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19 September 2020


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Mark Logan

I think he's right, but would point out that there isn't a lot of strict lock downs happening here now. The problem appears to me, at least where I'm at, is that most people are still unwilling to go to restaurants, theaters and such. The few that are open are nearly empty. About the only place doing well is a Mexican place which created a very large outdoor kitchen with 55 gallon drum grills out of their parking lot and people can drive up to get their boxed Pollo Asado dinners handed to them at the curbside. A bit of a cue but quite tasty. They do frijoles and rice right too.

But I digress...

The Swedish economy did not and is not escape the hit.

I fear we must await the existence of widely available fast testing and a vaccine.

Prof K

Sweden's numbers went down not because of any herd immunity but because Swedes listen to authorities, practiced social distancing seriously, took summer off to live in their boat houses, have workers' rights like sick leave, are allowed to work from home if they can, have universal healthcare so people get tested and taken care of without fear of massive insurance bills, and they have a sense of common purpose and national responsibility. Plus their population is much healthier. If Swedes are sick, they just don't go out and infect other people. They have a sense of social solidarity, which the US lacks almost entirely.

Sweden can be unique because it is unique. None of these factors apply to the US, a country of obesity and disease, no effective public healthcare or even trusted governing institutions, no rights for sick workers, chronic testing problems, no tracing, and no collective discipline as a nation.

Mass illegal immigration of disposable workers has also created whole urban ghettos where COVID has killed thousands because those folks live 15 to an apartment, go to work sick, and are scared to talk to contact tracers. I spent March through June in Boston and saw all this first hand.

Right-wing exhortations to follow Sweden are risible because the US has none of the good institutional and cultural realities of Sweden. Sweden is a case study of collective security through social democracy.

Furthermore, the idea that the lockdown failed is wrong; there was no effective lockdown in the US. A few states went hard, but they kept borders and airports open and allowed far too many non-essential businesses to operate. Plus, even essential businesses provided little protection to their workers. Far too many states began opening up before community transmission had been halted. And guess what? Numbers began to rise and life is still lousy in most of the country.

The truth is that China had a lockdown and it worked undisputedly. China is COVID free and people are working hard and enjoying life. China did what it had to do to crush the virus and it deserves credit for doing so. And it only took a few difficult weeks. Americans, it seems, can't handle those difficulties.

Where I am now, in Eastern Canada, the lockdown also worked and we all had a completely normal summer without any COVID at all. The only cases in the Canadian Maritimes are from inbound temporary foreign workers who are tested in mandatory and strictly-enforced quarantine. Guess what? Everyone here had an amazing summer with no Covid at all. And, here in New Brunswick, a good provincial Conservative government managed everything perfectly, unlike far too many GOP-run states. And that Conservative party was just awarded a majority government in a perfectly normal and chaos-free election last week. The rest of Canada is now experiencing a second wave and also needs to learn from the Maritimes.

"Herd immunity" is an amoral policy that will kill hundreds of thousands more Americans just so big corporations can keep paying bonuses and inflating their stock prices and sucking profits out of the impoverished American working class. Sadly, that's what the American failure is all about and it's a bipartisan policy. The Dems have no serious plan to deal with COVID either. They are just bloviating for partisan gains.

I wish this wasn't true. I would like to go back to my home and friends in MA. I have spent many fond years in the US and consider it my second home.


Here, here, for Prof. K!


"a risk-based approach"
Perhaps Trump should offer him a job as NIH and CDC blew that concept out of the water from day one.

Prof K,

"urban ghettos where COVID has killed thousands"
While some democratic run urban death traps could be said to exist, most of the deaths from Covid 19 in the US are from nursing home patients, especially in NYC, not from apartment dewelling "mass illegal immigrantion".
"China is COVID free and people are working hard and enjoying life."
You learned about that in Eastern Canada, and you believe it? You should really go back to propadanda U for some much needed refresher training.

Account Deleted

Amen Prof. K

Fred: Only in America are facts propaganda and truth blasphemy.


"Right-wing exhortations to follow Sweden are risible"

The venal censorship of medical doctors and infectious disease experts and epidemiologists in USA does not change the facts of what their consensus is becoming: which is expressed by Mark Woolhouse in Europe.

People that actually reside in Massachusetts and citizens of this country are ill served by censorship, cancellation of Youtube videos by disease experts -- and ill served by propaganda spit out by big media, big democrats, and other outright liars and bastards.

The fact of the matter is: medical consensus in USA has been censored and canceled and in its place we get, instead, bobby cock, flap doodle and flim flam, to create hysteria, and from this moral turpitude many thousands have died in USA precisely because of this heinousness.

Woolhouse says we have to confront the virus. Period.

University of Massachusetts Medical School says this too and this is the medical consensus emerging in USA, all propaganda and censorship and hysteria reporting, notwithstanding.

“We need to confront this virus," said Dr. Mireya Wesslossky, MD, UmassMemorial medical center, whose area of specialty is infectious diseases. She is Associate Professor at University of Massachusetts Medical school. She said that three weeks ago.

“We have survived as humans because. . .our immune system adapts,” Wesslossky said.

“If children are healthy, I would send them to school,” she said.

“The parent has the right to choose” to send their kids to school, she said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 6% of COVID-19 deaths in United States occurred when the disease is the only fatal cause at the end of Aug.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health data reports COVID-19 deaths when the disease is the only fatal cause is 1.8%.

Data from China reported back in March showed a 0.9% rate, meaning 99.1% died who had underlying health problems to begin with.

The CDC Aug. 26 report shows 92% of COVID-19-related deaths in the US struck those 55 years and older, with 8 in 10 of deaths those 65 and over.

Of the 161,392 death certificates examined so far, according to the recent CDC data, 330 people, or 0.2 percent were 0 to 24 years old.

In this category, 111 of them suffered from influenza and pneumonia; 99 had respiratory failure; 46 had cardiac arrest; and 41, diabetes.

The other prominent underlying condition in the 0-24 age group is obesity, the CDC data says, with that being a health problem in 79 of the 330 deaths examined.

This is an obesity rate of 24 percent, appx. one in four, for those under 25 in USA.

Lockdown failed.

This killed thousands needlessly in USA.

Children locked out of school, another failure.

Computers in the classroom past 20 years, and another six months this year, and the evidence shows with out question: computers are NOT the answer.

I am willing to volunteer my time to instruct teachers how to use a black board and chalk.

20 years ago there was zero evidence computers did anything in grammar school and high school to help children learn.

The fact "EDUCATORS" still insist on using them shows just how brain dead these orderlies, masquerading as "teachers" etc. actually are.

Trump said one thing at his Minnesota protest/rally last night that I agree with.

The president began his remarks by saying: "This is a protest against stupidity."



Prof K, you are a few days late with your homework assignment about the US. And you missed the current events in Sweden assignment completely. This is not a fiction writing class, Prof K. The exception does not make the rule. Your bad case of jingoist myopia may need professional attention. I thought Canadians had better manners, but you proved the opposite. Why the US envy that drove you to trash your lumbering neighbor to the south?


Prof K,

"Sweden's numbers went down not because of any herd immunity but because Swedes listen to authorities, practiced social distancing seriously, took summer off to live in their boat houses, have workers' rights like sick leave, are allowed to work from home if they can, have universal healthcare so people get tested and taken care of without fear of massive insurance bills, and they have a sense of common purpose and national responsibility. Plus their population is much healthier. If Swedes are sick, they just don't go out and infect other people. They have a sense of social solidarity, which the US lacks almost entirely."

These are unsupported assertions, and to some degree, you're exposing your ignorance about the United States.

You need to establish that these were real and uniquely Swedish phenomena, that they had an influence on the case count, and in the end, the overall number of fatalities.

You don't do that. You simply assert that it is all true. This feels more like emotional thinking than anything else. We often wish things to be true, because it's comfortable.

"fear of massive insurance bills"

This is the tell line, and another sign that you don't really understand us, or how our system works.

Testing in the United States was almost always free.

You also making a sweeping comparison between Sweden, which you suggest followed these measures, with the United States, which you say did not.

The American response was so state specific, it would be foolish to make such a comparison. You had states with brutal lockdowns, and some did almost nothing.

The ultimate problem with your argument though is that data simply contradicts you. Parishes in Louisiana, for example, that experienced an initial surge of cases in the Winter of 2020, never saw a second wave when the state reopened. And this is Louisiana, not Massachusetts, it's reasonable to assume that public did a poor job of following the rules.

- Eliot



The Canadians who comment here are by and large the allies of their anti-American leftist comrades everywhere. Their objective, like the motivation of the American Left, is to abolish the US.
In the case of the Canadian lefties what they want is to overcome their awareness of Canada's unimportance. Their desire to silence SST is reassuring.

Mathias Alexander

The cure is meant to be worse than the disease.


Thank you Prof. K - A little sanity on SST re SARS-2. I believe you are right about the ability of some governments to be able to explain the science to their population, what effect different behaviors are likely to have and then trust them to understand and behave responsibly for the good of the society as a whole. It is only likely to work in countries where the population are able to understand and trust the science. My country, the UK, and the US have populations that are happy to pick some pseudo science that lets them do what they like.

Jim - your data show that SARS will kill you if you are old or have a host of other comorbidities and probably not if you are young and fit, which is hardly news, and does not change the situation. As the US, like many developed western countries, has large numbers of old and not very healthy individuals who have contact with low risk groups. If you infect any of them I doubt their love ones will care much if their death certificate says covid or hypertension.

Re. Children. The Science says they catch and spread SARS and have roughly the same titers as adults. However for reasons that have not become clear yet they suffer very little symptomatic disease dispite often having obvious lung infiltrates by CT scan. Not having symptoms is not the same not spreading disease. The lowest Ct value I know of 13 (low Ct values by q RT PCR = high viral RNA in sample) came from an asymptomatic carry who never developed clinical disease. Current data estimates asymptomatic carriers account for about 20% of cases and peak viral load (i.e. when you are most infectious) occurs the day before you realise you are ill.



This commentor, declared "non-essential" by governor Whitmer, salutes you. Remember, Hilary won the popular vote, but isn't willing to run for "re" election.

My condolences to the family of former Prime Minister John Tuner:

Feel free to return now to your ongoing America bashing.


I will say that the professor is very eloquent but does not convince.

Or as the president might say, he doesn't close the deal.



Why does he "not convince?" Is it because you are determined to be unconvinced?


Prof K,

Funny you sound more right wing than you realize. I completely agree with you. Diversity is the reason why we haven't been able to manage this virus. Diversity is the reason why healthcare, worker's rights, and other social issues have not been properly addressed, because like you correctly imply homogenous societies (Sweden, China) "have a sense of common purpose and national responsibility". We have minorities who care little for our laws and are now demanding that the history and traditions that forged the purpose and national identity be destroyed. Frankly, the virus is the least of our problems.

I would warn your example of Sweden may not pass the test of time. They are being enriched as we speak and the fissures that are developing due to the wonders of diversity may shatter their social democracy experiment. The other example (China) you cite and praise is rather dubious. Is not China's approach the antithesis to your "case study of collective security through social democracy"? What do you really believe?

Babak makkinejad


I think it is "poppy cock" and not "Bobby Cock", used by Americans over age 75.

I think "flim-flam" is even older than that.

Account Deleted

Why does he "not convince?"

In terms of Covid deaths, France and Germany have done a far better job than Sweden or the UK. And, their economies are not in turmoil as well.

Account Deleted


"This commentor, declared "non-essential" by governor Whitmer,"

You still hurt by that?


Democrats last remaining covid weapon: the spectre of the secret spreader. We are all gonna die, it is everywhere and no one is safe. Elect Joe Biden.

Pull back the current and find the secret malaise spreader is: Kamala Harris


When any old garden variety flu was also known inside the health profession as "the old man's friend"; how did that flu kill "old people"?

Mark Logan

My quibble with the prof is his apparent assumption opening society results in everybody going back to what they were doing and the economy is unaffected.

I cite the current condition of the airlines. They are open for business. Nothing is preventing people from flying..yet they don't.

Human behavior in this matter isn't solely determined by government mandates or recommendations of experts.The good prof seems to think people can be encouraged to ignore their own risk and the risk to their loved ones. He expects people to believe the government and/or experts can and will 'ensure the most vulnerable are protected', which is BS. There is too much unknown about this bug and for any new or novel virus.



The “old mans friend” is pneumonia, not flu. The treatment as received by my father with our permission, is a butterfly needle and a morphine pump. A quiet and peaceful way to go.


"When any old garden variety flu was also known inside the health profession as "the old man's friend"; how did that flu kill "old people"?"

Deap, here in the UK that phrase refers to pneumonia not flu and is spot on. Unlike flu it is a real 'silent' killer of many old people.


Very interesting and unique study from the CDC released a couple days ago investigating the case of a woman that infected 15 out of 23 people flying with her in business class from UK to Vietnam back in March:
Paper gives an explanation as to why,in the half dozen previous studies of this type, secondary transmissions of this magnitude were not detected.

I'm as redblooded of a freedom-loving, gun rights exercising and abortion hating american as the next guy, but this inane politicization of the mask question in cases where community transmission is rampant makes zero sense to me. I've gone to the gym 5 days a week to life weights with my mask on since June, strenuous exercise, it's really not that hard and it pisses me off to have to share the room with people that think it is.

Babak makkinejad

From Cell:

How we got to COVID-19 (Open Access)


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