Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 76: COVID-19 What About Sweden?

 

Today, I turn my attention to Sweden. Powerline blog is focusing on it (I took this post’s title from them) and will periodically report on the numbers there.

Sweden appears to be pursuing a herd immunity strategy permitting the virus to infect the general population with the expectation that with prudence on the part of their people their health care system can handle the number of cases presenting serious symptoms. Can it work? Of course. Whether or not it works it will be an important data point for countries in the West assuming we control for both similarities and dissimilarities between our society and that of Sweden.

You might want to actually pull up the webpage from which I took the screengrab at the top of the post. It shows Sweden normalized for population and compared to other countries. It is also placed on a logarithmic scale which reduces the separations between countries and improves visualization so long as you understand what you are looking at. The graph is a little busy because when normalized for population because Sweden is not included when the graphic is limited to 50 countries or fewer to display. I am uncertain what the filtering criteria is for 10, 25, and 50 countries.

When you follow the Sweden daily plots for each point you get a little information box:

If you put your mouse/pointer on any filled dot on the graph you will see the same information for that country and day whether or not it is the highlighted country.

So how do you judge the success of one country over another in dealing with COVID-19? Sweden, as shown in the screengrab above, is on Day 35 since recording at least 1 case/million population. The US is on Day 28. So let’s isolate data for the US and Sweden on Day 28:

Sweden is experiencing fewer cases even normalized for population and has had a flatter curve overall even though at Day 28 it was experiencing a daily case growth rate of 1.12x. For Sweden in the intervening week, its daily growth rate dropped to 1.05x, but its total cases have nearly doubled (333.6 ->623.5/million population). Is there any place that can be compared directly with Sweden that would contrast mitigation strategies? Let’s look at California:

California implemented a “lockdown” on March 18 (Day 13). Does the data suggest that the “lockdown” strategy was more effective between Days 13 and 28 than Sweden’s less restrictive guidelines? Too soon to tell.

More information about the Swedish experience with COVID-19 is available on Wikipedia. What do you think? Maybe you can find some data on the graphics that make a compelling case out one way or the other.

[Note: Links to all my CoVID-19 posts can be found here.]

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  1. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Did Sweden impose border controls that aren’t being reported widely?

    • #1
    • April 5, 2020, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Misthiocracy held his nose and (View Comment):

    Did Sweden impose border controls that aren’t being reported widely?

    On March 17 Sweden imposed a ban on entry from any country other than EU/EES countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, United Kingdom (United Kingdom), Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg , Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Austria. Swedes could re-enter the country without regard to what country they were coming from.

    • #2
    • April 5, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Richard O'Shea Coolidge

    From my cousin in Sweden:

    “glad to hear that you all are well.We are also Ok and my biggest concern is with my 90 year old mother. She is fine but if she gets infected by the virus, her days are counted.I have been working from my home the last three weeks. It is working well even though I miss my work colleagues. Stores and restaurants are open and we follow the philosophy that each person takes the responsibility of keeping distance, washing hands with soap and if you feel sick you stay at home. People don’t use public transportation if they can walk or use their bike. We also help the elder above 70 to buy food and drinks”

    • #3
    • April 5, 2020, at 4:38 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Henry Racette Contributor

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    • #4
    • April 5, 2020, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    I think this is strong evidence that Minnesota should adopt the Swedish strategy :-) ?

     

    • #5
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    the comparison to California is tricky because you have 3 or 4 dense metro areas: Los Angeles, San Fran, San Diego, Fresno, maybe Bakersfield

    The rest of the state is suburban and rural

     

     

    • #6
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:15 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

     

    Another reason why locking down all of California is/was overkill.

    Reducing social and commercial activities in metro areas is justifiable maybe but outside the cities no need to lockdown

     

    • #7
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:17 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. tigerlily Member

    Thanks for taking a close look at Sweden Rodin. I wrote about Sweden’s coronavirus policy here at Ricochet the other day.

    • #8
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    @henryracette, Iowa is only on Day 26 per the 91-DIVOC metric. If you extraprolate out using the current 1.10x you get 332.75 for day 28. Looks pretty comparable.

    • #9
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:38 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Zafar Member

    I wonder if how huggy a culture is makes a difference. 

    • #10
    • April 5, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  11. Henry Racette Contributor

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    @henryracette, Iowa is only on Day 26 per the 91-DIVOC metric. If you extraprolate out using the current 1.10x you get 332.75 for day 28. Looks pretty comparable.

    Thanks Rodin. You’re good.

    Apparently Iowa is not in a shutdown either. This epidemic will be a subject of endless fascinating research.

    • #11
    • April 5, 2020, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Thanks for taking a close look at Sweden Rodin. I wrote about Sweden’s coronavirus policy here at Ricochet the other day.

    that was a great post

     

    • #12
    • April 5, 2020, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. tigerlily Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Thanks for taking a close look at Sweden Rodin. I wrote about Sweden’s coronavirus policy here at Ricochet the other day.

    that was a great post

     

    Tbanks MISTER BITCOIN.

    • #13
    • April 5, 2020, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    We are also going to get some interesting data from Brazil. Given they are taking next to know precautions.

    • #14
    • April 5, 2020, at 7:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    We are also going to get some interesting data from Brazil. Given they are taking next to know precautions.

    It’s summer time in Brazil now. A lockdown is easier in winter than in summer.

     

    • #15
    • April 6, 2020, at 12:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    the comparison to California is tricky because you have 3 or 4 dense metro areas: Los Angeles, San Fran, San Diego, Fresno, maybe Bakersfield

    The rest of the state is suburban and rural

     

     

    Of course, the same can be said for Sweden. Most of the country is sub-arctic mountain.

    • #16
    • April 6, 2020, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Rodin, I like the post and the graphs, which look familiar. :)

    I’m skeptical of the way that they offset the trend lines. In this instance, they use the day on which each country passes 1 reported case per million. The shape of the trend line, compared to other countries, is highly dependent on the start date that is selected. I was doing the same thing myself a couple of weeks ago, and I abandoned the idea because of this sensitivity problem.

    The challenge of selecting a start date is exacerbated by the differing levels of testing between countries. It’s probably biased in a way that makes the countries with earlier outbreaks look a bit better. I say this because I suspect, for example, that there was less testing in the early period in the very early countries, as the testing procedures had not been ramped up.

    It is good that they have a graph adjusted for population, which I started doing with my figures a couple of weeks ago.

    • #17
    • April 6, 2020, at 9:39 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Now someone has to compare the economic effects in Sweden vs. California. It could be that Sweden suffers more from Covid-19 in terms of infection rate but comes out stronger economically.

    The Left’s gut reaction is to claim that it’s inhuman to put money ahead of public health, but poverty kills way more people than Covid-19 does.

    It’s a classic case of the seen vs. the unseen. It’s easy to see the deaths right in front of your eyes, but it’s hard to see the deaths that didn’t occur because of technological advancements and strong economies.

    • #18
    • April 6, 2020, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    Does that include reindeer and snowmen?

    Sweden is 87.4% urban. The United States is 82.3% urban.

    Colorado which is supposed to be the healthiest state in the US and is 86.2% urban. Colorado’s population density is 52 people per square mile. Perhaps that’s a good comparison, except that Denver is a regional hub with a large airport…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_by_country

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_in_the_United_States

     

     

    • #19
    • April 6, 2020, at 11:14 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    Does that include reindeer and snowmen?

    Sweden is 87.4% urban. The United States is 82.3% urban.

    Colorado which is supposed to be the healthiest state in the US and is 86.2% urban. Colorado’s population density is 52 people per square mile. Perhaps that’s a good comparison, except that Denver is a regional hub with a large airport…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_by_country

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_in_the_United_States

    Colorado’s population is about 2/3 of Sweden’s.

     

     

    • #20
    • April 6, 2020, at 11:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. ManBearPig Member
    ManBearPig Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    And where is it hitting Sweden? Is it in densely populated areas? Or are they doing better as well?

    • #21
    • April 6, 2020, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    ManBearPig (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The population density of Sweden is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of Iowa is about 56 people per square mile.

    The population density of California is about 242 people per square mile.

    I’m not saying that’s relevant. But just out of curiosity, how does Sweden compare with, say, Iowa?

    And where is it hitting Sweden? Is it in densely populated areas? Or are they doing better as well?

    @manbearpig, you can get that info in the wiki page linked in the OP. 

    • #22
    • April 6, 2020, at 2:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Pablo Member

    Sweden’s deaths per million: 46.18 (and that’s assuming they are not fudging the numbers, like Spain).

    USA’s deaths per million: 32.53 

    • #23
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes