Can we, like, stop praising Sweden now

I don’t expect the virus psychos to listen but here is the chart, courtesy of Greg Jericho at The Fake Left:

Sweden and EL Trumpo, hand in hand.

Unleash the virus and unleash the economic decline.

Houses and Holes
Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)


  1. So at lunch on the first day of the test, Sweden’s GDP has dropped less than most European countries while its fatality rate has been better than UK, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Have I got that right?

    Let’s see what the afternoon session brings.

      • No. I am saying look at all the evidence. Even the evidence from the “other side.” Public health authorities in Europe now acknowledge that elimination is not possible. We have to move into a phase of learning to co-exist with this virus.

        I have been worried about this virus since 23rd January. By then it was clear we had a global problem.
        In late January I watched Australia’s PPE be boxed up and mailed out of the country from my local post office. Dozens of young Chinese posting huge cardboard boxes of the stuff. Day after day. 100’s of kilos of not tons from just one post office. Clearly something was afoot. did nothing.

        I spent a lot of time in late Jan and February trying to convince my colleagues and friends that we had an emerging threat to no avail. . I was politely laughed at, and a couple of well-meaning people contacted my parter to express their concern for my state of mind.
        I was concerned in equal measure by what was about to happen, and by the failure of anyone to take it seriously.

        So I am not unaware of the dangers posed by this virus. Equally, I am not unaware of the dangers posed by our response to the threat.

        It is a precarious balance which requires honesty, humility and a willingness to listen, analyse and learn.

        But sure, go ahead and call me a psycho if it makes you feel better.

        • It was never originally about elimination, from what I remember – it was about flattening the curve to avoid overwhelming health systems.

          However, since some countries managed the virus so well, they realised elimination might be possible, so those countries then changed their objective.

          Hence, it always been about learning to live with the virus, just not getting overwhelmed by it, and not necessarily going Swedish. And, for some, a better medium-term became reasonably achievable, whilst for others it was not reasonably achievable.

          • They changed the plan because of journalists and boomers jumping up and down about any fatalities. The journos role in all of this will not be forgotten

        • Thanks for all your comments steve, I really appreciate them. I’ve always found them to be very informative and factual – not extreme. Not sure why DLS is polarised on this issue. It’s maybe because there are plenty of psychos around.
          Very interesting comment from you below about the herd immunity threshold possibly being as low as 20% due to some existing immunity form other coronaviruses. First time I’ve heard of that – I’m sure it doesn’t get much airtime in the MSM!

          • There is a very good clip from that mathematical epidemiologist. Goes for 2 hours, but I’m sure you can get her gist by skimming through it. She talks about the opposition she has faced getting her message out.
            Note she only talks about the WHAT she has seen.


            HOW and WHY remain speculative.
            T cells could be the how & why (or part of it at least).


            “The La Jolla team detected this crossreactivity in about half of stored blood samples collected between 2015 and 2018, well before the current pandemic began. The researchers think these cells were likely triggered by past infection with one of the four human coronaviruses that cause colds; proteins in these viruses resemble those of SARS-CoV-2.”

            These T cell papers have been coming out since April. Seemed unlikely which first paper – from Sweden of all places. But has been verified by other researchers from other institutes.

      • How embarrassing
        You must surely be trolling because you’re not this dumb

        This chart does not show what you think it shows
        The distribution is basically random
        No meaningful trendline can be drawn

        Countries relying on services and tourism are more severely affected economically than those relying on manufacturing , mining, agriculture etc

        EU countries hamstrung by a shared currency and fiscal constraints, and countries with political quagmires, are more affected than those with the ability or political will to stimulate eg jobseeker etc

        In any case, GDP has nothing to do with quality of life, personal freedoms, and strength of democracy

        which is what the lockdowns have absolutely destroyed

      • That’s in a point in time.

        Which economy will recover quicker? Sweden or Victoria.

        I’m betting Sweden by a country mile.

      • Alexandra Chapman

        And now Swedes are now living life as it should be. Kids have not missed school. People give each other hugs. They are not facing a wave of depression and anxiety.

        I am really glad David L-D that YOU are OK.

        Many many people, especially those who live alone as I do (a widow) are really struggling.

        Here in Australia- we recently had the LARGEST ever number of calls to Lifeline in its history!
        We might have “flattened the curve” on COVID, but mental health-related hospital admissions are overwhelming the system.

        Meanwhile, our VIC State Govt approach has failed to provide the PPE where it counts, and implemented ridiculous rules that don’t work, e.g any kind of face covering is OK when plainly what most people are wearing, cloth masks or scarves, are ineffectual.

        And any debate about “what are we trying to achieve and how best can we do that” has been stifled.
        For the record I am not a conspiracy theorist nor a virus denier nor anti-vaxxer.

        But I am so pissed off with the crap debate and the lives that are being ruined as a result. Come next year, thousands will start losg their homes once the “holiday” on insolvent trading obligations finishes and businesses go into administration.

        All I can say is – thank God the Swedes had the courage to follow a plan and the recommendations in the WHO’s own policies as at least we now have some real data – not that created by Ferguson’s crap model.

        • Thank you for your openness Alexandra.

          This is exactly the sort of problem I am seeing every day. As are the Police, paramedics, child protection workers, social workers etc.

          Facing a situation out of our control and with no good choices, we are forced to chose the least bad. Chose wisely.

        • Oh yes Alexandra, good on Sweden with its approx 560 deaths per million compared with Aus with very few per whole Australia. Victoria of course not quite so good, but look at the chart from August 4. That is irrefutable. Basic chart reading spells the situation out.
          What you value is GDP …not lives. This is not a valid comparison in any way, any basis of comparison. The economic collapse was nigh n Aus, USA, uk, EU when covid hit China,

      • So Sweden’s entire population has pretty much been allowed to get exposed to the virus vs Australia and most other countries (with varying degrees of success) where entire populations are locked away every time it rears its ugly head. Hardly a basis for a fair comparison on any level.

    • Agreed. I was expecting the numbers for Sweden to be much worse. The difference now is that they should comparatively outperform all other countries going forward. Too early to make a judgement.

      • There was a very good interview with a Swedish epidemiologist back in June I guess. At that time, Sweden was being criticised for its approach. She made the point it would likely be 2 years before we would know which approach was best.

        • Yep, I can’t understand how so many have taken a hard position this early. Several months ago I made the same point – we’ll know with hindsight what the optimal solution is.

    • The European countries with terrible results started by treating COVID-19 with “it’s just a flu” and “let it rip” in January and February, then went into lockdown as their hospital got overwhelmed.

      Countries like Sweden and Norway have more time to consider their response, and the path taken by Sweden resulted in as much death as ‘let it rip’. Rather than a health policy success, it reveals Sweden as a society willing to let their elderly die to avoid the inconvenience of a lockdown.

      • You can forgo lockdowns as long as these people sequester themselves:
        ►Anyone over 60
        ►Anyone who is fat (BMI over, say, 28)
        ►Anyone with a chronic health condition

        The young and healthy can then get on with it. But they may not live with or have social intercourse with the groups above. Workable? Probably not/

        • Probably not.

          Number of Australians with most common co-morbitities:-

          Asthma – 2.7 million
          Diabetes – 1.2 million
          Overweight/obese 12.5 million
          Heart disease 1.2 million
          Cancer – over 1 million
          Over 60 – 1.3 million

          Total – 19.9 million. Even if some of these have combined co-morbidities, perhaps a third of the population is vulnerable, so voluntarily or imposed lockdowns will have the same result – a stuffed economy.

          It’s a pandemic.

          • “The #coronavirus is an example of survival of the fittest. It’s nature’s way of culling the weak. If you are #obese or have other metabolic disease, you are considered weak. Get healthy if you want to live!”

            Anyway those under 60 are far more likely to die from a car accident than covid.

            We will be with this virus for years, vaccines will not work on older cohort, which is pretty much the only one who need it.

        • What utter stupidity. Sometimes people die, it’s a part of life.
          I’m in a high risk group but what’s the point of life if you’re locked inside your house 23 hours a day etc etc etc.
          Just get on with it.

          • Honestly r2m reading you I realise that people like me just want to live what’s left of our lives respectfully and quietly and be left alone. I then read your patronising drivel and it is everything I stand against, that lefty imagined Intellectual superiority that only you know how others should live, behave and think. You are not content to live your life and leave others alone unless they conform to your viewpoint.

        • Even if people don’t die you’re not accounting for the life long damage even mild cases of COVID-19 can leave such as organ scarring and testicular issues in men.

        • Studies out of US university athletic programs have been showing some worrying heart issues with the athletes who have contracted Covid19. Swelling of heart tissue etc. So the long term issues of contracting Covid19 may not just be limited to the morbidity of people over 55. At this stage ignoring all the longer term complications for the whole population seems to be taking too much of a risk. Creating virus free bubbles ( NZ, WA etc) and expanding them seems a much more attractive option.

      • I am sure Sweden didn’t decide to let the elderly succumb. That’s a cheap shot. Like everyone, they had to make decisions amidst the “fog of war” = that trilogy of.high stakes, information poor, and time critical decision making.

        Sweden has publicly acknowledged it didn’t do a good enough job protecting the vulnerable. A heartfelt apology by their authorities. Very un-Victorian, where we require an inquiry to try and extract the facts.

        Victoria may yet need to apologise when the full societal toll of their policy is added up. Increased suicides, domestic violence, child abuse, school absence…. Time will tell

        • Worse, care of the elderly is a federal responsibility, at least the segment with the largest overall number of deaths yet the only inquiry has led to the people actually responsibility blaming the state.

        • How about funding domestic violence shelters instead of defunding? Lack of support to prevent or shelter from DV is the issue not Covid. Child abuse? How about incidence of bullying in school by students and by teachers and condoning it? How about action to stop child abuse, it is rife in schools, churches an some families. Covid does not cause it. Covid does trigger emotional irrationality evidently. There is a perecentage of genetic predators in the population who make others live a misery. Early recognition might help, in some societies they are pushed off the ice.

        • Hi Steve, I also value your posts and have always read you as sensible and measured. One point though – Victorian Coroner has noted that suicides have not increased in Victoria this year compared to last year. Please keep posting.

      • Irrespective of what the results are, it’s instructive that the Swedes took the view that their citizens are largely responsible people who are capable of making the right decision when it matters. Perhaps we as a society don’t enjoy quite the same social trust and our rulers decided to take a hardline authoritarian approach instead?

        An interesting study, I’m sure.

        • > Perhaps we as a society don’t enjoy quite the same social trust and our rulers decided to take a hardline authoritarian approach instead?

          Yep. Because Sweden has a homogenous culture, universal healthcare, high quality free education and above all no Fox News. It is Fox News Lite in this country that is the most destructive and divisive, which agitates and empowers people to rebel against the government. One only has to look at the over sensationalist language like “Dictator” (if you can get on national TV and criticise the “dear leader” you don’t live in a Dictatorship; good luck doing that in North Korea or China Alan Jones.) Early in the year the HS was going gang busters on “Dan’s a dictator for making everyone stay home and not seeing mum” then the BLM rally happened and the HS become “Dan’s not enforcing the law enough” (meanwhile as the recent outbreak/spike showed in Casey that could reasonably be linked to people visiting each other for Fathers Day shows, what the government did around Mothers Day was probably the best decision). Andrew Bolt publishes garbage with no accountability.

          I said this back in Feb/March when people held up Taiwan as a great example of a country that has a larger and denser population than Australia yet better outcomes with COVID-19. Why? Because Taiwan (like a lot of other Asian cultures) has a high degree of community orientation. People who weren’t wearing face masks were shammed and shunned by their peers for putting the community at risk. Whereas we have large covidiots in the population cheering others on for their “defiance against a tyranical government”, with the Twitter handles of senior people at the The Oz and HS helping to share the videos to the masses.

          I can’t trust my fellow members of society to do the right thing with respect to public health because I don’t know how many think the Herald Sun is news instead of a propaganda outfit with a generous sports section.

          • A society in which the government is constantly concerned that its citizens will take to the streets and “rebel” against it is the only way to have the slightest chance that the government will not end up “eating its own”.

            With respect, your assumption that citizen should have a default position of obedience to government decrees is wrong. But I can understand why you and so many others end up holding this view at this point in the long term cycles of history – because the generations before you that experienced (at least indirectly, if not directly) the horrors of collectivist and/or tyrannical regimes are now dead, and very few people educate themselves on the history of how such regimes come to power.

        • Exactly. VIC had nearly cleared it but “returning residents” with no skin in the game,no allegiance to Aus plus the 44 million United Securiity guys the same. Took such a few psychopaths to engender so many sick and 750 deaths approx.

          • I think these people just need a comforting arm around their shoulders and an invitation to a sausage sizzle — they’ll bona fide Aussies in no time 😉

    • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

      I would have thought the better Euro comparison points for Sweden were Finland, Norway Denmark etc, but that’s just me.

        • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

          Hay BW, yes, and I was critiquing his critique. I liked the comment further down the page, ie that gdp numbers from different countries will be influenced by the economic measures they rolled out, whereas the virus numbers are less prone to manipulation.

          For me, the standout feature of the slide is the way death #’s have 2 windows, being under 150 and a second window of say 450-620 deaths per million

          • The GDP numbers are fvcking irrelevant because, as you say, a Gubmint with access to a printing press and unlimited borrowing can make them whatever they want. Even the Euros who can’t print money can still borrow obscene amounts as the ECB just buys all this shyte anyway.

    • Compare like for like, Sweden vs it’s Scandinavian neighbours. It’s actually you Steve that is twisting the facts. Give it a rest.

  2. My sister is in Bavaria / Germany. She tells me masks are only required indoors and when lining up at Cafes etc . She’s sent me photos and people are walking about willfully without too much concern.

    Germans are pretty orderly with following rules. So I guess it may work ok?

    I think masks outdoors when walking in open parks is a bit extreme but it’s worked I guess. Hopefully we can move to the German model as case no.s drop in Victoria to low single digits.

    • Goldstandard1MEMBER

      Gav, it’s not “a bit extreme”, it’s rediculous to be wearing a mask outside walking but they did it to provide the optics so the unwashed realised that if you leave your house, you are wearing a mask. It meant people couldn’t talk their way out of “forgetting to wear it” on PT or shopping.
      As far as stopping spread it does NOTHING wearing a mask outside.

  3. 1. Total cost (in lives and $) can only be measured once the chance of future waves have abated. The idea of a “herd immunity” response is to get through the worst early, where others might have to go through many more months/years of pain.
    2. The chart says nothing of debt. Theoretically a nation could help GDP figures stand up temporarily, at a cost to future growth, by turning on the debt/stimulus spigots.

    Some might also say to be well on the way to herd immunity, with less than a 10% temporary hit to GDP, may well be better than a 7% hit, and being just as vulnerable to the virus (when borders re-open) as the nation was in the beginning.

    ..but in any case, a range of responses are warranted when dealing with unknowns. Everyone can be an expert in hindsight. I’m happy with what WA did, I’d be happy with what Sweden did. I’d be most unhappy if I was Victorian.
    We each have our own determinations on what the acceptable limits are.

    • Since you can get re-infected of COVID-19 like the flu, herd immunity cannot be achieved without a vaccine.

      • Nonsense.

        Herd immunity is independent of the mechanism by which it is achieved – natural infection or vaccine.

        Herd immunity is nothing more than a mathematical description of what happens as the proportion of susceptible people decline. Nothing more and nothing less.

        The virus neither knows nor cares the mechanism by which a person becomes non-susceptible.

        The factors that will determine whether herd immunity is even possible or not are
        1. Whether challenge to the virus elicits an immune response
        2. Whether this immune response is sufficient to confer protection, and to what extent
        3. The duration of said immunity
        4. Whether the virus evolves (antigenic drift / shift) to evade this immunity.

        Herd immunity is a possible outcome, which will depend on mathematical inputs.
        Herd immunity is not policy.
        Herd immunity is not some mystical process which some believe can only be reached with a vaccine.

        • > Herd immunity is nothing more than a mathematical description of what happens as the proportion of susceptible people decline.

          Which is exactly what @Ronin8317 was saying. If you can be re-infected and pass on the virus again/get sick then the number of susceptible people only decreases as the death rate increases 😉

          • Interestingly there has been no or very very littleflu this year.
            My Doctor reckons it’s because we are washing our hands and distancing.

        • Geez Steve have you looked at the bioweapon? Is stucture,the inserts like HIV functional fragment, the folding so different parts are expressed? It’s a real work of art, it bypasses the usual ways we become immune. Temporary immunity in recovereds has not lasted long. You Steve are describing natural viruses and responses to them. Think. If you lost your business address that instead of strawmen bullying.

  4. David, you are consistently wrong on this topic. Instead of doubling down post after post, admit you were wrong. Have you admitted that your views that NSW should have locked down yet?

    • The fed broke it. Now, they own it.

      I changed my views on the virus when Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity changed his. Chris was the most objective person out there reporting on the virus. The reason why our economy has held up better than most is the bounty from $120/t iron ore. What if iron ore had remained at $70?

      • happy valleyMEMBER

        Have not heard one of Chris’s videos in probably 3 months as while they are excellent, they are too long when you are busy. However, I was a very early adopter of his advice to wear a mask. On what matter has he changed his view?

        • He’s changed his view on lockdown. Now says that social distancing, good hygiene and appropriate mask wearing is enough. Plus he’s got a very science based view on treatment and says that there are enough existing medicines to be able to treat it relatively effectively but of course big pharma won’t make enough money out of it. He’s now not doing those videos anymore but if you listen to his last one or two Covid vids that’s all you need

      • Chris Martenson is a dick. He has never once criticised or even named Donald Trump as instrumental in the outrageous outbreak in the US. This betrays his closet conservatism, and contrasts with the entire podcasts he’s put out excoriating the Clintons for their supposed corruption. He’s championed hydroxychloroquine, Trump’s pet medication.
        To say nothing of the constant drumbeat he puts out about how all the national debt is going to sink the US, which shows his complete ignorance of MMT. And he only obliquely references global warming, often referring to it as “environmental factors” in a mealy-mouthed way, so as not to upset his rightwing reader base.

        Martenson is an intellectual coward and a toady. And his whole spiel is designed to enrich himself. Credibility = zero.

        • Agree, sadly. He started out well enough twenty years ago, but love of the $ corrupted any integrity he had.

          Plus he really should drop the “Dr” appellation, quite nauseating

          • How does it follow that I’m a proponent of something because I acknowledge the existence of something? 🤔

        • > He’s championed hydroxychloroquine, Trump’s pet medication.

          Because he’s showed medical evidence that HCQ, if given early enough and with other compounds like Zinc has showed significant results for patients. But the reason the narrative have gone anti HCQ is because “if Trump said it it must be bad” coupled with Big Pharma’s push to not have such a cheap well known drug be seen as the “cure” for COVID, not when they can make mega billions on a new patented vaccine.

          > complete ignorance of MMT.

          Actually he’s written about MMT before. He’s not a fan but he has engaged with the idea.

          > And he only obliquely references global warming, often referring to it as “environmental factors” in a mealy-mouthed way, so as not to upset his rightwing reader base.

          That I do agree with 100%. A lot of the “I don’t trust the gubamit” types are also probably climate change deniers which (not being an American) I don’t really understand.

          • Yeah, that and the many doctors actually working in the field treating people who say it has no effect, but they must be more interested in being Anti trump and not patient care….

          • Being Australian I do understand that al gore Bill gates term ClmateChange*TM. means GlobalWarming. It’s Orwellian Speak. And being both science and farming I well get to see and hear truth. I really don’t care what your beliefs are, however you are very abusive and controlling about factual observations I make quietly by myself. DuckDuckGo s helpful i brings up facts like past Aus climate records which google for its Orwellian algos cannot seemingly find.

          • RobotSenseiMEMBER

            But the reason the narrative have gone anti HCQ is because “if Trump said it it must be bad” coupled with Big Pharma’s push to not have such a cheap well known drug be seen as the “cure” for COVID, not when they can make mega billions on a new patented vaccine.
            No, the reason the narrative has gone anti-HCQ is because it does. not. work.

        • oh no! Closet conservatism! burn him!
          You should hear yourself. You have a disease, its not Covid, but its something far more dangerous

        • It’s quie surprising how much Global Warming ie ClimateChange*TM. has been bought up along with ClimateDeniers*TM with lots of anger in the posts.

    • +1. Of 8 countries with similar deaths, Sweden had the best growth! Brazil would be 2nd but why left out of chart?!
      The 7 worst countries of growth had the hardest lockdowns!
      Add government debt and schools closed as well.

  5. The fed broke it. Now, they own it.

    The USA already had 7,000,000 cases and all Australia is doing is delaying what will happen anyway. At the current rate the USA will have burnt through the virus in a couple of years and it’s over. Australians will have no immunity to it and locked borders forever. I’m in WA and McGowan refuses to answer what will happen in 6 months if there is still community transmission in the East. He is happy to throw the tourism and airline industry under the bus to pander to his tradie fan base.

    • Back in June, multiple US studies suggested the total number of cases was likely 8-24 times official cases. The CDC best estimate was 13x.
      If that figure still holds, that suggests the figure now may be close to 90 million.

      However I suspect the real figure is a little less than this. Most of the under testing happened in the early months, and this will be less of a factor now. So maybe 10x = 70 million.

      Cases and deaths appear to be dropping quickly. Some sophisticated math analysis has established that the infection seems to become constrained when 20% have been infected. This also gives a figure around 70 million.

      • Cases and deaths appear to be dropping quickly.

        Late summer effect, next wave due in coming winter

        Some sophisticated math analysis has established that the infection seems to become constrained when 20% have been infected.


        • I have posted links for the last 3 months. I guess you can search for them.

          I would suggest starting with Gabriela Gomes work on the maths. This looks at WHAT has happened.

          Her group talks about the HIT (herd immunity threshold) being around 20% – not the 60% initially though.

          It may (or may not) have to do T cells. Multiple investigators are finding T cells that cross react with COVID in people who have not been infected (no clinical infection, and no antibodies suggesting a recent infection). These T cells have also been found in stored blood samples from 2015.
          If 30-40% of us have these T cells from previous coronavirus infections (there is a whole family of CV), that may explain why this has been burning out earlier that predicted.

      • 90% support. So he is right because of that?
        Hitler had 90% support. Trump won an election.
        Have you seen Sweden’s PMI’s this quarter? You are going to look a fool when next gdp numbers come out.
        Schools never closed, nursing homes reopening(should never have closed though)

      • Of course there’s 90% support… the media, blogs, politicians, ‘experts’, and the massive feedback loops between all of these, put the fear of god into everyone for their own selfish interests.

        • happy valleyMEMBER

          What are Kerry Stokes’ West Australian and Seven TV views, as that would pretty much reflect the WA world view?

      • And fair enough too. The WA economy apart from airlines (none of them WA owned) and a limited part of tourism is in good shape and not a mask to be seen.

      • Yep. Hard to find anyone who doesn’t support the hard border closure.
        What the let it rip freaks on here forget is the decimation it would cause in the indigenous communities in the north.

  6. New Zealand’s great mistake was to panic following the modelling debacle of Prof Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London … and move from ‘flattening the curve’ to ‘elimination’ … unnecessarily stressing the country in the process with grossly excessive monetary and fiscal stimulus.

    Read what Stuff columnist Damien Grant has to say on these issues.

    I have sprinkled a number of key articles on this issue towards the bottom of the just updated ‘2020’ section of my archival website . The major focus of this website is housing. Covid 19 however sure is accelerating urban decentralization and dispersal trends !

    I appreciate the perspectives from Europe within a number of the above posts.

    • Just in case you missed this earlier MB post … Links page 1 September …


      UNITED STATES … CDC says only 9,210 deaths caused solely by COVID 19 … Youtube
      … h/t PH …

      U.S CDC Update …

      … extract …


      Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups. For data on comorbidities … read more via hyperlink above …

    • Steve China spent a lot of time looking for patient zero IN CHINA. Well known. It’s not worth it’s while to start a war over the North American Fall moth, african swine fever robe handlers or covid….they allegedly did their maths and see they will be better off in 5 years by just getting on with it. All above alleged by geopolitical analysts not me.

  7. We must not forget the hindsight wisdom or the roulette gamble Sweden took in early days, putting all their money on Double Street and promissing a win.
    It is all good sacrificing a certain demographic subgroup for the benefit of significant majority, there was little to indicare in early days what was the best path and chosen sacrifice group was not volunteering hence it was sacrified forcefully.
    Allowing uncontrolled infections is not only about being care free if there are high chances of survival but whom can a carrier kill inadvertently.
    Rejecting that stoping the spread work is akin to denying that secondary smoking is deadly.

    • Never in the history of the world have entire healthy populations been locked up and stripped of all their human rights (As opposed to the sick) over a relatively benign virus that the majority of people don’t even know they’ve got.
      50m died on the Spanish flu yet the world went on, it’s the natural way of things.
      What is not normal is trying to defeat nature by turning democracies into N Korea .

        • It’s not a health emergency, it’s a massive overreaction to a new flu virus that is little different to all the other flu virus’s but the destruction has been so great that no one can now admit they made a mistake and reverse course.
          If no one had started screaming and wailing about this ‘new scary killer flu’ it would have been just another bad flu season and the world would have gone on none the wiser. For instance, according to John Mauldin’s report, Sweden had more excess deaths in the flu seasons of 1993 and 2000 than they’ve just had.
          Instead of this the economy is destroyed, personal liberty trashed, human rights are non existent and the flood of deaths in the third world from starvation (no social programmes) will be far worse, but of course no one cares or mentions that.
          And, what is the plan? Lock us all in our houses until some magical vaccine rides to the rescue (bearing in mind we’ve never had An effective vaccine for the flu) followed by continued rolling lockdowns destroying more people’s lives (both mentally and economically).
          The definition of true pig headed madness, all to try and save a few 85 year olds riddled with other health issues. In exchange we get a true police state where you risk being attacked by the police if you leave home, can’t leave the country, or the state (or your house) curfews increasingly draconian laws and the list goes on.
          What a great deal.

          • a new flu virus that is little different to all the other flu virus’s

            There’s not a single published medical scientist who will agree with you.

            This is just like global warming denial, a whole lot if uneducated Uncle Arthurs shaking their fists at the sky and mumbling nonsense.

          • @R2M glad to see you back peddling the fear. Let’s all ignore what we see, hear from friends and relatives all round the world and just concentrate on the doom peddled by the experts.
            That’s working well and they’re always right (well occasionally or maybe never ).

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            The response to the virus has been driven, in part, by a justifiable mis-trust of our northern neighbor, and their inability to share medical data and be transparent.

          • Bingo !! MB writers should stick to finance, they clearly have medical background to understand the data – for the record I dont either, but quite a few people I know do. Even the PCR test they are using is flawed, the designer of the test has come out and said its inaccurate for this task.

          • @arthur
            With respect that is absolutely no excuse for what is being done to the people of Australia. This is nothing other than police state tyranny

          • Let’s all ignore what we see, hear from friends and relatives all round the world and just concentrate on the doom peddled by the experts

            Yeah, let’s.

            The distrust of scientists you peddle is the result of the drive by big corporations to instill doubt about science in the population, to protect their profits. This article in today’s BBC discusses this very topic:
            How the oil industry made us doubt climate change

            Of course you are probably ignorant of what is driving your behavior, Tightwad.

          • Jumping jack flash


            Plus it is terribly fortunate that we had this virus show up, requiring trillions in stimulus, at about the same time as the entire developed world running on the ethos of the New Economy reached zero interest rates.

            An amazing coincidence.

        • I agree David, it will pass if we let it.
          China put in very tight controls early, realised quickly and reported it on 30 dec 2019, in a gigantic impossibly difficult country. Initially we did well, but the freedums and tyranny cries imported from USA took hold.. We have a good chance of eradication this year. Is been done with rats and flies in China and other diseases worldwide.

          • And I’m calling bollocks on that.

            China concealed, lied, withheld, deceived for weeks.

            The timeline as we know it doesn’t fit the CCP narrative, nor the WHO timeline.

            They were finding the virus back on December 26 according to a Lancet paper.
            They notified WHO on NYE.
            For the next 7 days, they told WHO the cause was not known.
            On 3rd January, the CCP ordered all samples a related virus held in land be destroyed “for public safety”
            On 7 January they fessed up to the world that it was a CV
            It was another 5 days before they released the genome.
            They quickly blamed the market, until inconvenient truths surfaced. Then they said it wasn’t the market.


          • Have to agree with @R2M. Some of the folk on here seem to be the same folk that refuse to wear a mask. Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is an IQ test.

  8. I still can’t believe the constant hysterics over a virus that has killed such a tiny number of people for which numerous government’s have turned countries into prison camps with storm troopers beating, pepper spraying and fining mums dads and grannies who dare to leave their cells.
    I posted yesterday that the Spanish flu killed 50m mainly younger healthy people (today’s equivalent 200m) and COVID has killed 900k mainly 85 year olds in nursing homes with 2.7 co morbidities,
    Get a sense of perspective.
    Also, do you think economies stand in isolation and that if all your neighbours lock up their populations and stop them working that a country which doesn’t will be economically unaffected?
    I can hardly believe that many of the posters on here have the courage to leave their homes in fear of something scary happening.

    • We’re barely six months into a multi-year marathon. One nation is dealing with it realistically the rest are waiting for the technology plane to deliver them ‘vaccine’ and save the day. The only reason to support the lock down approach in Australia Is that it is incinerating the export citizenship business model, which is actually a bigger threat to our society than 25% of our 85yr olds dying 2 years earlier than could otherwise be expected.

      • Jumping jack flash


        Also quite likely that a vaccine will end up being no more (or less) effective at controlling this new flu than the existing flu shot, at around 60% depending on how well their computers can guess the mutation.

        • Personally I’d rather chance getting Covid sooner rather than later, so my B and T cells are equipped with the memory of how to fight it, rather than rely on a vaccine that only has a 60% effectiveness rate as my only defense against it in my old age.

    • Spanish flu had a few advantages over COVID.
      1) it ran rampant through a world population that was largely decimated by the 4 years of war.
      2) communications around the world was still largely telegraph and some expensive telephones, many countries still trying to recover from the damage done by the war.
      3) epidemiological research was still a relatively knew and unknown science.
      4) Also… No TV, No Internet, No youtube, No Facebook so no experts
      5) Communities were far more social

      I dont think its even a fair comparison.

  9. A hell of a lot better than the UK, the most draconian lockdown measures seen, only to have the highest infection rates!!!

    While the US and Australia quietly stopped in-bound flights, the UK blithely kept them coming in right up to the lockdown. A couple interesting factoids, peak deaths occurred six weeks after. Confinement was well observed. Over half the deaths occurred in nursing homes, in a form of Eugenics, the UK hospitals would not allow them to be admitted into hospitals, and those aged were dismissed quickly into homes despite having symptoms infecting whole homes wiping out more than half the residents in some cases. With empty hospitals from one end of the country to the other, overflow hospitals never used – yet an estimated 30k died due to non-treatment of cancer and heart disease. Not a single UK child died under the age 16, without a major contributing illness.

    Now new lockdowns everywhere, young people being blamed for infection rates. Deaths? Nothing out of the ordinary. Not moving at all. How can we have a pandemic without deaths???? Crazy thing, overall morality rate (i.e. net deaths) in 2020 will be lower than the past several years because no flu season.

    So we have just had a pandemic, and less people died, but destroyed >20% of the economy for no net benefit… Seriously, you couldn’t make this up. All the numbers above are verifiable via OMS.

  10. I imagine someone in Sweden publishing the unemployment numbers in Oz and saying they must be doing something right with lock down. We know how good ABS numbers are😁

  11. Interesting to see some talking about reduced personal and economic freedoms due to covid and completely ignore the ratchet like effect of lowering both during the entire neoliberal period. Especially since so many were obedient to authority in the name of fighting terrorism.

    • And, with silence, agreeing with Dutto’s and Porter’s undercover march to a much higher level of surveillence of Australians in Australia. The cherry on the top is the secret trial of an Australian in Canberra – sick.

  12. There are few real restrictions in NSW for locals.

    The main problem for economic activity is that after 6 months avoiding the many hours commuting most are happy to keep avoiding it. The commute to CBD model was a huge driver of many types of business and social activity. Whether that activity was much more than mindless consumption is debatable.

    A cure for COVID-19 or herd immunity will not change that.

    Many businesses are now working through the issues to make the temporary remote working arrangements permanent.

    Once inbound quarantine measures have become competent and reliable, long stay arrivals like students and immigration will recommence.

    At that point the residential vacancy rates will tighten up again very quickly.

      • They always have had to compete with the locals (that is a feature not a bug) but when population growth is the employment driver you can be sure the doors will be open ASAP

  13. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’ll take the opinion of the WHO on Sweden over that of a scared dude locked up by government order in his Melbourne garage any day!
    Give me Sweden’s current lifestyle over that of hellish Melbourne! That country is on the road the success. Hey, some extra old people died slightly earlier than expected but life there now is great!!

  14. Whatever the hs reasons given by libertarians no one should think it’s because they are “tough”.
    They aren’t, studies have shown that lack of humility and inability to consider others is closely tied to lack of resilience and coping ability in the limit. Trumpesque toughness is an act. Which makes sense if everything is measured in terms of oneself any thing which threatens the self will lead to panic.

    • It is obviously tougher to cower in your lounge room then sniping at others who disagree with you.
      There is some nonsense peddled here but sometimes, really.
      Also how about some empathy for all the excess deaths caused by the lockdowns instead of sweeping that under the carpet.

      • In the do nothing scenario of no state intervention (no lockdown no stimulus) there would have been more deaths and a worse economy with no safety net leading to more distress and excess deaths.

        • The state intervention has caused this mess, not the virus. The virus alone would have been a bad flu season and life would have gone on as it always has through history.
          Seems to me mostly based on ludicrously wrong computer modelling (500k deaths in the uk blah, blah, blah) and the advice of ‘experts’ who have been totally wrong and just scare mongered then double down.
          Just as a point of interest I was in a store last week, the assistant had a face mask on, the centre section was black and sodden with mucous. During my two minute interaction with her she readjusted the mask 3 times whilst handling my goods.
          This is one (of the many reasons) that from the beginning masks were deemed ineffective but now to raise the fear suddenly bureaucrats are insisting we wear them (by government decrees not choice).
          What a crock.

          • Nah, private citizenry would have locked themselves down anyways just after more carnage in many cases, and an overwhelmed health system.

            In NSW most people I know were locking themselves down way before the NSW govt starting requesting, then demanding it, and way before SloMo’s feds. It is the main reason it didn’t get really bad early, not government intervention. If we’d been more like the US, etc, we’d have been overwhelmed.

            But, if it had gotten out of hand by people being less proactive and compliant, a private lockdown would have ensued, because it’s a novel virus, very contagious, and the hospitalisation stats were concerning way beyond the normal flu – it was patently obvious.

            This idea that there would only have been a lockdown if the government implemented it is a fallacy, and needs to die. There was always going to be a lockdown – it was either going to be privately-lead or government-lead.

            My 222c

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            Look at California. Almost no lockdown, so private companies have work from home policies. Hollywood has effectively shutdown. The broader economy is down 30%. Nobody is leaving the house unless they have to.

            Either way, there is economic disruption.

          • Nah, private citizenry would have locked themselves down anyways just after more carnage in many cases, and an overwhelmed health system

            Precisely, and this is what happened in Sweden, which is why their death toll is not far, far worse

          • @R2M: yes, I got the impression that Sweden’s citizenry isolated themselves, too – I’m not sure the idea that Sweden is basically unaffected day-to-day is actually true.

            Private or government, virulent, nasty diseases cause depressions – an unfortunate fact of life in this broken world.

          • Enough of your Trumpesque ‘bad flu season’. Oh, and sure, one day it will disappear, like a miracle.

            Are you aware there are covid side effects, poorly understood, which could cause long term health problems? Not like the flu.

            Enough of the callous dismissal by you and others of the lives of ’85 year olds’. Even if there is a proper discussion to be had about the risks faced by older people, the way you refer to it is unfortunately typical of the toxic forms of thought in the online world.

            Overall the comments on this post are rather depressing. A lot of people thinking they know a lot, when in reality we know f**k all.

          • @peter
            I can see from your offensive and derogatory comments that you are first amongst the know F..all’s as you put it.
            Enjoy your ignorance

  15. It could be the other way around. Countries that have started to look weak economically and were falling apart socially were poor at handling the virus both physically and mentally.

  16. I hear that going by train from Denmark to Sweden, once you cross the border the train announcement is something along the lines of “we are now in Sweden, you can throw out those masks now” rofl. nice.

    • If you are interested in objective data, the European Mortality Monitoring group is among the best we have.

      The data is what the data is. Even if it is an inconvenient truth to many.

      Gives graphs of the Z scores for different countries over time.
      Z scores are the accepted way to compare mortalities between different hospitals or different states or different countries.

      “Z-scores are used to standardize series and enable comparison mortality pattern between different populations or between different time periods. The standard deviation is the unit of measurement of the z-score. It allows comparison of observations from different normal distributions. In general, Z-score = (x-mean of the population)/Standard deviation of the population, which could be approximated in our context by S-score = (number of deaths – baseline) / Standard deviation of the residuals (variation of the number of deaths around the baseline) on the part of the series used to fit the model, used as the standard unit. Z-score are computed on the de-trended and de-seasonalized series, after a 2/3 powers transformation according to the method described in Farrington et al. 1996. This enables the computation of Z-scores for series that are originally Poisson distributed.“

      The differences between Sweden & Norway are smaller than the differences between Spain & Portugal, or between France & Germany, or between North Italy & Austria. Clearly adjacent countries will not necessarily follow the same trajectory. Yet lockdown advocates simplify the issue and say Sweden’s different trajectory is evidence for lockdown.

      Ivor’s latest video is worth a look. He is not a doctor, for which many medicos condemn his work. Some people like playing the man. However if you have an open mind, you may find some possible answers there. Between 20-30 minutes has most of the stuff on Sweden.

      • Correct. 2015 at this point was a higher mortality year. As you say, it may track lower.

        Given this, how is 2020, with no excess mortality as opposed to previous years a disaster for Sweden? This is before you get to the economics; but even there things look decent. One quarter of negative growth, government ran a surplus in August.

        If you accept the premise their Q2 was negative as high infections drive people to voluntarily stay at home, then without a safe and highly effective vaccine Australia faces two recessionary periods; first trying to avoid covid (now) then when we inevitably face the music with a partially effective vaccine (that may never come!).

  17. See very good video below.
    I would be interested to see if there is contrary science. If not, the takeaway is that government health departments around the world, with the exception of that in Sweden, have badly advised their governments.
    Love the concept of ‘case-demic’

    • Absurd video from some weeks ago that claims “the epidemic is largely over”. This completely ignores the worsening situation in Europe.

      Too much garbage here today, what a waste of time.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      That is very good! The Lock. Us. Down! mob won’t be able to handle such a pounding and will try hard to cancel this great analysis.

  18. How embarrassing
    You must surely be trolling because you’re not this dumb

    This chart does not show what you think it shows
    The distribution is basically random
    No meaningful trendline can be drawn

    Countries relying on services and tourism are more severely affected economically than those relying on manufacturing , mining, agriculture etc

    EU countries hamstrung by a shared currency and fiscal constraints, and countries with political quagmires, are more affected than those with the ability or political will to stimulate eg jobseeker etc

    In any case, GDP has nothing to do with quality of life, personal freedoms, and strength of democracy

    which is what the lockdowns have absolutely destroyed

    And what actually matters to people

    • Only complete assh0les pretend Sweden is free from voluntary lockdown.

      Some fawning media coverage has been describing life in Sweden as perfectly normal, with Swedes going about their business as if the virus was a figment of the imagination. “If COVID were ‘over’ in Sweden,” Dr. Irwin told me via email, “I wouldn’t have cycled 200 kilometres last week to avoid taking the bus.” Sweden, she tells me, has adapted to a new normal. Using hand sanitizer, meeting friends outdoors to reduce the risk: these new realities are hoped to be sustainable for most people.

      It’s lockdown by another name. But still lockdown.

      • Lololol

        So what you’re now saying is lockdown makes no difference to deaths at all ?

        Change the narrative when you can no longer sustain your original argument

        Maybe reread the last three lines of my comment

        • I’m saying that lockdown, which is a mandatory way of doing what the majority of obedient northern Europeans are doing voluntarily, is vital to stop healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. The “voluntary” element of Sweden’s situation has had consequences, as can be seen in the higher death count. Only 4% of swedish people in rural areas have been exposed, and with winter coming, and with it people crammed in small spaces, we will see many more deaths there.

          • No

            My point is that absurd lockdown measures (like closing schools) achieved little in terms of end mortality

            And that loss of liberty and democracy and fair judicial system with limits to state/police intrusion is of more concern to me than loss of GDP

        • Your framing makes no sense because lockdown was never a choice it was an inevitability.
          It could either be controlled and managed by the state with calibrated stimulus
          Or delayed and out of control by the private sector with no calibrated stimulus a worse economy and panic.
          So the choice was really choose your infection, death and GDP level.

          • It was never my framing in the first place

            It was the framing of the absurd click bait article

            And from the data one doesn’t seem to be able to choose anything : mortality or GDP with regards to Lockdown

            Based on the lack of any clear relationship between anything except government stimulus

      • Lockdowns are medieval public health idea that never really work and that’s why developed parts of the world lost such a high % of population despite often having lower density .
        Mask and distance is also pointless measure from the same period
        In some sense they were more advanced in middle ages because those masks with long pointy noses were doing masks and social distancing at the same time

      • And there in lies the rub.
        If you choose to, fine, I respect that.
        If the government mandates it on some knee jerk reaction to some highly inaccurate dribble produced by some so called expert and enforces it with fines, beatings and imprisonments, then that is not OK.

  19. Very poorly constructed argument.

    No difference in economic damage, so lives were lost for nothing. Very wrong.
    You’ve just avoided restricting the freedoms of 11 million for months on end. That’s a massive win, considering the cost is basically zero (no excess deaths).

    Yes, 6000 died with covid-19 But did they die OF Covid-19?

    European nations are waking up to this and protecting their vulnerable, while the rest continue living. MB should wake up too.

    • European nations are waking up to this and protecting their vulnerable,

      The “vulnerable” include the overweight, which in some countries is 40% of the population (e.g. USA, hence the high death rate).

      As I said above, if you can sequester the 40-60% of the population who are at risk, the remaining half can carry on as normal. But it’s not workable.

      • I read your gabble and it makes me laugh out loud.
        No personal responsibility required just lock everyone up because we have. Have to I say!!!
        No matter if you’re the size of a whale it’s the rest of societies problem, not yours, so you can on and we’ll all lock ourselves up to protect you.

        • This ffs.

          Those people have made life choices to make them susceptible to disease.
          My son has made no life choices, he is a child.
          Robbing kids of a proper schooling and using them as human shields for the poor life choices of others is selfish and cruel.

          • You are lucky if you child receives proper schooling in a school. Be amazing to see a and I do now having been a teacher educator and been in innumerable schools, K to 6 and senior, plus universities. For most kids the system holds them back. If they keep looking to see what’s there, thinking for themselves they go much further.
            M back. If your child is K to 6. Easy, they will jump yeaRs ahead on 2 hours mornings a week. My son was homeschooled quite a lot because he was not taught adequately, in fact he was ridiculed and punished as a five year old for being correct, same at 13. It’s only prac work which is a problem, but good online can cope with
            that, and this country do not value the sciences. Maths is dead easy, and dead easy to self teach. Learning to learn is the best gift your currently out of school kids could get. They won’t get it from school. Watch the top melbourne school graduates at Melbourne uni struggle to fill out a form as first years.

          • Robbing kids of a proper schooling and using them as human shields for the poor life choices of others is selfish and cruel.

            You mean like pretending the problem with kids at home is about “proper schooling” rather than not wanting to look after them while you’re trying to work ?

            Kids out of formal schooling for even a year are not going to be significantly harmed (unless it’s the “cause” of some related event like not being able to complete Year 12 exams – but that’s easily managed) in terms of learning.

            People suddenly worrying about “mental health” are no different – just want to get back to being able to treat suicide, depression and the like as bad luck or “poor life choices”.

      • Michael Olstrom was pointing out to anyone who would listen earlier in the year how hard it was going to hit western countries, especially places like America who have big issues like obesity and diabetes. The irony is that the the fast food industry has probably made out like bandits during lockdown thanks to Uber Eats and the like.

    • if I present at the hospital with acute appendicitis and cancer, if I die on the operating table due to the caner related complications, was it cancer or appendicitis? I may have lived for another 30 years with the cancer because treatment was able to manage the effect but combined with the appendicitis and operation I was a goner…

      Covid deaths are the same, the vast majority who die with comorbidities would not have died with them solely and in fact its extremely rare to die and have a single cause on the death certificate, even with accident victims there is often another underlying problem.

      If you have a heart condition and get run over by a bus, did you die from the heart condition or a severe case of rubbertyreritis?

  20. This chart might be off.
    I thought the German death per million looked too high and it is!
    Its only 113 death per million not the 180-190 it shows in the chart.
    Also the bubble size of Germany and Australia’s population seems too close.
    Edit: actually Australias look to have a bigger population than Germany. This is absolutely wrong
    Edit again: I think its the other bubble on the left. This chart is horrible

    • Also, just posting a chart does not make an argument or prove a point. It is perhaps the most lazy, disingenuous and disappointing post I’ve seen DLS make in the history of this blog.

  21. A good clip explaining why the information has been so messy.
    In short, bits from papers are being picked up and run with by the news and the blogosphere. These are then politicised. When corrections or, are reasons why the whole paper should be junked, are released, it’s already too late as people are holding onto whatever they want to. Added to this is the fact that medical papers deal with statistical likelihoods. Statistics aren’t intuitive and often explained poorly, or not at all. In sum, unless it is a peer reviewed paper it should not be given the time of day. Even if it is a peer reviewed paper it should be taken on board with the caveat that a lot is still being learnt and as more studies are done the things will change.

  22. Number of Australians with most common co-morbitities:-

    Asthma – 2.7 million
    Diabetes – 1.2
    Overweight/obese 12.5 million
    Heart disease 1.2 million
    Cancer – over 1 million
    Over 60 – 1.3 million

    Total – 19.9 million. Even if some of these have combined co-morbidities, to somehow lock up a third of the population is ludicrous.

    Such is neoliberal rationality.

      • Hah? Keep your hat on. I was simply pointing out that to isolate a third of the population either volutarily or forcefully will have the same end result – a stuffed economy.

        • No, I’m agreeing with you. The righties want a let it rip approach and if you’ve got any predisposing condition (old, fat, sick in any way), get out of the road.

    • I’d suggest you can add a bunch more for people on immunosuppressant medications for autoimmune conditions as well. In saying this, I suppose some bright spark will tell us these meds help covid sufferers weather the cytokine storm or some such.

  23. Jumping jack flash

    Global economy saturated by debt and falling apart, slowly but surely, kept alive only using periodic interest rate cuts.

    Zero interest rate reached in most countries.
    MMT did little to nothing. Not even as effective as interest rate cuts.

    A wild virus appears!
    Trillions spent on repairing exonomies to become better than they were pre-covid. What an opportunity!

  24. Because the choice was always between Victorian style stage 4 lockdowns versus mass carnage.

    Lockdowns are not a cost less exercise.

    The Victorian Government’s proposed Omnibus Bill will give public servants sweeping powers to detain people without charges. The government is also planning to bring back retired police to help enforce the new laws.

    If the vast majority of people are doing the right thing, why is this bill even needed? And if case numbers are falling and we’re heading out of lockdown, why is the Government ramping up its powers rather than ramping them down?


    ”…The arbitrary power of the Government is unlimited, and unexampled in history; freedom of the Press, of opinion and of movement are as thoroughly exterminated as though the proclamation of the Rights of Man had never been”.
    Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon

    • ‘If the vast majority of people are doing the right thing, why is this bill even needed?’

      Because the first lock down failed due to a significant proportion of the population either ignoring or misunderstanding the recommendations once the lockdown was lifted. As a third lockdown won’t work, this is the only option in order to effect a permanent change of behaviour which is difficult to grasp for many.

      Save your outrage. It’s a pandemic. Given a huge, unwieldy multicultural community, many with poor English, and an increasingly universal mentality of ‘what’s in it for me’, this the only option going forward, or we’re back to square one.

      Opening up and changing behaviour will be the greatest challenge.

      • NO. Quarantine of international travellers failed as well as the contact tracing. The government then tried to blame the victim. Appalling.

        How many Victorian politicians or public servants have been laid off due to COVID-19? Time to get in the real world and to start sharing the burden.

        Please spare everyone your ALP bovine scatology.

  25. This is a marathon not a sprint. Just because a runner is leading at the 400m mark doesnt mean he’s going to win the race. While every other country in Europe, including its Scandinavian neighbours, are facing going into a second lockdown due to record number of Covid cases, Sweden is pretty much back to normal with no rise in case numbers and hardly any deaths. Lets review the death statistics and economic numbers as at Dec 31st shall we? Or even Dec 31st 2021 as this thing isnt going away next year.


    … Consider what Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Greg Foran has to say today … and the readers’ poll within the article …

    … Why wasn’t the obviously unworkable ‘elimination’ strategy seriously questioned from the outset ? …

    Coronavirus: Air New Zealand CEO questions NZ’s Covid-19 strategy; is he right? … Brook Sabin OPINION … Stuff New Zealand

    … Access to a number of useful covid 19 background articles within the new ‘2020’ section of the archival website Performance Urban Planning .

  27. For the future, I think all virulent diseases should just be left to run – that way, we don’t have to wonder what would have happened, and governments don’t get blamed.

  28. This chart is comparing apples and oranges for multiple reasons:
    – it’s not even half time so comparisons betwen different strategies is quite meaningless
    – not all deaths are the same (what’s declared covid death differs among countries and swedwn with Belgium is among most likely to declare a death to be covid death)
    – GDP is a poor measure of economic performance in times when governments are turning econkmies into a centrally planned welfare states. GDP is now basically a measure of which government got most into a debt and flooded people with cash – that’s quite different from measuring real economic performance
    – official unemployment is also useless measure at the moment because of governments’ measures to officially prevent layoffs

    If soviet union is still around, it would be absolute winner in this fake covid comparison. Without real economy but with all fake jobs and welfare spending and all hiden deaths it would sit at the very top being absolute winner while sweden with the best real economy and the least government spending and beat reporting would sit at the bottom

    MB went full circle from arguing for liberal productive rent free economybto praising non -productive soviet style “everyone on welfare zero unemployment helicopter money” model ?

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      The Chinese are the winners by a country mile! There’s no need to drag out the Soviet Union, or Sweden.

      Block by block lock down management by local party members, ubiquitous universal surveillance, and a smart phone based travel passports, along with the algorithmic suppression of dissenting views on social media. That’s how you get your economy ramped up quick smart.

      Western governments limitations on freedom & liberty look trite in comparison.

      I can’t remember who said it, Mel Gibson or John Locke, but here goes, “FREEDOM!!!”. 😀

      • China likely had a very good understanding of this most unusual virus.

        Plus only 1% of Chinese population is in the > 80 yr high risk group – compared with 5% + in many western countries.

        If we had China’s demographics, this would look a lot less serious. .

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          Good point Steve, the virus disproportionately affects wealthy countries with a long history of good public health infrastructure.

          Africa is the least prone the virus, due to the bulk of the population being under 40.

          • Probably they just don’t know they have it if they’re not tested for it as most people are symptom free.

          • Yep.
            No testing. A few old people die of “old age.” Younger people are told they have a “cold”.
            And off to an education camp if anyone says COVID.

            China has eradicated nothing. Nature doesn’t work that way. But they understand the demographics, the impact will be very low, and the authorities control the narrative.

  29. Arthur Schopenhauer

    The “Jolly Swagman” podcast’s current episode is an excellent broad ranging interview with Prof Peter Doherty (Noble Prize winner).

    He runs his eye across the pros & cons of different virus management techniques, Australian culture and even has a dig at the property Ponzi.

    Highly recommended no matter what you think is the best pandemic strategy is.

  30. “I still can’t believe the constant hysterics over a virus that has killed such a tiny number of people for which numerous government’s have turned countries into prison camps with storm troopers beating, pepper spraying and fining mums dads and grannies who dare to leave their cells.”

    “The state intervention has caused this mess, not the virus. The virus alone would have been a bad flu season and life would have gone on as it always has through history.”

    Yes, a 1,2 punch from the CCP

    A virus
    Delay and obfuscate acknowledgement, withhold critical information, deny critical aspects
    Then Wuhan lockdown. Leaked video from Wuhan showing how bad things are – does anyone think China couldn’t have stopped these videos if they wanted. But publicly kicking out journalists and letting a bit of video appear to leak out raises the pucker factor
    Then strip other countries of PPE
    Then insistence for as long as possible we keep international borders open
    Then bombard countries next in line with now discredited social media

    Getting a snowball to roll is the hardest part. Once rolling, it keeps rolling.

    Then China gets back to business.
    “Helping’ select countries as a form of soft power
    Criticise democracy as unable to contain virus
    Pick territorial disputes to all points of the compass
    Sort out Hong Kong
    Get its economy moving while much of world in disarray.
    I wonder if Taiwan will get added to the list

    • Jumping jack flash

      Australia bobbed in and out of recession since 2008. Most obviously since 2017 which saw a ton of retailers wiped out and a ton of other discretionary services busted for wage theft. This is despite cutting interest rates regularly to lower debt eligibility and try and boost debt growth.

      The zero interest rate bound was hit, and not just by us, many countries were already there, and wringing their hands with what to do next.

      Suddenly a new virus is here and all around the world governments are injecting enormous amounts of money into their economies to get them operating better than what they were before the virus struck.

      Now, I’m not saying the virus isn’t real because it certainly is and people are dying from it.
      But the hype is also real. The hype is unparalleled. The hype is just ridiculous.
      The hype is for a reason.
      The hype is to cover up the biggest global economic bailout of all time due to a universally-adopted, flawed economic model that relied on private debt and not much else, reaching its critical saturation point and imploding.

      • RobotSenseiMEMBER

        If our economy was a person, it was an 80 year-old overweight male with a previous coronary bypass, type 2 diabetes, emphysema, and chronic renal failure.
        And along came COVID… did COVID kill us, or were we an overweight fat f***er already?

  31. I take issue with the headline, in that I haven’t read one word of praise of Sweden. Every article I read in the MSM on on blogs are highly critical of the approach. I presume the attack is commenters who do cite Sweden as an example.

  32. Just this last week I saw 2 pat1ents. Both relapsed into a1cohol and d#%gs due to “sitting around at home, unemployed, nothing to do, and too much money.” Guess the dealers enjoyed JK/JS.

  33. I was gonna come here to comment on how DLS remains trapped in his mind-prison over Sweden, eradication fallacies and such, but it appears I was too late – many very well spoken individuals have already made the main points. Well done all.

    I doubt DLS will wake up though. I doubt even more he’ll ever make a public apology. But if he does I will be applauding and re-subscribe to MB.

    • There are many who agree with DLS. You’re free to exit withTightwad – oops no, you’re right to go pronto 🙂 Sympathies to poor ‘ol TW being forced to read MB until his subscription ends 🙁

      • How old are you? Your primary-school playground talk style has me guessing 12 or 13.

        If you’re interested in mob rule, then hell yeah – let’s go with who has the most people standing behind them and thump our chests at everyone else and pretend we’re right because we seem to have the biggest crowd.

        On the other hand, if you’re interested in *actually learning something*, then use this post by DLS on Sweden for your education. He posted this article as his “evidence” that Sweden did the wrong thing. The only problem was it showed nothing of the sort. He was quickly shown, via numerous commenters, the multiple ways in which the “data” he posted was extraordinarily misleading.

        But I expect neither DLS, nor you, will understand this.

  34. The Brotherhood of Man .United we stand. Old 60 band and song. Respect for the dearly departed due to this pandemic would be appreciated. Every last one is a loved one of someone somewhere. Remember the Spanish Flu mutated into a virulent form and claimed an estimated 100M-150M individuals. I work with friends who have lost loved ones OS from this covid. Be patient and vigilant and aware. So every time some smartarse whinges tell the fucker to put flowers on the the grave of a victim of covid. A healthy economy is one thing a healthy community is another. The former is there to serve the latter. We have been here before and will after words.