Meanwhile, in Sweden...

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
Which country? Sweden? Or the UK?

If you are referring to the UK then we have a greatly decreased number of cases and deaths because of the measures which were put in place (e.g. distancing) not because the virus . This is very simple and agreed on by most scientists on both sides of the "lockdown" / "best approach" (e.g. Tegnell and Sridhar are very much polar opposites in their favoured approach to dealing with the virus but both agree on the role "distancing" plays in slowing the spread of the virus).

Look at the number of US states which introduced restrictions, began to release them, and are now seeing a rise in cases. There are very clear reasons for this, it is basic stuff.

The UK, like much of Europe, has for months had restrictions in place which have meant the number of contacts between people has been dramatically decreased and thus the virus cannot spread as easily and cases come down.

"Herd immunity" I hear people say, along with "T-cells". Well, herd immunity would be another reason that cases would drop. Are we there yet? No one knows but we will begin to find out as and when society returns to 'normal' functions. I also hear people saying shops and pubs are open and we are seeing no rise in cases. The levels of mixing and interactions of people is still no where near 'normal' levels and only when it is and we see no rise in cases can we consider there may herd immunity. There was never going to be a significant rise in cases from a few thousand people at a beach or an outdoor protest yet those on one side of the debate wanted to push the idea that this would begin a "2nd wave" while those on the other side used the absence of an increase in cases as support for their argument that there wouldn't be a "2nd wave". Both positions born out of dogma without recourse to logical thinking. Completely ridiculous.

Dr John Campbell has a YouTube channel which is very informative and approaches things from a scientific perspective. I was hoping that the UnHerd interviews would do the same when I started watching those a few months ago but sadly they seemed to have been dominated with guests on one side of the debate. Anyway, Dr Campbell's latest video (see link below) covers a recent publication in Nature which looks at T-cells and immunity. Without going into the details there is one very important quote:

"understanding pre-existing T-cell immunity in the general population is of paramount importance for the management of the current Covid-19 pandemic"

Absolutely! Current studies while important and investigating our fundamental understanding say nothing about the applicability to the situation amongst the general population. I have no idea how easy it is to test for this in the general population compared with antibody testing (which can be complex for various reasons) but that is likely the only way to get some idea about how much of the population is still susceptible to the virus.

Borolad: "Those with covid specific T cell response are 3 times the number of those those with antibodies".

I'd be interested in seeing a link to that study if you have it, it is a very interesting area and it would be great if there were far fewer susceptible individuals than we think. That would mean we'd be able to get back to normal faster/more easily. I'd not have to work stupid hours, I'd be able to get along to football training, and I'd be able to meet more friends/workmates down the pub. Sadly, I still don't see data/evidence that suggests we're near herd immunity in the UK. W

Spain are seeing a rise in cases (early days but the trend is clear) as they relax restrictions and while I hope this is due to increased testing (I cannot comment on testing levels there) Occam's razor might suggest that it is due to the relaxing of restrictions leading to more contacts between people. This in turn is leading to the virus spreading again. And that can only happen if there is not herd immunity.


Dr John Campbell video:

A fascinating video. It's great when complex science is explained clearly and simply like this.
 

bear66

Well-known member
A fascinating video. It's great when complex science is explained clearly and simply like this.
Quite an interesting article that's reasonably simple to understand regarding coronavirus immunity and antibody / T-cell contributions. Our understanding may be essential in producing a viable vaccine.

Link
 
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Redwurzel

Well-known member
Weren't we were told by some that most people in Sweden would catch CoVid19 by now without lock down and nearly 1% of Sweden's population would be killed by the virus (80,000).
 

Redwurzel

Well-known member
When was that graph produced? Late April? Its predicting around 1700 deaths per day for Sweden during the last 2 weeks in May and first 2 weeks of June. Some experts are way out with their predictions. It was probably 220 per day.

Anyone know what the latest death figures are for Sweden?

I have just found a figure of 5,697 on a website as per 26th July - so the death rate in Sweden is lower than in the UK and we have had a major lock down. I assume deaths in the UK are around 67,000.

Can anyone explain why the UK rate is higher?
 
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borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
Daily deaths are running in single figures now. Despite no changes to the rules, aside from some easing for the over 70s and a relaxation of travel restrictions, daily infections have also reduced dramatically. In the last few weeks they've seen more infections in the younger population but this may be accounted for by the huge rise in testing from less than 20,000 tests per day in early june to around 80,000 now. Testing on demand is now widely available, whereas before it was restricted to health workers, those rocking up to hospital sick etc. They anticipate a similar story throughout summer but with pockets of increases spread in isolated hot spots. I think that may be happening on Gotland now as the population has been swelled by holidaymakers.
 
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borolad259

Administrator
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There has only been one day with deaths in double figures (10) in the last 18 days. Currently the daily rate is in low single figures. There are 40 people nationally in ICUs and in my counties of Vasterbotten and Norrbotten, which cover a vast area of the northern half of the country, have no-one in ICUs. The current infection rate nationally is R0.6 Just a shame I can't get there at the moment as I'd be safer there than here in the UK.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
How does that compare to Norway or Finland?
Well, it's not really a useful comparison as they are both very different from Sweden in several key ways. And they might have issues to come yet.

For isntance, Sweden had a much larger initial infection which they have now traced back to large numbers of tourists returning to Sweden, particularly Stockholm, from Northern Italy at the beginning of the year. Sweden has a larger population and larger cities. Crucially, their care homes are much bigger than those in Norway and Finland. The topography is different (Norway has isolated pockets of population with mountains/fjords in between for instance). Sweden also has a much larger immigrant population .... a lot of the early infection and serious illness/death was amongsth Somali refugees in Stockholm.

Sweden is closer to the Netherlands in terms of demographic and population spread.. Although comparisons between any two countries are pretty meaningless, as they collect and present different data.
 
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borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
Infections by region.
View attachment 5280

In terms of deaths, the UK is the third highest in Europe over the last 14 days, behind Sweden and Romania.

Your data on deaths is way out. In the last 14 days there have only been 48 deaths in total, so far confirmed. That's less than 5 per day. So nowhere near ahead of the UK. Sweden's total excess deaths for this year are at 2.3% .... seventh or eighth in Europe I think.
 

bear66

Well-known member
Your data on deaths is way out. In the last 14 days there have only been 48 deaths in total, so far confirmed. That's less than 5 per day. So nowhere near ahead of the UK. Sweden's total excess deaths for this year are at 2.3% .... seventh or eighth in Europe I think.
It was reported by the ecdc, same link as the picture above. It's simply based on reported figures. I understand you quote deaths on the date they happened, but that underestimates the previous days real figures.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
It was reported by the ecdc, same link as the picture above. It's simply based on reported figures. I understand you quote deaths on the date they happened, but that underestimates the previous days real figures.
The map shows reported infections. The Swedes have testing pretty much on demand, so there's a huge amount of testing there that is skewed towards those who feel unwell. The best way to look good is not to test or report infections. There civid deaths are "died with" as opposed to "Died of" ... and the reporting can/does include historical deaths. The actual day of death is a better metric for where they are now.

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/09f821667ce64bf7be6f9f87457ed9aa
 

bear66

Well-known member
The map shows reported infections. The Swedes have testing pretty much on demand, so there's a huge amount of testing there that is skewed towards those who feel unwell. The best way to look good is not to test or report infections. There civid deaths are "died with" as opposed to "Died of" ... and the reporting can/does include historical deaths. The actual day of death is a better metric for where they are now.

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/09f821667ce64bf7be6f9f87457ed9aa
The UK seems to be picking up about a third of all cases based on positive tests and ONS surveys. Is there a view of the proportion of total cases Sweden is picking up with testing on demand?
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
The UK seems to be picking up about a third of all cases based on positive tests and ONS surveys. Is there a view of the proportion of total cases Sweden is picking up with testing on demand?
I don't know. I think it's a fraction and always has been because so many people there were asymptomatic and dealing with the virus with T cells rather than B cell antibodies. Something in the order of 3 x. What is interesting, and good news for elsewhere, is that they ste their stall out for the long term ... so they haven't changed their rules or advice to any great extent. Yet the number of infections has been falling very rapidly. This indicates that the "dark data" of T cell immunity is extremely important ... and that the disease may well have run its course as a highly deadly one. It will, of course, return in the same way as other colds and flus do, but not with the same impact that it has this year when it was "novel".

It has run almost exactly the course predicted by Giesecke. If only they had the infrastructure in place to combat the disease in care homes it would have been much better, but they didn't. They had similar flaws to us. Outside of that very old population, covid has been far less damaging than seasonal flu, which kills young people.
 
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