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COVID19 Update: Nordics

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

My last update on Nordics vs Sweden comparatives was a month ago, although I did post some more recent data trends on Twitter since then. Here are the latest numbers:

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New deaths counts are relatively benign, both in Sweden and (at a higher rate) in the rest of the Nordics. However, new daily counts in the Nordics ex-Sweden are literally out of control as a new, and much larger wave of the pandemic sweeps EU27.

Sweden entered the second wave of the pandemic with a delay, compared to other European states, so its numbers are still lagging those in other Nordic states.

I commented on the often-heard argument in favour of Sweden’s ‘herd immunity’ strategy earlier today and you can read it here, if you missed it (bottom of the post): https://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2020/10/231020-covid19-update-countries-with.html.

It appears, based on Sweden’s (amongst others’) experiences, that we really have very limited options in terms of public policy response to the pandemic. My five cents, based on multiple observations of experts’ advice: we need

  • Fully enforceable and strongly policed public distancing measures,
  • Mandatory masks in all public places,
  • Restricted (though, probably, not banned) access to public commons and public places,
  • Effective and wide-spread free testing on demand,
  • Aggressive tracing and strictly enforced quarantines,
  • Improved separation of COVID19 patients from all general health facilities (in order to ensure that normal health services provision is not impacted by the pandemic), and
  • Significant increase in spending on public health and education so both key sectors of the society can be opened safely and sustainably.

There has to be public and state-level zero-tolerance view toward anyone failing to comply with these measures.

Anything short of these will result in stop-and-go swings of the pandemic and knee-jerk policy reactions with rolling shutdowns of the entire economies.

 

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