Sweden appears to have been right about Covid

@btresist Don’t worry you will never admit you were ever wrong.

More importantly, online you constantly gravitate to convoluted information.

Beta took a more distant backseat because it killed the host and was not as contagious. Beta was crowded out by Delta. True sometimes to form Delta the second major wave was worse. Then true to form Omicron was more contagious yet but not nearly as lethal. The entire disease changed. How the disease affected the lungs in particular changed.

Beta did not hit herd immunity not even remotely.

There is a good argument that no virus ever hits herd immunity. Or the virus would not exist. The mutations come and go.

The reason COVID mattered. It jumped species. It had not mutated enough to let the human host survive.

There are plenty of coronaviruses that do not matter much to us. Now for most people, COVID does not matter. Other than having a cold.

Some people relish having COVID now. The drama is still alive. The days off work. The sitting on a couch with family calling. The HDTV with the volume up. The calling into work day after day. I quietly ignore them in work while my friends grumble about it.

I remember three months after 911 going to a singles dance. I met a nice woman. She was a state worker who was traumatized by 911. She had only done a few days of work since that event. Nice work if you can get it. Her trauma was so complete. She had no idea when she would work next. Just to be clear state of Connecticut public worker.

Here is the Swedish deaths per year.

Here is Canada.

Here is Denmark

It wouldn’t be surprising if economic lockdowns impact mortality over the longer term by for example increasing poverty or stress or just generally making life difficult. That could be the case in Canada and Denmark as deaths continue to rise after 2020. If so, then Sweden limiting the damage to 2020 did pretty well.


Alas, infallibility is such a burden. But in all seriousness, you seem like a very bitter fellow. Lighten up! This is just a discussion board of anonymous people that (at least in my case) are just killing time. My being obnoxious shouldn’t matter so much.

The vast majority of the people infected by the Beta variant did not die. They developed resistance to Beta. So many developed resistance to Beta that the variant declined in the population. This is as predicted by herd immunity. Meanwhile the Covid virus is randomly mutating. Eventually, the Delta variant arises that can evade the Beta antibodies and T-cells. The infection cycle starts again.

First off what is your definition of “herd immunity”? Second, people who monitor polio, small pox, measles and a number of other diseases would be shocked to learn that viruses never attain herd immunity. Simply shocked.

Like many who get their information solely from the web, you have limited knowledge but think you know a lot. A bad combination. One of the main reasons why Covid symptoms are getting milder is because the general population is gaining immune resistance to the Covid family of viruses. It is not so much that the virus is mutating to be come less dangerous but more that people are becoming more resistant to the Covid variants because of past exposures/vaccinations. This can be seen as a type of herd immunity, but one that impacts illness severity rather than infectiousness.

Experts say it’s less risky to catch Covid-19 than it used to be, but there are still good reasons not to treat it casually.

“At this point, the risk is lower because of our prior immunity, whether for severe outcomes or for long Covid,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and dean of the Yale School of Public Health. https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/28/health/risk-from-catching-covid-wellness/index.html


It could, I guess. However, virologists/immunologists/I.D. specialists and the guests making up the team on TWiV seem comfortable with describing the stuff in your links as partial/non sterilizing immunity. A type of non-herd immunity, in fact. Not the first example of the phenomenon…flu, for instance, strikes me as another contender in the respiratory arena, Hep C would be another.

I think you’re still struggling with trying to stretch the concept of herd immunity to situations where it cannot reach. There’s no getting around the viral dynamics of SARS CoV-2 as compared to, say, smallpox, polio, measles etc…where herd immunity can be achieved (or would be, but for the antivaxxers). Nor, it appears, the rapid waning of immunity.

You are making things up. I am not bitter. I do not like false information.

Worse when someone posts false information and does not admit it is wrong I find that egotistical. Egotistical is a false sense of worth.

I do not think you are obnoxious.

You are shrouding things in false terms.

It’s possible. Research shows you can get COVID-19 not just twice but multiple times.Nov 21, 2023

I never said most people died of Beta. They did not have to die from Beta for the virus to mutate. The crowing out by Delta and then later by Omicron happened because of how contagious later variants were.

The resistance was not human immunity. The dead or quarantined human beings slowed the spread of Beta while Delta was more contagious.

I am wrong about this. I forgot about other viruses that do have herd immunity. But it has nothing to do with rhinoviruses or coronaviruses. As it turned out COVID does not have herd immunity.

That is jibberish. Ironic because then you produce an article from the internet. Got to say it is dimwitted to have a Ph.D in something other than virology, look up articles online, shroud false ideas in sciences, and then see that in someone else. LOL…when I am not guilty of standing by my misconceptions you are.

Omicron subvariant BA.5 can cause more severe disease.
Omicron-derived virus variants are currently responsible for most SARS-CoV-2 infections worldwide. Compared to earlier virus variants, Omicron rarely causes severe disease. According to current knowledge, a major reason for this is that Omicron infects lung cells less efficiently and therefore causes pneumonia less frequently. However, an international team including scientists from the German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, has now identified a mutation in the spike protein of the Omicron subvariant BA.5 that enables the virus to efficiently infect lung cells again. The study demonstrates that, over the course of evolution of Omicron subvariants, viruses may arise that regain the ability to effectively spread in the lung and cause severe illness in risk patients and people with insufficient immunity (Nature Communications).

@VeeEnn I knew about the lung issue linked but not that the newer variants can regain being problematic in the lungs all over again. I had scanned yahoo articles looking for that and not finding it. The ability to infect the lungs again causing pneumonia is major.

I think it is more the case of you tending to see herd immunity in black/white terms (either it is there or it isn’t) while I see a continuity of different levels of herd immunity conveying different levels of protection to the population. Polio would be at one end of the spectrum, Covid at the other. I see greys while you do not.

Not saying you are wrong, but it is a different perspective. I tend to see things more mechanistically. The mechanism that causes the disappearance of the polio virus from a population (high resistance to the virus) is the same as that which causes the reduction of the Covid Beta variant in a population. Considering both as different forms of herd immunity recognizes this mechanistic similarity.

A motorcycle is different from a diesel semi, but both are internal combustion vehicles. Same propulsion mechanism but at different ends of the internal combustion vehicle spectrum.

Well I also have taught graduate courses on genetics and evolution at a couple of major universities, published 100+ peer-reviewed papers in genetics, and am an academic editor for the two largest general scientific journals. It is possible that on this issue I have a better understanding of this particular topic than the average person since I am actually able to make a living in the life sciences. One still shouldn’t trust what I say on an anonymous discussion board as I could be lying about everything or, heaven forbid, even be mistaken! So take this however you want and no offense intended, but in my opinion in the fields of health and the life sciences you generally have no idea what you are talking about.

I’ll end with confessing that I use these boards as a way to find interesting issues that I may otherwise ignore. How Sweden was dealing with Covid was a controversial topic on this board in the past. Was curious to see what the latest data had to say about the issue. I also have long owned stock in Tesla. I use these boards to explore whether it might be time to buy or sell. Investing in Tesla is less about traditional financial fundamentals and more about the narrative, which is something easily explored on discussion boards. In short Leap, I am not trying to convince you or anyone else of anything. I am exploring rather than proselytizing. No need to get so worked up just because I often find what you say nonsensical.


Ah. I see your confusion. The mechanisms that have been responsible for the (almost complete) disappearance of polio simply don’t exist for the SARS CoV-2 variants. Not because I say they are but because that’s how the respective viruses and the immune response is recognised to work…and why those with expertise in the field themselves have a fairly specific definition of herd immunity.

First off, unlike SARS CoV-2, it’s a relatively stable virus. Next, either infection or vaccination with poliovirus provides for almost complete sterilizing immunity. Also, immunity does not wane rapidly enough to allow for reinfection (as far as I know, possibly not at all)

The analogy I’d use with your non-herd immunity definitions be more along the lines of “Spam, egg and chips…without the spam”. Seems a bit more representative to me.


It is exactly the same mechanism.

The Covid virus-Beta variant is genetically different from the virus-Delta variant. The Beta variant is immunologically different from the Delta variant. Beta produces a different spectrum of disease symptoms than Delta. By these criteria, Beta is a different infectious agent than Delta. Beta and Delta (and alpha and Omicron, etc) are different viruses and as such there can be herd immunity to one and not the other.

Beta ran through the US population in 2020. A vaccine to Beta was introduced in late 2020. The combination of infections and vaccine increased the resistance of the US population to the point where Beta has mostly disappeared from the US population. Right now, an unvaccinated person is very unlikely to be infected by Beta. Sure smells like herd immunity.

Given those observations, what specific definition of “herd immunity” are you using that justifies your argument that this is not an example of herd immunity for the Beta form of Covid?

To put it another way, can you find any definition of herd immunity that takes into account the mutability of the infectious agent?

Herd immunity does occur for the specific Covid virus variants. That can be empirically demonstrated. It does not occur for the Covid disease because we define the Covid disease as something that can be caused by a family of viruses rather than one specific virus.


Unless you enjoy being alive.

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Since 2020, the narrative about Sweden seems to be promoted by people who will grasp any straw to further a narrative that reasonable precautions against infection are unnecessary. because that is what a certain mob wants to hear.



Your belief that significantly more people died per capita from Covid in Sweden than Canada or the rest of Scandinavia in 2020 or for the entire duration of the pandemic is not supported by the most recent data.

The poster child for Covid response has been Norway, which reported relatively low Covid mortality during the pandemic. However, a recent study shows that Norway had unusually high numbers of nonCovid mortality in 2021 and 2022 that was due to a sharp and prolonged increase in deaths due to cardio-vascular disease. This was not observed in Sweden.

The reason for this is unknown but it was speculated that it could be due to Covid that was not diagnosed or lockdowns that discouraged people from getting medical care.

This is also reflected in the fact that the reduction in life expectancy in Norway in 2022 was the largest since World War II [1]. Excess cardiovascular mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic has been observed in the USA [14] and Mexico [15]. In neighbouring Sweden and Denmark, there was no increase in cardiovascular mortality in 2020–2022 [16, 17]. 2020 and 2021 deaths from non-COVID-19 respiratory diseases were lower than predicted in Sweden. It is possible that a substantial number of registered non-COVID-19 deaths were caused by undetected SARS-CoV-2 infections… There has been concern that lockdowns have resulted in less use of health care, leading to diseases that otherwise would have been discovered remaining undiagnosed, possibly with increased mortality. This may be one explanation for the accelerated reduction in several cardiovascular diseases in 2020 and 2021 according to the Norwegian Cardiovascular Disease Registry [19].

Did Norway under-report Covid infections or perhaps its Covid policies unintentionally resulted in significantly higher mortality from heart disease? Probably worth trying to figure this out before deciding whether Norway or Sweden did better in the pandemic.

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I was raised by doctors. I am well aware of just how often the studies are outright wrong.

Doctors admit when things are wrong. They have skin in the game.

Teachers teach because they can not do. Should we leave it at that? Because you do not care how many mistruths you spread. You have said this is just for fun forget it.

Like I said I was raised by doctors. It is a different point of view when the medicine actually matters.

We take it easy when we do not spread nonsense. Make a mistake simply admit it. The adult thing to do. It is also how people learn. You are not learning anything.

It is nonsensical to you because you do not know the topics. Spreading half-baked scientific literature is not knowing much.

And yes half-baked medical concepts come out of Harvard and Yale almost daily. No one is immune.

I am more relaxed than you because I am grounded. You are spreading nonsense which means you do not have any grounding in your life. Go relax you need to try to do that.


@VeeEnn he will never be grounded in literally anything.

Well, my take is that I’m perfectly content with present nomenclature…the terminology that the folk who study, research, work and teach in the field currently use. There’s a long track record of usage and I think the world of virology has more on its plate than thinking up new names to replace adequate existing ones.

Just like the world of fine dining. If I go into an eatery and want egg and chips, that’s what I’ll ask for…not spam, egg and chips without the spam.

Mind you, analyzing what worked and what didn’t…for who and why…is an important job (although I’d want a more objective assessment than from the Cato institute) Even if herd immunity had been a feasible proposition, it’s hard to accept a “let rip” approach…and seeing the level of resistance to the mitigation measures both here and in other countries (including vaccines when they were rolled out)…I can’t imagine the mayhem and misery that would’ve ensued.


I find this offensive. While it may be true of some teachers I have known many who are perfectly capable of “doing”, but prefer the joy of passing on knowledge to others, in the hope of improving their lives and off society in general.

Without teachers, everyone would have to learn everything from the beginning, and we would go nowhere. “Teachers teach because they cannot do” may be easy to say, but it, like so many perjorative exclamations, is dead wrong.


I agree - some of the most life-changing experiences in my life have been because of great teachers.

Yes, there are some who are in it to spin it, but I would venture to guess that the great majority are not. It is also a very challenging job, especially when performed well. It is surprising to see someone posit this view - he obviously was quite deprived in his educational experiences, which is so sad.



That is good but teachers teach.

Some do as well. Many of the better doctors do both. They are not shabby at either. To “not stress out” they are grounded.

These conversations in one quarter are running into jibberish. That is also a teaching style where there is a “can’t do” because of “stressing out”.

If someone wants to experiment in not making sense with new definitions his comprehension levels are minimal.

Generalizing to all teachers is unfair. I agree. My apologies to more the more responsible teachers who often do because they do not reinvent bull crap.

Wealthy investors invest because they can not do. Far more accurate statement. A small number of people become wealthy because they CAN–AND DO–prove they have what it takes to actually DO something. That is why it is such a “small number”.

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Your perspective is probably true for the general public. However, it is demonstrably not the case for those researching Covid. This is why there is new terminology arising to present a more nuanced view of the common conception of herd immunity that include “transient herd immunity” and “herd resistance” that describe some of the issues I have brought up. A couple of examples:

Because vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, like natural infections, is not likely to produce long-lasting transmission-blocking immunity, vaccination can only generate transient herd immunity. This makes SARS-CoV-2 eradication unlikely, and endemicity the likely long-term outcome. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1074761321004040?via%3Dihub

We suggest the alternative concept of ‘herd resistance’ as a more attainable immediate outcome. Herd immunity will require more effective vaccines and/or slower mutational rates and decreased virulence. Herd resistance is already emerging in areas with high vaccination and prior exposure status as patients who currently contract SARS-CoV-2 are developing less severe COVID-19 symptoms. There is also a decline in the mortality rate. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17425247.2023.2189697

The observation is that as Covid spreads and vaccinations increase in a population, the severity of Covid symptoms and the mortality rate declines. It is useful to consider this from the perspective of herd immunity to gain a mechanistic understanding of why it might be occurring.

Just to be clear, Sweden did not exercise a “let rip” approach. They exercised a more nuanced and more voluntary approach to school closures and economic lockdowns. Given the long-term negative consequences of both it is worth keeping an open mind about the Swedish Covid approach.


Most of that is social. But I get the feeling it is only being brought up here as bogus politics.