The ‘Soft’ Lockdown in Sweden
Sweden has been attacked for its ”soft” lockdown which is in sharp contrast to the policies in the other Nordic, in many European countries and the USA. But there are serious concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of hard lockdown policies. The collateral damages of complete lockdowns are producing devastating effects on short and long term public health. Health economic modeling studies have estimated, translated into quality adjusted life years, that the costs of lockdowns outweighed the benefits by far.
Sweden’s soft lockdown is based on evidence-based clinical and epidemiological data. The architect is professor Johan Giesecke, former chief scientist of the ECDC (European Center for Disease Control). The main theme is that it is everyone’s personal responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The population is encouraged, but not forced, to keep distance indoors and outdoors and working from home is encouraged. There was and is no compulsory mask wearing. Secondary schools as well as universities were closed, kindergarten and primary schools up to age 15 were open. Restaurant owners had to separate tables for social distancing. Gatherings of more than 50 peoples were forbidden. Care homes and hospitals caring for the elderly were closed for visitors. One should stay at home when feeling unwell in particular with common cold symptoms. Hygienic measures like washing hands etc were encouraged.
Despite all these measures the immediate collateral damages were huge even in Sweden. The soft lockdown had destroyed or severely impaired several branches like food catering, indoor restaurants, dentists, hairdressers, hotels, travel agencies, airline traffic and other part of the travel industry. These short term effects have partly been alleviated by the tax payers through economic “stimulation programs”. However the long term effects can not be observed yet. But from a public health perspective these collateral damages have to be considered and not only the effects of COVID-19. Therefore the Swedish policy is worth to examine.
The main criticism of the Swedish soft lockdown policy was the high mo
Article from LewRockwell