The government this week proposed an emergency law that would allow it to lock down large parts of society; the first recommended use of face masks came into force; and the authorities gave schools the option to close for pupils older than 13 — all changes to its strategy to combat the pandemic.
“I don’t think Sweden stands out [from the rest of the world] very much right now,” said Jonas Ludvigsson, professor of clinical epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. “Most of the things that made Sweden different have changed — either in Sweden or elsewhere.”
…Sweden has reported more than 2,000 Covid-19 deaths in a month and 535 in the past eight days alone. This compares with 465 for the pandemic as a whole in neighbouring Norway, which has half the population. As Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf said just before Christmas: “We have failed.”
Here is more from the FT. U.S. Covid deaths per day have now exceeded 4,000 for some days, and they are running at about 50% of the normal number for total daily deaths. And no, it is not that the payments to classify these as Covid deaths have increased, rather the virus and the deaths have increased. So the “no big deal” question we now can consider settled? The new and more contagious strains haven’t even started playing a major role yet in the United States.