Sweden may be on to something. Bloomberg reports:
Sweden’s unusual approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic is starting to yield results, according to the country’s top epidemiologist.
Anders Tegnell, the architect behind Sweden’s relatively relaxed response to Covid-19, told local media the latest figures on infection rates and fatalities indicate the situation is starting to stabilize.
“We’re on a sort of plateau,” Tegnell told Swedish news agency TT.
If Tegnell’s characterization turns out to be true, it will be quite a vindication for Sweden, which has been widely denounced for bucking the trend among governments of imposing draconian “shelter-at-home” decrees that have crippled the world economy and thrown millions out of work.
While fear of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the citizens of many countries around the world to be extremely trusting of their governments’ information, predictions, advice, and edicts, the Swedish government flipped the script by placing its trust in its citizens. As the Bloomberg report puts it (emphasis added):
Sweden has left its schools, gyms, cafes, bars and restaurants open throughout the spread of the pandemic. Instead, the government has urged citizens to act responsibly and follow social distancing guidelines.
The Swedish people have lived up to that trust, and have appreciated it:
Yet overall, Lofven’s strategy has won the approval of Swedes, and his personal popularity has soared.
“I have very high confidence in the Swedish authorities that manage this,” Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a phone interview. “It’s a hard balance to strike, but I have full confidence in the measures that Sweden has taken.”
Volvo, which was forced to halt production across Europe and furlough about 20,000 Swedish employees, will resume production at its Swedish plants on Monday.
“Our measures are all based on individuals taking responsibility, and that is also an important part of the Swedish model,” Samuelsson said.
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