Let’s Not Forget Sweden
I don’t know about you, but I am getting increasingly confused by the swirling stories about a resurgence of Covid or its variants.
It is clearly not just me. The financial markets have been bucking like a bronco trying to figure out how serious this is, whether governments will go back to failed lockdown policies, impose mask mandates, what this might mean for current supply chain problems, the leisure and travel industries, and inflation.
Admittedly, I am not a doctor, but I am not sure they know either.
But increasingly, it is not purely a medical question, it is a matter of public policy. The mistake in lockdown was expecting doctors, within the silo of their narrow specialty, to know about all matters of public policy.
The idea you might remember to justify lockdown was first to “bend the curve” (save the hospitals) and then shifted to”it would buy time for the development of a vaccine”. Well, we have the vaccine, and countries like Britain, which is purportedly one the most heavily vaccinated, are experiencing a surge in cases. What’s up with that?
If lockdown was supposed to buy time for a vaccine, can you justify reimposition with the vaccine already in wide distribution?
And, there is the really big question: who gets to decide? Is our representative system of government and our Constitution always supposed to yield to white-frocked experts? What about our individual responsibility for our own health and our human right to weigh risks and benefits in our own lives?
What seems clear though is the vaccine does not seem to have stopped the spread of the virus although it may reduce the severity of the illness and thus hospitalizations. But I don’t recall that was the original sales pitch, do you? Why is this narrative about the vaccines suddenly shifting?
We are told that it is the unvaccinated ones that are now causing the problem. Really? In Britain, between 40-60% of the new cases are among those already vaccinated. Britain ranks very high among those nations with a vaccinated population. About 88% of Britons have had at least one shot and about 69% both shots. Yet at present, Britain is leading the world in new reported cases. It is currently running at about 71% of the pandemic peak
Defenders say that while cases are rising sharply, it is not nearly as severe as in the spring of 2020. If so, then why the talk of mask mandates and lockdown? It is more than talk, as about half of Australia is back in lockdown. Can the People’s Republic of California be that far behind?
And, aren’t we all just a tad surprised the resurgence is this bad in Britain with so many already vaccinated? Is that the story as you remember it?
Absent in most of the discussion is what is going on in Sweden, the one major industrialized country that did not opt for lockdown. Now to be fair, they did reduce the hours certain businesses could operate and did have some minor regulations on crowd size, but for the most part, they did not go into the paroxysm of mass lockdowns like most of Europe and North America. They let their citizens make their own decisions and supplied them with critical information, but did not try to manage the crisis in an authoritarian top-down manner.
The Reuters News Agency keeps some interesting data on the subject that is worth exploring on your own. Compare Sweden to multiple other countries. While you are at it, consider that their population is relatively elderly and that they live in a cold climate, favorable to upper respiratory infections.
As mentioned before, Britain is at about 71% of peak cases, while Sweden is at 6% of peak cases. In fact last week, Sweden announced zero fatalities due to Covid.
It would seem a closer examination of what Sweden did differently than what the rest of the world has done is warranted. Not only did they compare favorably during the first outbreak, but they also seem to be doing much better with the second.
Just as important, they did not suspend civil liberties, force people against their will to be vaccinated, or bankrupt themselves and cause massive unemployment with secondary social side effects.
It would appear there is a big story from Sweden for someone to tell. Don’t hold your breath for the news media in the U.S. to cover the story.
The reason is the press is simply the communications arm of the Democrat Party. About the last thing they want you to know is that a government that did the least, has the best results. That would not help the Democrats pass their $3.6 trillion “response” to the resurgence of Covid.
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.