April 7, 2020
Greta Thunberg once told people that she wanted everyone to panic because of the weather.
Now everyone’s panicking because of the flu.
She should seriously consider rebranding herself as a coronavirus doomsday cultist because her words have never been more timely. It would be easy; she’d just need to blame climate change for the coronavirus pandemic.
Sweden’s prime minister has told his country to prepare for thousands of deaths as the country faces a backlash over its light-touch response to the coronavirus crisis.
Stefan Löfven admitted that ‘we will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care’, but played down the distinctiveness of Sweden’s approach.
Swedes have been advised to practise social distancing, but schools, bars and restaurants remain open – to the amazement of neighbouring countries which are enforcing strict lockdowns.
Thousands of doctors and academics including the head of the Nobel foundation have signed a petition urging tougher action, while one scientist accused Sweden of playing ‘Russian roulette with the Swedish population’ as cases gradually rise.
Sweden’s chill approach to the flu hysteria is a dangerous thing for the rest of the world.
If Sweden continues with its current strategy and the final death toll is similar or lower than the death toll of countries that went full lockdown, people are going to start asking why the economy had to be destroyed if the result was going to be the same either way.
The success of Sweden’s strategy would mean that Swedes will have a functioning economy, while the success of the lockdown strategy just means that people will die in riots later once the total collapse of the economy is clear.
The scepticism of Sweden comes amid promising signs that the lockdowns are working for its European neighbours such as Spain, Italy and Germany.
Germany’s 3,677 new cases today are the smallest jump since March 22, while growth in new cases in Spain and Italy has fallen to its slowest since the crisis began.
Rather than ordering a lockdown, Sweden has told its citizens to ‘each take responsibility’ for slowing the spread.
Gatherings of up to 500 people initially remained permissible, although this has since been hacked down to 50.
Only the most vulnerable citizens have been encouraged to self-isolate at home, while visits to nursing homes have been banned.
Restaurants, bars and primary schools remain open, and the streets of Stockholm are quieter than usual but far from a ghost town.
‘Everyone is responsible for their own well-being, for their neighbours and their own local community,’ said foreign minister Ann Linde.
‘This applies in a normal situation, and it applies in a crisis situation,’ Linde said, stressing that public trust was a key element of Sweden’s strategy.
That’s probably the most common sense response to the coronavirus hysteria so far.
The government-backed Public Health Agency of Sweden contends that Swedes have enough common sense to practice social distancing of their own volition, adding that such restrictions should be light enough to be maintained for several months.
However, the tone has shifted as cases begin to mount. Sweden’s death toll is now at 401, with 6,830 confirmed infections.
In the last week, the infection tally increased by an average of 447 per day, compared to an average 256 the previous week.
The figures are likely much higher in reality, as only patients admitted to hospital and health care personnel are being tested for the virus.
Oh, no! 401 people died of the flu!
If that’s not enough reason to completely and utterly obliterate the economy of the entire country, then what is?
On Wednesday, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell at the country’s Public Health Agency said that while Sweden had observed a relatively flat curve for several weeks, it was now seeing ‘a fairly steep curve’.
Healthcare services have reported shortages in equipment, but they have so far not been overrun like in Italy and Spain.However, Stockholm plans to open its first field hospital this weekend amid a sharp rise in cases in the capital.
Last week, the head of the Nobel foundation Carl-Henrik Heldin was among well over 2,000 physicians and academics who penned an open letter urging Sweden to shape up.
Some even demanded Stockholm, the capital, be locked down after some 50 senior citizens perished in care homes from the virus.
But public health officials have expressed scepticism about the viability of lengthy lockdowns.
PM Löfven has warned that although the pandemic’s hold on Sweden was slower than in Italy and Spain, it did not necessarily mean fewer deaths.
Once this is all over and people realize that the world committed economical seppuku because of the flu, all of these experts should be held accountable for encouraging it.
These people wanted you to panic.