Sweden’s Lost Gamble With Covid-19

By: LILJA NICHOLSON

At the beginning of the pandemic, when other countries were starting to go into lockdown to help combat the spread of Covid-19, Sweden decided to take the opposite route. They kept businesses and schools open and refused to implement a mask mandate, unlike their neighbors in Europe, all in the hopes of reaching “herd immunity” faster. Herd immunity is defined as being “a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity.” according to Wikipedia. Although smart in theory, the issue with Sweden’s plan is that since so many people would have to get sick, a good amount of people would also die.

According to TIME Magazine, “As of Oct. 18, Sweden’s per-capita death rate—58.6 per 100,000 people—was among the highest in the world. And from early September to early October, average daily cases nationwide rose by 173%, with particularly dramatic increases in cities such as Stockholm and Uppsala”. This is not good news, considering Sweden is headed into autumn and winter months when Covid-19 is expected to make a second wave. Sweden is finally seeming to recognize this fact, “Starting Oct. 19, regional health authorities may direct citizens to avoid high-risk areas such as gyms, concerts, public transportation, and shopping centers,” the Telegraph reports. “They may also encourage residents to avoid socializing with elderly or other high-risk individuals.” 

Is this too little too late? Has the damage already been done? What comes next in Sweden’s plan to battle Covid-19? As the rest of the world fights their way through this pandemic, we should all be focusing on getting through this with as little loss of life as possible. Why gamble with something as precious as life, when so many deaths could’ve been avoided by placing more regulations on day to day life. Please wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from others. This is unfortunate, but this is the only way we will be able to hang onto some semblance of our old lives.

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