Sweden’s Covid-19 policy is a model for the right. It’s also a deadly folly

Sweden’s Covid-19 policy is a model for the right. It’s also a deadly folly

ovid-19 is nature’s way of making bad situations worse. From the moment it turned the world upside down, you could have predicted that the Chinese Communist party would have arrested whistleblowers and covered up the threat to humanity. It’s what it does best, after all. You would not have needed mystical powers to divine that Viktor Orbán would have used a pandemic as an excuse to turn Hungary into the European Union’s first dictatorship. Nor did it take a modern Nostradamus to foresee that, if you put men who care nothing for competence, complexity, or the difference between truth and falsehood in power, you will live to regret it. Or in the case of tens of thousands who trusted Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, die needless deaths. No one, however, would have predicted this news item from last week: “Covid-19 deaths in Sweden were the highest in Europe per capita in a rolling seven-day average between 12 and 19 May.” It confirmed that Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell’s “mitigation” strategy of allowing shops, restaurants, gyms, schools and workplaces to remain open was a deadly folly. It does not even seem to have produced herd immunity. Just 7.3% of Stockholm’s inhabitants had developed Covid-19 antibodies by the end of April. All those deaths for so little point. In Sweden of all places. A country where the need to protect society from harm is knitted into the national consensus, and whose supposed moderation produced the spectacularly inoffensive music of Abba ...
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