After all, what has changed in terms of our ability to manage the virus? There is still no vaccine, existing therapeutics are the same as we have been using for months. Testing has indeed continued and we understand more of the epidemiology of the virus. But that understanding strengthens rather than diminishes Sweden's approach.
As of Friday, in rural places in Ontario, most business can open, gatherings can be enlarged with more announcements to come.
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that Sweden struck the right balance right off the jump.
As the Guardian's Simon Jenkins argues, those who criticized Sweden's risk mitigation strategy are now imitating it:
The half-Swedish commentator Freddie Sayer has been closely monitoring this debate from the UK. He makes the point that with each passing week the rest of Europe moves steadily closer to imitating Sweden. It is doing so because modern economies – and their peoples – just cannot live with such crushing abnormality as they have seen these past two months
Furthermore, Ellen Brown shared the graph below.
Sweden has actually fared better than many industrialized countries that did lock down their economies. As of June 5th, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Italy, which all locked down, had more deaths per million than Sweden; while France, the Netherlands, Ireland, the US, Switzerland and Canada all had fewer. Sweden was in the median range. Other researchers have found no correlation between lockdowns and COVID-19 deaths.
And the ACTUAL deaths were far below the projected ones.
Every public policy strategy is a risk. But that risk must be balanced against a wide range of factors impacting public health. As Jenkins concludes:
Sweden gambled in its response, but so did the rest of the world. South Africa’s lockdown threatens it with economic and political catastrophe. The UN warns that the world could lose four years of growth at a cost of $8.5 trillion. Famine and further disease will be rife. That was surely the greater gamble.