Sweden is a country known for offering liberty and freedom to its citizens. It is a country that prefers pragmatism over everything. The way the country dealt or is dealing with COVID-19 is remarkable and has been cited as an example by many. A country of just 10.3 million people, Sweden is following a mask-free herd immunity approach followed by a mild-lockdown strategy that is apparently working. This strategy of Sweden helped the country avoid bankrupting its economy. The approach of Sweden has proved that any country can deal with the virus without shutting down the country, affecting the economy, and threatening the livelihoods of its citizens.
Sweden is indeed a case study for many countries, how the country has transformed itself to be ranked 7th in OCED’s social spending table, which is more than that of Germany’s.
What lessons we can learn from the country is that instead of a blanket lockdown approach, the country in phase one of the diseases had focused on creating awareness and banned public gatherings. The fatality rate of Sweden was around 60 per 100,000, which is far higher than other countries in its region who preferred the blanket lockdown approach. Sweden’s economy did suffer because an increasing number of cases are translated as bad news for the economy. But this herd immunity approach of Sweden has enabled the country to prevent a second wave.
In phase two of the strategy, Sweden is focusing more on testing as many people as possible and tracing the contacts of infected individuals to contain the cases. This approach of Sweden is similar to what Germany is following. Sweden has done all this without putting people’s liberty at risk or asking them to stay at home until the virus dies down on its own.
This is their successful strategy against COVID-19 that is working really well. It is not the policy of giving people autonomy but considering the pros and cons of each situation. Even if one person in a family tests positive, the entire household must self-isolate and quarantine themselves but children are exempt from it because disrupting their education would have negative consequences. The self-isolation period in Sweden is around 7 days as the risk of infecting other people reduces considerably in the second week.
Swedish people follow rules and advisory issued by the government. However, experts have criticized one approach of Sweden that is making its society mask free. This increases the risk of another wave, which so far Sweden has managed to avoid.