(ConservativePeak.com)- Sweden is an interesting example of how it’s possible to control the spread of COVID-19. It’s not exactly clear-cut and there are lots of factors at play here, but it does seem like the country has been able to keep some control over the virus without requiring its citizens to wear masks.
The top epidemiologist in Sweden, Anders Tegnell, has argued that there is “no point” to mandating masks – not the wearing of them, but the mandating of them – and that the number of COVID-19 cases in Sweden is still dropping.
“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” he said.
Newsweek reported that the death rate from the Chinese coronavirus in Sweden is less than in Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom – despite not implementing a full lockdown. It could suggest that while lockdown measures are based on the scientific principle of reducing spread, mandating people to stay at home is not necessarily more effective than trusting citizens to take precautions of their own volition.
According to the most recent report from Johns Hopkins University, the death rate in Sweden, per 100,000 people, was 56.4 as of Sunday. That’s low than the United Kingdom’s 69.6, Italy’s 58.16, and Spain’s 60.88.
The United Kingdom recently introduced a mask mandate, requiring citizens to wear face masks when shopping in indoor spaces. The country also has the fourth-highest death roll in the world. Spain and Italy, which were two of the earliest and worst-hit countries during the outbreak, rank at sixth and eighth highest. Clearly, something is going on here.
Over the past two weeks, new infections in Sweden per 100,000 people have dropped by some 46%. In other European countries, however, infections have increased anywhere between 58% and 206%. Last Tuesday, Sweden was even lucky enough to be able to report zero new deaths.
Anders Tegnell told journalists on Tuesday that it is “very promising” for Sweden to come to these levels and that “the curves are going down and the curves for the seriously ill are beginning to approach zero.”
This doesn’t, however, mean that lockdown measures and masks are necessarily some big conspiracy. Sweden has the advantage of being a smaller nation, with fewer people and many sparsely populated towns and villages. The United States, on the other hand, has hundreds of millions of people and some of the most densely populated cities in the world (outside of India and China!).
Still, it might be worth looking to Sweden to see if anything can be learned from this surprising success story.