supposed to show antibodies on 50% of the British and Swedish population. It would look like a quite dangerous bet… but I think I have got it wrong …

Gruss Gott
Gruss Gott
2 years ago
Reply to  xluigi

This is the core problem: his point (which he contradicts himself on) is “I have a guess supported by limited data – now let’s bet the lives of your country on my guess”

Mike Bowcott
Mike Bowcott
2 years ago

You might want to listen to this interview a few times and pay closer attention to what is said and what is not said. This was a very candid and forthright interview based on what the Dr. believes to be true. He then very clearly states, check back in one year when all the data is available.

This virus and the reaction to the virus serve many purposes, whether you wish to believe them or not, and it does not matter. China was locked in a trade battle with the USA, and they would like nothing more than to get rid of Trump. Europe is on the verge of collapse, and authoritarian Gov’t is on the rise. It is a last-ditch effort to save the EU. The EU experiment is failing because they created a common currency but neglected to develop a common debt for apparent reasons. Now, French President Macron has admitted that Italy needs help “there was no choice but to set up a fund that “could issue common debt with a common guarantee” to finance member states according to their needs. Most of the EU members are out of money, and they are kept on life support by the ECB and its ridiculous negative interest rate policy, which is a tax on savings. Macron laid it out, “If we can’t do this today, I tell you the populists will win ” today, tomorrow, the day after, in Italy, in Spain, perhaps in France and elsewhere.”

The virus is the cover to bring about the common debt, but why would the stronger northern EU members want to bail out their profligate southern neighbours. Macron laid it out, “If we can’t do this today, I tell you the populists will win ” today, tomorrow, the day after, in Italy, in Spain, perhaps in France and elsewhere.” The lockdowns prevent protest, and the virus confuses the issues by making it a common enemy that can only be defeated by adding more debt, a common debt. Finally, by weakening the US economy with a lockdown, Trump’s re-election odds have decreased, and that suits his many detractors very well. A lot of controversial thoughts to ponder.

Frank Frick
Frank Frick
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bowcott

You got that from the interview?

anassim
anassim
2 years ago

A nice bit of common sense. Humans have evolved over millions of years to handle viruses. In the vast majority of cases, coronavirus has almost no effect on the person infected. All these infections only disappear when herd immunity is attained.

Lockdowns destroy the economy and will result in far more deaths that this virus that is comparable to the annual flu. The whole thing is a massive hoax with political aims.

jonmatthewwillisbrown
jonmatthewwillisbrown
2 years ago

The strongest argument made here is that the denominator in all of our statistics is wrong and because of this, rash decisions have been made from misinformation.

The notion that the death rate is MUCH lower than our data reflects makes a great deal of sense. His suggestion to have this conversation a year from now will most likely reflect this reality.

Another good point is that those who are going to die from this virus, are most likely to die from any illness should they become infected. There is no vaccine to protect you against ANY human coronaviruses and there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses.

I am ONLY persuaded that the quarantine orders and restrictions may have bought us a little time to discover a remedy, but these very measures may result in more human suffering on the whole than the virus itself.

I’d love to head a task force to capture the data to verify my unfortunate prediction, but no one out there seems to be willing to face this embarrassing oversight resulting from these unprecedented shutdowns.

I for one am growing extremely weary of the people who dismiss comparisons of COVID-19 with the flu. They fail to understand what is being compared. We’re comparing cause for alarm.

If the flu doesn’t merit shutdowns to contain its spread and thus thousands of lives, then why would COVID-19 be a special case? Because it is new? Isn’t it more damning that we don’t take these measures to protect people from dying when we DO know the loss of life which will result from our inaction?

The point is, we don’t advocate these measures because they put our freedoms in jeopardy. They are unsustainable. And as Mr. Giesecke pointed out, we’ve gotten ourselves into a HUGE mess that sets a precedent for awful people to do awful things in the name of “public health”. Not to mention, there is no useful, scientific way to go back to “normal” without undoing the supposed benefits of these shutdowns.

Rosie Bruce
Rosie Bruce
2 years ago

Fascinating interview. I didn’t quite understand why Prof Giesecke thought lifting lockdown would be problematic (if we assume the elderly/those who are at risk will be protected), given his belief that we have 50% herd immunity in the UK – particularly now that we have more hospital capacity than when lockdown began. Maybe somebody could please explain.

thomas.nordstrom.prog
thomas.nordstrom.prog
2 years ago
Reply to  Rosie Bruce

He said to not end lockdown immediately. It has to be done gradually. If everyone goes out on the town and start spreading the virus around all at the same time, at their workplaces, crowded busses and pubs, etc. then there will be a sudden spike in new cases.
This spike will negatively affect the health care system and it will make people more scared again. If you do it gradually then the health care system won’t be as badly affected and people will be less scared by the increasing numbers because they won’t be a sudden spike.
Basically, if you want to end lockdown then you must do it in a way that doesn’t scare the people in such a way that they demand that the lockdown continues.

melandrabethell
melandrabethell
2 years ago

I’m not very popular as I believe this guy to be right. I think our lockdown is a waste of time and has created huge economic trouble. Everything he says rings true, unlike the childish slogans and incomplete data we’re being fed by the UK government.

livefood.uk.ltd
livefood.uk.ltd
2 years ago

And it’s not just economic hardship. The true cost of the lockdowns in human lives will probably well exceed the number of deaths from covid-19

taos
taos
2 years ago

If “The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is the region of 0.1%”, why the honorable Swedish Expert gives interview at all? If it is same disease as a flu, why to make any Swedish strategy?? I mean, in 2019 there was flu in Sweden, no strategy was implemented. So or this is not like a flu at all, then Johan Giesecke lies. Or this is like a flu, then Johan Giesecke is an idiot by recommending any kind of strategy to prevent flu-like infection.

thomas.nordstrom.prog
thomas.nordstrom.prog
2 years ago
Reply to  taos

Because people demand a strategy. It’s a pandemic, a lot of people have died in a short amount of time and people are scared.
The “Swedish strategy” is very mild compared to a full lockdown. It is pretty much the bare minimum to make sure that hospitals don’t go over capacity.
People see their politicians doing something about the pandemic and it gives them some measure of peace of mind. If the government did nothing then trust in the government would crumble. In Sweden (and Europe in general) we are not like the US. We trust our governments and we want to trust our governments. If governments aren’t built on the people’s trust, then why even have a nation?

thomas.nordstrom.prog
thomas.nordstrom.prog
2 years ago

This guy is such a Swede. XD
He just will not interrupt the other person until they finish their sentence. It seems to me like the interviewer (Freddie?) is used to being interrupted by the people he interviews and thus starts fumbling his words when he has to finish his sentences for once. 😛
Professor Giesecke also thinks through his responses before opening his mouth. It leads to some quiet moments in the interview, but it’s respectable and relaxing. I like him! I’d rather listen to him than any fast-talker who feel the need to fill every moment of silence with more words.

Vanessa Gray
Vanessa Gray
2 years ago

I agree with everything the Doctor had to say. But the interview was poor. Not once did you ask – ‘What is your evidence for this’. You let him answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and then moved on. Disappointing

itrain Itrain
itrain Itrain
2 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa Gray

“…Not once did you ask – ‘What is your evidence for this’. …”

The ones that should be providing evidence are the ones that are advocating literarily bankrupting whole nations to save them.

If you went to a hospital for a strange new disease and a doctor advocated amputating one of your legs to save your life, I am sure you would demand some evidence before you agreed. It is not you that should provide evidence to the contrary.

One of the tenets of medicine is “first do no harm” but methinks that this present cure is turning out to be more damaging than the disease itself.

Like the good professor said, we should concentrate on protecting the old, the frail and those with jobs that bring them into contact with hundreds of people each day. Let everyone else live their lives as they wish within reason.

Robin P
Robin P
2 years ago
Reply to  itrain Itrain

Like the good professor said,

In my experience a high proportion of people called professors are very far from good, and quite a number aren’t even good at being competent in their purported expertise! Evidence at http://www.pseudoexpertise.com

Robin Bury
Robin Bury
2 years ago

Please NOT ‘social distancing’ but as WHO advises, physical distancing.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago

I think the doctor is correct. Protection of the old and people with repritory pre-existing conditions makes sense. Hand washing and social limitation. But in the UK, Canada and Australia the Facist police forces are attacking the population. Luckily in Milwauke and other US states the citizens are rebelling in the streets.

Seb Bassleer
Seb Bassleer
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Allan

yeah, having riots & protests for consumerism over temporary isolation. such a smart idea.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago
Reply to  Seb Bassleer

I am sure you are having a great holiday on government hand outs but I can see you are young enough to be the key demographic that will be in constant austerity to pay back that money.

The numbers, which you quoted, are clear 95% of the deaths are of people over 55 (90% over 65) which mean lazy young people like you should be at work and not on your sofa gooffing off.

Frank Frick
Frank Frick
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Allan

Hey Scott, the police in Australia are being reasonable. And they have withdrawn the fines, or when reasonable arguments were put up against them.

The great majority of the population supports the whole idea, and they want the police to stop those flouting it. Because they want their isolation efforts to work. And, it has.

So don’t generalise with “Fascist”, that means people with patterns hitting people. You’re either getting carried away with the rhetoric, or else your source is a biased local press cherrypicking a couple of events which contrasts with how it actually is.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago
Reply to  Frank Frick

Fact total number of COVID 19 cases at Easter in Australia = 6300, Number of Victorian police issued more than 400 fines for coronavirus breaches over Easter weekend.

Film after film of guys being tackled in the middle of parks for sunbathing with dozen meters or more between them and any other person. Perfect time for police to be their normal selves in Australia.

If I count the number of fines it will be more than the number of cases won’t it. Facism is the act of putting the “State’s needs” before the individual’s. This is a clear cut case of facism.

Pretty sure you are just a brown noser.

retrogradecholangiography
retrogradecholangiography
2 years ago

How will the elderly be protected considering a large number of the 60 plus population is working? Will they be retired early? How will this affect their mental health?

Dr T
Dr T
2 years ago

He clearly knows he’s wrong, but he feels isolated, because the UK reversed its policy and now he alone will look stupid. So he’s hoping he can rope in someone else (e.g. the UK) to look stupid together with him – just as China roped in the rest of us into being struck down by the epidemic after they were. He admits that Finland doesn’t have much of a problem because they took action early – which is exactly the point, if we’d closed OUR borders early (like, in January) and imposed a mandatory 14 day quarantine on immigration, there would have been no cases, no deaths, and no internal lockdown. If the whole world had done that, we’d be coming out of quarantine as soon as China contained their own outbreak. He also clearly thinks “it’s just the flu” (in terms of severity) and “some old people will die, but they’d have died anyway … and yes some young people will die too, and that’s unfortunate, but most will be OK” (does he realize how callous that is?). He doesn’t seem to think that having a few extra months to live matters much to an old person, or having a better chance of survival, perhaps for many years or even decades, as we learn more about the disease and have better treatment options. His main argument seems to be that “in a democracy”, you can’t have a lockdown, because the people won’t want to be responsible and are too soft to agree to stop partying in order to survive (presumably like the debauched spoilt liberal elite he seems to understand best) … despite the fact that the majority of the population supports the lockdown because they understand what it’s for and the consequences of not having it.

I am not a fan of the police state measures – I think the government should have closed the borders early, put everyone coming in into mandatory quarantine and avoided the epidemic and all this hassle altogether, but after they screwed up, I think we have no choice but put up with this for a little while until we’ve eradicated the virus. But it will all be pointless unless the borders are quarantined, which the UK government still hasn’t done!

patrick.ss.home
patrick.ss.home
2 years ago
Reply to  Dr T

You missed out his main point, which is that the main effect of the lockdown is to delay the inevitable, but not to change the number of deaths much.

Dr T
Dr T
2 years ago

No I did not miss this point of his, I did say he knows he is wrong (on that point particularly).

patrick.ss.home
patrick.ss.home
2 years ago

Something we would really like to know is what will happen in the summer – will Covid be reduced? This is actually a great mystery – believe it or not, there is no good explanation for the winter seasonality of virtually all respiratory viruses. They go away in the summer around here, but they thrive in the Tropics year-round. Influenza is said to like cold dry conditions, rhinovirus cold, damp ones. But both thrive in the RAINY season in Fortaleza, N Brazil. Science tends to be rather Euro- and US-centric. (FWIW my take on it: https://oldwivesandvirologi

Gruss Gott
Gruss Gott
2 years ago

Ignoring the problem of limited healthcare capacity causing preventable deaths, Prof Giesecke’s argument boils down to: “I have a guess with limited data support at best, now let’s bet everyone’s lives on my guess.”
His guess may be very good, it may be right! But policy has to be based on what we know, and when it’s people lives, abundance of caution should be the first principle. Further, we can’t know the long-term morbidity of this virus.
With all of that said, limited lock-downs with frequent mass testing could serve as a policy guidelight for others. However, even so, will people participate? I understand Swedish movie theaters are down 90% so maybe no lock-down is all of the economic downsides with none of the healthcare upsides?

Douglas Macready
Douglas Macready
2 years ago
Reply to  Gruss Gott

Professor Giesecke said that in January Sweden decided to adopt measures that are supported by evidence.This is what they are doing. This isn’t guessing.
The countries adopting the lockdown are the ones that are guessing.
Show me research that Proves lockdowns are effective.

traci0612
traci0612
2 years ago

What I get from the whole experience, seeing/reading multiple opinions and “facts” (at this point, who really knows what the facts are), is that the focus on this virus blew up the world economically. Yes, it’s a new strain, but we have never reacted with such extreme over the annual flu (which also kills thousands every year). We didn’t even see lockdown in the 80s with AIDS, or Ebola.
I also see this as a global reset. While we will have extreme economic results, ultimately it should hopefully prove to be a good lesson. To return to quality time with family, more activities outdoors (less technology), to be more conscious of our hygiene and others. Let’s pray the end result is positive. We do get what we focus on.

Robert Ward
Robert Ward
2 years ago

An excellent interview.
Now I am not blaming the British Government entirely but this shows that the NHS was totally unprepared.
And I question if Sweden have got it right and we have got it wrong?

harbortalk2
harbortalk2
2 years ago

Professor Johan Giesecke is brilliant. And brave. He absolutely has the correct approach. He is the leader we have all been seeking. (Sad that a very unscholarly paper written in the U.K. has had such unfortunate influence.) I live in Arizona, USA.

Daren Austin
Daren Austin
2 years ago

Sweden has had the benefit of hindsight as their epidemic is at least a week or more behind the major populations (but growing at largely the same rate). Whilst his last point is reasonable as an end game, there is currently no support for such a large figure for prevalence, with a Dutch blood donation study suggesting at most 5% prevalence (10-fold lower). Hence the epidemic curve has not been due to immunity. When based on this approximate prevalence in the UK (similar population density), the fatality rate is approximately 0.3%, which is a reasonable figure in agreement with the interview.

Lillian Fry
Lillian Fry
2 years ago

If you look at the Worldometers data for Sweden, it is following virtually the same trajectory in rise and fall in numbers of cases as the countries that have locked down. The most interesting part was how do we unlock since every step will bring new cases and deaths and the temptation by pols will be to extend the lockdown. My children are fortunate enough to be able to work from home but their children are at home too and the concern is that jobs will reopen before schools. That will be nearly impossible for parents to manage.

I wish he had addressed Farr’s Law which has been cited by many of the critics of the models and the current policies.

JESUS MARIA MARTINEZ
JESUS MARIA MARTINEZ
2 years ago

Spain has the toughest confinement in Europe and yet, of the 20,000 dead, 12,000 have died in nursing homes. Confinement has not prevented it. The question I ask is: Are scientists’ decisions driven by fear or reason?

craig
craig
2 years ago

Great interview. Needs saying. The blind lockdown approach isn’t a cure, it isn’t even a rational response. It’s a frightened one.
I maintain the government initial strategy was the correct one and if the MSM hadn’t had their usual feeding frenzy, the numbers would most probably be pretty similar to those we are sadly seeing but we would not have flushed our entire economy down the toilet.

Heather W
Heather W
2 years ago

Interesting and civilised interview. But Dr G did not really deal with the impact on the health services of many very sick people needing intensive care over many days in our hospitals, overwhelming the capacity of hospitals to care for non Covid patients (this has already happened in some S. American countries – see BBC reports from Equador, for example). He states ‘millions’ of UK people have almost certainly had the virus (practically asymptomatically). This is not backed up with any data and in fact Netherlands data (early reports) shows maybe three per cent of people will have had the disease at the end of this first wave (based on antibody testing of blood donors).
In addition, I’d have liked to see proper data comparing the death rate of younger people in the normal flu season with the death rate of younger people with Covid. He Indicated that younger people die of flu every year – small numbers but consistently proportionate to the overall total and Covid is no different.

frank.hoffsummer
frank.hoffsummer
2 years ago

I just came here to applaud Freddie Sayers for being such a great listener and conducting this interview in such a calm, civilized way. Great questions and follow-on questions! This interview was fascinating.

David Bolton
David Bolton
2 years ago

I agree almost wholeheartedly with everything said, but why neither Professor Giesecke nor Freddie can work out 0.1% of 65 million in their heads in a split second beggars belief.

giordano.dichter
giordano.dichter
2 years ago

Nice and civilized interview. However, I have not been capable of discerning any evidence-based facts in support of the professor’s opinion. Anedoctal experience based on his impressive CV, yes… evidence-based statements on which to base such crucial decisions… not really. I still am very perplexed.

hasanagic.sen
hasanagic.sen
2 years ago

Unfortunately, it seems that he might be totally wrong. Because he is starting with potentially fallacious premise that specific immunity against new corona virus will be developed. You can avoid imposing lockdowns only if there is natural immunity after SARS Cov-2 infection and assuming virus is less virulent now. After all, natural immunity to corona viruses seems rather controversial. Non existant??! We know now that is MUTATING. It is not one strain but several phylogenetically different strains. It was a myth that it was a stable virus. So you can not maintain slow, linear growth curve nor achieve its final fall ( “broken curve” ) unless
1) you have gained individual and collective immunity naturally or by vaccination 2) infectious pathogen is eradicated or less virulent. There is no natural immunity for many infectious pathogenes and many agents are not completely eradicated. So you simply NEED A VACCINE. Without it or without natural immunity or attenuation of virulance you will have exponential growth as soon as you open up society. But what might be the worst case scenario related to vaccine development is actually unraveling : virus is not genetically stable and is mutating.

turner.hugh
turner.hugh
2 years ago

The best reason for the current lock-down, is to protect the mental health of the workers in the NHS, and these workers would have been severely affected if the tidal wave Dr Gieseke referred to had not been suppressed. So managed herd immunity should be the policy. The lock-down will be released in stages, and maybe re-introduced until herd immunity is achieved.

emily.lake123
emily.lake123
2 years ago

What is striking about this interview is how matter-of-fact Dr. Giesecke is. None of the fear and emotions of most other interviews, articles, opinions and, arguably, policy making. Thank you for making this available.

Harold Flashman
Harold Flashman
2 years ago

I have to call BS on this. Sweden has a population of 10.23 million, with 15,300 confirmed cases and 1,765 total deaths.

That’s an infection rate or 0.15% for the entire population and a mortality rate of 11.5% of those infected. Extending this to the US, would mean 492,000 infections and 57,000 dead. However, even with mitigation policies in place, as of April 20, the US has 793,000 cases, with 43,000 deaths.

On a per million population basis, the US is at 128 Covid19 deaths per million residents, compared to Sweden’s 175 Covid19 deaths per million.

While the US has higher infection rate than Sweden, it has a much lower mortality rate.

Keeping the country open only works if there is widespread and easily available testing and tracing regimen in place.

Just a final word on US mortality. Apparently the US excludes retirement homes and senior residences deaths from their statistics. Reuters did a survey of US retirement homes and estimated an addition 6,500 to 7,000 possible Covid19 deaths.

Even if you add the Reuters numbers to the official US numbers, US total per million mortality rate remains less than that of Swedens. Also based on the Italian experience, it was clear that staying open was not really an option. Well not unless you want your hospitals over run, and the need to call in army trucks to carry away the dead.

The 2 examples of successfully tackling the virus come from China (total lockdown of the affected regions!) and South Korea (massive testing). Neither of these were (or still are) possible in the US.

I compared US and Swedish numbers to Canada, where they have a Federally managed and coordinated response. All provinces (even those with no infections) are basically shut down, and the Federal govt is managing distribution of equipment and supplies based on regional needs.

Canada has a higher testing rate per million population than the US or Sweden, they also have the lowest mortality rates at 45 per million population and lowest number of cases per million at 976. According to the official Canadian Health Department site, these mortality rates include retirement homes. The US is at 2,395 per million, and Sweden at 1,517 per million.

danielson.oscar
danielson.oscar
2 years ago

Up until last week Sweden only tested people who had to seek hospital care for potential Covid-19. This explain the high mortality rate. You had to be very sick to qualify for testing. Latest modeling suggest that approximately 600 000 people have been transmitted by the deseas in Stockholm and with 1022 deaths.

https://experience.arcgis.c

rmanayan
rmanayan
2 years ago

As a Physician & Surgeon in the USA, what I shared with the President – My Recommendations: 1) Have the entire adult population strengthen their own Immune System with supplements. This should have been done from day one. I have advised my family, friends & patients general and specific things to do. Despite what the experts have been saying, a healthy Immune System has the ability to fight any infection. 2) All working people need to take an Antibody test, if they’re positive – they go back to work. If they’re negative, make sure they do number one for a few weeks, and then go back to work. This virus is more contagious/ infectious however it is not as lethal as influenza. 3) Prophylaxis for all high risk people with Zinc & Hydroxychloroquine. 4) Prophylaxis for all low risk people with Zinc & Quercetin. 5) New Mindset – We have to let this virus come through this country. We have to throw out the mindset of “not catching this virus.” How well we prepare will determine how well we do. The reason why the UK didn’t do so well with their plan is because they didn’t prepare their bodies. 6) We cannot be afraid of it. The Press is fueling the fear by constantly reporting the number of infections/ cases and deaths 24/7. Fear has been shown scientifically to Depress the Immune System. 7) New Paradigm of being responsible for our own health instead of constantly relying on man (Drs)/ medicine (medications, vaccines, etc).

rolandpgrabe
rolandpgrabe
2 years ago
Reply to  rmanayan

Just as supplements cannot boost your immune system https://www.bbc.com/future/… , Hyrdroxycholoquine has been shown not to be helpful in treating this virus https://edition.cnn.com/202…. Or am I wrong. I am certainly not a doctor.

George Andersson
George Andersson
2 years ago

Swedish citizen here also, Johan and Anders Tegnell are not telling the truth, they are trained bureaucrats/politicians, far, far away from the day to day practice in the field, there are 2500 MD´s Epidemiologists and researchers in award-winning institutions that disagree with this approach, A.-The strategy has been based on available data and not much data available, ( not true data was there from January, the Chinese Healthcare Ministry distributed a handbook on their practices findings and recommendations and distributed to all health ministries worldwide in many languages.
B.- Lockdowns did work, Finland, Norway, Singapore, Taiwan, prove it works, also not for six months as he mentions.
C.- Children are contagious, confirmed by published reports by various academic institutions, WHO, and CDC. D.-The numbers of death rate in Sweden is estimated at nearly 5600 or more, the elderly left to die with End of life care, and given sedatives, on-site, the elderly are not qualifying for ICU care and are not counted nor tested postmortem, the same goes for those who die at home, they are airbrushing the figures for political gain.
E.-The health authority continues to refuse a healthy debate with the trained field Epidemiologists who are critical of the practice.
D.- The reason the situation is not worse, mind you Sweden has more deaths per million than many other countries, is that about 60% of the population have voluntarily lockdown, however, because of the vague guidelines and confusing messages, many people are out in nightclubs, pubs, and restaurants, people are having parties and families even if they have one parent at home with symptoms they send the children to school because their keep hearing the virus is just like the flu and children are not contagious, many people traveled within Sweden during Easter creating infection pockets in villages that did not have single case.
E.- There are many cases of young people without pre-existing conditions passing away, as young as 30, we are also killing and putting our healthcare workers at significant risk.
D.- No cleaning recommendations have been made, Anders Tegnelll stated cleaning buses, subways, spraying trees to rid of pollen and dust particles which can transport the virus into our lungs, was not needed.
A pollen particle especially birch are large about 100 microns, you can fit 833 viral particles which are 120 Nm, in a pollen particle and about 83 in a dust particle of 10 microns.
E-. They continuously stated masks are not needed, they stated ” the peak is here” at 20 infected, at 100 infected. they stated, we have enough ventilators, we have enough PPE, we have enough ICU rooms.
F.- Not true the Norwegian nursing homes are smaller, the same goes for Finland.
G.-Not trues no one could predict the outbreak in Italy, Björn Olsson a Professor in Uppsala University rang the warning bell early on and stated that Italy would be a hot zone, and potential spread, he stated many Swedes will go skiing during the brack to Cervinia and other places, he called for the government suggests a stop from traveling and also recommended over and over that schools should be closed as many came back from Italy with the virus. He also mentioned the high number of Chinese seasonal textile workers in Lombardi.
H.- Sweden is a giant petri dish and despited the objective to protect the economy, the economy is in trouble many people have lost their jobs and many others will, sad that these ill-prepared lying bureaucrats keep theirs, whilst being indirectly responsible for thousands of deaths.
So no the approach is not working and we don´t know if the virus will mutate and affect the bulk of the population

George Andersson
George Andersson
2 years ago

“Unthinking Respect for Authority is the Greatest Enemy of Truth”
Albert Einstein.

You need to interview Björn Olsen Professor at Upsala University or the Professors of Epidemiology at Karolinska Institute Nele Brussealers, and many others, Cecilia Sodeberg-Naucler, Upsala, Shina Caroline Kamerlin, Etc. These people have facts, by the way Sweden is the only country on earth where doctors do not swear an oath at graduation like all other countries do.

cfdcoste
cfdcoste
2 years ago

UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based –> of course not, if evidence based you have to wait for an epidemics to be over in order to understand how to control it. Btw, swedish policy is miles away for being evidenced based either. At least fergusson’s policy is model based !

The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only —> This is the actual policy of most countries, and it works, at least compared to sweden

This will eventually lead to herd immunity as a “by-product” –> herd-immunity may be reached as high as 80% of pop. + this is contradictory with previous statement

The Imperial College paper was “not very good” and he has never seen an unpublished paper have so much policy impact.–> at least policy is paper based, not “some clinician has a gut feeling” based

Any such models are a dubious basis for public policy anyway –> authority argument = useless

The flattening of the curve is due to the most vulnerable dying first as much as the lockdown –> I infer from this statement that the average human is 10 times frailer in Sweden than in Norway…This would explain a lot of the ski results !

The results will eventually be similar for all countries –> as in south korea for instance ? or HK ?

Covid-19 is a “mild disease” and similar to the flu, and it was the novelty of the disease that scared people –> wrong provocative statement… not one study shows data even remotely suggesting that

The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is the region of 0.1% –> Completely contradictory with previous statement !

At least 50% of the population of both the UK and Sweden will be shown to have already had the disease when mass antibody testing becomes available –> prophecies are not arguments.

elisabeta.stanculescu
elisabeta.stanculescu
2 years ago

hello here from Germany, yet with family living in Romania, and the US. First of all I would like to suggest to also take into consideration the culture of the country, the way people socialize. In a country like Sweden the mannerisms are very different or the every day socialization is very different than in a country like Italy or like Romania. In the Romance language countries as well as other eastern countries, people tend to touch each other much more and not keep a distance when they communicate and meet comparing to a country like Sweden, or Finland, or the UK. culturally people are much closer in these countries, than in the northern countries. Therefor the infection rate will be at a much faster pace than in northern countries. second we should also look at the medical ability of some countries like Romania for example. There are much fewer beds in hospitals if to compare to Sweden, lets say. The expired cases are much more in relation to the people infected in couturiers like Romania. There are less ventilators than in other western or northern countries. It would be a massacre if Italy would not have become so restricted or also Romania among many many other countries.

jonmatthewwillisbrown
jonmatthewwillisbrown
2 years ago

The strongest argument made here is that the denominator in all of our statistics is wrong and because of this, rash decisions have been made from misinformation.

The notion that the death rate is MUCH lower than our data reflects makes a great deal of sense. His suggestion to have this conversation a year from now will most likely reflect this reality.

Another good point is that those who are going to die from this virus, are most likely to die from any illness should they become infected. There is no vaccine to protect you against ANY human coronaviruses and there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses.

I am ONLY persuaded that the quarantine orders and restrictions may have bought us a little time to discover a remedy, but these very measures may result in more human suffering on the whole than the virus itself.

I’d love to head a task force to capture the data to verify my unfortunate prediction, but no one out there seems to be willing to face this embarrassing oversight resulting from these unprecedented shutdowns.

I for one am growing extremely weary of the people who dismiss comparisons of COVID-19 with the flu. They fail to understand what is being compared. We’re comparing cause for alarm.

If the flu doesn’t merit shutdowns to contain its spread and thus thousands of lives, then why would COVID-19 be a special case? Because it is new? Isn’t it more damning that we don’t take these measures to protect people from dying when we DO know the loss of life which will result from our inaction?

The point is, we don’t advocate these measures because they put our freedoms in jeopardy. They are unsustainable. And as Mr. Giesecke pointed out, we’ve gotten ourselves into a HUGE mess that sets a precedent for awful people to do awful things in the name of “public health”. Not to mention, there is no useful, scientific way to go back to “normal” without undoing the supposed benefits of these shutdowns.

Paul Swann
Paul Swann
2 years ago

Updating the deaths per million in an article (https://www.project-syndica… published the same day as this video, using Worldometers stats:

Sweden 192 deaths per million (+56)
Denmark 66 dpm (+6)
Norway 34 dpm (+4)
Finland 27dpm (+12).

Finland’s figures jumped on 21 April when they started including deaths in care homes which, as far as I’m aware (correct me if I’m wrong), is not the case in Sweden.

Based on French data, which currently shows that 38% of their total deaths were in care homes (8104 out of 21340), and recognising that no countries include deaths at home, Sweden’s figures can be increased by up to 45%, which takes it to around 278 dpm since the first confirmed death on 12 March. Sweden’s annual death rate from flu and pneumonia is 156 dpm.

As Prof. Giesecke suggests, it will be interesting to review the situation this time next year. But as things stand, I suspect that his ignorance of / reckless approach to risk management may cast a shadow on his distinguished career.

stefan.berg
stefan.berg
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Swann

Well let me correct you then. Sweden DOES include all deaths including the ones outside of hospitals. They are basically vacuuming all parts of society to hunt down Covid 19 related deaths. This is one of the reasons why the number of deaths by capita are higher in Sweden than neighboring countries (but still far less than 7 other countries in Europe that practice lock down). The other one is traveling. The amount of travelers back and forth from Stockholm (during February to and from hot spots in Italy) and the amount of tourists visiting are far greater than any other neighboring country. Norway and Finland are in many ways, by comparison, isolated.

Paul Swann
Paul Swann
2 years ago
Reply to  stefan.berg

Thanks Stefan, this confirms that Sweden includes care home deaths: https://sverigesradio.se/si… Interestingly the article I linked to which stated the opposite appears to have been removed.

On 29 April the UK also started including Corvid-19 deaths outside hospital, adding 3718 to the total. Since this equated to 17% deaths outside hospital, compared to over 35% in France, it’s likely that there’s still under-reporting. Adding 35% to the hospitals only total would take the UK to nearly 33,000 deaths as of 4 May, roughly 484 deaths per million, compared to Sweden’s 275 dpm.

As mentioned, Finland have been including deaths outside hospital since 21 April (current total: 240, i.e. 44 deaths per million). I’m still unclear about whether Denmark and Norway do. Assuming they don’t, adding 35% to their current totals would give totals of around 665 in Denmark (115 deaths per million) and 288 in Norway (53 dpm).

The Financial Times are now tracking excess mortality. Their data suggest that Sweden may have had up to 1700 excess deaths during the outbreak, with Denmark having 100 and Norway having none: https://www.ft.com/coronavi

If excess mortality is indicative of more accurate Covid-19 death totals, based on the FT data (and assuming Denmark and Norway don’t include deaths outside hospital) Sweden may have had 4470 deaths (442 deaths per million) compared to Denmark’s 765 (140 dpm) and Norway’s 288 (53 dpm).

At the very least, the jury is still out on the Swedish approach. There’s not much ambiguity about the situation in the UK – the FT Economics Editor’s cautious estimate is 50,200 deaths linked to the outbreak (i.e. 740 dpm): https://twitter.com/ChrisGi

Paul Swann
Paul Swann
2 years ago
Reply to  stefan.berg

Re: my previous comment (which I retract). Apologies, I misunderstood the new FT chart, which shows that the total number of excess deaths in Sweden up to 14 April was about 1700 above the historical average for the same period. The official Covid-19 cumulative total on that date was 1033. However, as Denmark had only 100 excess deaths but had reported 299 Covid-19 related deaths by 14 April, whilst Norway had no excess deaths but had reported 139 Covid-19 deaths, it can’t be assumed that Sweden’s excess mortality indicates a higher Covid-19 death toll.

donovanmike82
donovanmike82
2 years ago

Interesting video.

Couple of points however.

1. He says that Sweden is doing things on an evidence basis. Then proceeds to list all the things that they are doing which has no evidence basis according to him.

2. Where is the evidence that herd immunity will work? According to the WHO there is zero evidence that there is immunity to be gained from having the disease. There may be some short term immunity but there is no evidence of long term immunity. All previous coronavirus have short term immunity measured in months.

3. His believes that the overall death numbers when all is said and done will be similar to a bad flu season. This is just ludicrous, Try telling that the people of New York City or Lombardy. 0.1% of the total population of New York city has died in the space of a few weeks.

4. His estimate for overall deaths for the UK is also atrociously bad. He says 10K then just doubles it to 20K. The numbers who have already died are considerably higher than this.

I also note that the Swedish Public Health Agency has retracted their latest report estimating that they are approaching herd immunity in Stockholm. They have retracted it citing an error without explaining the error as of yet.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago
Reply to  donovanmike82

When you quote WHO as a source of evidence the whole world shudders. They are the puppet of the CCP. The WHO failure to verify information from a known unreliable CCP is negligence.

Tedros is a know genocide participant and communist stooge. Watch the numbers and we will see the Swedish doctor is right. They may have a few more deaths of the elderly up front but their numbers will be the same over 2 years. What they won’t have is the spike in suicide, alchoholism, drug addiction, bankruptcy and crime that all other countries that persist with locking down will.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago
Reply to  donovanmike82

Please check the number of deaths in all usual catagories in the UK. You will see they all read at about zero. But last year and the decade before that they had numbers.

If you subtract the usual deaths from all other causes from the current COVID 19 total you will see the real number and it is small.

This information is coming out of multiple sources in US and Canada. It is because the politicos want to make money from each death. New York recieves $3000 per covid death, well suprise suprise all deaths in Soviet NYC are covid deaths and zero from any other cause.

Check it out for yourself. Please.

donovanmike82
donovanmike82
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott Allan

I wont be checking any of this because you are talking utter nonsense.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
2 years ago
Reply to  donovanmike82

Good to see you are fully indoctrinated into the cult of BBC fiction over real facts from real health sources.

anjurtupil.k
anjurtupil.k
2 years ago

I as a retired epidemiologist from Delhi now in Bangalore also agree partially.I was involved in final stages of Small pox Eradication in the state of Bihar in 1974 and was telling my government that containment strategy would have been the correct step.The cost effectiveness analysis may show Lockdown to be least if we weigh the cost of economic loss in poor and developing countries ultimately.Social distancing with strict enforcement would have been a great leveller.The steps should have been taken to keep the economy running with employment generation,social gurantees.

brett
brett
2 years ago

My biggest concern now is the damage that has been done and will be done to people’s mental health with the recession, more likely a depression that will likely result from the lockdown. The vulnerable should continue to be protected, but we must get back to normalcy ASAP as rates of domestic violence are going through the roof here. Suicide is not reported so we have no idea where we are at with that, but there is no doubt that rates have escalated. The death rate from Covid will be nothing like the deaths from unemployment etc if you look at the public health modelling. Of course none of that is being reported by the media. There is a lot of virtue signalling from supporters of the lockdown, but those people who use this type of simplistic argument are logically then complicit in the deaths from depression and suicide that will follow this lockdown. There needs to be a balanced approach to this and Sweden has shown what can be done when you think instead of react and listen to the ill informed mob.

livefood.uk.ltd
livefood.uk.ltd
2 years ago
Reply to  brett

Absolutely, well said.

goran_lignell
goran_lignell
2 years ago

Do you think New Zealanders will be happy with the effects of a successful lockdown? All the unemployment created? Possible to visit the country?
I say all the best and good luck.

livefood.uk.ltd
livefood.uk.ltd
2 years ago

I really want to move to Sweden, seems like the only sane country. Why have most other countries in the world blindly followed the simplistic Imperial College model, which spread around the world like a virus. There were other equally valid models put forward by equally qualified scientists that predicted very different outcomes very similar to what Sweden is experiencing now in fact. After this is all over Sweden will probably have the lowest excess mortality because they will have the same % of people die from covid-19 but they will not have had all the extra deaths caused by shutting down whole countries for months.