More examples of “they did everything right” until it wasn’t anymore

For several months, the media – and social media – have repeatedly told us about regions, states or countries that “did everything right” and had Covid-19 under control – if only we would follow their examples, the U.S. would have had everything under control.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, these sorts of correlations do not work because they ignore the time dimension. Places that did well often do poorly a few months later; and places that did poorly, often do well, a few months later. There is no unified theory to explain this – just many ad hoc theories du jour and hand waving assertions and assumptions.

Last spring, Germany was widely heralded by the media as having done “everything right”. Now, they are off the rails and back into a month long lock up of their population.

Germany

A professor of epidemiology cited Germany as a success story way, way back on October 7th (3 weeks ago!) But boy, things have changed rapidly since then.

And of course Norway – the poster child for how “not to be Sweden”. Norway did “everything right”. Until it wasn’t right any more.

Norway

Iceland

Finland

Ontario, Canada

As mentioned here previously, a paper was published on September 24th, using data for Ontario up through August 15th. The authors concluded that wearing face masks reduced cases in Ontario by 25% – until, of course, they apparently began causing new cases 🙂 Look what happened after August 15th – ouch!

Sweden

Sweden was the example of “how not to do things” – and now they too are seeing escalating cases but so far, deaths remain subdued. They’ve gone to a “protect the vulnerable” strategy but we don’t know if that works yet as deaths are a lagging indicator. Wait a month or two to see what happens.