The Swedish Approach Has Falied to Stop Corona

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( — December 9, 2020) —

When the corona virus pandemic started to spread globally this spring, many countries across the world enforced lockdowns of varying strictness. Sweden chose a different approach and opted to let citizens self-moderate. They were hoping to preserve the economy and cause a state of herd immunity to naturally develop in what their experts claimed would be 6 to 12 months.

The high stakes gamble of the Swedish government that anted up the health and lives of its citizens hasn’t paid off.

The onset of cold autumn weather brought with it a high rate of hospitalizations and deaths. Rates of infections for the last several days have all been around 7,000 per day, and when looking at the number of infected of deceased people per capita – Sweden is not doing well. The rates are more than double than what Germany, the UK and Spain are currently facing. Since the start of the pandemic more than 7,300 people have died from the corona virus in Sweden.

Individual responsibility and voluntary measures have proven to be a unique, but ultimately inefficient method. Now the government is exploring other means to combat the spread of the virus. They are looking to introduce a temporary pandemic law.

Some measures have already been taken: gatherings are limited to eight people, sale of alcohol is prohibited after 10 PM and high school students will attend online classes starting January.

Restrictive measures began replacing the approach of voluntary precautions last month and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven called them “the new normal”. Two weeks ago he pleaded with Swedes to cancel all non essential gatherings and to “just cancel” everything they can. “This Christmas will not be like the ones before,” he said in a recent address.

Now plans for determining vaccine priority are being rolled out. The first three waves of vaccinations will include 560,000 Swedes and be administered over the next six months. Authorities are hoping the new measures and upcoming vaccinations will have a positive effect after their previous herd immunity experiment failed. The only question is – will it be enough?