Doom for the wicked Swedes is always three weeks away

Massachusetts Facebook friends were gleefully discussing the wave of death that is pummeling Sweden, over a link to “I Just Came Home to Sweden. I’m Horrified by the Coronavirus Response Here.” (Slate) As part of strategy to be defriended by everyone, I responded with

Maybe the Swedes would appreciate some advice … on the Massachusetts secret to managing Covid-19. I am sure that they are curious to know how we managed to achieve 2X the Swedish death rate while shutting down schools, offices, restaurants, and gyms (all places that Swedes are still going).

The Church of Shutdown members have a ready answer to this:

And in Sweden, the infection rate continues to grow, while in Massachusetts it is shrinking slowly. MA hasn’t done a great job, its biggest mistake being that it did nothing until the rate was high, but its future looks better than Sweden’s.


You’re proving my point about the Church of Shutdown. Our religion says that we should be rewarded for our social distancing. Instead, however, we see Swedes partying and Danes sending their children to reopened schools. At some later date, however, (“the afterlife”) everyone will get his/her/zir/their just reward. The Swedes will be killed for partying continuously. The Danes will be killed for abandoning the sacrament of school closure before Jan 2021. The righteous of Massachusetts will be spared both infection and death in this afterlife, though it may look dark for us right here and now.


No, in MA we have the opportunity to get the infection rate down to a level where testing and tracking can keep it under control. No need to wait for an afterlife. The IHME model gives June 22 as the date. There’s reason to hope our new mask order will accelerate this process.

This prompted me to look at the IHME prophecies. On April 12, in “Everything the gleeful journalists said would happen to Sweden has happened… to Massachusetts”, I wrote “The University of Washington right now says that doom is in store for Sweden. They’ll have 13,259 deaths through August 4, 2020. They’ll have 79 ICU beds and need 3,378(!).” and included a screen shot indicating that peak demand on Swedish health care would happen on May 3 (today!).

Are they, in fact, 3,300 ICU beds short? They have had a total of only about 2,000 critical care “sessions” total for 1,500 patients (official data). ICU occupancy has been steady at roughly 500 patients for the past few weeks.

What do the augurs of University of Washington now say?

Although nothing regarding Swedish policy has changed, despite hundreds of American newspaper articles telling the Swedish how wrong they actually are, the God of Shutdown is now coming for the Swedes on May 22, at which point those who failed to worship Him/Her/Zer/Them will be short 3,711 ICU beds.

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After spreading without being constrained by the Miracle of Shutdown since mid-January in Sweden, Covid-19 will finally get organized to kill the unrighteous in Sweden in late May:

(Look at the error bars! They’re fairly confident that on May 23, Sweden will have between 11 deaths and… 2,789 deaths.

You’d have to be “anti-science” to deny that the number of Covid-19-tagged deaths in Sweden on May 23 will fall somewhere in between 11 and 2,789!)

Separately, how do we enter the Promised Land of “testing and tracking” that has been promised to the Church of Shutdown faithful? The 22 million undocumented will answer their phones and open their doors when the friendly government agent calls or shows up to ask a lot of questions about exactly where they’ve been? Healthy 20-year-olds will meekly submit to being stuck with needles and swabs? What’s in it for them? A resident of Massachusetts can terminate a 23.99-week-old pregnancy (political logic: had the pregnancy terminated in a birth at 22 weeks, for example, taxpayers via MassHealth would have paid $5 million or more, if necessary, to preserve the 22-week “child” rather than paying $1,000 to abort the 23.99-week-old “fetus”), why can’t a resident of Massachusetts say “my body, my choice” when the helpful government shows up with needles and swabs?

8 thoughts on “Doom for the wicked Swedes is always three weeks away

  1. Like I said: nobody knows anything. They’re doing the science and making up the policy as they go along.

    > Separately, how do we enter the Promised Land of “testing and tracking” that has been promised to the Church of Shutdown faithful?

    Nobody knows. For a while, there was optimism that relatively ubiquitous antibody testing would provide a reliable signal, but that all being cast into doubt even as we speak. Now the FDA is being pilloried for moving *too quickly* on antibody testing. And of course, it’s Trump’s fault!

    “Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, told The Hill he thinks FDA was under enormous pressure from the White House to get as many tests on the market as possible.”

    “FDA is doubling down on their policies. It’s dangerous … and we’re going to regret that,” Krishnamoorthi said in a recent interview. “If you have a test kit that gives you a false positive, that person might view it as a green light to engage with other people and relax social distancing, and a consequence is they’ll get sick and get others sick.”

    The shutdown must be maintained! It has to continue until the economy is irretrievable and we’re in the midst of a hurricane season compounding the misery.

    Since the antibody tests are flawed and unreliable and the data is untrustworthy, they cannot be relied upon for sound policy decisions:

    “At this point we have to assume [people] are at risk of reinfection, and we are recommending people with antibodies not change their behaviors in any way,” said Mary Hayden, a professor of internal medicine and pathology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a spokeswoman for the Infectious Disease Society of America.”

  2. They should graph the error bars logarithmically to make the science look better!

  3. Thankfully here in NYC the police are now issuing summonses for the scofflaws who fail to observe social distancing. At the same time cops I have spoken to say they no longer issue summonses for quality of life offenses such as sleeping, urinating and defecating on the subways — because the offenses won’t be prosecuted so issuing the summons is a waste of time. Query: what do you think is more likely to spread disease – failing to social distance or sleeping, urinating, or taking a dump in a crowded subway car?

  4. I am glad you brought up undocumented foreign nationals. The undocumented part is really, really important. I mean it is essential to understanding this entire mess.

    Most of our numbers are statistically generated. They are synthetic numbers. One really important number is total population. If the statistical model and underlying data for that number is flawed, then all the numbers that derive from it are also flawed.

    So let’s say in a hotspot like New York City has many more people than the statistical models account for. Let’s say that a significant number of those undocumented are living in crowded, unsanitary conditions (eight to room, in a two bedroom apartment meant for a family of four). Let’s say that many caregivers for the elderly, delivery men, cleaning crews, and retail workers are drawn from this population.

    Someone *PLEASE* show me a model that accounts for all of this.

    As a footnote, recent stories about meat processing plants shutting down fail to mention this industry’s reliance on cheap, mostly illegal labour. I was going to say the industry used to be better, but then I remembered Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’.

  5. The Church has given a little scornful attention to even more heretical Belarus: “Here we’re playing with fire“. It must be exasperating that they’re not dying in the streets but the faithful can always hope!

  6. I, for one, feel proud that I live in a state, university of which is so prominently featured on this blog!

    Also my state reopens elective procedures, construction, and state parks and forests (why these has been closed in the first place?). Let’s see if university prophesies will be adjusted for that.

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