Day 12 — Sweden’s Strategy
Rather than going for a lockdown like many other countries, Sweden opted to take a personal responsibility focused approach, letting the citizens voluntarily socially distance. This interesting strategy was relatively unique to Sweden, but hasn’t seen a huge amount of success, placing Sweden ninth highest in deaths per million (interestingly three places behind the UK, which did impose a strong lockdown). To make this worse, Sweden has been experiencing a sharp drop in cases in recent times, but had experienced enormous numbers in May, June and July, with a 40,000 per million death 7 day rolling average at some stages. This has followed the trend of curbing across the world recently, although actually much faster than the UK, likely accounting for the death discrepancy. Sweden’s economy has fared better throughout the pandemic, but this has to be counterbalanced with the five thousand dead. An important final fact is that Sweden has a much smaller and more widely spread out population than other countries it is often compared to, with much more people living in rural areas and so being less likely to spread the virus. Ultimately, it seems like the strategy hasn’t worked particularly well in Sweden and would probably have been a bad idea to implement in other countries, but only time will tell.