So, central to the debate about “lockdown” vs “reopen” is Sweden. Sweden didn’t bother to lock down anything. Results are mixed when it comes to comparisions, but let’s have a look.
On this chart, Sweden has fewer cases per capita than every country to the left of them. Deaths per capita, which are indicated by the deepness of the red color, shows that their outcomes have been better than France, the UK, Italy, Belgium and Spain, and about the same as the Netherlands, Ireland, and the USA, all of which have taken the “lockdown” route.
Now, the big question is, “what does this mean?” Well, a few conclusions are fairly obvious:
- Just “locking down” or “staying open” doesn’t indicate to you what either your infection rate or your mortality rate is. Why aren’t they the most infected country in the world?
- Obviously, this is strong evidence that infection and mortality are dependent on more variables than just ‘did you lock down or not”, and disputes the assumption that “lockdown” is the only acceptable path forward.
BTW, At some point, I hope somebody thinks to ask Qatar and Bahrain and Singapore what they’re doing to have so many cases per capita but keep so many people alive. The knee-jerk answer is “they tested everyone”, but testing up until just now has not been all that accurate.