Hello, this is Wilhelm. In this blog I am going to describe an awful act of bravery that is being taken by Sweden. It is the only major economy refusing to surrender to lockdown extremism. Whilst western Europe is traumatised by the first wave of coronavirus infections in Italy and has lost its good sense, the British government has fallen to pressure from the mainstream media, locking down everything and everybody – even after initially deciding it would not. Leading the Swedish resistance to unscientific groupthink are two of the country’s scientists. 

First is the brilliant State Epidemiologist Dr Johan Giesecke, who is facing strong attacks from around the world. Watch his interview with Unherd to see how impressive he is. He says the UK’s first policy of avoiding a full lockdown was better to the approach they have since taken.

The other is State Epidemiologist Dr Anders Tegnell who recently reported that “we’re already seeing the effect of herd immunity and in a few weeks’ time we’ll see even more of the effects of that.”

People are looking for flaws in the Swedish plan, which still advises caution, protects the most vulnerable and has closed high schools and colleges. But Sweden has kept most things open and is trusting the people to act using their own judgement. So refreshing and different from scientists and politicians making unprecedented statements about a virus that didn’t even exist six months ago and is not yet properly understood. Locking down may flatten the curve, it may not, it may just delay the next wave but certainly cause untold damage to the economy and to the public’s mental health in the meantime. Even if Britain and other countries choose not to follow Sweden’s lead, let them get on with it and show the right way.

To the mainstream media and experts there is only one way to do things, and dissent is not allowed. Some are claiming Sweden’s way is leading to more cases and more fatalities than in nearby countries such as Norway. But the number of cases is expected, and will ultimately lead to faster herd immunity. And the death rate exists, as Tegnell admits, because the coronavirus has made it into care-homes, which is what is causing the lots of the UK’s death count as well. If we are comparing countries then what about Switzerland, a locked-down country of a similar size that has a death rate nearly double Sweden’s. The critics will cherry pick, they will be nay sayers, and when they are proven wrong they will simply deny reality. 

Even if the Swedish strategy is not effective against the virus, it is right and it is brave to try. Frederik Erixon in the Spectator writes: “Our approach to fighting the pandemic starts from something more fundamental: in a liberal democracy you have to convince and not command people into action. If you lose that principle, you will lose your soul.”

“The theory of lockdown, after all, is pretty niche, deeply illiberal — and, until now, untested. It’s not Sweden that’s conducting a mass experiment. It’s everyone else.”

The other day Boris Johnson mapped a path out of lockdown, even if he extended it a little bit longer. It is important that he looks to Sweden and learns some bravery when his new plan faces opposition.

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