Swedens handling of the Corona pandemic has made people of many other countries raise their eyebrows. No lockdowns, few restrictions, lots of advice to the people. It has been mainly left to each and everyone to decide which measures to take. We are advised to wash our hands often and thoroughly, not gather in large groups, and take special care of people belonging to risk groups. All major events for 2020 have been canceled by the organizers. Birthday celebrations and travels by many people I know have been canceled. Skype and FaceTime is used more than ever. People are spending more time outdoors. Restaurants and cafes mostly take to-go orders.
The New York Times has written about the Swedish way to tackle the crisis:
From the first signs of the pandemic, the Swedish Public Health Authority decided that a lockdown would be pointless. “Once you get into a lockdown, it’s difficult to get out of it,” the country’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said. “How do you reopen? When?”
Scientists like Mr. Tegnell, who has become something of a celebrity in Sweden, and not politicians have driven the debate over the coronavirus response.
Political leaders rarely attend news conferences about the virus, and the Swedish Constitution prevents the government from meddling in the affairs of independent administrative authorities, such as the Public Health Authority.
Of course, not everything is good and well. Many have been laid off, others are working overtime, companies have shut down, others has to recruit, many peoples economy has been hit hard. There have been a lot of sick and dead people. Sweden isn’t at the top nor the bottom of the Corona statistics.
I prefer the way Sweden has done compared to total lockdowns. We have to be responsible, and it seems most of us are. When I am out taking my daily walks, more people than ever greet me and smile, while at the same time keeping the physical distance. In a year or two, we will see how the Swedish strategy compared to other countries.