Monday, March 23, 2020

I am concerned about my country

Don't get me wrong - at a time like this it's prudent to be concerned for the whole world, but Sweden and our scientists seem to have caught another virus that might be just as dangerous as Covid-19: Hubris.

All along, they've been saying that younger persons don't really have to worry. People under the age of 70 should be cautious and not visit older relatives, because older people must be protected, but everyone else will get a "really mild illness."

Reports have streamed in from all over the world, saying that while it's mostly older people who die, younger people also require intensive care. We're talking about spending three weeks in a respirator and emerging without a lung.

Sweden is still going, "No, everyone who isn't older will get a really mild illness."

Right now, about half of persons who require hospitalization because of Covid-19 in Sweden are younger. Experts are saying it's a fluke, and these numbers will change.

Meanwhile, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of US cases from February 12 to March 16 shows 38% of those sick enough to be hospitalized were younger than 55.

French health ministry official Jérome Salomon says half of the 300 to 400 coronavirus patients treated in intensive care units in Paris are younger than 65.

Italian media has reported numbers of around 35% of people in Intensive Care being under 65.

Half of the ICU patients in the Netherlands are younger than 50.

But in Sweden, younger people are apparently invincible. At least if you're to believe health officials.

(They've also said children couldn't be affected, and several weeks ago we had "reached the peak" and cases would start to go down. Both these things were also false.)

I think there is a risk in understating the consequences for younger persons. Doing so makes us careless. And once the average person sees that the authorities were wrong - again - and our statistics follow those of other nations, the public will lose faith and stop listening.

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