Can we finally admit that the Sweden experiment was a failure?

My error. I thought Finland was a Scandinavian country. I guess I should have said Nordic countries. Ignorance fought. My point is that Sweden has many more cases and deaths per million than the surrounding countries and I was wondering if this showed that their initial approach to the pandemic was less effective.Please note that I did also look at cases per million population in the OP.

As I understand it, the question was whether Sweden would reach herd immunity sooner and the other countries would catch up and even surpass their numbers since there would remain a large reservoir of uninfected persons who could transmit disease and possibly more dangerous variants.

Yep, it was a failure. I do give credit to many of the Swedish people. I think they self-regulated themselves moderately well considering the guidance they were receiving. While they failed pretty hard in comparison to their Nordic neighbors, they could have been far worse if the individual people had thrown all caution to the wind.

This reasoning would work if the recommendations weren’t shit. Tegnell’s recommendations were shit.

AIUI the swedish approach was motivated by freedom, inevitability and herd immunity.

Did you read my post? We weren’t “motivated” by anything, Authorities worked within the confines of the law. I know many who wished we could’ve locked down in the same way the other Nordic countries did. Maybe because we haven’t been to war for over two centuries, whereas Norway, Denmark and Finland were all involved during WWII, and the general feeling here is that nothing bad ever happens, so there’s no reason yo have laws in place, “just in case.”

@DMC. Not knowing who you are or what your perspective is, I cannot comment about Tegnell (Fauci of Sweden). There’s a lot to be said about that, but you seems to be under the impression that it was his doing, as in he, by himself, made the decision. If you know anything about Swedish politics and the culture all types of organizations we have, you know that the decision is never taken by one person, always by a group.

Now, the reason our numbers are so high is very easy. Most of those who died were in assisted housing for the very elderly and infirm. The average time someone is unfortunate enough to spend in one of these places before death is six months, pre-covid. For my dad, it was a couple of weeks.

Many of these are run on a shoestring budget, both private and public. As a cynical friend once commented: “They don’t want to waste money on people who’ll never get another chance to vote.”
Create places that are understaffed, with people without education and with patients in very poor shape and you get these results.

In sum: The high death toll, which is awful and an embarrassment for the authorities and politicians, has nothing to do with the things mentioned by the OP, it’s a total failure of our care for the elderly.

Wow! I didn’t realize Sweden was the only country in the world with assisted living facilities, that’s incredible! We have much to learn from them.

Sure but the thing is, there are many countries that are either federalist or otherwise devolved such that it is hard for a central government to make a coordinated response. What we have seen is a remarkable adaptation in many places; maybe it wasn’t enough, but it was still encouraging to see how much people could change, and how much regulation could be cut / created, when the situation really needed it.
So I’m afraid the existing structure of Swedish government is not a sufficient answer. That being said, I am not saying my analysis is necessarily correct either; the “AIUI” was meant to illustrate that it was just a tentative understanding.

He was the voice of that group and so he gets to be called the idiot. If you’d prefer, I’ll happily call the others at the Folkhälsomyndigheten who agreed with them idiots as well. Perhaps a village of idiots would work?

We’ve brought up his missteps so many times in this forum that I’ll just put this here instead. You can let that speak for me.

Old people and people in nursing homes were the majority of deaths in most countries, including your Nordic neighbors. While Denmark seems like they are trying to give your leadership a run for their money in the death rates, they’ve still got a long way to go. I don’t see how your other neighbors, such as Norway and Finland can even come close to those death counts. Do they not have old people?

Norway had 147 deaths per million, period. Sweden had 159 deaths per million below the age of 70. For apples to apples comparisons, Norway’s dead per million under the age of 70 was 29. Less than 20% of the Swedish number.

If Tegnell had simply worn a mask, and had told others to please wear masks, you’d have far fewer deaths.

So the “real” difference between Norway and Sweden, taking out elderly care, is about 12 deaths/million?

It is astonishing how much of Sweden’s death toll is over 80. 9800 of their 14600 covid deaths.

No, the real difference if you take out everyone over 69 is 130 deaths per million. 159 in Sweden, 29 in Norway. Sweden had over 5 times the death rate in that age group. Their problems weren’t some unique failing to care for the infirm (they did indeed fuck that up, but so did most other countries). The 12 deaths difference is if you take ALL deaths in Norway and compare it to the young and young at heart in Sweden

Well, it can get problematic when you’re comparing a country of half the population. Where are your numbers from?

The numbers given are deaths per million residents, so size of population is being controlled for in that comparison.

Per million is per million. Why would country size matter for that calculation?

They’re available in many places, but let’s just share the official sources for this purpose.
Norway and Sweden.

Yes, but there’s a qualitative difference once the numbers get small comparatively. Comparing Luxembourg to France, for instance, might not useful information.

Want to flesh out this argument a bit more so that we can explain what’s wrong with it? There is nothing problematic about using per capita data to compare countries of 5 and 10 million people.

Comparing 600,000 to 67,000,000 is indeed problematic. 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 much less so.

Are we controlling for other differences such a population density, average age of the population, etc?

Also confusing the issue is that mandates != compliance. In most countries the mandates to wear masks and social distance lagged behind the population’s choice to either wear masks or not, and in most places it appears the mandates actually had little effect because the population was already doing it. It’s very confusing to compare a country with mo mandate but high levels of mask wearing anyway to one that has a mandate with poor compliance.

Also, before using neighbor comparisons to condemn anyone, it would be interesting to see if there are wide disparities like this between other countries that both had mandates. For example, the U.S. and Canada had similar lockdown policies, but our infection and death rates were dramatically different. Is it because Canada’s population is healthier? Or because we don’t have as many gigantic cities? Or is it something else we can’t see?

My opinion is that the predominant attitude in all these debates should be humility. This pandemic has been surprising to everyone on a number of fronts. It’s a complex adaptive system, and it isn’t always clear what the correct approach is at any given time.

For example, it appears to me that now we know it is airborne and not just spread by droplet, our whole approach to mitigation should have changed, but didn’t. All,the money and effort spent on plexiglass shields and wiping down surfaces would likely have been mich better spent on better ventilation and air filtering. Super spreaders might be avoided more by avoiding enclosed spaces with poor ventilation than with general social distancing requirements. But we all get stuck in patterns and practices, and political polarization makes it impossible to have reasonable discussions about alternatives.

It’s made much worse when as soon as the right people decide the ‘truth’ is known, opposing voices are actively censored on the internet. Given how much of the early ‘truth’ about the pandemic turned out to be wrong, this is dangerous.

We aren’t going to know exactly what worked and didn’t work until this pandemic has run its course. We are still in the thick of it, and decisions that look bad today might look prescient tomorrow. That could mean Sweden will look better, or it could confirm that they were wrong.

Ok, but if we can compare Sweden to Denmark and say Sweden “failed”, isn’t even more fair to compare Denmark to Norway and say Denmark failed by similar margins? Is there some dude in Denmark to be blamed for not doing as eell as Norway?

Yes, I agree. When I see three car crashes- one where the driver is a mangled mess, one where the driver broke their arm, and one where the driver is unharmed - my reaction is “sure, car 2 did better than car 1, but instead of saying that car 1 failed, what if we say that car 2 failed when compared to car 3?”

That’s a very interesting view of what has happened. Tell me, how do you account for scientists changing their consensus, if once the “truth” was known opposing voices were censored?

And then you have to eexplain why you chose those 3 car crashes amongst hundreds as your comparison.

If you’re comparing the Scandinavian countries, the first obvious observation is that they each had very different death rates. If we compared 10 similar countries and Sweden stood out that would be a lot more meaningful than what we have under discussion here. Is comparing Scandinavian countries (all 3!) actually useful compared to G7 countries? Europen countries with similar populations?