When the coronavirus first hit most western governments pushed the panic button and opted for a totalitarian approach–ordering businesses closed, people to isolate themselves at home, stay at least six feet apart, and wear masks over their nose and mouth and later, coerced injections of an experimental drug misleadingly characterized as a vaccine. Sweden took a more laissez-faire approach. People were free to take whatever precautions they wanted, but society stayed open. They reasoned that airborne viruses cannot be effectively contained and that the best policy would be to try to reach “herd immunity” as quickly as possible.
Three years later, the Swedish approach has produced the best results. Compared to its western peers, Sweden had the lowest excess deaths above long-term trend lines. This means that while the pandemic did boost total fatalities above the norm in Sweden, total fatalities in all the other countries were boosted even higher. “Herd immunity” was effectively achieved as younger and less vulnerable members of the population caught and spread the disease prompting the development of antibodies that aided resistance to further infection.
Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called the results “surprising. Going against the consensus of experts was risky. If the laissez-faire approach had failed their reputations would have been irreparably damaged. Even now, the unexpected results can’t be taken as proof of the wisdom of their actions. My instincts tell me that it could’ve been just dumb luck.”
Interestingly, the other top performing part of the world during the pandemic was in countries too poor to afford all the coercive measures, vaccines, and hospitalizations that produced the greater acceleration of excess deaths experienced in the western peers of Sweden.
Meanwhile, in the US the CDC is developing a database to track who has and hasn’t received the recommended doses of covid mRNA vaccinations. Nancy Andersen, a director with Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals, and Erica Eastham, executive director at The Permanente Federation LLC, thanked the CDC for “providing valuable data for understanding vaccination rates and dealing with under-vaccinated patients.”
In other health-related news, while a large part of the world was put through hell by ill-considered pandemic policies for a disease with a less than 1% overall fatality rate, the Pentagon now reports that 77% of military-age adults are unfit for service due to obesity and/or mental illness. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was dismayed by “the slim pickings our recruiters face. We may have to consider re-instituting the draft. Why should professional sports be allowed to draft all the best physical specimens for themselves? Shouldn’t the need to defend of the nation outweigh the desire to field a winning sports team?”