A couple of months ago, a very popular view among the extreme hard right and QAnon conspiracy theory types was that Sweden’s approach to Covid-19, of not locking down as much as other countries, was a success.
When assessing the Swedish approach it is important to recall that the country’s citizens did massively change their behaviours, as you can see in the mobility data from city mapper, below.
This is very important because many stooges used the Swedish approach to suggest that behaviour changes were not necessary. In fact, the Swedish approach was merely not to change the behaviour as much as their neighbours.
Today, we’re beginning to see what that costs in terms of human lives.
As I previously discussed previously, I think Denmark is probably the best comparable to Sweden. While accepting any comparison is imperfect, we can see that Swedish people are now suffering covid-19 fatalities at 4.4x the rate of Denmark on a per capita basis.
Of course, comparing the Swedish approach to Denmark is one thing, but comparing it to something closer to (what would appear to be) best practice coronavirus measures taken in Australia and New Zealand is potentially more eye opening if we are considering whether we should emulate Sweden.
As you can see above, Sweden currently has about 100x the death rate that Australia does.
And as you can see below, we are increasingly “catching up” on Sweden’s mobility levels, according to City Mapper.
The conclusion at this point is near impossible to deny; unless you put a very low value on the lives of our elderly and vulnerable (as well as little value on the suffering of those who do not die), the Swedish approach would be a terrible idea for Australia.
We can also be grateful that our politicians largely followed the precautionary principle and did not allow mitigation strategies to become politicised.
Also, as was clear some time ago, Sweden’s policy was never proven successful; and even its architect now admits that too many have died.
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