Saturday, May 09, 2020


For every day, I am becoming increasingly convinced about the soundness of the Swedish response to the epidemic. Rather than trying to eradicate the disease and looking on our country as being a remote island, we have realized that SARS-CoV-2 is not going away any time soon and that even if we, at immense cost through a prolonged lockdown, could stamp it out here it would soon return. In the beginning, the UK was taking a similarly sensible approach but, after that unfortunate Imperial College paper, came to adopt measures almost as far-reaching as those of Australia and New Zealand.

While this may have perhaps prevented some deaths in the near-term (the UK still has 50% more deaths per capita than Sweden), the lack of any sustainable long-term strategy became obvious today when it was announced that the UK will introduce two weeks of quarantine for all foreign travellers and those returning home from abroad, with almost unimaginable consequences for the tourism and aviation industries. Unlike New Zealand, which may have a realistic chance of actually eliminating the virus after about 20 deaths, the UK has already suffered immensely and should be quite far on the road towards achieving community immunity (even Boris Johnson himself had it right). As such, it makes absolutely no sense at this stage to impose new indefinite quarantine regimes (actually, I think that the same is true for N.Z. as well unless they plan to remain isolated for years but maybe that is in fact the plan).


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