Follow the Swedish Example and Keep Your Promises

We have been pursuing the wrong policy. Apparently we are being "led by the science" but the scientific community do not universally agree that lockdowns are the solution. Sweden has the same infections curve as us but they have managed to maintain a relatively open society and contain the infection. The basic social distancing and hygiene measures we had in place before the total lockdown are enough. The UK and Scottish government were panicked into acting after seeing modelling data from the Imperial College, London. Neil Ferguson has a track record of being very wrong when it comes to virus outbreaks. Why are we even listening to him? The Swedes have it right. The continuation of the lockdown is also a betrayal of trust. We were originally told that we needed a lockdown to "flatten the curve". We have done that. The NHS has masses of spare capacity. [The hospital at the SECC hasn't even been used.] There was no mention of a lockdown in perpetuity to deal with an as yet non-existent second wave. The SNP government was quick to remove our freedoms; it needs to be equally quick at returning them. This may go against the big state instincts of a partisan nationalist government, but it needs to follow the Swedish example and trust the people to look after themselves.

Why the contribution is important

The economic, educational and psychological well being of the nation is slowly being eroded. Quite simply, people have had enough. In order to maintain the trust of the Scottish people, the government needs to show that it trusts them. We are not stupid. We can follow the government advice without becoming prisoners in our own homes. If the NHS was created to look after the nation's health, then we must allow it to do so. If the virus is now mainly affecting care homes, then these places must be given maximum protection. Further research is now showing that many of the assumptions behind the lockdown are flawed. We need to be more open and avoid destroying the very society we are trying to save. The First Minister talks about the "grown up" conversation. Frankly, this is an empty sound bite. There has been no grown up conversation. Instead we are being talked down to and not trusted to look after our own lives.

by bingscot on May 05, 2020 at 02:42PM

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Comments

  • Posted by mg68 May 05, 2020 at 15:04

    Sweden is doing as well as us and other countries with strict lockdown - follow the science, not the pertified herd! You'll be following the rest of Europe out of lockdown soon enough, much the same as we followed then out of fear in the first instance - it did nothing for the care sector and the elderly!
  • Posted by iwhelan May 05, 2020 at 15:05

    100% right. Politics and not science. Any opportunity to try to score points or sneer at our nearest neighbours is grasped. So so tedious and so small minded.
  • Posted by POR May 05, 2020 at 15:21

    We were told we were saving lives. Our very elderly from care homes were not given access to hospital, were not tested, Staff not given PPE. Not allowed visitors so effectively in prison. Who are we protecting. ?? Don’t sneeze or cough over anyone and wash our hands and lets get back to normal. We did none of this in winter of 2017-2018 when Uk had over 50,000 excess deaths in winter and we didn’t shut economy. Let’s me move on. The hospitals can cope now
  • Posted by JDalgleish May 05, 2020 at 15:26

    Yes yes yes. Finally. I wasn’t sure if I was alone in this thinking. We must be reasonable in our expectations. Children and young people are struggling. The long term effects of a protracted lockdown will be profound, long lasting and far reaching.
  • Posted by WestEndGus May 05, 2020 at 15:30

    I agree that we should be carefully considering the Swedish example. For example, from the tables at Statistica: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/ As of May 5th, the number of Covid-19 related deaths per million of population: Sweden: 271.92 deaths per million of population UK: 432.16 deaths per million of population Belgium: (the highest death rate in Europe) 693.42 per million of population and yet Sweden has the least ( almost non-existent ) restrictive social distancing rules and no 'lockdown'. This isn't to make a political point. I can accept that in the early stages of the epidemic when the NHS was unprepared, then it was prudent to impose a temporary lockdown, but now that the health services are prepared, possibly even over-prepared ( witness the unused SEC emergency hospital ), and in view of the extreme social and economic damage that the lockdown is causing I can't really see any rationale for its continuance. Will there be a 'second wave' of infections? Yes, of course there will, because most of us have been in lockdown for the last month, but it will probably be less widespread in its effects than the first wave, and unless we're to remain in lockdown in perpetuity or until a vaccine is discovered, then it's inevitable, so we may as well get it over with. Finally I'd like to congratulate the Scottish Government on its honesty, transparency and communications, as demonstrated by this website. Thankyou & good luck!
  • Posted by lggl May 05, 2020 at 15:30

    Spot on contribution
  • Posted by mbooth May 05, 2020 at 15:37

    excellent contribution!! We were mislead to believe this was only for “3 weeks” only to “flatten the curve” now we’re being told it is for the foreseeable future! Absolutely disgusting. The human race has dealt with viruses, bacteria, diseases for thousands of years. We cannot continue with these levels of restrictions for the foreseeable future.
  • Posted by Markxd May 05, 2020 at 15:53

    agreed it would be nice to feel like a responsible adult again. Spend my days fighting to keep a business going and people employed and being told I'm not responsible enough to drive a short distance to go for a wee walk with my dog up a remote hill to get away from the chaos. One size fit's all strategy is not working - it's time to trust the people otherwise we will be in economic ruin for years
  • Posted by AlisonS May 05, 2020 at 15:54

    mbooth I completely agree, the goal posts keep moving. There has been no adult conversations, I'm sick of hearing 'this lockdown isn't ending anytime soon' What's happened is horrible and I feel for those who have suffered in this but its not just the virus, the impact for our mental wellbeing and other health issues is unmeasurable and our economy just gets worse.
  • Posted by richardps May 05, 2020 at 16:37

    Excellent post!
  • Posted by dbridge964 May 05, 2020 at 16:47

    It would be good to be treated like a citizen and an adult. The Scottish government's pronouncements have been becoming more and more unacceptable. There is an authoritarian feel to much of what is being said that does not belong in the UK.
  • Posted by lggl May 05, 2020 at 17:07

    The current policy is all based on fear - none of us want to be affected and we are all afraid of the personal impact on us if we are - of course we are. However the narrative from the media and government is all about total protection from negative impact. It is not the role of government to stop every potential bad outcome for individuals - the govt needs to stand back from that fear of individual outcomes, the fear of headlines about awful personal tragedies and instead make the brave decision to do the right things for the country as a whole, on a rounded, balanced basis. Our young people deserve their futures to be considered in all of this too - their futures are being left out of the equation just now .
  • Posted by Scotelka May 05, 2020 at 17:13

    Using Sweden as an example is not comparable. I've lived in Sweden for quite a while and it's a completely different society. We can't compare it to UK. Firstly, in Sweden what we consider social distancing is a norm. Majority of people live alone in their household. Sweden has much less dense population than UK. People don't socialize as frequently as in UK. To understand the situation in Sweden you can only compare it to other Scandinavian countries, and it's not hard to see the difference in comparison to Norway, which is way past the peak and nearly free of virus, whilst cases in Sweden are still on a rise. Please don't make assumptions we would have the same number of deaths as Sweden, we are well past that point now and it is not going to get better if we adapt their approach.
  • Posted by ljk84 May 05, 2020 at 17:23

    completely agree
  • Posted by Iridium242 May 05, 2020 at 18:09

    This article (https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2020/may/01/sweden-coronavirus-strategy-nationalists-britain) contradicts the claim that the Swedish approach was a good idea. The graph on this page (https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-norway-sweden-different-coronavirus-responses-fatality-rates-2020-4) suggests that the Swedish per capita death rate is 6x that of Norway and Finland.
  • Posted by nltcthgc May 05, 2020 at 19:14

    This is an excellent recommendation. We are not saving lives anyway, merely (possibly) extending them by a few years. 75% of the COVID 19 deaths in Scotland are in over 75 year olds. The average life expectancy in Scotland is 77 for men and 81 for women. In trying to extend the lives of the elderly and already at risk population, we are correspondingly shortening the lives of many others, destroying businesses, sending many people into poverty and leaving many of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society at significant risk.
  • Posted by AJL May 05, 2020 at 20:12

    Completely agree - the curve has been flattened with a very small number of people in intensive care. We need to focus far more on saving jobs and the economy, if not many more people will die through poverty, suicide etc as they see their life savings and work evaporate!
  • Posted by whuang May 06, 2020 at 00:44

    Completely a bad idea. You could see Sweden has the highest death rate among Northern European countries and their death number is catching up now. Sweden will pay off their arrogant policy sooner or later.
  • Posted by lindyloo May 06, 2020 at 07:39

    Completely agree. The effects of lockdown will cause more deaths than coronavirus itself. We've had bad flu seasons before and never locked ourselves away and let the economy grind to a halt over it. The problem is now the government has scared everyone witless about this. And some people are genuinely afraid of going out. We take risks every day of our lives. The majority of us are saving the lives of a minority. And even then its rife in alot of care homes. How is me staying at home protecting them it isn't. We have been lied to from the start over this. Neil Ferguson is a complete liar. He should of been sacked long ago. He over exaggerated the effects of swine flu, bird flu and foot and mouth yet the governments here seem to think what he says is gospel. It seems every time we get close to the time line of lifting lockdown the goalposts move. First it was flattening the curve, making sure the NHS wasn't stretched. Now its all about the "R" number. Give me strength. Open everything up. Let us be adults and decide if we want to visit family, get back to work, get a haircut or have a coffee with friends. Why are we prolonging life when there is no quality to it.
  • Posted by lmjdear May 06, 2020 at 08:03

    agree
  • Posted by scottishgal23 May 06, 2020 at 11:49

    Excellent contribution, 100% spot on.
  • Posted by LauraAR May 06, 2020 at 15:37

    Sweden and the UK are not comparable. We have totally different social norms and population density. If you compare Sweden to its neighbours then you'll see they are actually doing very poorly.
  • Posted by Ossian May 06, 2020 at 15:47

    I agree - we need to think about what is sustainable long term. What we have now is really not sustainable and we need to think if the many negatives of lockdown out weight the benefits. I think Sweden has got it right, and we will end up with the same deaths as them in the long run even if we stay in lockdown.
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 06, 2020 at 18:00

    Difficult to argue with this idea.
  • Posted by Kylesku May 06, 2020 at 20:59

    Best post on the site I was about to post something similar but no need now. Since we started the lockdown, Sweden has lower infection & death rates. I really dont see any need for any furher analysis.
  • Posted by John1911 May 06, 2020 at 21:01

    I think those of us in favour of an approach like Sweden's will be disappointed because this is becoming a political exercise, with our UK and Scottish government's incapable of backing down because of the political fallout such a move would create. It's inconceivable the parties that foisted these laws upon us will admit any miscalculation because the damage done is already huge. They're going to play out the long game, constantly telling us they've saved countless lives, when I firmly believe the outcome will not be too different to a Swedish approach in terms of people lost.
  • Posted by ZoeK May 06, 2020 at 21:34

    This virus will NOT just disappear.  We must learn to live with it. Social interaction between loved ones must be reinstated with immediate effect.  Mental health and domestic/child abuse is on the extreme rise.  As is violence in communities. We must think what is best for us and our own.  NO ONE is in control of anothers life.  We can NOT be kept as virtual prisoners no more. Restore our freedom!
  • Posted by emmasmith May 07, 2020 at 00:53

    40% of Swedish households are single people. They are also socially distancing, they're not going about their normal lives. I don't think you can compare Scotland and Sweden accurately. However I do think we need to ease the lockdown restrictions here and allow visits to close family.
  • Posted by Arete May 07, 2020 at 03:19

    Follow the Swedish example and kill a lot of innocent people. Sweden is reported to have already suffered nearly 10x the number of deaths of every other Scandinavian country, and it's not over yet. All completely avoidable. In heedless pursuit of the rawest form of natural selection. And to the advantage of whom, exactly...?
  • Posted by costap May 07, 2020 at 11:17

    Agree, Sweden is showing that strict lockdown are not the answer.
  • Posted by Julie May 07, 2020 at 13:29

    You can not compare the two countries. Try to look beyond the headlines to the behaviour of these nations. As just one example Scotland has an obesity epidemic, some reports say the second highest level in the world. Obesity is proving to make recovery from Covid more difficult. There are many other areas where (unfortunately) we don’t live or behave in the same way as those in Sweden so our approach can’t possibly be the same.
  • Posted by Stewart20 May 07, 2020 at 23:44

    Completely agree. The responses on this site are making me hopeful that there are lots of sensible, pragmatic people in this country who understand that this virus is not going to vanish no matter how long we stay in lockdown. We need sensible long term approaches to living with this disease moving forward 'Everybody stays in their house till there's a vaccine' is not a sound strategy!
  • Posted by Bryn May 08, 2020 at 10:37

    If you hadn't contributed this idea, I would've myself. Nobody likes to be told what to do, and therefore the Swedes had their own way while still containing the virus. If only other countries did the same.
  • Posted by erdabrown May 08, 2020 at 15:25

    I absolutely agree. We should be trusted to behave sensibly and safely and not reduced to neurotic frightened wrecks. It is not a sign of a healthy mental state if you think that lockdown is an ok to live. Risk can never be eliminated and the government has a responsibility to support it's population to accept this. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person
  • Posted by MikeJohnston May 08, 2020 at 17:57

    The Swedish model will not save Inverclyde. Please get real and accept that the lockdown is generally working.
  • Posted by Slider21212 May 08, 2020 at 18:24

    Population density of uk 274 per km2. Sweden 24 per km2. Population London 10m, population Stockholm less than 1m. Trying to compare lockdown outcomes is impossible
  • Posted by HighlandLass May 08, 2020 at 18:44

    I agree with this post when you read a thread in schools for example parents say my child is not going to school until this is over - it wont be over we have to minimise the risk which is what we have done and now we must get the economy moving again. The amount of subsidies and support that has been offered as fantastic as it is, will not be sustainable. I worry for the next generation
  • Posted by Kylesku May 08, 2020 at 21:56

    Sweden has lower infection rates & death rates than Scotland Why wouldnt we follow their example. We have one of the highest rates of any country, surely that means what we are doing isnt working ?
  • Posted by XR May 09, 2020 at 11:37

    I agree with this comment. The removal of our liberties and rights must stop.
  • Posted by JLMBD May 09, 2020 at 14:36

    Sweden has a SLIGHTLY lower death rate than Scotland. In a rank of 140 countries of deaths per million the UK is 4th highest and Sweden is 6th highest. The countries that imposed lockdown earlier and quarantined incomers for 14 days have a much better place in the list than the UK.
  • Posted by kpm321 May 10, 2020 at 17:22

    I agree. We do not take a "no deaths at any cost" approach with any other risk. Other fatal diseases (e.g. flu) and other risks (e.g. road accidents) are managed, not eliminated. We need to manage the risk of Covid too.
  • Posted by Cathol May 11, 2020 at 15:34

    Spot on, thank you, finally some sense. I appreciate lockdown may have worked if we had done it soon enough but I feel we where two months too late,.. Little being said of antibody testing, probably as it could prove a larger percentage of the population had been exposed to the virus, many with no or mild Symptoms. We need to start acting on what we know now rather than what we feared two months ago!
  • Posted by KimCheeko May 11, 2020 at 15:53

    Absolutely 100% agree with this post. There have been a very minimal number of deaths from this virus. The risk does not justify locking up so many healthy people within their homes! Protect the vulnerable, track, trace and isolate cases and open up the rest of society. If we continue like this there will be a lot more people adversely affected and dying due the extreme lockdown measures, rather than from COVID19.
  • Posted by Bek2020 May 11, 2020 at 20:59

    Yes! Totally agree with this post!
  • Posted by Brett May 11, 2020 at 21:31

    The Swedish approach isn't followed by their closest and most comparable neighbours. I don't think we could accept this level of risk. A incremental measured approach is more appropriate than a quick fix.
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