ER Editor: We remind readers of a piece we published back in April of this year, in which Freddie Sayer of Unherd interviewed Sweden’s Dr. Johan Giesecke, titled Swedish expert, Dr. Johan Giesecke: why lockdowns are the wrong policy [VIDEO]. Of note:
In a year from now we can judge the situation better, and it is probable that these different strategies will have no overall impact, that the results will be more or less the same for what is a quite ‘mild’ disease that few people notice they have had. So the fatality rate will be much lower than the estimates (like a severe influenza season of .1%). Millions of UK and Swedish citizens have probably already been infected, at least around 50%.
So the rationale for the lockdown is misguided and will do more harm than good. The virus has simply taken several months off people’s lives who would have died anyway. Dictatorial trends are now cropping up in many countries with huge ramifications.
Sweden could have done a better job in retrospect, but still by using the same strategy. But essentially, it is still about letting it pass through the population, producing the inevitable herd immunity. So it cannot be stopped. Even Asian countries that have been successful in containing the problem are still having to ease up on their policies because it’s not possible to keep them going.
In the peer-reveiwed study highlighted below, the authors have concluded that countries that are typically most developed, with aging populations that have reached an age plateau, carrying with them a number of serious diseases, have been the most susceptible to having a higher mortality rate:
This analysis shows that higher Covid-19 mortality rates are mostly found in countries experiencing higher life expectancies and showing a recent slowdown of this progression. Most of these developed and aging societies are latitudinally located over the 25° parallel. They also have higher GDP and chronic diseases levels (e.g., CVD and cancer) associated with major metabolic risk factors (e.g., inactive lifestyle, sedentarity, and obesity). High temperature and UV levels are associated with low death rates such that northern and western countries pay the most severe toll of Covid-19.
During a pandemic situation, the foremost indicator of countries health fragility may be seen in the proportion of older people (who were the SARS-CoV-2 major target), given the ineluctable diminished performances and resilience with age (23). Resulting from both biological and social processes, the decline in health and physical strength and the increasing disabilities particularly affect old people, bringing them closer to vulnerability thresholds. The highest proportions of elderly people are observed in countries with higher life expectancy (24, 25). Such nations may suffer from higher mortality levels when new aggressors appear.
Lockdowns and Government Restrictions Make no Difference to Mortality Outcomes
It is timely that in the run-up to the next gear change in the Government’s endless drive to “defeat the virus”, Frontiers in Public Health has published a peer-reviewed study of Covid mortality outcomes.
First the Context
We aimed at characterizing the non-viral parameters that were most associated with death rate.
We tested major indices from five domains (demography, public health, economy, politics, environment) and their potential associations with COVID-19 mortality during the first eight months of 2020, through a Principal Component Analysis and a correlation matrix with a Pearson correlation test. Data of all countries, or states in federal countries, showing at least 10 fatality cases, were retrieved from official public sites. For countries that have not yet finished the first epidemic phase, a prospective model has been computed to provide options of death rates evolution.
The Studied Countries
From the 188 countries that have declared at least one case, only those counting a minimum of 10 deaths due to COVID-19 up to the study end point (August 31st 2020) were included. China and the United States were also analysed by states or regions, when each of them reached the 10 deaths threshold.
And the Conclusion (our emphasis)
Countries that already experienced a stagnation or regression of life expectancy, with high income and NCD (non-communicable disease) rates, had the highest price to pay. This burden was not alleviated by more stringent public decisions. Inherent factors have predetermined the COVID-19 mortality: understanding them may improve prevention strategies by increasing population resilience through better physical fitness and immunity.
Worth reading in full.
This study focused on the first eight months of 2020. We doubt that anything from the later months of the year, which saw the rule of six, lockdown 2.0, the first and now the second tier system in the UK alone, will substantially challenge the analysis.
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