No Covid-19 lockdown in Sweden

2020-04-29 10:07 #0 by: Niklas

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.

» Sweden Faces Coronavirus Without Lockdown - The New York Times

2020-04-29 10:49 #1 by: Evelina

Unfortunely, we wont know what the best way is until it is over. The swedish strategy makes me anxious though. 😳😬

2020-04-29 11:27 #2 by: Niklas

Exactly, it will take a long time until we know, but for now I’m satisfied with what we have.

I found another article commenting on Sweden in The New York Times:

As for experts who warn that it has not been conclusively proven that individuals who have had Covid-19 are immune, by the presence of antibodies, from getting the virus again, Tegnell told USA Today that such thinking undermines the argument for looking for a vaccine: “If you can’t get population immunity, how can we then think a vaccine will protect us?”

He concluded: “What’s happening now is that many countries are starting to come around to the Swedish way. They are opening schools, trying to find an exit strategy. It comes back to sustainability. We need to have measures in place that we can keep on doing over the longer term, not just for a few months or several weeks.”

» How Sweden Is Dealing With the Coronavirus - The New York Times

2020-04-29 11:38 #3 by: Niklas

USA Today yesterday published an interview with Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist of Sweden’s Public Health Agency, the ”public face” of Sweden’s Corona strategy. Below is his explanation of the strategy.

What is Sweden's COVID-19 strategy?

Tegnell: We are trying to keep transmission rates at a level that the Stockholm health system can sustain. So far that has worked out. The health system is stressed. They are working very hard. But they have delivered health care to everybody, including those without COVID-19. That is our goal. We are not calculating herd immunity in this. With various measures, we are just trying to keep the transmission rate as low as possible. The amount of cases has been stable for the last two-to-three weeks. We believe herd immunity will of course help us in the long run, and we are discussing that, but it's not like we are actively trying to achieve it as has been made out (by the press and some scientists). If we wanted to achieve herd immunity we would have done nothing and let coronavirus run rampant through society. We are trying to keep the transmission rate as low as we can. We have taken reasonable measures without really hurting health care or schools. We are going for a sustainable strategy; something we can keep on doing for months. Coronavirus is not something that is just going to go away. Any country that believes it can keep it out (by closing borders, shuttering businesses, etc.) will most likely be proven wrong at some stage. We need to learn to live with this disease.

Read the full interview at USA Today:

» Coronavirus: Sweden's Anders Tegnell stands by unorthodox strategy

2020-04-30 08:03 #4 by: Niklas

Now, there are many news reports regarding the deviating path Sweden has taken. This one is from BBC. They interview a lot of people, both for and against the strategy.

2020-04-30 08:10 #5 by: Niklas

Here is ITV News reporting. The elderly, staying at elderly homes, are mentioned. I think they are the ones most affected by the pandemic because they are not allowed to receive outside visitors. It is for their own good, but imagine not being able to see you children and grandchildren for a very long period.

2020-04-30 08:16 #6 by: Niklas

And Trevor Noah does his thing. 🙂

2020-04-30 08:25 #7 by: Niklas

Bloomberg. They interview Lena Hallengren, health minister of Sweden. I think she did good answering some pretty tough questions.

2020-04-30 08:31 #8 by: Niklas

A one month old clip from Channel 4 News. Quite critical.

2020-04-30 08:35 #9 by: Niklas

NBC News two days ago. They mistakenly say that the Swedish strategy relies on herd immunity, which Anders Tegnell has denied.

2020-04-30 08:41 #10 by: Niklas

CNN from March 31. Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt points out that Sweden may have an advantage in being less densely populated than many other countries and that Swede's minds are a bit on the social distancing side from the start.

2020-04-30 08:45 #11 by: Niklas

The Telegraph. Also quite critical, but nothing new.

2020-04-30 08:53 #12 by: Niklas

CNBC News. Swedish foreign minister Ann Linde stresses that Sweden is very much affected by the virus even though it may not seem so to outsiders. Lena Hallengren says that Swedens approach only differs in two majors ways from the rest of the world. Primary schools are still open and there is no government mandated lockdown, but instead a rule of social distancing, where individuals have to take their own responsibility.

2020-04-30 09:04 #13 by: Niklas

60 Minutes Australia. I found this one interesting. Bjørn Lomborg, political scientist, is interviewed and pedagogically explains why society never tries to save every life.

2020-04-30 09:08 #14 by: Evelina

Democracy Now! has also covered Sweden’s corona strategy too

2020-04-30 09:11 #15 by: Niklas

ABC News compare the strategies of Sweden (lockdown light) and Germany (total lockdown combined with extensive testing).

2020-04-30 09:21 #16 by: Niklas

Reuters on Donald Trump commenting the Swedish approach in the beginning of April.

2020-04-30 09:25 #17 by: Niklas

Vice News.

2020-04-30 09:30 #18 by: Niklas

#14: Yes, the most recent reporting I have seen from Democracy Now! is this, from two days ago:

» Swedish Ambassador Says Stockholm Is Close to Reaching “Herd Immunity” | Democracy Now!

2020-05-18 08:44 #19 by: Niklas

I just saw an interview with the current and former head epidemiologists of Sweden. They both said that people from other countries contacting them until a few weeks ago said things like: “Are you crazy? Are you trying to kill people?” Then, almost overnight, it changed to them now asking about the Swedish strategy and the reasoning behind it, trying to understand. Locking down countries has stopped the virus from spreading, but there is no obvious way out of lockdown as long as there is no vaccine.

2020-05-18 11:24 #20 by: Evelina

I feel a bit conflicted with the fact that, at least in the US, the Swedish strategy is being used as an argument to re-open society for the economy when certain states are not yet ready because their death tolls are still rising and the curve is not yet flattened.

I was listening to an interview on SVT last night with an expert from Belgium. He said that Sweden is bit more of a unique case compared to Belgium and other countries because other population of Sweden doesn’t live that close of a proximity in comparisan to Belgium which does.


There is anohter comment in this discussion. It is, however, only visible for logged in members. To read the comment, log in or register to become a member.