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Sweden’s death toll unnerves its Nordic neighbours | Free to read
Denmark, Finland and Norway look at maintaining travel restrictions even as they prepare to open up to others

Can't say I blame them. What's a country supposed to do when their neighbours get it so wrong? If I was in charge of a country that was handling the coronavirus situation really effectively I think this probably is about the time to consider begining to open up the borders. But I would still be very weary of opening up the borders to countries where the virus was clearly a lot more rampant than the one I was in charge of. No country wants to risk all the efforts made while in lockdown by allowing visitors from a place where the risks are much greater. That Denmark, Finland and Norway are weary of Sweden is completely understandable and justified in my view.
 

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Where on earth did that journalist get his numbers? From the Trump school of random data?

Swededn ranks only eighth in terms of death per capita.
He referred to the rolling 7-days average and is correct afaik. Today's graphs with the countries you mention:
daily-covid-deaths-per-million-7-day-average.png

Sweden has reported 88 new deaths today, Norway 1, Denmark 3.
 

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Sounds good, but how on earth could highly populated countries ever replicate that?! There is no way quarantining people in hotels could happen in most countries!
You're absolutely right - as the situation is now. And most nations wouldn't pay for hotel stays anyway. I guess we have to get something in return in Denmark for the 50% tax and 25% VAT we pay. I'm not saying it will work though. There can be a long way from intention to implementation. It could work, though (Taiwan has been mentioned), even for nations with larger populations. lt really depends on how many cases there are, not the size of the population (but it's a moot point, as AwonderfulKiwi said).
 

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There's actually a second reason for quarantine. Buying time to find effective treatments or vaccine.

So whether the deaths are avoidable depends how long it takes to get to good treatment/vaccine. Given the low percentage of infection and the high priority being put on a vaccine, I doubt any country will reach herd immunity before a vaccine is available to the most vulnerable in high income countries. The Swedes were planning based on the assumption they would reach substantial herd immunity before summer. So, for example if an effective therapeutic combination/vaccine were found in the next month, the Swedes' death rate above what would have occurred if they adopted something like their neighbours would have been avoidable.

Vaccine or not, I am sure that treatment will be better 3 months from now will be more effective than it is now as we are learning continuously about the Covid disease and the underlying virus. So delaying a mass outbreak does reduce mortality even if a country has the healthcare capacity to absorb one early.

Let's just use the example of HIV: The preference would be to not be infected with HIV; but say you are in a high income country and you have access to the best current treatment of the time: Would it be better to get HIV around the time that Freddie Mercury contracted it, or just a bit later when NBA player Magic Johnson got it?
I think it's very unlikely for a vaccine to be available before 2021, so to base public policies on that is not very good for me. A treatment is also really not very probable considering how long those process take. I don't think it's right to be sure like you are.

The comparison with AIDS is not a good one, because the cost of preventing AIDS from spreading is insignificant in comparison to the cost of quarantines and lockdowns. Basically all you need to prevent AIDS is education and condoms. Saving the economy in some way can also save lives.
 

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Saving the economy in some way can also save lives.

This is true but there is a dichotomy between rich and poor countries.

In a rich developed country, if it is willing to have the government spend the lives lost by locking down are minimal. There is no danger of famine when the Government of Canada offers $2,000 per month for 4 months to anyone who's lost a job because of the lockdown. And residential evictions for non-payment of rent are also suspended so in effect we traded government debt, loss of private property rights and corporate profits in an attempt to lessen deaths.

However in a lower income country locking down may mean widespread starvation. In these countries the choices are death by poverty or death by virus. For this reason, I will not criticize a half-assed non-lockdown in Brazil or Sub-Saharan Africa but I will question countries like Sweden, or the UK.

The fact remains that treatment will be better in the fall than it is now. Countries that can delay major waves just a few more months will save many lives. I expect that there will be synthetic antibodies or similar treatments and perhaps somewhat effective antivirals available on a trial basis by then. I also expect that a treatment will cost over 10,000 per patient, so again the dichotomy between the rich and poor countries.
 

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and btw, is it true PM arden was suggesting a 4 day work week like in kurzarbeit, meaning short term work with 80 percent of normal salary?
No. A lot of people have taken voluntary pay cuts, ranging from 10 to 50%, but they are still working full-time. Many companies have had to impose pay cuts to keep themselves solvent, even with the wage subsidies being given by the government. Quite a few businesses have been forced to close permanently, especially in the hospitality and tourism sector (bars, travel agents and at least two major hotels, for example). One big plus, though, is finding out just how easy it is for some people to work from home who previously commuted to an office every day. Quite a few of those will remain at home, maybe going to their offices just one or two days a week. The long-term benefits from an environmental point of view will be significant.

Our government is spending huge amounts to try to restart the economy as life returns nearly to normal (we've only had seven new cases in the last two weeks, all connected to existing clusters), but will still have a deficit of only 55% or so of GDP because we were in such a good financial position before Covid-19 struck. Pretty much every other country in the world will go over 100% deficit and some, such as Japan and the US, will be over 200% because they started in a much worse position.
 

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This is true but there is a dichotomy between rich and poor countries.

In a rich developed country, if it is willing to have the government spend, the lives lost by locking down are minimal.

Exactly what has happened here. Of course many small business owners are in utterly dire straits, and quite a few have already gone broke, but I think even they still realise that the situation could have been so much worse if our government hadn't taken the action that it did.

There is no danger of famine when the Government of Canada offers $2,000 per month for 4 months to anyone who's lost a job because of the lockdown. And residential evictions for non-payment of rent are also suspended so in effect we traded government debt, loss of private property rights and corporate profits in an attempt to lessen deaths.
Our government hasn't offered lump sums in that way, but the speed at which Work and Income New Zealand (the division of our Ministry of Social Development responsible for paying welfare benefits) responded has been astounding. Once they had all the "paperwork" required to process an application (pretty much 100% done online) and confirmed details through a phone interview, the first payment was in people's bank accounts the same day. Contrast that with one of our American posters who said that he was still waiting for money SIX WEEKS after applying.
 

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Exactly what has happened here. Of course many small business owners are in utterly dire straits, and quite a few have already gone broke, but I think even they still realise that the situation could have been so much worse if our government hadn't taken the action that it did.



Our government hasn't offered lump sums in that way, but the speed at which Work and Income New Zealand (the division of our Ministry of Social Development responsible for paying welfare benefits) responded has been astounding. Once they had all the "paperwork" required to process an application (pretty much 100% done online) and confirmed details through a phone interview, the first payment was in people's bank accounts the same day. Contrast that with one of our American posters who said that he was still waiting for money SIX WEEKS after applying.
Statistics Canada released numbers showing negative excess deaths in the first two weeks of the lockdown probably due to nobody being on the roads or in dangerous situations. I'm sure when we get the April - June numbers things will be reversed.

Yes it was astonishing how fast our government here moved in a minority parliament no less. It seemed 3-4 times a week our Prime Minister was on TV announcing something that's going to cost billions or tens of billions.

Our program is administered by the Revenue Agency since they already have deposit information for many Canadians for refunding Income Tax overpayments. Virtually no supporting documentation is required, you just have to go online and self report loss of income and that your income does not exceed $1000 in the past 2 weeks + and that you did not quit your job voluntarily. Money deposited within 72 hours if you've previously registered your bank deposit information with the taxman. The past two weeks the Conservative Party has been trying to claim there's a lot of fraud going on with this Canada Emergency Response Benefit. There was a memo that told civil servants to err on the side of giving money to an ineligible rather than denying legitimate claims. I think most people are okay with dealing with fraud after the fact.
 

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Sweden’s death toll unnerves its Nordic neighbours | Free to read
Denmark, Finland and Norway look at maintaining travel restrictions even as they prepare to open up to others

I hope they close the borders to Swedish nationals indefinitely. Other countries understood early on that they had to synchronize their measures with the other countries in the region. Let them learn the hard way.
 

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Interesting, that's very similar to Czechia. We've got about 350 cases and just three people in a serious condition (no deaths).
Situation in our countries remain quite similar after 2 months, ok you have 2000 more cases(5m.more inhabitants) but both have 304 deaths and this has been growing similarly in both countries... How is the Czechian situation in ICU? We in FIN have only 20 people in intensive care and 98 in other hospital care...
 

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Damn, Brazil is peaking like crazy. :oops:



They will clinch 'second place' within two days at this rate.
 

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Damn, Brazil is peaking like crazy. :oops:



They will clinch 'second place' within two days at this rate.
I know Russia is probably undercounting cases and reclassifying deaths too much but there's no way that Brazil with its big pockets of poverty and high density slums isn't undercounting. Tough situation especially for the working poor there.

A few years ago the BRIC were making noises about upsetting the Bretton-Woods legacy financial order. It's pretty much the cold war the ultra-rich people funding certain political stooges who spout nonsense to whip up dumb classes to vote for them are fighting.

I'm pretty sure the crisis has exposed everything wrong with the current world. Western complacency, the incompetence of xenophobic anti-science fear mongerers in managing the richest country in the world and made the BRIC's claim that they are ready for leadership would all be really laughable if it weren't costing lives every day.
 

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Damn, Brazil is peaking like crazy. :oops:



They will clinch 'second place' within two days at this rate.
It’s probably not a coincidence that the top 3 are also ruled by some of the worst demagogues we have in the world right now. Hopefully the US will vote theirs out in November.
 
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