Despite Variants, No Lockdowns, No Daily COVID Deaths
Since the Covid pandemic broke out, Sweden has been fought over more than any other part of Europe since Germany in the 30 Years War. In refusing to use an iron fist to control a virus, lockdown advocates claimed it was either committing murder or suicide; choose your favorite metaphor. Relatively few such as me, in three separate articles, claimed the Nordic country was sparing both the economy and something called “liberty” with its light-handed approach.
My favorite title (editor chose it): “Media Enraged That More Swedes Aren’t Dying.”
Thus last year we saw such headlines as CNN’s “Deaths Soar In Country That Didn’t Lock Down. Officials Identify Big Reason Why.” Around the same time “Sweden Steadfast In Strategy As Virus Toll Continues Rising,” claimed another source. “Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Drives Up Infection Rate,” screamed the BBC. Everyone was playing pile-on. “Sweden Has The Highest Daily Coronavirus Death Rate In The World – And It’s Getting Worse.” That’s from Yahoo Sports. Sports?
Modelers desperately tried to scare Sweden into locking down. One predicted an incredible median of 96,000 deaths, with a maximum of 183,000. At Sweden’s Lund University an academic used the parameters in the now-infamous Neil Ferguson/Imperial College model to warn that it meant 85,000 deaths for Sweden. An Uppsala University team also found the nation paying a terrible price with 40,000 Covid-19 deaths by May 1, 2020 and almost 100,000 by June.
Total Swedish Covid deaths at this writing: 14,651.
It’s not that Sweden did nothing – but very little.
“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Agency . . . embarked on a de-facto herd immunity approach, allowing community transmission to occur relatively unchecked,” declared a scathing editorial in the leftwing medical journal The Lancet last December.
“No mandatory measures were taken to limit crowds on public transport, in shopping malls, or in other crowded places,” it said.
“Coronavirus testing, contact tracing, source identification, and reporting, as recommended by WHO, were limited and remain inadequate.”
High schools closed temporarily, but grade schools never.
“In our view,” snarled The Lancet, “there is still not sufficient recognition in the national strategy of the importance of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, aerosol transmission, and use of face masks.”
Time to revisit Sweden as much of the world starts locking down and masking again regardless of vaccination levels, blaming the Delta variant. And those impudent Swedes are pretty much refusing to die of Covid at all.
Not to say that vaccines haven’t contributed to the current low numbers, but … cases peaked during the first week of January while vaccinations didn’t even begin until the end of that month. Currently Sweden ranks 18th in Europe in vaccines per capita, right in the middle. Likewise, there are those who say Sweden finally buckled down and imposed serious restrictions. It didn’t. It imposed more restrictions in the second week of January, perhaps more in response to international opprobrium than anything else. But yes, it was after cases not only had started dropping but actually plummeted by more than half.
What’s happening? According to an as-yet unpublished but online study by two Svenske researchers, it appears the country has reached that Holy Grail of Covid called “herd immunity.”