Sweden’s No-lockdown policy! Why, how, and is it working?

Sweden is the only country in the world that despite the coronavirus cases, decided to implement a no-lockdown. What was the reason for it?  How did they do it? Is the policy experiment working?

Sweden and its No-lockdown policy

Sweden is a country where there is a lot of trusts: trust of the people in the government and of the government in its people. Therefore, they opted for the No-lockdown policy in its country. But they took the confidence of its public in it.

The policy was made in a very transparent way. The government encouraged its citizens to follow social distancing rules and also hand hygiene advice. They put the responsibility on them to adhere to the rules for the benefit of all.

Sweden No-lockdown (Source: Financial Times)

The government-backed by a team of scientists believe that coronavirus can be tackled by proper care and responsibility on the part of the public. They want herd immunity to increase gradually so that most of the people get immune to the virus. Some deaths might take place. But these are inevitable. Besides, a lockdown period is unpredictable and has a great negative impact on the country’s economy.

How was the No-lockdown implemented?

The government and the public of the Scandinavian country have a high level of trust in each other. More than 70% of the people support the government’s decision of a No-lockdown. They feel that one cannot take away personal liberties in the name of national security. 

The majority of the people continued to work, shop, and visit bars. The only difference was that instead of barstools there were tables placed there now. Restaurants remained open. Some schools were also open.

Sweden No-lockdown (Source: Business World)

The elderly people over the age of 70 were asked to stay at home and not mingle more with others during no this crisis.

Some people automatically took to working from home if possible. People practiced social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Was the controversial experimental policy successful?

There have been 32809 cases of coronavirus in the country with 3925 deaths until now. The cases and deaths are declining. But there have been 6.25 deaths per million people per day in Sweden. This is more than similar data from its neighboring countries or the world.

Most of the deaths involved elderly people in old age homes and the poor immigrants of that country. The Swedish songwriter and musician, ABBA superstar Björn Ulvaeus had this to say:

“What they said was that they trust in us, the citizens, to do what’s right and they said that this would be the right thing to do and they thought we’d, you know, act accordingly, which most of us did, I think,” 

To begin with it sounded a very civilized way of quarantining, but then we’ve had so many deaths, so I think it’s early days yet. We have to see, I mean, it’s going to take at least half a year or so before we can decide whether our route was a good one or a bad one.”

Sweden No-lockdown (Source: CNBC)

Also, read Why mortality rates from coronavirus infection differ widely in the different countries of the world?

Herd immunity has been less than 10% in a pilot study. But as Björn said time will tell whether they passed or failed!