It was the least of masks, it was the most of masks, it was the age of lockdowns, it was the age of common sense, it was the epoch of authoritarianism, it was the epoch of rebellion, it was Sweden, it was the Czech Republic.
The World Health Organization’s latest COVID-19 data from both European nations presents a stark difference between how they responded to the pandemic — and which response was the proper one.
There I was, scrolling through my MeWe timeline, minding my own business (and trying to avoid doing any actual work) when I came across this gem of a chart.
The data contained is current as of March 19, 2021.
As you can see, Sweden got its COVID cases out of the way early, without any economy-destroying shutdowns or liberty-destroying personal restrictions. Czechia went entirely the other direction, yet even now cases are spiking.
Before we get to that, let’s talk briefly about how the two countries are alike.
Both have populations of a little more than ten million people, with similar life expectancies of about 80 years at birth. The median age in both countries is nearly identical, too, at about 41 years old. Again, both countries have similar demographics when it comes to the elderly: the 65-and-up cohort is right around 20% whether you’re in Prague or Stockholm.
I had thought that Sweden’s lower population density might have been an advantage, but Sweden’s urbanization rate (88%!) is actually much higher than the Czech Republic’s (73.8%).
What’s most interesting to me is that Sweden accomplished exactly what we were promised one year ago: Flattening the curve.
If you’ll recall, flattening the curve wasn’t supposed to keep us locked down until Total Safety Forever™ was achieved. We were only supposed to take prophylactic actions long enough to prevent medical and emergency services from becoming overwhelmed. After that, the Wuhan pandemic could work its inevitable way through the population as we continued protecting the most vulnerable, worked on vaccines, and lurched our way toward herd immunity.
The data from Sweden suggest that the plan we were sold was the correct one.
It’s just that, like Czechia, much of official Washington (along with several “Worst Governors in America) refused to take our own medicine.
The Left always tells us we should follow something like the Swedish model when it comes to welfare spending. Would that they’d only have followed the Swedish model on COVID.