Category Archives: Health

Sweden’s COVID Measures Have Been a Disaster

A colleague keeps posting (on the work messaging system) analysis and opinion on how well Sweden is doing on COVID without the lockdown imposed by other nations and notes that it’s unclear whether policy decisions make a difference. I find this annoying because the effect of policy decisions on COVID cases and deaths is very clear, as shown by Sweden’s numbers compared to those of other Nordic nations.

Denmark, Finland, and Norway each have a little more than half Sweden’s population (~5 million vs ~10 million for Sweden). Denmark has the second most cases and deaths, with Sweden most afflicted. Denmark has only ~11% the deaths and ~18% the cases of Sweden, with Finland and Norway faring even better.

As bad as the numbers are, a University of Virginia analysis indicates that Sweden implemented ICU bed triage/rationing that prevented some of the sickest from getting ICU treatment.

Fatality per capita, cases per capita, and Infection Fatality Rate are the major metrics I see tracked right now, but with this virus there are considerable long term health consequences for many people (I don’t see any good data on this, but assume people are working on it) so people not dying is a good but not great indicator of the pandemic’s impact.

Reasonable people can differ on the balance point between economic damage and human health damaged and lives lost, but those discussions should focus on the value of individual human life and health versus the economic health of a nation. The two are interdependent, but we need to be honest about what we’re discussing.

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1102257/cumulative-coronavirus-cases-in-the-nordics/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1113834/cumulative-coronavirus-deaths-in-the-nordics/

https://newsroom.uvahealth.com/2020/07/03/covid-19-deaths-in-sweden/

Christian Minister Exposes the Bad Faith of Right Wing Pseudo-Christians

A Christian minister named Dave Barnhart wrote the powerful statement below, exposing the bad faith of the US right wing pseudo-Christians.

“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn…You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.

– Dave Barnhart 

Dave has a blog at https://davebarnhart.wordpress.com, where he wrote more on the topic of the pseudo-Christian’s war against abortion – https://davebarnhart.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/if-they-actually-cared-about-abortion. He’s also on Twitter and is worth following there – https://twitter.com/davebarnhart.

Mary Oliver, Thank You for Beautiful Poetry and a Beautiful Life

Mary Oliver died Thursday, 17 January 2019. It’s worth knowing her. The New Yorker piece below will introduce you to her world and the YouTube video features her reading one of her most popular poems.

The New Yorker: Mary Oliver’s Deep, Direct Love for the World

 

 

 

Technique for Managing a Panic Attack

I’ve had anxiety for years and used to have panic attacks, so I’m interested in staying up on the latest anxiety related news and information and in helping others deal with their own anxiety. This tip from reddit seems very practical.

A trick I used during a panic attack that actually helped!
I once read that during a panic attack you should look around you and say out loud what you can see, feel, etc. My husband remembered this and just as I was spiraling into a full blown attack he said “tell me what you see” and I started saying it out loud “tree, red sign,” etc. Within about 30 seconds to a minute I could feel my breathing becoming less erratic, my heart rate went down, and I was coming back to reality. It didn’t get rid of it completely but brought it down to a manageable level. Very effective if you ever want to lessen the attack without taking klonopin or Xanax.

If you try this technique, please share your experience with it.