There will be much discussion about social distancing in the future, and much of that discussion will center on whether or not it has been worth it. One of the ways to better discuss this is to be aware of what Sweden has done. Here’s some key points from this piece Coronavirus: Is Sweden have second thoughts on lockdown? | The Independent:
Sweden, in contrast with most of Europe, has not enforced a lockdown on its citizens. In the balmy Easter weather, people sit and soak in the spring sunshine.
Despite the mounting concerns of experts both at home and abroad, Sweden continues what Anders Tegnell, the country’s chief epidemiologist, has called a “low-scale” approach. He insists this “is much more sustainable” in the long run.
But Sweden’s cases are rising. The country of some 10 million now has more than 10,000 cases and 887 deaths. Its total death toll is higher than that of all the other Nordic countries put together.
The government has said repeatedly that the main cornerstone of their strategy is to protect the elderly. Since the beginning of the crisis, they have been asked to stay home but despite these measures, the virus has spread to one-third of nursing homes in Stockholm, which has resulted in a spike in fatalities.
Prime minister Stefan Lofven recently admitted in an interview with daily Svenska Dagbladet that “Sweden has not succeeded in protecting it’s elderly”. Mr Lofven also warned citizens to prepare for possibly up to “thousands” of deaths.
In the long term Sweden may ultimately have less deaths and suffering because of their hands off approach. Right now, they are doing much worse than other countries practicing social distancing.
It has been very hard for people to social distance but they have because they believe it is worth it. Sweden is now acting as a control in this global experiment and may save many lives globally by showing that social distancing is the way to go. I hope they end the experiment soon.