Sweden Has Covid-19 Beat, Leaving Everyone Who Locked Down With Egg on Their Face

Minus the 75% who died in nursing homes it had a paltry 90 deaths per million

“Polls show that more than 50 per cent think they have had coronavirus or that they will get it”

The culture of social distancing does strange things to us. A few weeks ago I got an invitation to an offline work dinner, and I can’t remember the last time I had such a sudden rush of joy. Even if life in Sweden over the past two months have been surprisingly normal, the truth is that we all have hunkered down a bit. Many of us have worked from home. The first two weeks, I admit, felt as life in remission – like a sudden gift of time. But then we all sunk into the apathy of having our life on hold. It felt pointless to plan for the future. A reunion with the colleagues became a distant wish. Meeting a work contact for lunch? Surely that’s only something for the privileged few. So getting that invite to a work dinner felt like I had secretly been given the password to attend a Roman bacchanal.

The Swedish economy has finally started to un-Zoom itself. Bicycling lanes in Stockholm now feature the morning pelotons of commuters again. Carmakers like Volvo have opened up their factories and white-collar workers are gradually returning to their offices. Most workplaces have developed their own routines and protocols for Covid-19 safety – and, frankly, most of it is common sense: make it easy for staff to keep good hygiene and avoid having many people showing up at the same place at the same time.

So there’s no hot desking. Those who cannot bike to work are allowed to come in or leave early so they can avoid crowded buses and tubes. Lunch boxes are delivered by restaurants to the workplace. Meeting rooms and common spaces are closed or furnitured around protective acrylic glass. Colleagues that have had coronavirus get additional responsibilities. At the Stockholm accountancy I use, one of the bosses who got infected in early March now manages the afternoon cake trolley. They call him ‘Mr. Antibody’ because he doesn’t relish the corporate fitness programme as much as the cakes he serve.

It’s common sense attitudes like these that have made foreign observers to take a second look at the ‘Swedish experiment’. We’re no longer just the bad boy of corona – the jumped-up little country that refused to accept lockdown. Yes, we have observed social distancing, but inpiduals and firms have been allowed to figure out on their own how to practically organize things without having to shut everything down. So the real Swedish experiment has been about ‘behavioural change’: getting inpiduals to voluntary change their behaviour to avoid getting infected or spreading the virus to others. And it has worked.

All this means quite a lot now. Swedes have had ten weeks of training themselves in how to live together with the virus. ‘Sweden represents a future model if we want to return to a society that we do not have to close’, says the WHO’s Mike Ryan. Most people in Sweden aren’t generally afraid of meeting other people or being in environments where the virus could spread: they manage the risks by keeping a social distance. Polls show that more than 50 per cent think they have had coronavirus or that they will get it; only 15 per cent think it’s improbable. Perhaps it is this attitude that have prompted so many around the world to think of us as reckless and foolish: we have, in our normalcy, become an ethnographic study object. But all the training we’ve had in sharing the society with coronavirus has taught us that it isn’t dangerous to leave your home or send your kids to school. People don’t have to fearful of living their life in a pretty normal way. Remarkably, seven out of ten Swedes think the future actually looks bright.

Trusting people that they’ll take advice and change their behaviour have also had the desired result. Mobility declined, but not to a level that crushed the economy. The epidemic modelling did not factor in that people would react to a request.

Swedish Covid-19 trends are pointing in the right direction. Fewer ICU beds are now occupied, especially in Stockholm where the number of patients in intensive care has dropped by almost 40 per cent since the peak. The daily intake of new intensive care patients is now in the low double digits. The daily death toll flatlined in the second half of April and, mercifully, has since been on a declining trend. And then we have the reproduction rate of the virus – the famous R number that now seems to command much of the British exit strategy. We’ve been warned by Neil Ferguson and others that Sweden’s R number is still in the region of 1.3-1.4 – meaning that the virus still spreads exponentially. However, the Swedish Public Health Agency gives a very different estimate: the R has been below 1 since mid-April or so, and now stands at about 0.85.

Excess mortality is still the bugbear for foreign observers who want to learn from Sweden. It’s also an issue for Swedes. Even if the time for comparing and making judgements about coronavirus mortality is a few years into the future, it is obvious that Sweden has a big scandal on its hands: it has failed to protect nursing homes against the virus. More than 50 per cent of all nursing homes in Stockholm have had infected residents. For the country as a whole, almost 75 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths were residents at nursing homes or elderly with home care. Something has gone badly wrong.

What’s going on here? Obviously, the Public Health Agency – along with other agencies – failed to understand the risk that staff could spread the virus in care homes. For a long time, nursing home and home care staff had no access to personal protective equipment (PPE), and once they got advanced equipment, few had been trained in how to use them. Swedish nursing homes also have many residents, and they come there at a very late point in life – so when a virus gets into the nursing home, it can infect many ‘elderly-elderly’ who are frail and have a poor immune system. Add to that failures of centralized medical procurement, for instance, or government complacency in building up capacity to test care workers. It’s no consolation that we share all these problems with other countries. It took us weeks and weeks to fix all these problems, and some of them still haven’t been adequately resolved.

Boris Johnson doesn’t need a warning from Sweden about the risks of care-home deaths: Britain’s experience is actually worse. But he can learn from the Swedish example that people will respond to advice about social distance and change their behaviour. Boosting testing capacity is necessary, as is keeping track of the reproduction rate. But at some point Britain needs to take the plunge and encourage people to go about their lives. It’s understandable that many Brits don’t want to end the lockdown and expose themselves to greater risks of getting infected. There is so much that we don’t know about the virus. But confinement is not a good way to manage uncertainty. Just as people with opposing ideas can become political creeps when safe-space culture protects us from them, the world out there gets scary when we shelter in our homes for months.

Source: The Spectator

  1. jeff says

    Well now we know who the sanest and smartest people on this planet are.

  2. douglas gray says

    Any sensible rational person, if they filter out rest home deaths, other elderly people, and those with compromised immune function from pre-exising conditions, will conclude that forced lockdown and social distancing among the general population was a drastic mistake which did more harm than good. If a person has heart disease, diabetes, and weak lungs tho en they get COVID 19 and die, it is not correct to say that they “died from COVID19”; rather that it played a part in their death. In China the men mostly smoke, and many live in cities where the air is very polluted much of the time, so of course it will be more serious for them. Nothing against social distancing but let it be voluntary

  3. Turbo Prop says

    Since those in the nursing homes were given this yrs Flu Shot and probably some from previous years, this explains why the latent viruses were probably activated by this Covid. As Dr. Judy Mikowits has stated. And the ones who died outside of the nursing homes probably took those shots as well. This was made to activate the Cytokines all over the body.

  4. alex f. says

    Propaganda PICE OF CRAP for narrow minded MORONS!

  5. hoyeru says

    is anti-empire deliberately spreading fake news? Are you fukken kidding me, anti-empire? Sweden’s death rates have been among the worst!

    Time to stop coming here and wasting my time.


    1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

      One less brainwashed moron…. See ya, dumb ass.

    2. Undecider says

      Part of the point is they didn’t bother to wreck their economy and lifestyle. The deaths wouldn’t have been much different had they turned their country into a prison. The point being, what’s the benefit of a lockdown? The answer: None

      1. itchyvet says

        FACT, their economy is still in the state,(but a little worse) than it was before the virus. Other nations are using the epidemic to cover their mismanagement of their own economies, which were going downhill for the last ten years or more and speeding up more, every year.

    3. itchyvet says

      So Sweden ‘THINKS” they’ve got it right ? Why haven’t they included Australia’s fatalities and/or cases ? Our numbers are nothing like Sweden’s, admittedly we locked down tight as a fish’s bum, and that’s TIGHT. In my state we have removed nearly all restrictions with the exception of STATE and International borders. The majority of our infected came from international travelers bringing in the virus.
      To say that anyone has done it right, is IMHO way out there, it’s not over until the Fat lady sings and the data is all collected. That will take a few years. THEN, and only THEN, will we be able to crow about our success or failure of our responses.

    4. jeff says

      Sure thing asshole. Get lost

  6. Charles Homer says

    Here is an article that looks at how new technology is being used to ensure that physical and social distancing is taking place during the pandemic:


    Big Brother is alive and well and living in America.

    1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

      Americans are conformist cowards.

  7. Maxwell says

    I’d like to discuss the piece of this sordid puzzle regarding the elderly who reside in nursing homes/care centers/LTCF’s- this too like all else Covid is a complete lie. To tell half-truths to purposefully de-contextualize a situation of this magnitude is to knowingly manipulate the facts- it is to lie.

    Based on watching interviews and reading reports there seems to be a consistent pattern of how the situation with those in care centers has been handled in Madrid, London, Milan, Brussels, Stockholm and NYC.

    How it works in the best of times is that when one is placed into an LTCF it does not mean that that person stays in that facility all the time. What it does mean is that that person is most always in a situation where their health has deteriorated significantly, there are complex health problems where constant care is required. So where is that person, in normal times, when they are not directly in that care facility? In the hospital.

    Many of these individuals, most of them, shuttle back and forth from care facility to hospital. They go from the care facility to the hospital when they have a dramatic downturn in their health and life-saving medical treatment is required. Once at the hospital they are stabilized in a matter of 3-7 days on average and then sent back to the care center. Most of these individuals yo-yo back and forth between care facility and hospital until they die.

    It’s important to understand, that while it varies some from country to country and from care center to care center, on average once one enters a care facility that person will be deceased in 6-12 months. Here is a report from 2010 which speaks to this:



    Once the patient is stabilized in the hospital they go back to the care center. If they were not to be stabilized the patient would descend very rapidly and be dead within a week, two weeks at most. Again keep in mind we are talking about individuals who are already in severe health crisis with very complex health issues.

    What is happening now with the care center to hospital rotational is very different which has created the conditions for a “bulk” rate of deceased elderly. It has little to do with Covid per se and once again points to a social problem not a viral problem.

    The changes are such that now we are seeing that once an individual is sent to the hospital for whatever cause they may have (“Covid” or otherwise) and then stabilized they go back to the nursing home as before. They are not only being dismissed prematurely in many cases (due to fear of overcrowding which never happened) but are also being sent back to care facilities that do not have the medical capabilities to care for these people.

    Once this happens, not being sent back to the hospital for stabilization, it is essentially a death sentence. This occurs even if they are not tested for or suspected of having Covid. This also means that they can infect others individuals in the care center- with whatever infection they may have-workers included. A climate of neglect and fear prevails.

    Compounding all of this is the fact that with the fear and hysteria workers are withdrawing from care centers, calling in sick, skipping shifts etc.- a perfect storm.



    And through all of this let’s keep in mind that those that these nursing home deaths (deaths caused as much by neglect and abandonment represented about 50% of the “Covid deaths” in Europe- even though it was admitted that many were never tested.

    And let’s also keep in mind that these pumped up numbers of “Covid deaths”, of those that government officials neglected, were used to justify all manner of draconian measures by those same governments. It’s a sick and twisted game being played here.

    1. Saji Hameed says

      Thanks for these insights. In addition, the hospitalized sick from care centers may also be taking back superbugs (anti-biotic resistant bacteria) with them to the care center. This factor may also add to the vicious cycle of infections and deaths in the care centers. It is a well-known fact that superbugs are on the rise and an emerging problem in the mentioned countries.

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