Was Lockdown Necessary?

GarryF

Well-known Member
So, Italy locked down on the 9th of March

The UK locked down exactly 14 days later on the 23rd of March

Both Sweden and the UK technically peaked the same day 21st April as per graphs below, so why didn't Sweden keep rising up and up.

Would some sensible social distancing have sufficed along with shielding the elderly and venerable?

Just why is this virus not running rampant in Sweden pushing it's death toll higher and higher?

a. lockdown doesn't work
b. the virus spread much more easily and faster than anything that has come before, i.e. asymptomatic spread. Pandemic was over before we even realised.
c. Swedish people are more immune to C19
d. people who have already had a corona virus recently aka common cold are immune
e. the virus has a much larger R number than people realise and lots of people have had it asymptomatically and correspondingly the fatality rate is lower.
f. population density is important
g. something else

While the Swedish figures aren't great they are an uncomfortable thorn in the now conventional wisdom that lockdowns work?

1591141250922.png


1591141214172.png
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
f. population density is important
I'm not an expert, but would argue that there's definitely merit in the suggestion that a country with 6 million population, the majority being widely spaced apart (apart from the few cities), has a massive impact on the spread of an airborne virus. Essentially, they're socially distancing every day already!

With regards to the lockdown in the UK, how do you reason with the fact we implemented it, and I'd say the majority followed it pretty well on the whole (excluding the minority idiots), and yet we still have the second largest death toll in the world. What do you think would have happened without it?
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
I'd say it was necessary. But I think it was implemented too late.

Weren't they looking at over 1,000 deaths at home after lockdown started?
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
I think one of the key things was that we didn't lockdown, we had restrictions placed on us. Restrictions that were implemented too late and were in some respects too open leaving many able to carry on as normal and potentially spread the virus.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Lockdown was essential.

The failure of the UK was that lockdown wasn't early enough or strict enough. The fact we allowed all and sundry to arrive in the UK from abroad with no restrictions or tests is one of the major failings.

Plus those graphs above would be useful if the bars were split to show care home deaths and hospital deaths. Our care home deaths from COVID were massive, I can't imagine Sweden would have the same.
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
I think one of the key things was that we didn't lockdown, we had restrictions placed on us. Restrictions that were implemented too late and were in some respects too open leaving many able to carry on as normal and potentially spread the virus.
Good point, it hasn't been a 'proper' lockdown.

Too many free range idiots out and about.
 
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Ste7en

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't be using Sweden as a model example considering 'Sweden has 6.08 deaths per million inhabitants, higher than the UK, USA and Italy'.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Split on this one.

If we were not one of the most heavily/overly population nations then we could have gone for something far less drastic than the "advisory" lock-down.

What's the mortality rate? Circa 1%? Much less for younger/healthy people?

How about quarantining the vulnerable and letting the rest carry on. Easier said than done when you have 70 odd million to account for., admittedly.
 

Chocci

Member
I'm not an expert, but would argue that there's definitely merit in the suggestion that a country with 6 million population, the majority being widely spaced apart (apart from the few cities), has a massive impact on the spread of an airborne virus. Essentially, they're socially distancing every day already!

With regards to the lockdown in the UK, how do you reason with the fact we implemented it, and I'd say the majority followed it pretty well on the whole (excluding the minority idiots), and yet we still have the second largest death toll in the world. What do you think would have happened without it?
85% of swedes live in 15% of the land area and Stockholm has the same population density as London. Sweden has a population of 10 million.

I think lockdown will prove to have been a disaster as we will see more non Covid19 deaths than Covid19 deaths as time goes on, and most will be far younger than the average 80 year old Covid19 victim. Estimates of 60,000 extra cancer deaths alone. The forthcoming economic devastation will plunge millions into poverty for years meaning more countless more lives lost.

Social distancing was practised by many before the lockdown and the fact the peak of deaths was only 2 weeks into the lockdown shows distancing and protection of the vulnerable alone would probably have ended up in the same position we're in now.
 

Chocci

Member
Lockdown was essential.

The failure of the UK was that lockdown wasn't early enough or strict enough. The fact we allowed all and sundry to arrive in the UK from abroad with no restrictions or tests is one of the major failings.

Plus those graphs above would be useful if the bars were split to show care home deaths and hospital deaths. Our care home deaths from COVID were massive, I can't imagine Sweden would have the same.
Care home deaths in Sweden are worse than the UK (50% vs 37%)
 

Chocci

Member
I wouldn't be using Sweden as a model example considering 'Sweden has 6.08 deaths per million inhabitants, higher than the UK, USA and Italy'.
Totally wrong

Sweden - 443 deaths per million

UK - 580

Spain - 580

Belgium - 806

Italy - 553

Usa - 327
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
Here's information from some days ago, which I reported at the time, (with no interest of course...!) but I've expanded on it.
What I've done is taken data from the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago and assumed a 1% mortality rate. Their data came from Imperial College and Oxford University studies, modelled I believe.
I've compared the situation in what I believe are 5 similar countries; UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain. Large populations, pretty decent health care, all with high degrees of infections, and all locked down at some point.

COUNTRYINFECTIONS AT LOCKDOWNDEATHS FROM LOCKDOWN INFECTIONSDEATHS NOW% HIGHER DEATHS XXX DAYS AFTER LOCKDOWN
UK1,500,00015,00039,452263
SPAIN1,100,00011,00027,127247
GERMANY270,0002,7008,576318
FRANCE850,0008,50028,940340
ITALY1,200,00012,00033,530279
UK 9 DAYS BEFORE LOCKDOWN220,0002,200???????????????????


So what is this showing? Firstly, the 'death now' numbers are from John Hopkins University. I'm aware that these are all lower than the actual numbers, but they're as like for like as I can get without going into all sorts of work. They'll do for the basis of this. Note, that if you use 48,000 for the UK (and leave all the rest the same) our increase would be 320%. The others will be low though, so best not to use 48,000.
It appears to show that all deaths appear to converge at around 3x the death rate going into lockdown. It's implying that all the lockdowns are reasonably similar in effectiveness/ineffectiveness (depending on what you think the virus would have done anyway).

Note that the above information can be used to (roughly) work out what quarantine at airports would have done to the death rate if implemented AFTER lockdown (so full quarantine after 23rd March).
Clue - it would have done very little. I can expand on that point if anyone is interested.
Obviously, quarantine in February/early March would have had a major affect.

If I can be bothered, I'll adjust this for population size later. But I wanted to make the point that lockdowns have worked similarly*, and that the main reason we have a high death rate is shown on the last line.

*I am concerned that we are relaxing restrictions with too high infections compared with the other countries in the table. That might show up in figures a few weeks from now, we'll have to wait and see.
 

Chocci

Member
Split on this one.

If we were not one of the most heavily/overly population nations then we could have gone for something far less drastic than the "advisory" lock-down.

What's the mortality rate? Circa 1%? Much less for younger/healthy people?

How about quarantining the vulnerable and letting the rest carry on. Easier said than done when you have 70 odd million to account for., admittedly.
Mortality rate now appears to be around 0.24-0.36 with 95% being over 70.

95% of those dying under the age of 70 had 1 or more underlying issues.

Flu is 0.1%

16 children under 14 died of flu in 2016. 1 child of school age has died with a positive Covid19 result.

IFR from all known major serology surveys as of 2 weeks ago showing an average mortality rate of 0.27%
Screenshot_20200508-061606.jpg
 
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Chocci

Member
Here's information from some days ago, which I reported at the time, (with no interest of course...!) but I've expanded on it.
What I've done is taken data from the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago and assumed a 1% mortality rate. Their data came from Imperial College and Oxford University studies, modelled I believe.
I've compared the situation in what I believe are 5 similar countries; UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain. Large populations, pretty decent health care, all with high degrees of infections, and all locked down at some point.

COUNTRYINFECTIONS AT LOCKDOWNDEATHS FROM LOCKDOWN INFECTIONSDEATHS NOW% HIGHER DEATHS XXX DAYS AFTER LOCKDOWN
UK1,500,00015,00039,452263
SPAIN1,100,00011,00027,127247
GERMANY270,0002,7008,576318
FRANCE850,0008,50028,940340
ITALY1,200,00012,00033,530279
UK 9 DAYS BEFORE LOCKDOWN220,0002,200???????????????????


So what is this showing? Firstly, the 'death now' numbers are from John Hopkins University. I'm aware that these are all lower than the actual numbers, but they're as like for like as I can get without going into all sorts of work. They'll do for the basis of this. Note, that if you use 48,000 for the UK (and leave all the rest the same) our increase would be 320%. The others will be low though, so best not to use 48,000.
It appears to show that all deaths appear to converge at around 3x the death rate going into lockdown. It's implying that all the lockdowns are reasonably similar in effectiveness/ineffectiveness (depending on what you think the virus would have done anyway).

Note that the above information can be used to (roughly) work out what quarantine at airports would have done to the death rate if implemented AFTER lockdown (so full quarantine after 23rd March).
Clue - it would have done very little. I can expand on that point if anyone is interested.
Obviously, quarantine in February/early March would have had a major affect.

If I can be bothered, I'll adjust this for population size later. But I wanted to make the point that lockdowns have worked similarly*, and that the main reason we have a high death rate is shown on the last line.

*I am concerned that we are relaxing restrictions with too high infections compared with the other countries in the table. That might show up in figures a few weeks from now, we'll have to wait and see.
You really shouldn't use data from any models from imperial college. Their model is for flu and is proven to be worse than useless. It predicted 40,000 deaths in Sweden by the 1st of May if they didn't lockdown. Think its around 4,000 now.
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
You really shouldn't use data from any models from imperial college. Their model is for flu and is proven to be worse than useless. It predicted 40,000 deaths in Sweden by the 1st of May if they didn't lockdown. Think its around 4,000 now.
I'm sorry, you are deflecting. You are referring to one model. The data (in the second column of my table) is widely accepted. If you don't accept it, hey ho, that's fine!
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Agree with Miss Mandy and Greg's sentiments. The government were too slow and too dithery. When decisiveness was needed they were found wanting. Cost us dear.

It's all irrelevant now anyway sadly, as it can't be undone.
 

Chocci

Member
Taken from: Sweden becomes country with highest coronavirus death rate per capita over past seven days

Odd... 'past seven days'. Strange criteria to base it on. 'Rolling seven day average' I suppose.

Mind, "Sweden - 443 deaths per million" - I still wouldn't be holding them up as a 'gold standard'.
But they have lower rates than Spain, Italy and the UK and we are debating whether lockdown was necessary so Sweden is as good a comparison as any. Maybe Belarus (no lockdown 26 deaths per million) ;)

 

Chocci

Member
I'm sorry, you are deflecting. You are referring to one model. The data (in the second column of my table) is widely accepted. If you don't accept it, hey ho, that's fine!
'Deaths from lockdown infections' is meant to show what?

The 'INFECTIONS AT LOCKDOWN' figures are pure guesses with zero scientific data to back them up

Personally, I think far far more were already infected before lockdown and that the virus has been in the UK since December. Tenfold increase from 350 to 3,500 in hospital admissions in early January for flu which many could have been Covid19. We now know it was in Paris in December.

The fact remains that the peak of deaths was before any potential benefit of lockdown measures

Anyway, we'll find out in a few weeks as infections should go back up to around 10,000+ per day if lockdown was that effective
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Posted in the main thread but maybe useful here as well ;)
....

From BBC

Sweden's state epidemiologist, who was behind the country's policy of not having a lockdown, has admitted it should have imposed more restrictions to control the spread of the virus.

For months Anders Tegnell defended his approach as more sustainable, while criticising other countries for their lockdowns.

But this morning, when an interviewer on Sveriges Radio said too many people had died in the country, Tegnell agreed.

He then said: "If we would encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land midway between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did."

Sweden has the highest per-capita death rate from coronavirus in the world. More than 4,400 people in the country have died, while neighbouring Norway, Denmark and Finland all have death tolls of fewer than 600.
 

starfarer

Well-known Member
a. lockdown doesn't work
b. the virus spread much more easily and faster than anything that has come before, i.e. asymptomatic spread. Pandemic was over before we even realised.
c. Swedish people are more immune to C19
d. people who have already had a corona virus recently aka common cold are immune
e. the virus has a much larger R number than people realise and lots of people have had it asymptomatically and correspondingly the fatality rate is lower.
f. population density is important
g. something else

While the Swedish figures aren't great they are an uncomfortable thorn in the now conventional wisdom that lockdowns work?
Would some sensible social distancing have sufficed along with shielding the elderly and venerable?
At the time of lockdown, solid scientific evidence and data were lacking. There are other reasons like NHS capacity, treatment course, virus mechanism etc that has been discussed before. In coming months, it's a very workable solution and also makes sense with current course the disease is taking at least for now. This article from NHS consultant (it was linked somewhere in this forum) shows how even the professionals badly underestimated the disease early on.

b & e) Recent serosurvey from all over the world are showing small percentage of prevalance among general population and nowhere near the hypothetical herd immunity level of 60-70%. If we take these results at their face value, it's the opposite of what you suggested. The virus failed to spread as easily and faster as experts had predicted in community. In uncontrolled environment like prison, navy airships etc or in known settings like Bergamo (60% when tested on suspected, confirmed or their close contacts) we know the infection rate is 40-80% which shows the virus can reach great percentage of population. Taken with these low seroprevalance% and death recorded, the fatality rate is high in every scale.

I know there are still doubts about these serosurvey's but recent ones are with better specificity than previous conducted and until large scale antibody testings, these represent the only thing to look upon or more importantly the gov policies could based on. We can have our opinions but these are the scientific numbers.

Asymptomatic like other few words eg superspreader related to virus diseases is suddenly new science. It is not. Flu can have as high as 70% or as low as 20% in certain year as a ref. Whether they can spread as effectively as symptomatic ones AFAIK is still in debate (for flu).

While the Swedish figures aren't great they are an uncomfortable thorn in the now conventional wisdom that lockdowns work?
No it's the other way round. Earlier they looked good because were expecting very high % prevalance and thinking was that there is no way of stopping the virus plus deaths. If 8% is the true prevalance now, they could've saved more lives. Same here in UK, if we'd lockdown a week or two the deaths count could've been lower.

Basically everybody ignored S Korea, Taiwan, NZ, Aus etc with the thinking that virus will spread no matter what you do and it's just delaying tactics. It may still prove to be the case but with current situation of cases declining, at least we've the luxury of time on our side to think for next move.
 

Chocci

Member
Posted in the main thread but maybe useful here as well ;)
....

From BBC

Sweden's state epidemiologist, who was behind the country's policy of not having a lockdown, has admitted it should have imposed more restrictions to control the spread of the virus.

For months Anders Tegnell defended his approach as more sustainable, while criticising other countries for their lockdowns.

But this morning, when an interviewer on Sveriges Radio said too many people had died in the country, Tegnell agreed.

He then said: "If we would encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land midway between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did."

Sweden has the highest per-capita death rate from coronavirus in the world. More than 4,400 people in the country have died, while neighbouring Norway, Denmark and Finland all have death tolls of fewer than 600.
Once again, the BBC get the facts wrong. And obviously every country would din hindsight, do things differently. Swedens care home statistics are appalling but lockdown or not wouldn't have changed that.


Deaths per capita


Totally wrong

Sweden - 443 deaths per million

UK - 580

Spain - 580

Belgium - 806

Italy - 553
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
85% of swedes live in 15% of the land area and Stockholm has the same population density as London. Sweden has a population of 10 million.

I think lockdown will prove to have been a disaster as we will see more non Covid19 deaths than Covid19 deaths as time goes on, and most will be far younger than the average 80 year old Covid19 victim. Estimates of 60,000 extra cancer deaths alone. The forthcoming economic devastation will plunge millions into poverty for years meaning more countless more lives lost.

Social distancing was practised by many before the lockdown and the fact the peak of deaths was only 2 weeks into the lockdown shows distancing and protection of the vulnerable alone would probably have ended up in the same position we're in now.
So are you staying that if we hadn't have implemented the lockdown we'd have had the same/less deaths? (purely looking at the number of deaths, not anything related to it like the economic impact).

If the peak of deaths was 2 weeks into the lockdown, with a virus having a 14 day incubation period, isn't there valid argument to say that the growth rate for deaths would have continued to grow, rather than peak 2 weeks after lockdown guidance was put in place?
 
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