UPDATE: Don’t look to Sweeden. Sweden needs to protect itself from Anders Tegnell

Sweden’s Own Goal. Cartoon by Jan-Erik Ander

Corona Tzar Anders Tegnell also needs to be protected from himself

@Expressen looked at 5 northern regions of Sweden that have a combined population density equal to 1/3 of Norway or Finland, and 1/30 of Denmark. And, the 5 regions have an immigrant population of 8.2%, close to 6.6% on average for Norway, Finland + Denmark. Now, what of COVID?

Up to November 29 (the last date full stats were available), 576 had died with COVID in the 5 northern Swedish regions investigated. That comes out to 486 deaths per million. That number is 3x higher than Denmark, 6x higher than Finland and 7x higher than Norway.

Compared to Norway, Finland & Denmark combined, the 5 northern Swedish regions have had 4.8x more deaths per capita. From November 2-29, 5 northern Swedish had 81 deaths, which is 68 per million. During same period, Finland had 6 deaths per million, Norway 8 and Denmark 18.

Even with other factors, what’s clear is that the explanations given by Tegnell (and others) about differences between Sweden and its Nordic neighbors shouldn’t just be taken at face value, and need to be questioned. Like Sweden having more immigrants. Or population density.

Why do COVID-19 deaths in Sweden always appear to decrease in the last 10 days? In the data that we present on Our World in Data, which comes directly from the European CDC, deaths in Sweden are shown by date of death, while deaths in other countries are shown by date of report.

This matters because it takes a number of days until all deaths for a particular day are reported. In practice this means that Sweden might today only report 10 deaths for yesterday, but once reporting is complete the death count for that day might increase to 40.

The death counts for the last 10 days in Sweden should therefore always be interpreted as an incomplete count of the deaths that occurred in this period.

Norway and Denmark went for an almost total lockdown when Sweden choose to stay open. Jan Guillou tries to explain the differences with the different traditions for winter holidays: Norwegians go skiing in Norway. Swedes prefer to travel to the Alps. The Danes do not ski.
Can you believe it is that simple?

One would have to be tone-deaf if one does not understand that the death toll is related to the choice of strategy.

Still, Anders Tegnell in public appearances still offers advice on how Norway and other countries should handle the virus (!) Boris Johnson also believed in herd immunity until he himself caught the virus, even though it meant millions of UK citizens would die (!)

In a text published by USA Today, 25 Swedish doctors and researchers warn Americans against choosing the same strategy as Sweden in the fight against the coronavirus:

Sweden hoped herd immunity would curb COVID-19. Don't do what we did. It's not working.

It is not that Sweden value peoples live less than the other Nordic countries, they invented the car belt and two of the worlds most safe car brands; Volvo and Saab, it is more like the swedes have more respect towards authority than its neighbors. And after all Anders Tegnell is their Corona Tzar, whereas the other Nordic countries have had both politicians and epidemiologists handling this pandemic together.

In Norway, we are used to looking at Sweden as our kind of big brother, as they often behave more correctly and responsibly, but this time, how does this look to the rest of the world?


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