Covid in Sweden

Swedish mortality since 1851. 2020 is flu plus covid. (JH/SCB)

Published: August 22, 2020
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A new data analysis shows Swedish all-cause mortality since 1851 (see chart above). The covid peak in 2020 is clearly visible and comparable to the strong seasonal flu waves of the 1980s and 1990s (despite a younger population at the time). The much stronger 1918 Spanish flu is also clearly visible.

Remarkably, despite covid, 2020 mortality in the <65 age group is actually below the five year average. The median age of covid deaths in Sweden was 84 years, about 70% of which occurred in nursing facilities. The targeted protection of these was part of the Swedish strategy, but in the Stockholm area, the virus was faster than authorities.

Since June, Sweden — which has introduced neither a lockdown nor a facemask mandate — is seeing a below-average all-cause mortality. Covid hospitalizations and deaths are near zero.

Sweden has one of the lowest intensive care bed capacities in Europe, two times lower than Italy and five times lower than Germany. This capacity was of course increased in preparation of covid, but the newly built covid field hospital in Stockholm remained unused (similar to the UK and US).

Sweden now has one of the highest immunity levels in Europe (its Scandinavian neighbors and Germany one of the lowest), but health authorities are still expecting a smaller “second wave” in autumn and winter. Another important question is the actual prevalence of “long covid” health issues in Swedish society.

On the other hand, Sweden also knows first-hand the risks associated with experimental vaccines: the medically unneccessary “swine flu” vaccine of 2009 left about 500 Swedish children permanently brain damaged.

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