Mask-free Sweden is approaching zero Covid deaths per day while the country’s chief epidemiologist has swatted away fears over the Delta variant’s infectiousness.
In the last two weeks, Sweden has recorded an average of 0.6 Covid deaths per day, this compares with 74 fatalities in the UK and 329 deaths in US per day over the same period.
Although it has the highest per capita death toll of its Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden has kept its economy afloat throughout the pandemic with its reluctance to enforce tough social distancing rules or lockdowns.
At the beginning of July it dropped its last remaining mask mandate – for public transport – while health chiefs in the US and the UK are arguing that face coverings must still to be worn to stop the spread of the rampant Delta (Indian) variant.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday warned the Delta variant was as infectious as chickenpox – but Anders Tegnell, the architect of Sweden’s Covid strategy, cautioned against such sweeping analogies.
The epidemiologist said there is still ‘a lot we do not know’ about the Delta strain and that it was wrong to draw any ‘far-reaching conclusions.’
Speaking to the Aftonbladet newspaper, Tegnell said that the Delta variant was the dominant strain in Sweden and had been circulating for ‘for quite some time.’
He told the paper: ‘It is difficult to say how contagious Delta is, [as] when it comes to chickenpox, we have been able to follow the disease for several years.
‘The infectiousness [of Delta] seems to be very uneven – in some cases, one person infects a hundred people, then we have other occasions when an infected person does not infect anyone at all.’
From the American Institute for Economic Research:
Modelers desperately tried to scare Sweden into locking down. One predicted an incredible median of 96,000 deaths, with a maximum of 183,000. At Sweden’s Lund University an academic used the parameters in the now-infamous Neil Ferguson/Imperial College model to warn that it meant 85,000 deaths for Sweden. An Uppsala University team also found the nation paying a terrible price with 40,000 Covid-19 deaths by May 1, 2020 and almost 100,000 by June.
Total Swedish Covid deaths at this writing: 14,651.
It’s not that Sweden did nothing – but very little. “From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Agency . . . embarked on a de-facto herd immunity approach, allowing community transmission to occur relatively unchecked,” declared a scathing editorial in the leftwing medical journal The Lancet last December. “No mandatory measures were taken to limit crowds on public transport, in shopping malls, or in other crowded places,” it said. “Coronavirus testing, contact tracing, source identification, and reporting, as recommended by WHO, were limited and remain inadequate.” High schools closed temporarily, but grade schools never.
“In our view,” snarled The Lancet, “there is still not sufficient recognition in the national strategy of the importance of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, aerosol transmission, and use of face masks.”
Time to revisit Sweden as much of the world starts locking down and masking again regardless of vaccination levels, blaming the Delta variant. And those impudent Swedes are pretty much refusing to die of Covid at all.
Not to say that vaccines haven’t contributed to the current low numbers, but … cases peaked during the first week of January while vaccinations didn’t even begin until the end of that month. Currently Sweden ranks 18th in Europe in vaccines per capita, right in the middle. Likewise, there are those who say Sweden finally buckled down and imposed serious restrictions. It didn’t. It imposed more restrictions in the second week of January, perhaps more in response to international opprobrium than anything else. But yes, it was after cases not only had started dropping but actually plummeted by more than half.
What’s happening? According to an as-yet unpublished but online study by two Svenske researchers, it appears the country has reached that Holy Grail of Covid called “herd immunity.” That means a level where those already protected are significantly guarding those without exposure. Mind, they say, it’s not all from Covid-19 per se but possibly in great part to “pre-immunity” from other infections. Four coronaviruses are known to cause colds, but the researchers actually don’t even mention that. It’s just that previous exposure to something seems to be providing natural inoculation. And it shouldn’t be as unique to Sweden as Ingrid Bergman.
Mind, the current figures are just a snapshot. Did the country pay an awful price en route to the apparent herd immunity? Well, certainly the Swedish death rate is higher than its Nordic neighbors Norway, Denmark, and Finland. Those are the comparisons you’ll hear. But it’s well below the rates for larger-population European countries including Belgium, Italy, the U.K., Romania, Spain, France, and Portugal. The U.S., too.
Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who caught absolute hell, feels vindicated. “Locking down is saving time,” he said last year. “It’s not solving anything.” In essence the country “front-loaded” its deaths and decreased those deaths later on.
Meanwhile, the Swede haters have also insisted that in exchange for its “butcher’s bill” the country was deriving little or no economic benefit from not shutting down.
“Sweden unlikely to feel economic benefit of no-lockdown approach,” warned the Financial Times in a May 10, 2020 headline. It admitted that so far Sweden has fared better, but select “analysts” cautioned it wouldn’t last.
Wrong. Despite Sweden inevitably feeling undertow from economies that did lock down, “Covid-19 has had a rather limited impact on its economy compared with most other European countries,” according to the Nordetrade.com consulting firm. “Softer preventative restrictions against Covid-19 earlier in the year and a strong recovery in the third quarter contained the GDP contraction,” it said.
Thus the country the media loved to hate is reaping the best of all worlds: Few current cases and deaths, stronger economic growth than the lockdown countries, and its people never experienced the yoke of tyranny.
The mainstream media will continue to ignore Sweden because they didn’t follow the mask & lockdown narrative in 2020.