The New York Times recently published an op-ed by about the effects of Sweden’s refusal to shut down non-essential businesses and ban gatherings of large groups to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Scandanavian country pursued this policy despite international alarm about its risks. Now, over three months later, 5420 people have died in a country of just 10 million people. This rate is  6 – 12 times greater per capita than in the country’s Scandanavian neighbors Denmark, Finland, and Norway.

In the past months, those who have been concerned about the economic impact of shutdowns have pointed to Sweden as a possible alternative. Yet as the NYT has pointed out, Sweden’s economy is no better from not shutting down:

DenmarkSweden
Economic growth (as forecast by the country’s own central bank)-4.1%-4.5%
Change in unemploymentFrom 4.1 to 5.6%From 7.1 to 9%

 

There’s no joy in reporting the failure of Sweden’s policy to not impose restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19. Hopefully, Sweden will learn from this mistake, and those who have been advocating for similar approaches in other countries will likewise realize this is not a viable policy to protect lives or the economy.

Featured image from Pixabay

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE:

  • Share this post with anyone who might still think that Sweden’s approach should be adopted in your area.
  • Remember: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Wishful thinking won’t get us through this pandemic. We must continue using evidence-based measures like physical distancing and mask-wearing until more targeted treatment and prevention measures are developed and proven.

The New York Times recently published an op-ed by about the effects of Sweden’s refusal to shut down non-essential businesses and ban gatherings of large groups to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Scandanavian country pursued this policy despite international alarm about its risks. Now, over three months later, 5420 people have died in a country of just 10 million people. This rate is  6 – 12 times greater per capita than in the country’s Scandanavian neighbors Denmark, Finland, and Norway.

In the past months, those who have been concerned about the economic impact of shutdowns have pointed to Sweden as a possible alternative. Yet as the NYT has pointed out, Sweden’s economy is no better from not shutting down:

DenmarkSweden
Economic growth (as forecast by the country’s own central bank)-4.1%-4.5%
Change in unemploymentFrom 4.1 to 5.6%From 7.1 to 9%

 

There’s no joy in reporting the failure of Sweden’s policy to not impose restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19. Hopefully, Sweden will learn from this mistake, and those who have been advocating for similar approaches in other countries will likewise realize this is not a viable policy to protect lives or the economy.

Featured image from Pixabay

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE:

  • Share this post with anyone who might still think that Sweden’s approach should be adopted in your area.
  • Remember: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Wishful thinking won’t get us through this pandemic. We must continue using evidence-based measures like physical distancing and mask-wearing until more targeted treatment and prevention measures are developed and proven.

BLOG POST AUTHOR

Cindy Beernink, ND, M.Ed. lives and works in Toronto, ON. She is a founding member of the Naturopathic Alliance.