Monday, 10 August 2020

Can you spot which country had a lock down and which one didn't?


To make a fair comparison, population of UK is about seven times as much as population of Sweden, so Sweden peak 100 daily deaths is genuinely lower than the UK peak of 1,000.

Total deaths per million population is Sweden - 570 (sixth worst of all large countries) and UK - 686 (second worst, only Belgium is worse with 851).

It also appears that Sweden messed up old age care homes as badly as the UK did.


Physiocrat said...

A lot of people in Sweden have been having a self-imposed lockdown. Businesses have taken a hit.

Stephen Stretton said...

Yes, but many of your readers will take from this, that there shouldn't have been a lockdown at all. Whereas the key insight, that's hopefully obvious to you and your readers, is that we should have closed the borders in Jan and Feb, and if that didn't work, to impose a lockdown starting in February, not late March. The delay was fatal. The three week difference made a big difference. Eventually, we've got it under control, and basic common sense has prevailed (unlike in US).

Mark Wadsworth said...

Phys, it is a free world. If people decide to stay home, that's their decision.

SS, there are trade-offs to everything.

Shutting the borders earlier would have helped - airline industry buggered, but so what?

Banning really large gatherings also acceptable (football matches, large concerts), and making pubs turn down the music so that people don't have to stand so close and shout at each other.

Encouraging people to wear face masks, esp. on public transport is a small price to pay.

Encouraging WFH also a good idea. It was always a good idea but we just didn't know it (gets office rents down and frees up buildings for housing - good for city centre pubs and shops in equal and opposite measure).

But everything else could have continued pretty much as normal. Factories, car repairers, painters and decorators, shops, pubs (with quiet music) etc.

The real mistake was not looking after the really elderly, that's 90% of deaths.

Bayard said...

The two most important factors are the density of the population and the density of the population.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, I think in Sweden, as in the UK, most people live in large-ish conurbations.

George Carty said...

On shutting borders, wasn't the big issue that at the time talk was only about shutting down travel from China, when the overwhelming majority of introductions of Covid-19 to the UK came from other Western European countries (Italy in February, Spain in early March and France in mid-March)?

IIRC Italy itself shut down travel from China early but was screwed over by arrivals from other Schengen states.

How much was Europe's worse performance relative to Asia a direct result of the removal of European border controls as a result of Schengen? (Perhaps the external border of Schengenland needs to be controlled by the EU itself rather than individual nation-states?)

Of course it's also surprising how reluctant the UK government (one elected on "Get Brexit done" let's not forget) was so reluctant to close borders when it was actually warranted!

Mark Wadsworth said...

GC, that's a fair summary. As per usual, the UK govt messed up and the EU messed up, just for slightly different reasons.