Sweden do-nothing approach good, US/UK/other countries' early do-nothing approach bad. Why?

It’s a staggering degree of arrogance on the part of Tegnell and his supporters, really.

Sweden’s novel “approach” was based on the assumption that there would be heard immunity without regard to the fact that there may be no immunity. Well, okay, I can accept that even good health agencies occasionally make errors in judgment - even significant ones.

But when Sweden’s government doubles down in the face of criticism to the point where they’re not even willing to accept that maybe Asian countries have a point with wearing masks, we’re no longer talking about a mistake; we’re seeing institutional and culturally-ingrained arrogance, and heaps of it.

That’s one point that I’ve been trying to get across to DSeid. Sweden’s “approach” isn’t an approach – at all. Sweden’s response defies most public health conventions, which would be fine if they had the science - and more importantly the results to date - to back themselves up, but they don’t. Their response is nothing more than a bunch of unjustified hunches intertwined with cultural biases and exceptionalism.

They don’t even have very good exceptionalism; nowhere near as good as America’s, for instance.


True, we’re exceptionally exceptional.

Sweden will be changing its strategy after an inquiry into the failure of its current strategy…

Everyone above who said that emulating Sweden was a good idea, how do you feel now?

I feel that if the entire world had done the same, we’d be in a whole hell of a lot better shape than we’re in now.

Well, pear - shaped is a shape alright…


I’m completely satisfied in how we handled it in our little part of the world (NZ) and I’m glad that we decided not to listen to the people who said that we should have “followed Sweden.”

If we had followed Sweden we would have had lost somewhere between 2 and 4 thousand people instead of the 22 that we did.

If we had followed Sweden then our economy would be in a worse position, we would be in the same semi-are-we-open-or-are-we-not stage that Sweden is at in the moment. Instead (apart from the borders) NZ is open. As in everything is open. Shops, barbers, dairies, cafes, no social distancing required.

It the entire world had done the same as us we’d be in a hell of a lot better shape than the rest of the world is in now. We had the hardest lockdown. But it lasted for the shortest period of time and we are now more open than almost anywhere else in the world. To follow Sweden would have been madness for us. A catastrophe.

Yes, I know, you live on an island at the corner of the world that barely got any virus to begin with. Congratulations on your circumstances.

The problem is that its all way too late, the damage that might have been prevented has largely been done, Swedens infection and death rates are falling having just got over the peak. Contact restrictions may reduce harm but frankly those who were most likely to die have already died.

The only real effect will be to improve confidence with neighbour nations in an attempt to improve the economic outlook.

They had four or five months to do the things others were doing, things that were effective, with data to back it up, they didn’t.

…what an utter rubbish statement, that completely ignores both everything that happened, everything we did, and ignores the reality of a pandemic, how it spreads, and what it takes to stop it.

Covid-19 was here. It was spreading.

And if we had done what you just literally suggested here, which was to “do the same” as Sweden, then we would have ended up with a death-toll to match. Our borders would have remained open. Over half of our deaths happened at a single rest home, had we followed Sweden and left our rest-homes unprotected then thousands would have died.

The fact that “we are on an island” wouldn’t have stopped Covid-19 from being as infectious as it was everywhere else in the world. The healthcare system would have been quickly overwhelmed: the modelling showed this. We had barely enough ICU beds, not enough PPE, and just before we went into lockdown we only had enough materials for testing to last us six days.

But we didn’t do the same thing. Even though at the time we had people telling us to do the same thing. You are simply wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. Sweden has twice the death toll as analogous countries nearby, and if those countries had adopted the tactics of Sweden then not only would more people have died, but their economies would be in worse shape and the borders would have to remain closed.

We weren’t “lucky”. We simply did the work.

Do you have anything meaningful to contribute? Opinions - even contrarian ones are fine - but at least make an effort to support them.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m junior modding, but this is annoying.

For those who are touting Sweden’s response, arguing that we should wait a year or two to see whether Sweden’s novel approach succeeded, let’s get it on the record that we’ll never know because Sweden is pretty much deciding itself that its response was a failure.

In other words, proponents and defenders of Sweden’s response have effectively lost the debate.

Are you all aware that you are arguing with someone who thinks that Taiwan and Sweden’s new case curves look similar? Hell, I had to put this chart on a logarithmic scale just to keep Taiwan from looking like a flat line. Once he made that claim, I immediately began ignoring him in all coronavirus threads as it seemed like a waste of time (not to be confused with the Ignore function of any given message board, which I did not do) .

Oh, and I forgot to mention:

Sweden Fucked Up

Its worse than that (He’s dead Jim dead)

Sweden has been actively negligent, having access to the actions and effects of other nations, observing success and failure it has steadfastly stuck to its strategy in the face of evidence, lots and lots of it, and despite plenty of advice it has kept going its own way.

In my view this is rather more than negligent, it has been a dismal failure of public duty by the deciders - it has been wilful, merely an attempt to salvage some credibility by waiting and hoping - looking for something - anything in the data to find anything that might lend one shred of credibility to a policy that had clearly and publicly failed months and months ago - like a gambler chasing losses Swedens ministers and specialists have kept on gambling away the lives of their citizens, wait and see was never a realistic option.

It will be all right in the end or - Keep Calm and Carry On - these are not strategies. These are gross and wilful denial.

This is all pretty much having an immediate effect. Already we, FINALLY, have stricter controls on restaurants (where previously the official advice was “it is hard to keep distance, so try for about an arm’s length”) and my employer, following the actions of several of my friends’ employers. has announced that working from home is to be extended until the end of the year. I work for a subsidiary of an very large multinational. The rest of the group is certainly not doing what we are.

Funny stuff.

This whole evidence thing eludes you, I see.

Perhaps we just haven’t accurately assessed his goals.