Sweden’ Terrible Covid Performance. By David Evans. I know some people love to wax lyrical about how brilliant Sweden’s covid performance has been, but the facts say otherwise. The data is in.
What is admirable about Sweden’s approach is that it has been based more on voluntary behavior. Treating people like adults, the Swedish authorities informed people of the dangers and let them choose their own behavior. Bravo!
However, as the pandemic dragged on and Sweden’s toll mounted alarmingly, the Swedish authorities made more and more measures mandatory. Not a lot of difference with anywhere else, any more.
Between the mandatory measures and the sensible voluntary measures that most Swedes took (but not all — here’s looking at the recent arrivals from the Middle East), the Swedish GDP drop and mobility data indicates that the hit of the pandemic to the economy is pretty typical of its neighbors and other European countries.
There is some terrible nonsense being talked about Sweden. Remember how we kept getting told the Swedes were approaching herd immunity a year ago? Leading the way in showing how to deal with the covid? We pointed it out at the time, but it’s now completely safe to say in retrospect: that was BS.
Where Sweden gets a big head start is in social isolation. Most Swedes live alone, and spread in households is the way most people catch covid. The Swedes have easily the highest rate of living alone in the world, so have a natural head-start in pandemics.
Sweden’s covid performance is one of the worst in the world.
- In total cases per 1 million population, Sweden is coming fourth worst in the world (ignoring tiny countries, with population less than 5 million): Czechia 141,000, USA 93,000, Portugal 80,000 then Sweden 76,000.
- Deaths per 1 million population, Sweden is coming fifteenth worst in the world (of the non-tiny countries).
Recall also that Sweden in the first wave simply gave anyone over 80 morphine and told them to go home, and didn’t count their deaths as covid related. Scandalous.
Since covid mainly kills the very old and obese, the figures on how deadly covid has been largely track the number of very old and obese people in a country, for a given rate of infection. Thus, western countries with health systems that keep people alive in old age and obesity, but left their borders open to continual infection, have the worst fatality figures.