Daily Archives: January 7, 2021

Cornavirus outcomes are similar

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Robert Henderson

Professor Johan Giesecke of Sweden made the prediction in April 2020 that in the long run it would not make much difference how Governments of similar states responded to the virus because the result would be broadly the same. – see https://unherd.com/thepost/coming-up-epidemiologist-prof-johan-giesecke-shares-lessons-from-sweden/

There is solid evidence to support his prediction. Here are the deaths per million for major first world countries

Australia 36 deaths per million
Austria 738 deaths per million
Belgium 1736 deaths per million
Canada 441 deaths per million
France 994 deaths per million
Germany 450 deaths per million
Italy 1272 deaths per million
Netherlands 702 deaths per million
Poland 791 deaths per million
Spain 1101 deaths per million
Sweden 882 deaths per million
Switzerland 951 deaths per million
UK 1163 deaths per million
USA 1098 deaths per million

Stats taken from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/coronavirus-uk-cases-deaths-world-map-live/
on 6 January 2021

I have only looked first world countries because the rest are either incapable of producing accurate statistics because of a want of administrative capacity or are authoritarian states which cannot be trusted to tell the truth. In addition comparing say the UK with Nigeria would be l like comparing apples to oranges.

There are two striking things about the deaths statistics above. The first is how small a part of the total populations of each country are the deaths . The second is the considerable similarity of outcome in the majority of countries.

Of the 14 counties 11 fall into the range 702 – 1736 deaths with only Australia, Canada and Germany falling outside that range.

Australia is the only really serious outlier but that may be explained in part to it possessing huge physical territory with a small population.

The degree of similarity is impressive because the various countries adopted widely different approaches to dealing with the coronavirus, ranging from the libertarian Swedes to the chaotic Italians to the make your mind up UK to the strict lockdowns of the French and Germans.

The really worrying thing is that politicians throughout the world are placing everything on vaccines to be the magic bullet to end the crisis. This is far from certain because (1) we do not know how much immunity is gained from infection or from a vaccine and (2) a mutation can come along at any moment and upset the apple cart. Nor is it reasonable to imagine that enough people in the developing world will be vaccinated to provide universal herd immunity.


If the vaccines do not solve the problem political elites throughout the world will have nowhere to go.

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