And the winners are: the Swedes.
They didn’t do lockdown.
They just made sure their health service was prepared for any pandemic, with enough beds, PPE, ventilators and other necessary equipment.
When the virus hit, they simply told their people to wash their hands frequently, and try to keep a reasonable social distance in public places.
They’ve gone past their peak infection and deaths point, and their ‘R’ (reinfection rate) is well below the crucial 1.
The gloomy Eeyore, professor Neil Ferguson, who pushes the medical model the British government is following, and who has more than two decades of flawed, consistently wrong, hysterically over-reacting forecasts behind him, predicted that Sweden would have an ‘R’ of 4 at least, and many more times the death rate than it actually has.
Studies are now showing that herd immunity is achieved when as little as 10-20% of the population has been infected, not the 60-80% minimum that Ferguson has touted. Once you’ve got that 10-20% you’re well past the peak of infections and deaths. The ‘R’ rate goes below 1. Our ‘R’ figure is below 1, at just over 0.8%, and we’ve almost certainly got that 10-20% rate.
As the pandemic unfurled, I had thought that the South Korean model was the best one. Swift lockdown, closed borders, quarantining, efficient testing and contact tracing.
But it turns out that the Swedes offered the best solution. Their secret? As a Swedish government spokesman said, it was ‘common sense.’ They’d seen the evidence. They knew that it did not show that lockdown had appreciably more effect than simple washing of hands and social distancing. Lockdown wasn’t worth the economic and social harm it entailed. The Swedish government refused to be panicked.
Meanwhile, the ill-prepared British government did panic. Driven by perceived public reaction and the apocalyptic nonsense spouting from Ferguson, Ministers have run around like headless chickens.
The very severe lockdown imposed on us will do huge economic and social damage, albeit we’ve found some personal and environmental mitigating factors.
But professor Neil Ferguson deserves the title of The Man Who Wrecked Britain.