COVID-Zero: Was It Worth It? Published on August 9, 2021

EMF does not buy into the fear hysteria of COVID-19,
nor agree with the agenda of mandatory mRNA vaccinations.
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COVID-Zero: Was It Worth It? Published on August 9, 2021

Unread post by David McCarthy » Sat Aug 14, 2021 6:04 am

COVID-Zero: Was It Worth It?
written by James Newburrie -
James Newburrie is a risk management expert who focuses on cyber security. In his spare time he lobbies for LGBT rights.
I've included the comment section for some great exchanges..

COVID-19, Top Stories
Published on August 9, 2021
COVID-Zero: Was It Worth It?
written by James Newburrie

As Australia enters month 18 of our two weeks to “flatten the curve” more than half the country has only four lawful excuses to leave their homes. Like many of us I’m day drinking out of boredom and wondering was “COVID-Zero” worth it?

The talking heads on TV told us that we had a choice between lives and livelihoods. Trying to balance ordinary life and COVID-19 was a mercenary choice to kill Grandma. That was always a false choice—other places balanced the risk to Grandma with the need to live a normal life. After our accidental elimination the narrative changed—maintaining COVID-Zero was now the only way to protect the economy. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said we saved lives and livelihoods.

Remember airplanes? Airports were time-free zones where your boss didn’t judge you for that quiet vodka and tonic at 8am. People would “helpfully” remind you that flying is the safest form of travel and that you were more likely to die during the drive to the airport. The reason you were frightened was evolution.

Our ancestors survived by paying more attention to new risks in their environment than to the risks they faced every day. You are here because 10,000 generations ago a caveman instinctively noticed a saber-tooth tiger and immediately started to run. That tiger was more urgent than the chance of falling and impaling themselves on a rock. Natural selection hard-wired a “novel risk bias” into our brains.

Risk management experts would say that your startled ancestor focused on a novel risk (the tiger) and ignored the assimilated risk of running over uneven ground. Our political system did the same with COVID-19. Public health experts saw COVID-19 and convinced our politicians to close the borders and lock down. They ignored cancer, depression, heart disease, domestic violence, the impact of excessive alcohol (the assimilated, routine risks in our society) and focused exclusively on COVID-19.

The Australian Standard for Risk Management obliged our governments to consider the impact of intervention. Our leaders refuse to release any evidence that they did this. In the first four months of 2021 we enjoyed a “COVID normal” life. Not one Australian died of COVID-19. But according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) death in Australia has increased 5.6 percent over our pre-pandemic, seasonally adjusted average.

Our concern that shutting down hospitals to “flatten the curve” would kill people was dismissed by the health establishment. They knew better. The ABS analysed every single doctor-certified death in Australia and compared it to the five years between 2015 and 2019. According to the ABS, cancer deaths are up by 8.9 percent. We sacrificed our businesses to protect the elderly in nursing homes. Dementia deaths are up 18.9 percent. The health establishment is taking victory laps over a reduction in influenza death thanks to our closed borders and social distancing. Deaths from respiratory diseases are up by 1.9 percent.

Doctors convinced us that our friends and family were dangerous to our health. Not one person died of COVID-19 and somehow our national mortality rate has increased from an average of 375.9 deaths per day to 378.4 deaths. COVID-Zero costs five Australians every two days from “natural causes.” The horrifying part of this dry statistic is that it doesn’t include suicide or self-harm.

There is a waiting list for the coroner to declare a death with “no suspicious circumstances” as a suicide. It will be at least two years before we know how many Australians died at their own hand for COVID-Zero. I doubt it will be good news.

Every Australian government official can’t wait to tell you about the record amounts of money they’re spending on mental health. And thank goodness the money is there. Calls to Lifeline are up 18.9 percent. On August 3rd 2021, Lifeline reached an all-time record for volume of calls in one day in 58 years. Beyond Blue calls are up 30.7 percent. Kids Helpline reports eight percent more children are calling to talk about self-harm and 33 percent more are calling about child abuse. The organisation also reports that teenage attempted suicide rates are up 184 percent—dispatching 53 ambulances a week for kids in Victoria who have attempted suicide.

We’ve got another 12 months of COVID-Zero to go under the most rosy projections out of the Federal Government. Sober, conservative analysis suggests that COVID-Zero costs hundreds of Australian lives each month. But we don’t discuss that because they are the dreary, ordinary, already understood cost of doing business.

If COVID-19 was your ancestor’s saber-tooth tiger, then the lives lost every day to COVID-Zero is the cost of running away. The obvious difference is that your ancestor got away from the saber-tooth tiger. When we eventually reopen, COVID-19 will catch us.

The Doherty Institute’s modelling says that if we reach the Prime Minister’s 80 percent vaccination threshold under our “oldest first” vaccination approach, at least 2,309 Australians will die. If we lose control of Delta at 50 percent fully vaccinated, then Doherty’s modelling predicts that 10,311 Australians will die. Today, 21.95 percent of Australians over 16 are fully vaccinated. The country seems about three months out from that 50 percent threshold.

Pouring myself another drink, I try to shake off a grim realisation. Morrison’s government claims to have saved 35,000 of us from COVID-19, but in the best case scenario it took sacrificing many of us to do it. And that’s assuming Delta doesn’t escape before we hit that 50 percent threshold. If Delta escapes before then it’s possible that, in net terms, we didn’t save anyone.

We’ve covered the blood, but what about the treasure? How much did this cost?

According to the Treasury, the Federal Government spent $311 billion pursuing COVID-Zero up to the end of April. This excludes the $15 billion in small bank loan guarantees and $20 billion in business loan guarantees as well the $50 billion spent by states, as well as anything spent after May. The IMF numbers suggest a national burn rate of $320 billion per year. Remember the Federal Government’s most rosy prediction is 30 months of COVID-Zero. If our current burn rate holds, that’s a cost of about $800 billion. On budget night Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that our peak debt would reach about a trillion dollars.

It’s hard to understand the scale of this spending so let’s pretend that each dollar is one second. A million dollars would be about 12 days. A billion dollars would be close to 32 years. If you imagine that a dollar is a second then our COVID-Zero debt-pile of one trillion dollars would be 31,710 years. The Great Pyramid of Giza is only about 4,500 years old. No one could reasonably accuse our government of being cheap when it comes to COVID-Zero.

Where did all this money come from? The Commonwealth borrowed it from the Reserve Bank. We will skip a lot of nuance here—but the Department of Finance sold bonds to our big banks. The banks then took those bonds and gave them to the Reserve Bank as collateral on cash loans (these cash loans to the banks replaced the cash they used to buy the bonds).

But where did the Reserve Bank get this cash? They simply created it by changing a few entries on a spreadsheet. According to the Reserve Bank, on Christmas Day 2019, Australia’s M1 money supply was $1,073.8 billion dollars. At the end of June this year it was $1,484.5 billion dollars—an increase of 38.25 percent. Put another way—that $50 in your wallet? About $13.84 of it didn’t exist at the end of 2019.

I pour my third drink and hear Jeremy Irons saying “money isn’t real—it’s just something we invented so we wouldn’t have to kill each other to get something to eat.” I reassure myself as long as we all continue to believe a dollar is worth a dollar everything will be fine. In June 2021 the Australian Dollar/US Dollar exchange rate was roughly the same as it was in June 2019.

In June 2019 the wholesale petrol price in Sydney was $1.22 per litre (excluding taxes). Today the terminal gate price for regular unleaded petrol in Sydney is $1.398 per litre. The crude oil price is roughly the same too—even though globally we’re not using anywhere near the same quantity of oil. But that’s just one commodity.

What about hard assets? According to the Residential Property Price Index the cost of housing in Australia has gone up 36 percent since we fired up the RBA’s money printer. That’s suspiciously close to the 38.25 percent increase in our money supply. Our national debt will reach $40,000 for every person in the country—directly from the RBA’s money printer. And that’s just the immediate economic impact of COVID-Zero.

“Good things cost good money” I say to my empty living room as I pour my fourth drink.

What about the social impact of COVID-Zero? If we believe the best-case scenario and we will be free again after 30 months then someone who entered university at the start of 2020 could graduate from one of our sandstone schools without ever having done an in-person class, or attending a toga party. You might ask “who cares?”. But isn’t life about collecting memories?

Is it really fair to deny young people those formative experiences like falling in love, getting heartbroken, backpacking through Europe, going to concerts, bribing their way through South-East Asia and getting evacuated by DFAT? What about the impact on little kids at school? Is it really reasonable to go from the start of year 1 to the end of year 3 with only a dozen or so weeks of classroom time? I don’t know.

And what about the elderly? The people we’re told we’re protecting. We’ve denied them the comfort of their loved ones as they lie dying. We insist that only a handful of their loved ones maintain a distance of 1.5 meters, wrapped in a head-to-toe encounter suit, covered in a mask so that they can’t see each other’s faces. That is assuming we let their loved ones into their presence at all. Can’t be too careful—we might give that old man with late-stage organ failure and hours to live COVID-19 and we wouldn’t want that.

One for the road I say to myself ironically as my thoughts turn to the cost of COVID-Zero for our sense of national cohesion. To protect COVID-Zero our federal government secured a High Court ruling that Australian citizens do not have a right to enter Australia. Over 30,000 Australians are stranded overseas. We implemented curfews, deployed the army to “supplement” policing. Our police behaved like an occupying army—wearing riot gear on standard patrols. They’re flying drones and helicopters equipped with infrared cameras to keep surveillance on all of us at all hours day and night.

Those QR codes that we were promised were only for contact tracing? They’re being used to “assist the police with their inquiries” in every state. I don’t know why—we’ve been tracking every mobile phone’s location and storing it for two years. Every police force in the country has had warrantless access to this “metadata” for nearly two decades now. The QR codes seem excessive given the longevity of other “temporary” mass surveillance programs.

“Clots!” screamed the clickbait, depressing demand for a safe, effective vaccine made in Melbourne to the world’s strictest pharmaceutical standards. Chief Health Officer of Queensland Dr Janet Young (now Queensland’s Governor in Waiting, also known as “Respondent 2” in Queensland’s legal fraternity) was breathlessly warning people not to have AstraZeneca—her truly astounding quote that “yeah, but aspirin doesn’t tend to kill you” when asked about relative risk of vaccination is now famous in the anti-vax community—and used to justify opposing any vaccination.

For months Dr Young opined about her preference for the Pfizer vaccine—denigrating the most widely used COVID vaccine in the world. Surely it’s just a coincidence that on the very day the Daily Telegraph newspaper published a story about Dr Young’s husband having commercial links to Pfizer she encouraged all Queenslanders to get the AZ. In Victoria, Professor Brett Sutton was pro every vaccine—he took AZ. But the SlugGate corruption scandal of iCookFoods swirls around him. At least South Australia’s widely respected CHO, Professor Nicola Spurrier, only looked silly when she advised us not to touch a football.

After 18 months do we still trust the apparently unquestionable, but inconsistent “medical advice”? Will we follow these people for another year?

The deal we agreed to at the start was two weeks to flatten the curve so our medical establishment could buy ventilators and prepare our health system. Then we would use restrictions to regulate COVID-19 hospital admissions to match hospital resources. We tripled ICU capacity and all those ventilators are sitting there in shrinkwrap. Somewhere along the way our medical establishment salami-sliced us to COVID-Zero as the only way to protect our health. Ignoring suicide and self-harm, Australian death rates are up 5.6 percent and climbing. How many health timebombs are yet to go off?

Was COVID-Zero worth it for our country? Is there a middle ground we should consider? Has the Delta variant doomed COVID-Zero to fail? “National Cabinet” and the health experts would disdainfully question your humanity for even asking such a thing.

Was it worth it for me? Well, my marriage exploded into tears and recriminations, then collapsed into deafening silence. This was followed by a practiced civility as the removalists came. I put my glass in the dishwasher and turn out the lights. Closing the gyms means I’ve regained 30 kilograms that I lost over 2019 – 2020. But, on the other hand, the time I’ve saved commuting thanks to secure work from home in an essential industry has meant I finally had time to play my guitar. And, my net worth has grown 35 percent in the past year.

Scott Morrison would say it was worth it.

James Newburrie is a risk management expert who focuses on cyber security. In his spare time he lobbies for LGBT rights. Follow him on Twitter @DifficultNerd.

Feature image: Two trams operating on a quiet intersection in Melbourne’s central business district on August 6th, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Retail stores across Melbourne are closed to customers as part of further stage 4 lockdown restrictions implemented in response to Victoria’s ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Filed under: COVID-19, Top Stories
Avatar for Ella-B Ella-B
“Was it worth it?”
Stop exaggerating.
It’s not as if most other countries didn’t experience lockdowns. In fact they did & comparatively for much longer periods to most states in Australia. Prior to Delta, Sydney was in lock down lite for a total of 12 weeks. But it’s exactly this sort of short sighted ‘open up Australia’ attitude that right wing media pundits brow beat the PM into keeping our borders open that exposed us to prolonged restrictions.
I was on a jog a few months ago on a beachside trail where I came across a popular Australian TV actor. A couple of months later he was belly aching in the media complaining how he had just returned from LA & had to serve a quarantine period. Amazingly this guy & many others like him had easily come & gone OS without any life threatening reason to do so that we were risking our safety & economy to. If the borders had remained closed the pain would have been substantially reduced so in effect it’s a false assumption to claim restrictions are responsible for poor outcomes when ultimately it’s the lack of them that were for mostly the self indulgent & political gain.

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
It’s not as if most other countries didn’t experience lockdowns.

You mean apart from, e.g. Sweden, which implemented nothing like the horrifying arrangements Australians permitted their government to impose on them, and where the COVID death rate is now … zero?

Never in history have so many people allowed so much damage to be done to them for so little.

Avatar for Sane.World Sane.World
The full extent of the damage caused by the responses to the pandemic will only become apparent over time. Some fitting examples have already been given in the article. Here is another:

the Guardian – 8 Jul 21

New Zealand children falling ill in high numbers due to Covid ‘immunity debt’
Doctors say children haven’t been exposed to range of bugs due to lockdowns, distancing and sanitiser and their immune systems are suffering

The fact that the hidden price of the measures was surprisingly high (surprising, however, only to those who are unable to think further than the tips of their shoes) does not mean that it cannot be increased even further. The pandemic is not over yet, and politicians with more power than sense will always do something, anything, to give the impression of activity and competence. Others will have to pay the price.

There is a saying that “a person’s true nature is revealed in times of greatest adversity”. As it turned out, the desire of the majority of our fellow citizens in this crisis was not to think for themselves and take reasonable protective measures accordingly, but for a strong central leadership that strictly regulated their lives, reducing them to the status of immature children, forbidding them to leave the house, to meet with friends and relatives, to engage in sports and other leisure activities, and above all criminalized protest against all these restrictions.

As another saying goes, “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. Unfortunately, these people and the politicians they elect can ruin the lives and liberties of everyone else too.

Avatar for Ella-B Ella-B

“It’s true that Sweden has had a lower Covid death rate than the UK, but it has fared significantly worse than its neighbours, all of which had tighter initial lockdown restrictions.
Many people opposed to Covid restrictions point to the example of Sweden, a country which at the beginning of the pandemic avoided introducing a compulsory lockdown, and instead issued voluntary distancing advice.
However, Sweden is a very different country to the UK and has characteristics that may have helped it during the pandemic.
It has a lower population density, and a high proportion of people live alone. The capital, Stockholm, is also less of an international transit hub than London.
When compared to other Scandinavian countries with similar population profiles, Sweden has fared much worse and recorded a significantly higher number of deaths than its neighbours, all of which have had tougher restrictions during much of the pandemic.
It is hard to separate all the factors that might have caused this, but the absence of strict lockdown measures is likely to have contributed.
There’s also no evidence that Sweden’s economy did any better than its neighbours.”

BBC News

Covid lockdown: Seven enduring claims fact-checked
A year after the first UK lockdown began, there are many who doubt the necessity of such restrictions.

where the COVID death rate is now … zero?


PolitiFact - Sweden’s low COVID-19 death tally in July ignores other markers...
From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden made itself a compelling case study, forgoing lockdowns and mandates,/>

for so little

Estimated deaths in Australia without restrictions was 30,000 as opposed to < 1000, long covid is non existent, a rather unpleasant illness avoided by millions & burden on the health system. Although COVID clearly has greater consequences for the elderly it is interesting how little regard there is for their lives particularly by conservatives that may come back to bite them….

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
It’s true that Sweden has had a lower Covid death rate than the UK, but it has fared significantly worse than its neighbours, all of which had tighter initial lockdown restrictions.

The claim that ‘Sweden has fared significantly worse than its neighbours’ is one that is made by supporters of lockdown theory on the basis of a superficial consideration of some of the evidence, but which is not supported by full consideration of all of the evidence.

Sweden had a “good” flu year in 2019 relative to its neighbours i.e. more vulnerable Swedish people survived flu in 2019 than in its neighbours. So more vulnerable people were alive in 2020 to die of COVID than in its neighbours. The high death rate in Sweden relative to other Scandinavian countries is an observation about seasonal illness variation between Scandinavian countries. Not (as you misattribute it) about the effectiveness of COVID response measures between them.

To evaluate how Sweden has fared, therefore, its death rate has to be compared with its own trend, not with its neighbours. The death rate in Sweden with COVID is on trend i.e. the average increase in deaths in each two year period between 2015 and 2020 is constant (We look at pairs because seasonal respiratory infection to a first approximation alternates between years):

Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 14.04.34

Swedish society has returned to near-normality. The Swedish COVID death rate is near-zero.

Australia’s ruinous Zero COVID policy has been justified on the basis that, without it: (a) mortality rate would be excessive, and (b) society could not return to normal. That claim is falsified by the observation that it was not required to avoid excessive mortality and return society to normal in a jurisdiction that didn’t pursue a Zero COVID policy.

Poor Australia.

Avatar for Ella-B Ella-B
To evaluate how Sweden has fared, therefore, its death rate has to be compared with its own trend, not with its neighbours.

But you have to take into account the fact that Sweden’s borders have been closed so their COVID death rate could have been much worse. And let’s not forget they did employ restrictions albeit voluntarily like social distancing, increased hand washing, reduced gatherings & working from home that would also impact the numbers. Certain populations can be more responsible or take threats more seriously without coercion that may have influenced outcomes that there’s no data to prove either way & Sweden only has a population of 10 million to deal with which does makes the messaging easier to implement.

Swedish society has returned to near-normality

Ah no. There’s this thing called long COVID …

Avatar for Beowulf_Obsidian Beowulf_Obsidian
1.5 years ago, just at the dawn of COVID I was working on a biotech / cyber wargame where we proposed the best thing isn’t to attack our opponents directly but to inject a contagian that could be measured, wasn’t terribly dangerous, but would spark a social ‘auto-immune’ response.

We proposed that we were China and I wanted to reduce the capability of Western allies to my desires…I might release COVID 19 and let those countries tear themselves apart both socially and economically. We might even feed it through social media manipulation like we do with elections.

The response has been blatant authoritarianism and the wrapping of it in fear. Whether it was intentional or not, the result happened. A virus with a 99.6% survival rate overall and created a ‘social autoimmune response’ that has destroyed freedom, trust, economies, and lives.

I never thought I’d see so many people parroting clearly incorrect statements (long COVID anyone?) and lack of knowledge about virology, immunology, etc. and yet being morally justified to ‘save lives’ and as I warned over year ago, and this article shows, we just shifted who would die. So no gain…except for the authoritarians, the tyrants, the Karens, the fearful, the weak.

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
But you have to take into account the fact that Sweden’s borders have been closed so their COVID death rate could have been much worse.

The rise and fall of communicable disease is driven by (a) the number of vulnerable people (b) the rate of increase of immunity in the healthy population following infection.

It’s not Ebola. The number of vulnerable people is fixed, and small. It’s a highly transmissible disease, and Sweden implemented relatively relaxed closure/social distancing/face mask rules. So the number of vulnerable people exposed to the virus doesn’t increase when the number of infected people does. And if it was true that even less restrictive arrangements (i.e. open borders) would have resulted in more people dying, then those people would be dying now that measures are less restrictive. They are not.

The claim that the death rate could have been much worse if measures were even less restrictive is therefore falsified by the observation that they are in fact even lower now that measures are actually even less restrictive.

Ah no. There’s this thing called long COVID …

The malady that is characterised by symptoms that include difficulty concentrating, memory loss, listlessness, headache, fatigue, insomnia, and mood swings - which is to say, the symptoms of prolonged social isolation? And which is as common in those who test seronegative for SAR-CoV-2 infection as test seropositive?

OK. The fear waggon, now that it is evident that COVID has not been nearly as catastrophic as originally claimed, has to be kept rolling somehow.

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
Cases have substantially increased with the relaxed restrictions

The “D” in COVID stands for “Disease” i.e. “the manifestation of serious symptoms”.

“Cases” are not “disease”. “Cases” measures disease. It also measures mild symptoms, no symptoms, no infection (i.e. false positives), and it goes up and down as testing goes up and down even when disease levels are constant or falling. The “cases” of infectious mononucleosis in school-age children is nearly 100%. But incidents of glandular fever - the disease it causes - is currently almost zero. “Cases” is the measure that COVID lockdown theorists use to confect the impression that disease levels are high and/or changing when they are not.

Death and serious infection in Sweden, as expressed as a proportion of the total population, is almost non-existent, and has remained so as the restrictions you believe have been regulating disease transmission have been lifted.

just over 53 per cent have received two doses.

70% of Icelandic citizens have received two doses. 70% of infections in Iceland are in the vaccinated (Source: Iceland Government COVID statistics). That yields a vaccine effectiveness of 24%. I don’t have the breakdown of infections by vaccination status for Sweden. In the UK, vaccine effectiveness is only 70% for over 50 year olds, and is -50% for under 50 year olds – the death rate in vaccinated under 50 year olds is 50% higher than in unvaccinated under 50 year olds. (Source: Public Health England)

The case rate and vaccination status have nothing to do with the fact that the death and serious illness rate in Sweden is nearly zero, and offer no evidential support for Zero COVID policies in Australia.

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
As for Iceland data:

I’m using the Iceland Government’s COVID website, rather than a month old third party report of the data.

Not sure where you get “70% infected are vaxxed”

255,322 individuals are fully vaccinated. The population of Iceland is 356,991. 72% are vaccinated.

So yesterday

They’ve updated the website today. When I computed the effectiveness this morning, is was:

Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 21.42.05

which yields:
Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 21.23.44
And if I’d performed the calculation on 1 August, vaccine effectiveness would be -35% i.e. the infection rate was higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.

It doesn’t matter whether it is -35%, 24%, or 70%. Your claim that citizens should be discriminated against is based on the claim that these experimental vaccines are (a) safe (b) effective. Your basis for the first claim is crossed fingers and the claims of the companies that stand to make billions if it turns out in 2 year time to be true. The basis of your second claim is real world effectiveness varying on a daily basis between -35% and 70%.

Oh. And 30 people have died in Iceland so far of COVID. You “Emergency Use Only” “emergency” is based on a lethality rate here of 0.0084%.

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
And googling Public Health England doesn’t help much in trying to find precisely what you are referring to

Well, quite. They don’t publish a table that shows that the Case Fatality Rate in vaccinated under 50 year olds is 57% higher than in unvaccinated under 50 years olds, although I can’t think why. You have to compute it for your self.

From Public Health England ‘SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England’, Technical briefings 17 and 20:
Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 21.49.47

By all means link to Sky News rather than Public Health England data, noting that Sky News is unlikely to risk its share of the £1 billion in UK tax payers money that the UK government has placed on media buys by looking at it closely.

Again, recall: your claim is that citizens should be discriminated against, and it rests on the claim that the experimental vaccines are safe and effective. 70% effectiveness in the over 50 year olds supports the policy of providing them to over 50 year olds, proving that is explained that the risks are currently unquantified. -57% effectiveness in the under 50 year olds elevates the demand that they should be vaccinated under coercion to the level of a crime.

Avatar for richlyon richlyon
It was actually the same that day (0.021%)…but same…“higher”…ok.

Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 22.13.26

Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 22.14.17

Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 22.15.02


We’re done here.

Avatar for pkriens pkriens
Ella, isn’t it time to stop digging about Sweden?

The science used to lockdown world wide predicted more than 90,000 deaths in Sweden without a lockdown. Almost a magnitude difference is generally seen as a very flawed prediction?

After the fact hand crafted arguments like picking what countries to compare to or bigotry about the Swedish population are not helping to understand what could work best for the next pandemic.

Clearly Sweden is no outlier in the European stats. I am confident you would not be able to pick out Sweden without the labels. However, it is an extreme outlier in the lockdowns.

Unfortunately it is only one country that had the courage to not lockdown so it cannot be generalized. However,
it does logically show that lockdowns, with all their adverse side effects, can not be essential.

Avatar for Geary_Johansen2020 Geary_Johansen2020
I don’t think that many people are against vaccinations, per se, but many believe that it should be a personal choice made because of individual circumstances. We now know that although the vaccines protect against hospitalisations and deaths, they only reduce the chances of passing on the virus, they don’t eliminate them.

In these circumstances given the multiple vectors the virus can travel across in an interconnected society, all the evidence surrounding Delta shows that the virus will become endemic- much like the common cold or flu. Here in the UK (or if we look at Israel) we have a high rate of vaccination, but by July 17th (the most recent peak) the total number of COVID cases was at roughly 80% of the peak in January.

In these circumstances, it is no longer tenable to suggest that there is any case to be made that vaccinations are important for the purposes of protecting others- unless you happen to be in regular close contact with a relative who is elderly or immunocompromised, a care worker or a medical worker who routinely comes into contact with the medically vulnerable.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a supporter of getting vaccinated. If you are over forty it is an essential safety strategy rather like wearing a seatbelt or a crash helmet. Over fifty and fail to get vaccinated and you are dicing with death or, more commonly, long-term organ damage. But the case for the under thirties is less certain, and vaccination for 16 and 17 olds is just plain wrong, unless we are talking about a relative few with underlying conditions.

We will see relatively large case numbers for the foreseeable future, in the waves we have become accustomed to, and the only thing that will change is the number of people dying or being hospitalised- at least in areas where high levels of people over forty have been sensible enough to get vaccinated.

Psychologically, we need to get used to COVID. Recognise that it will become a part of daily life, and start to get back to business as usual. One only needs to look at the data from the UK or Israel to see that this is most certainly the case.

Avatar for S.Cheung S.Cheung
But the case for the under thirties is less certain, and vaccination for 16 and 17 olds is just plain wrong,

Let’s set aside “underlying conditions”, immunocompromised, comorbidity, etc., as you have…cuz if you fall into those categories and choose to not get vaxxed (at any age, assuming you’re at an age that is eligible), that’s pure ideology, and it’s what natural selection is for.

We know that the unvaxxed have a higher rate of infection, and of downstream knock-on effects (hospitalization, death):

At least in the US, I haven’t been able to find recent data distributed by age. We do know that geography correlates with vax uptake in general, so the Mississippi’s and Texas’s etc have low rates of vax overall, and more hospitalizations etc. What I don’t know is if the sick and dying unvaxxed in the highly unvaxxed states congregates among the old and/or unhealthy, or whether it is affecting younger cohorts. Without that data, there is no way to really know just how much of a cost the young unvaxxed group are paying wrt significant outcomes.

I will again do away with “long term” issues, since we don’t have long term info on risk of infection or risk of vaccine. But the short term risk to under 30 cohort with mRNA vax is a roughly 1/100K risk of myocarditis, roughly 1.8/100K risk of pericarditis, and iirc similar risk of Guillain Barre. Risk of VITT is even lower.

So while I agree the risk/cost vs benefit balance is not a slam dunk under 30, I don’t think there is a “wrong” age for choosing vaccination, at ... -worth-it/
But he has nothing on at all, cried at last the whole people....

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