Doom by December for the wicked unmasked Swedes

From the scientists at IHME:

By the end of December, 200 Swedes will be dying every day from coronaplague, unless they see the light and convert to the Church of Shutdown and don the hijab.

The current WHO dashboard says that 4 Swedes have died from Covid-19 in the last 7 days (0.57 deaths per day). IMHE therefore is predicting a 350X increase in coronaplague deaths.

Readers: What’s your best guess as to where the Swedes will be at the end of December?

My guess: 5-10 deaths per day. This is based on (a) Swedes being stuck indoors more, (b) Swedish Karens (even countries that give the finger to the virus must have some) who have been hiding in bunkers coming out, (c) travel picking up and therefore more people coming in from heavily plagued countries outside of Sweden, more people going from small towns to big cities, etc.

What does #Science tell us about our own country? Given that we change our minds every few weeks about shutdown policies, prediction can be more challenging. IMHE says that its projection is about 3,000 deaths per day by the end of December and it would over 6,000 if the U.S. were to give residents back what had been their Constitutional rights, e.g., to assemble.

Readers: Best guess for the U.S. daily COVID-19 deaths at the end of December?

My guess: about 700 per day… because that’s what it is right now and our shutdowns and mask policies are likely to ensure that the coronavirus always has a comfortable home somewhere in the U.S. (see When we wear masks, does the coronavirus thank us for our service?)

What else is interesting in the IHME data? 93% of Spaniards are (always) wearing masks:

(The WHO dashboard shows 453 deaths within the last 7 days. The population, 47 million, is roughly 4.5X Sweden’s while deaths are 100X never-masked Sweden’s. IMHE shows Swedish mask use at 1%.)

Follow-up: The IHME folks did pretty well in predicting the upward part of the exponential, but failed to predict that the virus would burn out, as it had in the spring 2020 wave. Here is the long-term picture:

If we zoom in, we find that I was off by a factor of 10 and IHME was off by a factor of only 2.

Keep in mind that anyone who tested positive for Covid in the 30 days prior to death was tagged by a computer as a “Covid death” and that Sweden ultimately had “less than half of Europe’s average excess death rate of 11 percent” (analysis).

What is the principal flawed assumption that resulted in my estimate being off by 10X? As there were no lockdowns, I assumed that nearly the entire Swedish population had been infected by SARS-CoV-2 in the spring of 2020 and, therefore, that those who could be killed by SARS-CoV-2 had already been killed. It may be, however, that Swedish efforts to isolate the elderly were reasonably effective and also that immunity to COVID acquired in April 2020 had already worn off by December 2020 (I would have expected immunity to last 2-3 years, which is also what people were saying about the vaccines at the time).

IHME got it wrong in the links below, but they got this one mostly right!


13 thoughts on “Doom by December for the wicked unmasked Swedes

  1. Facts don’t matter in the world where output of never validated models (or worse, models which have already been shown to be wildly off) means more than common sense and real-life data.

    I think we need to stock on tar and feathers for the totalitarian politicos and their pet experts.

  2. An engineering prof once said: “there are only 3 curves in nature: sinsoids, decaying exponentials, and S-curves”. He was right. Be skeptical of scientists and models that predict endless exponential growth.

  3. If you watch the medical podcast linked below from the 21:40 mark, there is a concern that care home patients in Sweden were giving morphine instead of oxygen, something tantamount to euthanasia.

  4. “Readers: Best guess for the U.S. daily COVID-19 deaths at the end of December?

    My guess: about 700 per day… because that’s what it is right now and our shutdowns and mask policies are likely to ensure that the coronavirus always has a comfortable home somewhere in the U.S.”

    1400 per day. In the absence of any policy changes, the changing seasons should still have an effect on case count and therefore deaths.

    • Ken: The average flu season in the U.S. kills about 40,000 people, but sometimes as many as 80,000. If we assume these deaths are concentrated over 180 days, that’s a guess of 222-444 from you.

  5. I like the “comfortable home in the US.” That is the point that Michael Levitt made back in March, that human beings don’t have the ability to stop the virus — but we do have the ability to prolong it out by locking people up & thereby ensuring that immunity is not built up in the population. Which also has lots of other costs, financial, psychological, social.

  6. Since the average American parent has the science and math skills of a 6th grader, I’ll do what a 6th grader and their parents would do and look at Youyang Gu’s projections and then draw an imaginary line.

    He projects 5.5 deaths per day in Sweden on 11/01 and that represents an increase from approximately 0 deaths per day on September 28. So I’ll triple that number and add in a fudge factor and estimate 19 deaths per day on December 31.

    In the United States we will have 1,234 deaths per day attributed to COVID but nobody will really know because half of those people also died of the flu.

    I got that number by typing in the four numerical digits at the top of my keyboard from left to right.

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