It is chapter and verse nowadays among Covid-19 policy dissidents – or at least those who get amplified the most on X – that “Sweden won:” namely, by bucking the trend and refusing to lock down, taking the initial hit of higher excess mortality at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but ultimately being rewarded by lower excess mortality over the official course of the pandemic as a whole.
Graphs like the one below, showing Sweden with the lowest excess mortality in all of Europe during the pandemic period, are widely cited as ostensible evidence of this victory of Sweden’s “no lockdown” approach.
But the opposition to the Covid measures has been spectacularly wrong-footed in citing such data, since if Sweden did indeed resist lockdown, it by no means resisted mass vaccination. As the below Statista graph illustrates, Sweden in fact had one of the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates in Europe.
If the vaccination ranking is not quite a mirror image of the mortality ranking, it is, nonetheless, striking that while high-vax Sweden has the lowest excess mortality in the mortality graph, Bulgaria, which has the lowest vaccination rate, has the highest excess mortality.
Indeed, the entire top of the mortality table, i.e. the countries with the highest mortality, consists of relatively low-vax Eastern European countries. Hence, if the data in the first graph is to be believed, it would appear to demonstrate less that “Sweden won” – since virtually all the other countries locked down anyway – and more that Covid-19 vaccination “won.”
It is perhaps worth noting here that the first graph comes precisely from Statistics Sweden – not exactly a neutral source in this connection – and was commissioned by the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet for the purpose of an interview with Anders Tegnell, the architect of Sweden’s Covid-19 response.
But, in any event, a group of dissident Swedish doctors known as the The Doctors’ Appeal/Läkaruppropet has been challenging the new orthodoxy on Sweden’s alleged Covid-response “win,” calling attention to other data which looks like anything but “winning.” For if Swedish mortality has remained relatively stable, Swedish natality has in fact plummeted. …