Sweden logged one of the lowest Covid-19 death rates in Europe, all while avoiding strict economy-killing lockdowns that led to economic chaos across the world, the Telegraph reports, citing new figures from the World Health Organization.
Sweden, which was criticised in the early stages of the pandemic for resisting a mandatory lockdown, had fewer deaths per capita than much of Europe.
In 2020 and 2021, the country had an average excess death rate of 56 per 100,000 – compared to 109 in the UK, 111 in Spain, 116 in Germany and 133 in Italy. -Telegraph
As the Telegraph delicately notes – “Experts said the difference demonstrated stringent lockdowns alone did not determine success when battling Covid-19.”
So what’s Sweden’s secret?
The Telegraph suggests that things such as lower obesity and better general health played a factor – which is certainly true.
“The lesson from Sweden is to invest in your population’s health and have less inequality,” said Prof Devi Sridhar, the chairman of global public health at the University of Edinburgh.
Meanwhile in the strictly locked-down UK, “there have been too many preventable deaths,” according to Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton. “By the end of the pandemic, it’s likely that the UK will probably end up mid-table on various metrics that measure pandemic performance, such as excess mortality,” he added.
In fact, some 68% of deaths during the pandemic came from just 10 countries, including the United States, Russia and India.
But Colin Angus, a modeller at the University of Sheffield who was not involved in the study, said the WHO’s methodology “looks entirely sensible”, adding that excess death estimates are critical to hold governments to account.
The figures were compiled by a panel made up of international experts who have been working on the data for months, using a combination of national and local information, as well as statistical models, to estimate totals where the data are incomplete. -Telegraph
Of course, we’ve known for a while that enough evidence exists to question the effectiveness of lockdowns.
Now imagine policymakers ever admitting they were wrong as we suffer through an inflationary hangover.