So far, the emphasis has been twofold; protecting the elderly (and other vulnerable population groups) and flattening the curve through testing and self-isolation. Has it worked?
According to the early May 2020 numbers, the outbreak has been contracted by about 25,000 people, or 0.25% of the population. This is the sixth highest rate in Europe, but Sweden also didn’t shut down their economy to get there. It’s also a lower rate than the US, which, at 1.32 million cases, is 0.4% of the population.The Sweden strategy has been controversial, even within the country itself. But the results seem to be promising. No one is making light of the elevated death toll in comparison to other Nordic countries, but the economy is undeniably stronger as a result.
I was shocked when I heard about their plan, and predicted it would fail, but it seems to find a balance with the economy, public health, and learning to live with a pandemic. We’re all hoping they don’t face a spike in cases in the future, because if they do, there may not be much hope in protecting the economy of any country, post COVID-19.