Sweden has decided that life in the country will not stop. One of the reasons for this bizarre decision for Europe was to save the economy from damage. The whole world could see what happens if the government decides not to interfere in the operation of society during a pandemic.
On the one hand, it has been adopted. Compared to countries that have closed down entire areas, thousands more have died in Sweden as a result of covid-19. But the economic situation did not improve. “They got virtually nothing at all,” economist Jacob F. Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington told the New York Times. “They did a self-harm, but they didn̵
The results of the Swedish experiment are also relevant outside Scandinavia. In the United States, the virus is spreading alarmingly, and at President Donald Trump’s urging, many states have avoided isolation or preventative measures in the hope of boosting economic recovery and returning to work, businesses and restaurants. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized alone with covid-19, opened pubs and restaurants last week with the same intention of avoiding national isolation in the United States.
But Sweden’s results – more dead and damage to the economy similar to that in neighboring countries – suggest that the prospects of succeeding in saving lives and paying bills were odd. Ignoring the need for insulation costs both life and jobs.
Sweden has one of the highest levels of coronavirus mortality. The country’s best epidemiologist is about to go on vacation https://t.co/Qat9FJgPAP
– Bloomberg (@business) June 28, 2020
The government has prioritized the comfort of the population by avoiding bans. There was nothing from the Swedish government to say about community immunity or degree. The only strategy was social distancing. The Swedes could continue to go to restaurants, gyms, shops, playgrounds and most schools remained open. The surrounding countries in Denmark and Norway have prohibited the gathering of large groups of people, closing shops and restaurants.
More than three months later, Sweden calculated its “count” for the corona virus – 5,420 dead. Compared to 129,000 dead Americans, this number does not sound threatening. However, it differs from per million inhabitants. In Sweden, which has ten million, 40 percent more people died than in the US, twelve times more than in Norway, seven times more than in Finland and six times more than in Denmark. Higher numbers of Swedish death statistics were expected for many weeks. Although the economy has been up and running, Swedish trade and wealth have suffered as well as in neighboring countries.
The Swedish central bank expects the economy to shrink by 4.5 percent this year, although it originally expected a 1.3 percent gain. Unemployment jumped to 9 percent in May from 7.1 percent in March. “The total damage to the economy means that the recovery will be sustained while unemployment remains high,” concluded Oxford Economics in a new research report.
This is more or less the same damage that the pandemic has caused to the Danish economy, where the central bank expects the economy to decline by 4.1 percent and unemployment in May from 4.1 percent in March to 5.6 percent.
There is a silver lining from Sweden’s experiment with Coronavirus.
We now know that the cost of “flock immunity” is too high and it does not prevent an economic crash https://t.co/ZuBjkY3hXz
– Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) June 23, 2020
In short, even the death was not enough to save the dreaded financial losses.
In addition, coronavirus does not tolerate national boundaries. Despite the government’s decision to keep the economy running, Swedish companies are subject to the same conditions that caused the recession everywhere. Concerned about the disease, Swedes began to go to the shops less – not enough to prevent dying, but enough to disrupt business operations.
Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says that the World Health Organization made “a total mistake” when it included Sweden in a list of countries that experienced the corona virus. WHO interpreted the Swedish data incorrectly, Tegnell said. https://t.co/1A5yFSrA5k
– Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) June 26, 2020
Sweden also does not deserve praise for its response to the spread of the disease in nursing homes, which accounts for about half of all deaths registered in the country. A serious failure to provide proper care occurred in 91 facilities, Health Minister Lena Hallengren told me at a news conference on Tuesday and allowed the matter to be further investigated.
There is a potential universal lesson for Sweden: Government measures such as the introduction of quarantine cannot be considered merely the cause of economic damage. The real culprit is the virus itself. From Asia to Europe, America’s risk of a pandemic disrupted companies while forcing people to avoid shopping malls and restaurants, regardless of what the government officially ordered or not.