Time for some maths
Time for some maths now that there are sinister headlines in the media and the Swedish Prime Minister himself quarantines.
According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, the number of deaths in recent weeks is about 40 people per week. According to the John Hopkins Corona database, 36 people have died in Sweden from COVID in the past week.
During the worst week of spring (April 5-11), 660 people died of COVID-19. That is 18 times more than in the last week. Still, the call for shutdowns is the same and even though the Prime Minister did not quarantine then.
According to John Hopkins, the death toll in Sweden were five people yesterday. The death toll was 115 the day when it was at its worst this spring, i.e. 23 times higher! You could say the worst is yet to come. Yes, but then also remember all the curves that pointed straight up at the ceiling this spring and slackened quickly thereafter.
Another math. Not even during the most dramatic weeks of April did COVID-19 cause more than a marginal increase in overall mortality.
A third mathematics: Normally about 90,000 people die each year in Sweden. That means about 250 people per day. Which is about fifty times the current death toll for COVID-19.
Of the five Covid cases in Sweden yesterday, we also know that some died from completely different causes. Maybe all of them? In the new death certificate forms that were introduced this spring, the doctor is urged to tick the COVID-box when the deceased has tested positive for SARS CoV-2 or may be presumed to have had contact with a Corona infected. The latter tick option is at the box where the death certificate states ”Presumed COVID-19, not lab verified”. Read more about this (in Swedish), here.
A large number of previously known fatal diseases are thus designated and registered as COVID-19 as soon as there is a confirmed or suspected or assumed infection from SARS-CoV-2 present. “Confirmed” COVID-19 shall be ticked if the patient has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, ”suspected” COVID-19 if the patient has flu-like symptoms and ”assumed” COVID-19 if the patient shows changes ”compatible” with COVID-19. This naturally leads to an enlarged number of deaths in COVID-19. I’ve written about this in Swedish.
Death is a fact we cannot escape. But when we see in the media that so and so many have died of COVID-19, we must ask ourselves: ”During what time period” and ”was it really COVID-19”. In that way we can avoid panicking and avoid contributing to panic.