The article was first published on July 26, 2021
At the beginning of 2020, when countries all over the world locked up one by one – the almost contagious domino effect abruptly ceased with Sweden, which never introduced any strict locking restrictions for the country’s citizens. Initially, the country was heavily criticized for its relaxed and ruthless attitude towards Covid-19. The unusual strategy that Sweden adopted was seen as a warning in mid-2020, when the country struggled with a higher death rate for Covid-19 than its Nordic neighbors. But a year later – this “unusual strategy” seems to have been the best way to approach the pandemic. Monkeyrt from the fact that, last week, data showed that the rolling 7-day average for Covid deaths was zero, Sweden will not face the immeasurable cost of human freedom that nations that have been under strict lockdown measures will eventually face. One such cost is the increase in suicidality and depression among young people – which is explained in the video in this article which contains the Senate’s testimony about child suicide and the deadly consequences of locking up. The the Swedish government repeatedly described the pandemic as “a marathon, not a sprint”, arguing that its actions are designed to last a long time. When South Africa comes out yet another strict lockdown that tracked down countless companies, but again one can not help but wonder how the situation could have been different if the country had followed the same attitude to the pandemic as Sweden. This article was first published on Foundation for Economic Education. – Nadya Swart
Daily deaths in COVID in Sweden reached zero, as other nations are preparing for more shutdowns
Past Jon Miltimore*
Sweden is not so much in the news these days. There is a reason for that.
More than 100,000 people flooded streets in France over the weekend and multiple Covid vaccination centers were vandalized as opposition to the government’s latest pandemic strategy grew. In President Emmanuel Macron’s latest incarnation of locks, government officials have decreed that unvaccinated individuals will no longer be allowed to enter cafes, restaurants, theaters, public transport and more.
Needless to say, people were not happy.
France’s approach is unique, but it is just one of many countries around the world that are introducing new restrictions as fears grow over a new variant of covid-19. Australia’s latest restrictions have been imposed half the country under strict lockdown – although a record 82,000 tests had identified only 111 new cases of coronavirus – while restaurants in Portugal are struggling to survive in the midst of recently imposed restrictions.
One country that does not make much news is Sweden.
Sweden was, of course, slandered in 2020 for refraining from a strict lockdown. The guard called its approach “a disaster”In the making, while CBS News sa Sweden had become “an example of how not to handle covid-19.”
Despite this criticism, Sweden’s laissez-faire attitude to the pandemic continues today. Unlike its European neighbors, Sweden is welcome tourists. Companies and schools are open almost without restrictions. And when it comes to masks, there is not only a mandate in place, Swedish health authorities do not even recommend them.
What is the result of Sweden’s much-ridiculed laissez-faire policy? Data show that the rolling 7-day average for COVID deaths yesterday was zero (see below). As in nada. And it’s been at zero for about a week now.
Already a year ago, it was clear that the hyperbolic claims about “the Swedish catastrophe” were false; just ask Elon Musk (see also: here, here, and here). But a year later, the evidence is overwhelming that Sweden got the pandemic mostly right. Sweden’s total mortality in 2020 was lower than most of Europe and its economy were affected much less. At the same time, Sweden today is freer and healthier than virtually any other country in Europe.
As large parts of the world are still gripped by fear and nations are developing new restrictions to restrict fundamental freedoms, Sweden remains an important and brilliant reminder that there is a better way.
- Jon Miltimore is the Editor-in-Chief of the Foundation for Economic Education.
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