The Swedes knew better this spring: a lockdown, they were not going to start on that. The result: during the first corona wave, more people died from Covid-19 than in the three neighboring countries combined. And group immunity did not come either. After new outbreaks, Sweden is now considering a different approach with possibly even local lockdowns.
In the Scandinavian ‘guide country’, schools, restaurants, shops and offices remained largely open in April and May. Face masks were not required. Keeping a little distance should be enough. It wasn’t. There were 20 times as many infections as in Norway and the death rate was among the highest in the world.
It seemed that there was some degree of herd immunity at least in Stockholm, yet major outbreaks are again taking place in the Swedish capital and also in nearby Uppsala. That is why the authorities are now considering additional measures. Even local lockdowns are not excluded. According to British newspaper The Telegraph, there will be new policy this week.
But for now it will probably stick to strict advice to avoid public transport and other busy places, such as restaurants and shopping centers. “The new guidelines strike a balance between regulations and recommendations,” says top woman at the Swedish Institute of Public Health, Bitte Brastad, describing the changed view.
We have seen in the Netherlands how well such advice helps. See if the Swedes listen better.