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Opinion Videos

Professor Karol Sikora: fear is more deadly than the virus – UnHerd

  • Professor Karol Sikora says that COVID-19 behaves like pandemics in the past.
  • Society is scarred all over the world.
  • The virus will go but the fear will do the damage.

Note: YouTube has taken down the video. Please go directly to UnHerd’s site:

https://unherd.com/thepost/professor-karol-sikora-fear-is-more-dangerous-than-the-virus/

Professor Karol Sikora has become something of a celebrity in the UK over the past months for his expert commentary on the pandemic, and his unusual tendency for optimism rather than pessimism.

Virus ‘getting tired’
– In the past two weeks, the virus is showing signs of petering out
– It’s as though the virus is ‘getting tired’, almost ‘getting bored’
– It’s happening across the world at the same time

Existing herd immunity
– The serology results around the world (and forthcoming in Britain) don’t necessarily reveal the percentage of people who have had the disease
– He estimates 25-30% of the UK population has had Covid-19, and higher in the group that is most susceptible
– Pockets of herd immunity help *already* explain the downturn
– Sweden’s end result will not be different to ours – lockdown versus no lockdown

Fear more deadly than the virus
– When the history books are written, the fear will have killed many more people than the virus, including large numbers of cancer and cardiological patients not being treated
– We should have got the machinery of the NHS for non-corona patients back open earlier

Masks and schools
– Evidence on masks is just not there either way so it should be an ‘individual decision’
– We should move to 1m social distancing which means restaurants and bars could reopen
– More schools should reopen in June as ‘children are not the transmitters of this virus’
– We should be getting back to the ‘old normal’ not a ‘new normal’

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Opinion

Can we trust Covid modelling? More evidence from Sweden – The Spectator

One reason why the models failed is that they – just like most countries’ politicians – underestimated how millions of people spontaneously adapt to new circumstances. They only thought in terms of lockdowns vs business as usual, but failed to consider a third option: that people engage in social distancing voluntarily when they realise lives are at stake and when authorities recommend them to do so.

As countries plan how to leave lockdown, they can look at Sweden and ask: what happens if you don’t involve the police, if you don’t issue edicts about how many of your relatives or neighbours you can visit, and just ask people to be careful? Might that work? The Swedish experiment casts huge doubts on the models, and makes the case for trusting the public.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/can-we-trust-covid-modelling-more-evidence-from-sweden

Categories
News

Why is Sweden not recommending face masks to the public?

Face masks in public spaces do not provide any greater protection to the population,” Johan Carlson from the Swedish Public Health Agency Folkhälsomyndigheten said at a press conference on May 13th.

Swedish health authorities argue that keeping a distance, washing your hands, not touching your face, and staying at home if you experience any symptoms are still the best ways to halt the spread of the coronavirus. There is a concern that wearing face masks would make people follow these guidelines less strictly.

  • There is a risk of a false sense of security.
  • The virus can gather in the mask and when you take it off, the virus can be transferred to your hands and thereby spread further.
  • Worn properly, masks might reduce the spread of infection if worn by those with asymptomatic infections, even if they might not protect the wearer themselves.

https://www.thelocal.se/20200514/explained-why-is-sweden-not-recommending-face-masks-to-the-public

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News Opinion

Britain’s Covid-19 lockdown was futile, says Swedish epidemiologist – The Telegraph

Johan Giesecke, a state epidemiologist who advises the World Health Organisation, said the UK’s death toll suggested instating harsh social restrictions was not the best method of tackling the pandemic. 

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News

Q&A: Nobel laureate says COVID-19 curve could be naturally self-flattening – Dr. Michael Levitt, Stanford Daily

If Sweden stops at about 5,000 or 6,000 deaths, we will know that they’ve reached herd immunity, and we didn’t need to do any kind of lockdown. My own feeling is that it will probably stop because of herd immunity. COVID is serious, it’s at least a serious flu. But it’s not going to destroy humanity as people thought.

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Publications

The invisible pandemic – Professor Johan Giesecke, The Lancet

It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes—a population the lockdown was designed to protect.3 Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK’s experience with that of other European countries.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31035-7/fulltext#%20

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News

If Sweden succeeds, lockdowns will all have been for nothing – The Telegraph

When foreign commentators discuss Sweden’s light-touch response to Covid-19, they tend to adopt an affronted tone. Which is, on the surface, surprising. You’d think everyone would be willing the Nordic country to succeed. After all, if Sweden can come through the epidemic without leaving a smoking crater where its economy used to be, there is hope for the rest of the world. So far, many signs appear encouraging. The disease seems to be following the same basic trajectory in Sweden as elsewhere.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/25/sweden-succeeds-lockdownswill-have-nothing/

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News

Sweden has not see the predicted exponential rise in Covid-19 cases, and parts of Europe are beginning to follow its approach – News Letter

There has been a repeated claim in media and on social media that death rates from the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak are spiking in Sweden, a country that has not implemented the measures termed ‘lockdown’.

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/sweden-has-not-see-predicted-exponential-rise-covid-19-cases-and-parts-europe-are-beginning-follow-its-approach-2545486

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News Opinion

Is Lockdown Essential? Comparing the Swedish Experience With the Imperial College Model Suggests Otherwise – Rob Slane

But as I have said repeatedly, I see no evidence for the necessity of lockdown, for two reasons. Firstly because the case fatality rate of Covid-19 does not warrant it (the evidence points to between 0.1%-0.5%, and a recent study from Stanford University suggests it may be between 0.12% and 0.2%). And secondly, because I have seen no evidence to suggest that a lockdown strategy makes any real difference in reducing cases and deaths.

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News

The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off – The Spectator

As the world went into lockdown, Sweden opted for a different approach to tackling coronavirus: cities, schools and restaurants have remained open. This was judged by critics to be utterly foolish: it would allow the virus to spread much faster than elsewhere, we were told, leading to tens of thousands of deaths.

I’m happy to say that those fears haven’t materialised.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-swedish-experiment-looks-like-it-s-paying-off

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News

Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke, UnHerd

  • 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

Summary from 21st Century Wire.

21st Century Wire
Categories
News Opinion

A Comparison of Lockdown UK With Non-Lockdown Sweden – Rob Slane

Categories
News

No lockdown, please, we’re Swedish – The Spectator

It’s a question of liberty, not epidemiology

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/no-lockdown-please-w

Categories
News

Swedish approach could prove British models wrong – The Telegraph

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/03/coronavirus-swedish-experiment-could-prove-britain-wrong/

Categories
News

Banning public gatherings is idiotic says Sweden’s former state epidemiologist

https://inews.co.uk/news/sweden-coronavirus-no-lockdown-covid-19-measures-cases-deaths-social-distancing-restaurants-open-2517991

Categories
News

Swedish hostpitals normal despite pursuing liberal strategy

https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2020-03/coronavirus-schweden-stockholm-oeffentliches-leben/komplettansicht