- Norway ‘Could Have Controlled Infection Without Lockdown’: Health Chief
- Norway’s PM Admits She Panicked, Locked Down Country “Out Of Fear”
- Danish PM Lied That Health Agencies Backed Lockdown. Actually They Had Proposed The Swedish Model
- Politicians Steamrolled Danish Health Authorities to Enact Lockdown Against Expert Advice
Actually, their health authorities had proposed more modest measures. Not quite as liberal as the ones proposed in Sweden but more liberal than what the politicians ordered instead.
In Sweden, you had a similar situation in that the political government was more panicky than the health authorities, but in Sweden uniquely the politicians actually did not have the power to override the civil service. This sounds very technocratic but is actually not a recent invention but a legacy tradition.
This allowed the PM to hide behind the state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell and so Sweden became (after UK and Netherlands which initially said they would follow the same strategy also gave in to hysteria) the only Western country which did not lock down its people.
In turn, lockdown fanatics screamed that Sweden would see 40,000 Covid deaths by May rising to 100,000 by June. This was the prediction of the Imperial College model (on the basis of which UK and Trump’s USA locked down) when applied to Sweden.
Instead, Sweden had a marginally better COVID outcome than UK, with a near-identical progression of the outbreak, and just 5,000 COVID-related deaths by summer.
In reality, while Sweden, Norway and Denmark are linguistic relatives, that does not mean they are hugely interconnected. Denmark is on the other side of the Baltic Sea, and most of Norway is separated by a frozen mountain range. The idea the three must be thought of as Siamese triplets and can only be compared to each other is bizarre. The truth is that we simply don’t know precisely why some areas are hit harder and sooner than others; why northern Italy was hit harder than southern Italy (and that’s the same country!) or why eastern EU wasn’t hit until fall. That said the fact Sweden had far more dry tinder explains a lot.
Anyhow, over the summer and fall Sweden’s no lockdown policy became even more vindicated. Where at one point Sweden was number 8 by COVID-related deaths per capita it started to slide down that list as deaths piled up in lockdown-fanatic Latin America over the summer, and in equally pro-lockdown eastern-central Europe in the fall.
Eastern Europeans escaped almost unscathed by the first March-April wave and attributed that to their lockdowns. But the very same lockdowns failed to have an impact when traditional flu season returned in the fall, and they started to climb up the COVID death ladder, causing Sweden to slide down to 23rd. (In reality, the failure of the lockdowns to have any impact in the fall shows they would have escaped the spring wave regardless of what they did.)
Appropriately the Swedish health authorities headed by Anders Tegnell who has steered the ship so far advise to stay the course. Take precautions but continue to live a largely normal life.
However even as Tegnell’s model — which is simply the model every single healthy authority planned for before the March 2020 collective psychosis — has become more vindicated, and is looking more correct and easier to defend than ever, something all too predictable is happening. The political government egged on by the virtue-signaling king is in the process of carrying out a coup against Tegnell’s control of epidemic policy.
Under constant barrage by the international media and the opposition, the PM has started to pass down orders that are starting to amount to a soft lockdown.
Albeit Sweden has done well not to pile unnecessary human-caused cardio, cancer, and poverty deaths on top of virus deaths, there is nonetheless raised mortality and older people are dying and that is a sad thing. This leads to the temptation of virtue signaling and “do something-ism”. It is engrained deep in the human psyche that to achieve results one must sacrifice, and that sacrifice leads to good results. But when the mechanics of this process are messed up that simply isn’t true. Sacrifice will make you feel good but it doesn’t mean it’s actually helping. Performing a ritual with dancing does not bring rain, and human sacrifice does not keep the Sun moving across the sky. Sacrificing the heart and cancer patients and the poor does not bring down COVID deaths. But it does allow bleeding-hearts to tap themselves on the back over how compassionate they are as they make things WORSE than they need to be, and therefore it makes sense for the PM’s personal political calculation and ultimately that is what really matters (you didn’t think they were actually making decisions based on what’s good for mortality, rather than for their own political fortune in the very short term?):
Why the change in tone from the Swedish government during November and December?
If one were cynical, one might think it was due to the fact that the governing Social Democrats received a big boost to their opinion ratings in April and May, in the usual “rally around the flag” fashion seen when a nation faces some type of crisis, but since then they have been polling worse month on month. Maybe they saw their polling numbers, panicked, and hoped that they would get a boost in the polls if they could appear more assertive. Or maybe they’ve just capitulated to international pressure to “get in line”.
That is unfortunate but it does not mean that there will no longer be a single no-lockdown country in the West. Actually, since June the other Scandinavian countries and Switzerland have actually been more liberal than Sweden. Indeed the very fact that Switzerland is handling the 2nd wave which for it has been much deadliner than the first with a lighter touch is a de facto admissionthat they never should have locked down during the first one either.
In reality, lockdowns do nothing COVID-wise because asymptomatic infections do not contribute to driving outbreaks, just as they did not for any other respiratory virus epidemic. (No we do not live in the special times where the first-ever virus in the history of viruses to be driven by asymptomatic spread has evolved. We’re not that special.)