‘Life Has to Go On’: How Sweden Has Faced the Virus Without a Lockdown

Picnickers in Stockholm – Sweden has not restricted park use, and bars and restaurants have remained open.
Andres Kudacki for The New York Times

Date Published: April 28, 2020

Source: The New York Times

While nearly every country in the world has enforced some sort of temporary lockdown measures, Sweden has been an anomaly, simply trusting its citizens to practice social distancing, without orders. This trust-based system appears to have been just as effective in controlling COVID-19 spread as most nations with strict lockdown protocols, with Sweden’s death rate being 22 per 100,000 people, the same as that of Ireland and far better than Britain or France. The absence of mandatory lockdown means that restaurants, bars, and parks remain open. The article highlights 82-year-old Ms. Birgit Lilja in a bustling neighbourhood in Stockholm, out of her home enjoying one of the first, sunny spring days, observing younger Swedes out and about. Sweden has managed to keep its borders open, leave preschools and grade schools in session, and keep non-essential services such as restaurants, bars, hair salons, and gyms open. The only regulations in place are on gatherings of more than 50 people, closures of museums, cancellations of sporting events, and recent bans on visits to nursing homes. Even these restrictions are fairly loose, with almost no fines and the police simply requesting citizens to comply. Intensive care units in Sweden are filled below capacity. However, seniors have been hit just as hard as those of other countries, with the virus spreading through 75% of its 101 senior care homes in Stockholm. 

Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus-herd-immunity.html

Summary by: Hira Raheel