Swedish health officials have refused to follow the rest of Europe in imposing new coronavirus lockdowns on their population, arguing that those plagued by loneliness and the misery of being in isolation have suffered enough.
Although Sweden mirrors other countries on the continent with an increase in coronavirus infections, the government has firmly refused to lock down its population, weighing the misery and untold health effects of isolation against the threat of COVID -19.
“The elderly,” they said, “have suffered enough,” writes Fraser Nelson. “They spent months being advised to avoid public transport, shopping malls and other aspects of daily life. And the result? Solitude. Misery. It’s more than unpleasant: it quickly results in depression, mental health issues and death. “We can’t just think about infection control,” said Lena Hallengren, Swedish Minister of Health, “we also need to think about public health.” One important distinction: focus on Covid to the exclusion of other conditions and you risk lives. “
Hallengren’s 21-page report also revealed a “decline in mental health” that was “likely to worsen as recommendations remain in place,” leading officials to lift lockdown restrictions that were ‘previously applied to over 70s.
After deciding to take a ‘collective immunity’ approach to COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic, Sweden has been strongly condemned for failing to follow the harsh lockdowns imposed by virtually every other major European country.
However, as Newsweek has acknowledged, Sweden’s COVID-19 death rate is lower than that of Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, countries which have all imposed draconian lockdowns.
Unlike the rest of the continent, the Swedish economy is also much better placed to make a faster recovery.
The country’s senior epidemiologist Anders Tengell has also criticized wearing face masks as “very dangerous” because it gives a false sense of security but does not effectively curb the spread of the virus.
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