1. Sweden did just fine when they decided to keep things open.
2. Sweden was able to save their economy.
3. We can be like Sweden, protect the vulnerable, and let the younger people go about their daily lives.
4. The lives saved by shutting things down will be more than offset by suicides and deaths caused by delayed hospital procedures.
5. Sweden has achieved herd immunity and their deaths are not going up.
6. Most of the deaths were caused by co-morbidities.
Today we will cover that first statement.
The graph above shows the seven day average of daily deaths from Covid-19 per 100,000 population for Sweden and its two neighbors, Finland and Norway. I used deaths per 100,000 because deaths is a much more verifiable number than cases, and per 100,000 adjusts for the population differences to give a more accurate comparison.
How big was the difference? Well, the area under each line represents the number of people (per 100,000) who have died from Covid-19. The graph for Sweden peaked at .98 deaths per 100,000 on April 17th of this year. A little bit of high-school math, and we can do a back of the napkin calculation of how many lives that represents in total per 100,000 people.
I have added two triangles to the graph. The first represents the proportion of Swedish deaths. The second is an average of Finland and Norway’s death.
Flash back to high-school geometry – and I apologize if that is a painful memory for some – the area of a triangle = Base / 2 * perpendicular height.
For Sweden then, A = 124 / 2 * 1 = 62.
For Norway and Finland (average) A = 65 / 2 * .15 = 4.8
Of course having done that rough calculation I realize that the graph I was using also would display totals per 100K, and that while the above was an interesting exercise in geometry, the actual numbers at day 150 were:
(Rounded to nearest 1 decimal).
So Sweden per 100,000 population had 9.5 times the number of deaths that Finland had and 12.1 times the number of deaths as Norway. In terms of what I will call excess deaths, Sweden had 51 more deaths per 100,000 people than Finland. At a population of 10.23 million people, it means that Sweden’s excess deaths were 10,230,000 / 100,000 * 51 = 5,217 people. That means that roughly 5,217 more people died in Sweden than would have had they adopted the tighter restrictions of their neighbors.
I have run out of time for today, but will be expanding on this quite a bit over the next few weeks.
As usual your thoughts and comments are welcome. I will address some of your comments and questions in future posts on the topic.