Sweden decided to stay open with its own covid19 approach. So far, this approach is not going so well according to the NY Times.
In NJ, the music stopped when Governor Murphy shut down the state and told everyone to stay home. Businesses closed, people filed for unemployment benefits and the long quarantine had begun.
Sweden decided to try another approach of staying open while ensuring the safety of the most vulnerable. Restaurants and gyms stayed open, people went along with their normal lives as the virus and its effects took hold.
Today, NJ has reopened although the governor has slowed our reopening so we do not experience a spike in infections from covid19. The numbers on the other hand in Sweden have ballooned and economically, this has harmed their economy anyway. Those of us from the USA know what it did here.
While this story is clearly not over, the truth is, their approach had many more who were ill or who died from Covid19 infections. Their numbers are actually beginning to drop now after beginning social distancing measures as reported by Bloomberg.
Collectively, the US had slowed the infections but without any national guidance, states such as Arizona and Florida have seen numbers explode since their governors opened early and did not enforce policies such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Since the policies varied from state to state, not having a national policy has states quarantining people who returned or visited from infected states. Governor Murphy in his Sunday address called for a national policy on mask-wearing to combat the pandemic which can help reduce national infections.
Was Sweden right in the end? Economically, no. The high numbers have had a huge effect on their economy, just as shutdowns did here.
In the end, we will not know the final numbers but shutdowns and policies such as masks can reduce infection. When this infection runs its course, who was right statistically? That book is currently being written.
Check out the article in the NY Times
Sweden Has Become the World’s Cautionary Tale
Its decision to carry on in the face of the pandemic has yielded a surge of deaths without sparing its economy from damage — a red flag as the United States and Britain move to lift lockdowns.
By Peter S. Goodman Published July 7, 2020
LONDON — Ever since the coronavirus emerged in Europe, Sweden has captured international attention by conducting an unorthodox, open-air experiment. It has allowed the world to examine what happens in a pandemic when a government allows life to carry on largely unhindered.
This is what has happened: Not only have thousands of more people died than in neighboring countries that imposed lockdowns, but Sweden’s economy has fared little better.
“They literally gained nothing,” said Jacob F. Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “It’s a self-inflicted wound, and they have no economic gains.”
The results of Sweden’s experience are relevant well beyond Scandinavian shores. In the United States, where the virus is spreading at alarming speed, many states have — at President Trump’s urging — avoided lockdowns or lifted them prematurely on the assumption that this would foster economic revival, allowing people to return to workplaces, shops, and restaurants.