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Horowitz: Sweden riding high and the triumph of the rational herd immunity approach

Look at the curves.

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After avoiding the man-made plague of lockdown and national emotional abuse, Sweden most certainly is languishing from the original plague of the virus itself, right? Well, on Tuesday, there were ZERO deaths in the country that eschewed arbitrary and heavy-handed restrictions on liberty and declined to compel mask-wearing. As a bonus, it turns out the Swedish economy is humming and its companies are reporting good earnings. Trusting in God, trusting in your people, and following rational thinking and science go a long way.

On Tuesday, Sweden reported 0 deaths and just 77 cases. Over the past week, deaths have been no higher than two per day. What is so remarkable is that while there are other countries that have had near-zero deaths for even longer, Sweden has achieved this through herd immunity; prevented the lockdown deaths, emotional abuse, drug deaths, suicides, and financial ruin plaguing other countries; and – most importantly – is more fortified against a resurgence than these other countries that delayed herd immunity.

We are now seeing a resurgence in many countries that were thought to have skated through this with minimal exposure, such as Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Germany, Australia, and Israel. The hallmark of all these countries is that they have had strict mask-wearing regimens for months.

Lothar Wieler, head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said on Monday that he is "very concerned" that Germany is "in the middle of a rapidly developing pandemic." He asserted that people have become "negligent" and urged people to wear masks among the rest of the litany of magic social behavior.

The big problem with his assertion? Germany already has a high level of compliance.

The much-vaunted Imperial College of London conducted a survey from June 22 to June 28 of selected countries on public mask compliance. The results are startling:

Countries in Asia that have really high levels of compliance are experiencing sharp spikes in cases. Mexico is still going through its peak with near universal mask-wearing. As you can see, Germany has even more compliance than the U.S. and has a much smaller group of virulent opponents who "never" wear masks. The only countries with high compliance that have not yet seen a resurgence are those that have already gotten hit hard and may already have achieved herd immunity, such as Italy.

Except there is another country that is not seeing a resurgence because it likely also achieved herd immunity. Sweden! 86% say they "never" wear masks. The difference is that Sweden achieved that immunity with far fewer deaths than Italy and without all of the unfathomable collateral damage of lockdowns.

America is no different from many of these other countries. As this New York Times map shows, there is a high degree of mask compliance in all the hot-spot areas.

Los Angeles has been masking up for months.

Here is south Florida's mask compliance rate:

Now here is the American southwest:

Notice a pattern?

Now take a look at Wisconsin's rate of compliance. Wisconsin's supreme court tossed out the entire emergency order over two months ago.

The result is that Wisconsin has had a flat curve for months.

This is not to say that every place without the mandates will do just as well and every place with them will have poor results. But what this demonstrates over and over again is that these voodoo superstitious rituals do not help stop a virus that is bound to spread. Instead, they forestall herd immunity, and they cause an enormous amount of collateral damage and gross violations of civil rights.

Back in Europe, it looks like Sweden is going to get the last laugh by avoiding a second wave after experiencing only a very mild first wave outside nursing homes.

Sweden's chief epidemiologist now believes his country has achieved herd immunity, and it has done so with relatively few excess deaths, as compared to other years. But where they really come out ahead of every other country, on net, is the fact that their lives and economy are intact. Every day for the past two weeks, Swedish companies have been beating expectations for earnings in the second quarter of this year. Contrast that to the U.S., where more than half the 132,500 business closures are now marked as permanent.

This is not just about money. Best estimates from U.S. government economic impact calculators project one life lost from suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, or stress-induced illnesses per $17 million lost. One study has estimated that 65,000 lives are lost per month of lockdown in the U.S. – corresponding to an estimated $1.1 trillion in lost economic activity. Sweden, on the other hand, avoided this calamity.

After all this, we have nothing to show for the tyranny but endless business closures, permanent loss of liberty, and a generation of traumatized children. As my friend and talk show host John Ziegler pointed out, this is like a scene out of "The Crown" on Netflix: "Masks are bloody useless; they're just for show to make it look like the government's doing something."

One last thing…
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