I’ve received some bullshit comments over the years, but every now and then one just goes that extra bullshit mile:
Yeah, holding NY up as an example doesn’t make sense. Stockholm has better numbers than NYC, and Stockholm did (almost) nothing. Cuomo’s response seems to have been worse than neutral, that is, it seems to have made things worse. Does anyone seriously think that any state in the US is going to catch up to NYC’s death total? Even on a per capita basis?
Let’s start with some facts. Andrew Cuomo is governor of New York state; here’s the NY case load (per million population) compared to Sweden’s (per million population):
Here’s the daily death toll in NY compared to Sweden’s:
NY did a terrific job under the leadership of governor Andrew Cuomo. They’re now doing better than Sweden. Way better, in fact, because they’ve managed strong downward trends such as Swedes have not yet seen. NY has experience doing it.
When you crush the curve you save a lot of lives, because if you don’t, you pay the price day after day after day …
Sweden didn’t do “(almost) nothing.” They made few strict rules, but many and detailed recommendations — and in Sweden that has a chance to succeed, as Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter, Sweden’s ambassador to the United States, said in a recent interview,
A key distinction for Sweden is that its government believed it didn’t need to enforce guidelines regarding social distancing on a population that would heed the advice of the country’s independent public agencies. According to polling data, Swedes have a high level of trust in the country’s public institutions.
This trust is a “fundamental element of Swedish society,” said Olofsdotter. “That’s why we can work with recommendations, because most people actually follow them. It’s part of who we are. Of course there are people who don’t, but the main bulk of the people do.”
Despite some actual legal restrictions combined with widespread compliance with recommendations, Sweden has still seen case and death levels rise to meet or exceed those of the rest of Europe. Their death toll per capita is currently higher than in the U.S., which is giving them a bad reputation in Europe, and even among some Swedes.
Then there’s the fact that now in Stockholm, they’re considering shutting down bars and restaurants that ignore recommended restrictions. The signs are in place, and Sweden is open to re-thinking their approach; they’ve known all along that the open strategy is an experiment and that they may or may not need to change course.
They avoided lockdown, instead depending on voluntary compliance, and it worked, in a way — they have flattened the curve, even turned it downward, but haven’t crushed it like other European countries did. More and more Swedes are becoming aware that when you crush the curve you save a lot of lives, because if you don’t, you pay the price day after day after day.
Sweden sure didn’t crush it like NY did.
This blog is made possible by readers like you; join others by donating at My Wee Dragon.