Categories
Opinion

Why did the world react so hysterically to covid? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

  • The mortality rate is below 0.2%.
  • For most people the risk of dying if you get infected is less than one in 500 (and less than one in 3,000 if you’re below 70 years of age).
  • The disease preferentially strikes people who are anyway very close to the end of life/
  • The amount of lifetime lost when someone dies of the disease is usually small.
  • 2020 will likely turn out to have been a very average year in terms of overall mortality.
  • 98% of people who get covid are fully recovered within three months.
  • There is no good evidence that covid results in long term health consequences.
  • Chinese realized early on that covid-19 wasn’t very serious, no worse than a bad flu.
  • China is still reporting less than 20 cases per day.
  • China is claiming that less than 5,000 people have so far died of covid in China. That’s less than Sweden, a country with less than 1% of China’s population.
Categories
News

How accurate are the covid tests? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why PCR positive cases are a very poor indicator of how prevalent covid is in the population, and why we should instead be basing decisions on the rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death. If we just look at the PCR tests, we will continue to believe that the disease is widespread in the population indefinitely, even as it becomes less and less common in reality. And that is assuming the rate of testing doesn’t increase. If we combine this built-in problem with accuracy, with a massive increase in testing (as has happened in most countries over the course of the pandemic), then we can create the impression of a disease that is continuing to spread wildly through a population, even when it isn’t.

https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/11/06/how-accurate-are-the-covid-tests/

Categories
Opinion

Covid-19: Does Sweden have herd immunity? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

  • Sweden never went in to full lockdown. Instead, the country imposed a partial lockdown that was almost entirely voluntary.
  • The only forcible restriction imposed by the government from the start was a requirement that people not gather in groups of more than 50 at a time.
  • People followed the voluntary restrictions pretty well at the beginning, but that they have become increasingly lax as time has gone on.
  • After an initial peak that lasted for a month or so, from March to April, visits to the Emergency Room due to covid had been declining continuously, and deaths in Sweden had dropped from over 100 a day at the peak in April, to around five per day in August.
  • Dr. Rushworth hasn’t seen a single covid patient in the Emergency Room in over two and a half months.
  • COVID has killed under 6,000 people.
  • On average, one to two people per day are dying of covid in Sweden at present, and that number continues to drop.
  • In the whole of Stockholm, a county with 2,4 million inhabitants, there are currently only 28 people being treated for covid in all the hospitals combined.
  • Sweden seemed to be developing herd immunity, in spite of the fact that only a minority had antibodies, was due to T-cells.
  • Immunity may be long lasting, and probably explains why there have only been a handful of reported cases of re-infection with covid, even though the virus has spent the last nine months bouncing around the planet infecting many millions of people.
  • Almost all cases of reinfection have been completely asymptomatic.
  • People develop a functioning immunity after the first infection, which allows them to fight off the second infection without ever developing any symptoms.
  •  England and Italy have mortality curves that are very similar to Sweden’s.
  • Lockdown only makes sense if you are willing to stay in lockdown until there is an effective vaccine.

https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/09/19/covid-19-does-sweden-have-herd-immunity/

Categories
Opinion

Do face masks stop respiratory infections? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

  • When it comes to preventing the spread of respiratory infections, N-95 masks might be better than surgical face masks, and surgical face masks are probably better than cloth masks.
  • Cloth masks may not provide any protection at all.
  • If you or someone in your household is sick, you probably don’t need to bother wearing a mask at home. The infection will spread at the same rate within the household regardless.
  • Face masks do seem to slightly decrease the risk of spreading respiratory infections outside the household setting. However, it is questionable whether an intervention that only impacts one in 24 people, and that only decreases the relative risk of infection by 17%, is having a big enough effect to noticeably slow the speed at which a highly infectious disease like covid-19 spreads through a population.
  • Rather than require that everyone wear a mask at all times when out in public, it might make more sense to restrict mask use to specific situations like nursing homes.

https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/09/05/do-face-masks-stop-respiratory-infections/