Sweden was right

The original Swedish contention was not that coronavirus is nowt so buggerit millennium hand and shrimp.

Rather, folks will only buckle down to restrictions for a period of time. An unknown period but shorter the more restrictive they are. Thus hold truly restrictive measures until they’re absolutely needed:

NHS staff deleting Covid app as calls grow for doctors to be exempt from self-isolation
Managers say some staff are privately leaving app off at all times or deleting it because they fear being forced to into quarantine

Sweden was right.

25 thoughts on “Sweden was right”

  1. Essentially, because people on UK politics and media are idiots, they expect the public to be so too.

    The Hoi Polloi have no agency and must be led like sheep to the rotating knives.

  2. The Swedes stuck with the WHO 2019 pandemic response plan. We, and most of the world, panicked and threw the plan out of the window.
    Unsurprisingly the long thought out plan was better than the one made up in a panic.

  3. It also tends to suggest that as NHS staff, who should really be more knowledgeable about Covid than the general public, see fit to delete the app that they see it as not a particularly worrying illness – unlike a large proportion of the public, media and politicians who perceive it as the modern coming of “The Black Death”.

  4. @BaronJackfield: I had the ‘pleasure’ of taking my elderly mum to a hospital appointment yesterday (£1.20 in parking charges, sitting around waiting for a 3 minute chat with a dr that could easily have been a telephone call or letter) and the only thing the staff appeared to be deathly afraid of was salads…

  5. Realistically those of us who have either had covid or been vaccinated have nothing to fear. In practice many people have put so much faith in government exaggeration of the risk to them that they are reluctant to let go of their restrictions. Because to do so would be an admission that they were mugs to believe the government.

  6. “The Swedes stuck with the WHO 2019 pandemic response plan”

    Funny how you never hear Sweden mentioned these days – compared to last year, when it was constantly accused of being irresponsible…

  7. The posties round here abandoned the app about 3~4 months ago – too many false alerts arising when wifey drove past some random dot on the map at 40mph.

    Anyway, there’s an interesting post by Scott Alexander at ACT, https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/lockdown-effectiveness-much-more where he tries to determine if voluntary vs. mandated NPI’s are more effective, and looks at Sweden.

    The fascinating bit is the results arising from players of the CoronaGame.

  8. I think most people would be unaware of going on in Sweden, seeing it as a faraway country of which we know nothing. Abba was a while back and the Volvo association probably passes by most people under 30. Additionally the shadow of the EU means that the individual components are increasingly like provinces rather than independent countries.

    Some theorize that Sweden was used as a control for the coming World Government. So the changes being seen in Sweden (And their restrictions are being ramped up more slowly) are being enacted at a normal pace while everywhere else in the First World (aside from some parts of the US)the people in power turbocharged the Great Reset.

  9. Sounds very Ecksian, Mr Van_Patten.
    I always have trouble in buying into this NWO, Great Reset thing. I start with the premise: all people act in what they perceive as being in their own personal best interests. I’ve rarely seen anything contradicting this. Although one may have to look long & hard at people’s behaviour to untangle it from the noise & false direction.
    The people at the top, capable of great influence, have climbed the greasy pole got them there. By looking after what they perceived as their own personal interests in competition with all the others doing the same thing. The winning trick being to perceive those personal interests accurately. Having got there nearing the end of their careers, their personal interest is staying there as long as possible. They have a lot invested in the status quo.
    It’s here I see the motivation behind the tech billionaires enthusiasm for woke. The progressives are in the ascendant, everywhere. There’s little incentive for them to support conservatism because the right’s not a threat to them. The left could & would take it all away from them. So they placate the Dane. It’s a minimum risk strategy to buy time. Same applies to all the others at the heights. They pay lip service to a lot of stuff because they don’t want those still on the pole below them to get leverage to kick them off. But they have little desire for utopias. They’re already living in theirs.

  10. Of course NHS staff should be exempt, they’re the nomenclatura dammitt, how dare they be held to the rules used to control the plebs.

  11. It’s the way I look at Spud. He didn’t seem to have much aversion to tax avoidance when he was advocating personal service companies for au pairs in Graun financial advice columns. He’s found there’s a market for drivel so he writes drivel for the market. Seems to be making some sort of career at it. Better than being a dozen for a dime small time accountant? What his personal beliefs are, who knows?

  12. I’ll have you know I have 1/15,000th of a Nobel Prize. Does that outbid my 1/1,400,000th of a GC?

  13. That’s a mischaracterisation of what happened in Sweden. What happened was that people had greater choice over what to do. This is not as good as mandatory lockdown for two reasons.

    Firstly, there’s a prisoners’ dilemma aspect. For example, some shopowners see that staying at home would be better even though this prevents them opening their shop. If all similar shops closed everyone benefits, but if one shopowner breaks ranks and opens, they get all the (reduced) business, some of which would have gone to other shops after lockdown. So all shopowners are tempted to open, resulting in poor business for all of them (because many customers stay away) and worse health outcomes for everyone. An official lockdown ensures that all close at the same time, fairly sharing the downturn in business.

    Secondly, many people are employees and would not be paid (and likely lose their jobs) if they didn’t turn up to work. An offical lockdown would (unless the government want to appear quite callous) have some accomanying mechanism to ensure they still get something to live on (e.g. the UK’s furlough scheme) and they cannot be fired for not going to work.

    The idea that you hold back measures until they are needed is totally crazy when faced with an exponentially growing problem such as the pandemic. Earlier interventions make a much bigger difference to outcomes – that’s why countries such as China and Australia have done so much better.

    And the extent to which people are willing to self-sacrifice in the public good is highly variable. If the government approach seems to be led by someone who is “totally fucking hopeless”, people will decide that their efforts are likely to be wasted, so they won’t comply. In the UK, for example, we repeated failed to stop importing cases – by announcing travel restrictions in advance so that people merely rushed to travel, by keeping the border open too long, and by failing to have effective quarantine. If we keep importing more cases, what’s the point in trying to suppress local ones?

  14. Japan is now getting stricter and locking down as the Tokyo Olympics are due to start. I’m sure the powers to be didn’t want to be embarrassed by full stadiums etc so the situation in Japan is being ramped up.
    I’m also fairly confident that it won’t be the same when the Winter Olympics in China roll around next year, suddenly the Chinese and WHO will find everything is ok and push that message. Right now I feel the fact China is hosting the Winter Olympics might be our best chance of restoring some normality

  15. @charles “people had greater choice over what to do. This is not as good as mandatory lockdown”

    It all depends what you mean by “good”, doesn’t it?

  16. Earlier interventions make a much bigger difference to outcomes – that’s why countries such as China and Australia have done so much better.

    Not sure I’d define the Aussies situation as “much better”. Closing their borders early limited their initial exposure in early 2020, but they didn’t use that time in any useful manner such as developing an approach which would limit the exposure of the elderly and infirm based upon a disease which was mainly dangerous to them and less so to the rest of the population. By ignoring reality and treating COVID-19 like the Black Death all they did was set their country up for totalitarian cycles of lockdown and panic.

    Coming up-to-date, Australia’s draconian approach has possibly cut their death toll, but how do you get out of a pandemic if you have isolated yourself and there is no herd immunity, since your population has had only limited exposure to COVID-19 during month-after-month of lockdown? As soon as you open up again you’re going to be flooded with COVID-19 infections unless you wait until the entire country is vaccinated to levels equivalent to herd immunity…and how long is that going to take if you can’t get hold of enough vaccines and there is an unknown amount of vaccine hesitancy in your population?

    In short, Australia’s approach to COVID-19 has resulted in massive costs of lockdown, no local solution for vaccinations, no herd immunity and no end in sight.

    Not sure how that is a win in anyone’s books.

  17. Charles appears to believe the official Chinese position on how well they eliminated Covid. That means, at best, he’s an idiot.

    The rest of his analysis should be read bearing that in mind.

  18. @John Galt – the Australian position is better than ours because they have had far fewer deaths but have experienced less economic cost due to lockdowns as starting earlier means they are more effective and take less time to achieve any given effect.

    Their exit strategy is vaccination. There was an Australian vaccine, but it was dropped after it was found to cause false positives in HIV tests, so they’re using the same vaccines as us. Since they are in a much better position, they do not need to vaccinate as urgently, but will eventually get to the point where no restrictions will be required. Unless something drastically changes, they will get to this point with a lot fewer deaths and at a much lower economic cost. That sounds pretty much like the definition of better for a pandemic.

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