The only country that didn’t follow the South Korean model of isolation and economic lockdown has been Sweden.
Faced with the same information as other countries, Sweden chose not to play follow the leader—and for that they have been excoriated by just about everyone.
The question: Did the Swedish government make the right choice?
It has been pointed out: the death toll in Sweden has been much higher than for other similar countries such as Norway, Denmark and Finland, who chose to “shelter in place.”
Still, Sweden’s death rate per million is below that of other nations such as Italy, Spain and the UK.
In addition, as critics point out Sweden’s higher death toll than some of its neighbors, they fail to note: those numbers represent a snapshot in time.
Just because Sweden has a higher death toll today (June 2020) does not mean that condition will exist going forward.
It is worth remembering the novel Coronavirus will remain a threat until there is either a vaccine or populations develop herd immunity.
One option is under the control of leaders—the other (vaccine) is not. (Read: Is a Vaccine Our Savior)
What Sweden gained by not blindly following in lockstep with the rest of the world was an economy left largely intact. The Swedish people have not had to put up with the same economic upheaval as their neighbors.
The question becomes—can Sweden’s neighbors maintain their “shelter in place” policies indefinitely? (Read: The Folly of “Shelter in Place” in a Mobile Society)
Inevitably, given the novel Coronavirus shows no signs of going away, every nation on the planet will eventually have to follow Sweden’s lead. There’s simply no way around it. (Read: The Mythology of Summer Heat)
Putting the crippling financial impact aside—the citizens of the neighboring countries simply won’t allow those “shelter in place” policies to remain in place indefinitely.
The Swedish model has gone a long way in dispelling the nightmare narrative that has been presented by global media sources and the WHO (World Health Organization). Contrary to the WHO, Covid-19 is not the death sentence it portrayed it to be.
This alone will drive Sweden’s neighbors to rethink their isolationist positions.
It’s just a matter of human nature.
The “shelter in place” edicts were tolerated by a general population driven by fear—that fear is being quelled by Sweden’s actions.
So why have Swedish officials been roundly attacked for what appears to be a well thought out and balanced approach to Covid-19?
More important: Why has Sweden’s claim of “herd immunity” been rejected?
By not following the advice of the so-called global experts, Sweden’s actions have given a black-eye to the entire epidemiology community, not to mention the politicians and media that blindly followed those experts.
So when Swedish officials laid claim to having created herd immunity with less than 10% of its population contracting Covid-19—those vested in isolation policies leapt to discredit Sweden’s claim.
The question: Can a society gain herd immunity with only 10% of its citizens contracting Covid-19?
The seasonal flu in the U.S. infects less than 15% of the population before disappearing with the coming of the summer months. (Read: The 15% Rule)
It has been assumed it was the heat of the summer months that led to the seasonal flu’s disappearance. This assumption has never been thoroughly tested.
Given states such as Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and other parts of the country never experience what would be considered “summer heat,” let alone countries such as Canada, perhaps the notion of summer heat should be reevaluated. (Read: The Mythology of Summer Heat)
If it is discovered the seasonal flu’s disappearance is actually due to the creation of herd immunity, with less than 15% of the U.S. population infected, 10% doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility, especially given our vigilance regarding Covid-19.
Still, having broken with the so-called experts—and proven them wrong—that’s enough to garner Sweden the ire of just about everyone.
Regardless of Sweden’s claim—presented with the facts—herd immunity is the only way forward for everyone.
What has generated so much negative coverage of Sweden’s approach is their audacity to take an alternative approach—an alternative approach that will likely be proven to have been the right approach all along.