COVID Projections – what is going on in Sweden?
So it seems to me that the two most important things to understand when considering my prepping/general actions over the next 6 months are:
1. What is the rate and severity of long-term COVID complications across the age/comorbidity spectrum
2. What path is the virus likely to take in the fall
I’m going to avoid #1 for now because I have yet to find many good sources to contribute to the discussion. For #2 I’ve been thinking about Sweden (and to a lesser extent, New York) lately.
Both Sweden and New York saw very steep growth and very high mortality. Sweden is 5th in the world at 556 deaths per million, and New York is around 790 deaths per million. If I am doing my math right, NYC is nearly 2800 deaths per million.
New York/NYC: https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases
Both Sweden and New York have deaths that dropped off fairly precipitously and have remained low. Sweden’s case counts have bounced around a bit before returning to low levels, while NY has remained low for quite some time.
These cases have been in my mind recently as I have started to see more mainstream articles around cross-immunity and heterogenity driving herd immunity.
Here’s the Atlantic on heterogenity (most susceptible get it first): https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/herd-immunity-coronavirus/614035/
And Vox on the different components of Morbidity (linking to numerous other places):
(sidenote: do we have access to html [url = ][/url] and that sort of thing? That and a preview button would be nice)
Those theories represent a possible explanation for both Sweden and New York’s drop. One problem is that Sweden sero studies have returned prevalence roughly half that of New York – ~10% vs ~20-25%. Sweden is a fairly obese country from what I can tell, so I’m not sure population health covers it either. And obviously Sweden has been hit much harder than its Nordic neighbors.
So I guess my main questions are:
1. Do you think there is anything to Herd Immunity coming at a much lower threshold?
2. Is there another explanation for Sweden’s drop? I have not found good sources for what is happening on the ground regarding voluntary social distancing, mask wearing, closing of indoor dining/bars. Google mobility data seems to indicate movement is back to normal levels?
3. If New York or Sweden are indeed at some high proportion of herd immunity, should that change anything I plan for/do? I think if they are it should not impact me decisions too much in the short term – NYC/Lombardy/Wuhan still got very very bad. It might influence my more long-term decisions on how best to allocate prepping resources though.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!