21st Century Wire | 1 May 2020
As Europe and North America continue suffering their steady economic and social decline as a direct result of imposing ‘lockdown’ on their populations, other countries have taken a different approach to dealing with the coronavirus threat. You wouldn’t know it by listening to western politicians or mainstream media stenographers, there are also nonlockdown countries. They are led by Sweden, Iceland, Belarus, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Surprisingly to some, their results have been as good or better than the lockdown countries, but without having to endure the socio-economic chaos we are now witnessing across the world. For this reason alone, Sweden and others like them, have already won the policy debate, as well as the scientific one too.
Unlike much of the rest of the world who saw fit to unquestioningly follow China’s lead on everything from quarantining, to economic shutdowns, to contact tracing, and PCR mass testing, nonlockdown countries have instead opted for a somewhat lighter touch – preserving their economies and societies, and in doing so avoiding an endless daisy chain of new problems and obstacles deriving directly from the imposition of brutal lockdown policy.
On the European front, the Scandinavian country of Sweden is now garnering more attention than before, and has become an object of both criticism and fascination for those against or in favor of lockdown policy. While countries like the United States and Great Britain continue to top the global tables in terms of COVID-19 death tolls, Sweden has only suffered marginal casualties in comparison, while avoiding the intense strain on society and loss in public confidence which lockdown governments are now grappling with as they continue to push their populations to the limits of social stress and economic tolerance. You could say those governments are already careening over the edge by looking at the latest jobless figures coming out the US with 30 million new people filing for unemployment in the last few weeks.