COVID-19 Thread 3/27/2020 (Mats Lewan on the Case of Sweden)

Mats Lewan has written a blog post about the growth rate of COVID-19 infections and looks at it particularly from the Swedish perspective. Sweden is an interesting case because they are one of the few western countries that has not as yet introduced mandatory lockdown restrictions. Schools, restaurants and other public places are still open at this point.

He writes that in order to avoid overwhelming the health care services of countres, the growth rates of deaths (which he considers the most relevant statistic) needs to be kept below 10 per cent.

Here is an excerpt:

Now, the question is, will the mild measures in Sweden be enough to push down the spread of the disease, also pushing down the daily growth of deaths below 10 percent?

A number of favourable aspects have already helped us to keep the growth down initially (as we can see on the thin blue growth curve for Sweden):

Culturally, Swedish people have a tendency to do what they are asked to do for the common good, and we started relatively early with these behavioural recommendations, warned by Italy: Wash your hands, stay at home when you have symptoms, work from home if it is possible (and in Sweden it often is possible thanks to stable internet connections), avoid social contexts (some would claim that this comes naturally to us in Sweden…), protect the elderly by not meeting them etc.

We are reasonably helped by younger demographics compared to Southern Europe, and it probably also helps us that there is less daily contact between generations, traditionally.

BUT will this be enough to keep pushing down the daily growth below ten percent? Or will we need a lockdown too?

COVID-19 data for Sweden can be found here: