Skip to comments.Sweden’s Coronavirus success: How nation went OWN WAY to 'lead fight against Covid-19'; There's been a price now but it could be worth paying for the future
Posted on 10/04/2020 8:41:29 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
A CORONAVIRUS vaccine may work but will need years to take effect if it does. Even in this best case scenario, Covid-19 will probably never be truly eradicated.
With these beliefs, it may seem odd to find Anders Tegnell, the architect of Sweden's lockdownfree approach to dealing with the pandemic, so optimistic. Or to see Stockholm in full swing, with open bars, live music and smiling, unmasked faces. That's because state epidemiologist Mr Tegnell believes that so long as people are sensible, normal life can continue.
Health officials say they want to treat the Swedish people as "subjects, not objects" and use clear and sensible advice rather than threats to steer them through.
In fact, Mr Tegnell says, if any country was "following the science" - the phrase favoured by Boris Johnson - sense advice to alert its population.
Long-term lockdowns and facemasks are not the answer, he believes. "I can understand some countries situations were so bad they needed to do something drastic and it was tempting to lockdown," he says.
"We were lucky we did not have to do this. But I think when we discuss what have been the best measures and what have been reasonable measures and what have been measures with more side-effects and measures with positive effects it is far too early to say."
With an increasingly fraught situation in the UK that has seen rebellions in Parliament and scientists arguing, Mr Tegnell says his approach had the full support of his government. "I have not felt under pressure to change course.
We have a nice consensus among many scientists, the population, politicians and other agencies and we believe we are moving in the right direction doing the best we can in a very difficult situation.
"Lockdown can be used appropriately in some places for a short period but most countries agree that this is not appropriate for the long term."
Nor had he succumbed to pressure from other countries or the EU. "No," he says. "This is a national mandate."
Health secretary Matt Hancock suggests that infections needed to be controlled, including by the use of restrictive lockdowns, until the "cavalry" - a vaccine - arrives.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has also said science would eventually "ride to our rescue".
Mr Tegnell says: "We don't know when we will have a vaccine. We do know from experience that viruses are very difficult to control or get rid of, and even with a vaccine we will have Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.
"This will be one more disease we will need to take into account when we work out how best to protect our elderly and so on."
Asked if he believed the disease could ever be eradicated, he says: "This is not possible on a global level. We only ever eradicated smallpox and we have never had eradication of a respiratory virus.
"A vaccine won't change things in the short term. Even if we had a vaccine early next year it would take a year to a year and a half to vaccinate the population. We would need a lot of vaccine all over the world and we are not sure whether we can get an effective vaccine or effective drugs as this is a difficult disease to treat."
On face masks, Sweden has also gone it alone. "Reasons to believe face masks will make a lot of difference is very weak," he says. "We prefer half empty buses than full buses with facemasks."
Social media has been blamed for much of the panic and fake news around the virus, and Mr Tegnell says the digital world may have played a part in the reaction.
"This response may not have happened 20 years ago," he says. "We had Asian and Hong Kong flu and we didn't do the same thing."
Children's education, as well as their mental health, was also at the forefront of decision making.
Unlike many countries, including the UK, Swedish schools remained open through the spring.
"We knew there would be side-effects of closing schools - keeping them open is extremely important for children's health," he says. Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Department of Microbiology at Sweden's public health agency, says voluntary compliance had been key, combined with "continual reports" from local authorities and solid communication.
"We thought it would be easier to be inclusive and treat people as subjects and not objects and felt this would work for a longer time," she says. It was, she believes, important to gauge the impact on any measures on society as a whole and not just on Covid deaths.
"Any measures that we suggested strive to be based in science," she says. "We decided it was important to have a one societal complete health care approach, not just an approach that looked at the consequences of the pandemic as such.
"We also had to think about, for example, children not going to school and the side-effects of a more severe lockdown.
"We had modellers estimating death numbers but we decided it was important to take in all aspects and bring in different discussions and research to make our assessments. It is hard to know where we will end up in a year or two on death rates and all-cause mortality. But we needed to think about the consequences of our actions and the side effects."
Rising numbers of infections have caused fears of a second wave throughout Europe. It is this that led to the UK local lockdowns, the 'rule of six' and threat of a national shutdown.
In Sweden, too, infections are growing but Mr Tegnell says: "We know this is partly due to the increasing number of tests that we are doing. We are happy that very few of these will need to go to healthcare settings and fewer still to ICUs, so for now this is not so much of a worry."
Mr Tegnell was initially a hate figure among many Swedes - particularly after large numbers of care home deaths - but his popularity has risen so much that people now display his face on T-shirts and even tattoos.
There's been a price but it could be worth paying for the future
AS THE virus took hold across Europe, Sweden was almost alone in refusing to implement lockdown, writes Justin Stoneman.
People could go for a drink in a bar with friends, eat in a restaurant, go to the cinema, visit the hairdressers or work out at the gym.
It claimed clear guidance and commonsense advice would be the best course of action.
Local hospital admissions mounted quickly, as did international criticism to Swedens stance. Experts claimed lives were being put at risk with an experimental approach.
Death tolls rose in Sweden and remain far higher than in neighbouring countires. Nearly 6,000 lives have been lost, almost 10 times the number in Denmark.
Care home patients bore the brunt of these losses, representing nearly 50 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in the country.
But life continued far closer to normal than in countries that went for lockdown, and there have been zero coronavirus deaths reported in Sweden on each of the past five days. The UK lost 231 people to Covid-19 in that period.
At the moment, Sweden looks to have best weathered the pandemic storm. Per population it is now reporting the lowest death rate of any European country.
Meaningful assessments of different response plans will only come when longer term data becomes available. But according to an official report, 75,000 people could die in the UK from non-Covid causes as a direct result of lockdown.
Thousands more are predicted to die over the next five years as a result of overlooked cancer diagnoses and the impacts on our health from recession.
This comes on top of other incalculable impacts from the lockdown; the quality of a life is arguably as important as its length.
Swedens approach has certainly not come without a price. But, if it proves to be right, the country could reap the benefits for generations to come.
Out on the street, happiness and relief you cannot begin to mask
Were breaking out! the middle-aged British couple told me as we walked into Arlanda airport, Stockholm, after a short flight from London.
I had asked them if they were working or going on holiday.
They had, like many, become fed up with the clampdown on their freedoms after six months of UK pandemic regulations.
We took off our masks. I smiled at the woman behind the passport control screen and she smiled back. It was a huge relief as I headed for town.
Stockholm was busy. No shop front was boarded up and people in the street mingled a luxury taken from Britons.
It was hard to spot a face mask here in this European outlier where people feel the worst has passed. The feeling amongst locals was that the Swedish approach was right.
Jacob Zschiedrich, 24, a phone shop assistant, said: During February and March I have never seen Stockholm so quiet. We carried on working, but it felt like we were the only ones. I was angry with Anders. We didnt know what to do.
At the start lots of people hated Anders as there were so many deaths. We were expected to carry on as normal. Now we have changed our minds.
Ex-sailor Lars Sundling, 75, on a museum trip, said: We have always been free to do what we like though we keep our distance. At the beginning we looked at Norway and Finland and they had lower deaths and we were worried. Now we feel different.
Taxi driver Thaer el-Ali said: My daughter got married in a restaurant last month and we were 90 people. We were careful to wash our hands.
As a nation we believe we have to live with this like Aids or other viruses. We built emergency hospitals but they were not used and we had to take them down. My children have been to school every day and to sport clubs afterwards.
Life is going back to how it was before.
Eva Von Oelreich, 76, a former Red Cross manager of policy for humanitarian crisis, said: I have felt free the whole time. Anders always said we have to think of this long-term. We do not expect a vaccine we dont have a vaccine for the common cold nor for HIV so this may take a long time.
The message is that we need to cope with this for the long term and not destroy our mental health or our economy. Distance learning is harmful which is why schools stayed open.
We never had catchphrases like stay at home and save lives as the UK did. However we had daily lessons about
the science of the virus and a dedicated internet site.
The UK and Sweden are very similar, our healthcare systems are similar. The attitude that we all have to be good now for each other should have been even stronger among British people. You went through the Second World War. You have such a spirit and a stronger tradition of this than we.
I, like many others, have always had confidence in our direction. We still dont know where it will end up, what the outcome will be.
Another shopkeeper joked that a UK lockdown might be good news. Last time Brits came over here to get out and get their hair cut! he laughed.
Sadly, no other country followed their lead... If they had then the death rate would likely be lower. A half witted CBC news reporter claimed the lock downs worked... Our death rate, like that of every other country was higher during the lock down than it has been since we opened up... How anybody can call that ‘worked’ is beyond comprehension.
The coronavirus and the lockdowns are the biggest hoaxes ever perpetuated on Americans.
Every ten years or so, it is announced that we only have ten years to save ourselves and the earth from destruction.
And then that ten years comes and goes and another ten year prediction is made that comes and goes, ad infinitum. It never ends.
The virus, lockdowns, mask wearing and social distancing are close seconds on the Left's list of hoaxes foisted upon the public.
Smallpox is vastly more contagious than covid the author is a moron. Vaccines work and for the individual it doesn’t take years to work most have a effective window measured in days with some requiring a booster in a few months time. Covid can and will be stopped with a vaccine. There are no fewer than 6 effective vaccines already China and Russia both have vaccinated tens or hundreds of thousands of military, VIPs, and first responders. There are 4 American vaccines that are in phase 3 testing that means they have a proven effective rate of greater than 50% to even be in phase 3. Even at 50% effective rates to end the chain of infection of a virus with a gross R0 of 2’5 which SARS COVID 2 has means a penetration rate of 70% and that also includes those who have had the virus and maintain natural antibodies for what research shows is at least 3 to 5 months it won’t take years to get to a combined recovered plus vaccinated 70% penetration rate it will take a few months at most. Less with mandatory vaccination. Or the carrot n the stick method. Voluntary but private companies have a right to require vaccination for hiring or continued employment the Supreme Court’s already said they have that right half a century ago. Add in the lack of access to air travel as every nation on earth will require proof of vaccination for international travel. Plus no access to mass gathering events again hosted by private industry think concerts and sporting events without proof of vaccination. All perfectly legal and absolutely going to be required by the private industry insurance companies. These facts will force nearly everyone to take the vaccination sorry that’s just how it will be and all perfectly legal. Please please antivaxers raise arms and fight in the streets so we can finally get the party started I have a thousand bucks not more than a few keyboard commands will pick up arms and fight to not take a vaccine it’s just not going to happen. Other than a lot of whining on the internet people will take the vaccination because they won’t really have a choice and that’s the world we live it accept it and do the righe thing to end this bug. Vaccines are not the devil they have cured small , tetanus, polio , yellow fever antivaxers are morons.
It is difficult to equate any other country to Sweden. Swedish people are mostly hard working Lutherans who are very fit. They ride around Stockholm, for example, on clunker bikes with no gears.
They are acclimated to their climate so that they get a lot of vitamin D from the sun.
Here in the US we have many races. With the not so bright sun all of us need extra Vitamin D but we have many races who require a lot of Vitamin D because they are acclimated to places with more sun. Often they are not those educated to the fact that the need the D that they do not get from the sun with extra pigment in their skin.
By the same token, but off subject, those who believe that here in the US we can have a nice little socialism in the US that they have in Sweden, we cannot. We do not have a majority of hard working Lutherans but instead we have a lot folks that want free stuff for nothing.
So we cannot equate the health and economics in this country to that in Sweden. Not everyone here is blonde, hard working and fit.
Ridiculous. This is an RNA virus. Change is its nature.. a vax only gives you immunity to the one or two antigens. You will need a seasonal vax for this. Getting covid will cause your immune system to produce antibodies to multiple antigenic site.
I was hoping to get it while the weather was warm. Which proves another point.. I have been everywhere and still not gotten it. Granted I rarely spend more than moments with others.
Not at Sweden's latitude, they don't.
Sweden didn’t give a damn about getting rid of Dobald Trump.
That is the difference.
the author is a moron. Vaccines work and for the individual it doesnt take years to work most have a effective window measured in days with some requiring a booster in a few months
The ‘moron’ author was referring to the amount of time to vaccinate the entire world population. Never hurts to read the entire article (or use paragraphs) before calling someone a ‘moron’. Otherwise the tables can be turned and you may look like the one who is a ...
Looks to me like starting a business that allows gatherings of people without proof of vaccination could be a good venture.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition of so many that had trouble with covid. The simplest and cheapest thing anyone can do for their health is get some sunlight. Even on a dim winter day it is helpful. Sunlight light triggers D production. Even just your face and eyes being exposed helps.
This advise is rarely dished out by the medical industrial complex because it cuts into their profits. During lock down many people were fooled into staying in their house. They should have been in their back yard or on their porch getting some sun every day.
Liberals in power don’t want states or member states (in the EU) trying something different, because it could prove them wrong.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.