See also Site Map
"One thing this is never mentioned, and I wish it would be, re: Sweden’s strategy was that there was so much less social friction. Although stuff certainly bubbled under the surface within my friend group - who was taking risks and who was better behaved - it never reached the surface, and our friendships have remained intact. For the most part it was so much calmer here - although life was much quieter, and the media was relentless - day to day, with shops open, kids in school, no masks, it was easy to forget. And then I would travel, and it would be like entering a war zone the minute I got to the airport, the atmosphere would change so much." read more
"It would seem that C19 has completely disappeared from the psyche of Swedes – we are now preoccupied with the war in Ukraine. I’ve just checked our 4 largest newspapers. There was one article, buried way down, about how cases continue to drop here, although they are spiking in the UK. Another newspaper had an article about how “anti-vaxxers are spreading misinformation about the war in Ukraine”. I checked with my husband who listens to Swedish radio and he confirms that the subject rarely comes up anymore.
Wide scale testing has stopped, the Public Health Agency is no longer holding press conferences, and Tegnell looks set to work for the WHO - the C19 apparatus is slowly winding up.
So it is a little disconcerting to read that the federal government in Canada is still punishing the unvaccinated with domestic travel restrictions!!!" read more
"There has never been much uptake here of mask-wearing. It grew as the pandemic wore on, but really, in general it was never more than 10% of people, and strangely, these were often young people, perhaps feeling social pressure because of international social media? Even when the government was recommending more mask-wearing on public transportation, there seemed to be collective indifference.....American companies often brought their mask policies to Sweden - so if you went into an Apple store the staff would be masked up. I have never heard anyone reprimanding anyone about it. It’s just not an issue here. And for that I thank Tegnell, who stood his ground on this at the beginning of the pandemic, even though the push-back continued for 2 years." read more
"Unfortunately condemnation of the unvaccinated has been pushed by the government here, the new Prime Minister advised people “not to hug the unvaccinated” - and then promptly got covid herself. The Public Health Agency seems like a one trick pony, relentlessly hammering on about the need to get vaccinated. But socially, I haven’t heard of any conflict on this level among friends or family. My North American friends in Sweden have lots of stories about conflict within their families back home, and people asking for vax status for private social events." read more
"Everything is completely open and goodbye to vax passes (they had only been required for events of more than 100 people).....Tegnell said they “had no use at present and there was no plan to re-implement them”.....He also said discussions were now ongoing about inter-country travel restrictions - my guess is that the borders between the Nordic countries will be fully open soon - very important for business here. Another journalist claimed the EU was pressing to have vax passes continue for EU travel until 2023, disappointing if true, but I have not confirmed this." read more
"My summary would be: if there is hysteria, it is in the media and some pockets of the population, but restaurants and bars are packed, people are out having fun, stores are packed, people are socializing, and have been since late September when we were told to “live with the virus”. Some companies have cancelled Christmas parties, but that’s about all...." read more
"It's difficult re: Tegnell, the implementation of vax passports goes against statements he has previously made. We were also told late September the virus was endemic, to expect occasional resurgences but “to get on with it”. The feeling here is the pandemic is over - plexiglass is coming down, big groups of friends are meeting up, restaurants are crowded, public transport is packed, very very few people wear masks anymore. So then to impose this measure, quite out of the blue…" read more
"The new rule is the requirement to present proof of vaccination for indoor public events of greater than 100 people, beginning December 1st. You can present a medical exemption, but a negative PCR test will not be accepted....we currently have low hospitalizations and ICU admissions. As of Thursday we had 31 covid patients in the ICU, less than 10% of current ICU capacity. Other information: those dying in Sweden tend to be the vaxxed over 70+. Those in the ICU tend to be the unvaxxed over 70+. Important to remember that vaccination rates are extremely high (>90%) for those most at risk, and fall off in the younger age categories. It seems that uptake of first doses has really dropped off - ie. anyone who wanted to be vaxxed, is vaxxed. I would have thought that we had reached a sort of manageable status quo." read more
"The big news this week is the huge spike in RSV hospitalizations (graph attached). There are approximately 500 RSV hospitalizations right now, with the most vulnerable being young children and the elderly. This is more than double the current C19 hospitalizations (around 225)." read more
“the number of vaccinated people dying with covid-19 in Sweden is increasing. Between 1–24 September, seven out of ten of the covid-related deaths were people vaccinated with two doses, according to figures from the Swedish Public Health Agency. The median age of the fully vaccinated who have died since 1 July is 86 years old.” read more
I watched the press conference on Thursday, it was Tegnell looking very tan and relaxed. The journalists were back in person, not spaced out, no masks. The 2 issues seem to be unvaxxed workers at care homes (the idea of mandated vaccines and vax passports has completely lost steam here), and possible boosters. read more
much to my surprise, given previous signalling from Tegnell, Sweden will go ahead with vaccinations for the 12-15 age group. Enter a feisty journalist, who challenged the statement that "20 million children" have received the vaccine worldwide and they have lots of cost-benefit data:
“How many of the 20 million are in the 12-15 age group?”
“I don’t have that data handy.”
“How many children in the 12-15 age group are currently hospitalized?”
“I don’t have that data handy, perhaps a few?”
“No, there are no children in the 12-15 age group hospitalized.” read more
"The only places the use of masks has been required are healthcare environments: hospitals, clinics, etc. They were “recommended" on public transport, first during rush hours and then all the time, but that recommendation fell away earlier this summer." read more
"....good news today! We are getting rid of most of our outstanding restrictions and recommendations - no limits on public gatherings, no limits on the number of people at tables in restaurants, and it is time for people to get back to their offices. They talk about lifting further restrictions in step 5 (the final step), but the only thing that comes to mind are border controls, which seem more political than anything. “C19 is a disease we must learn to live with”. A reminder: no vaxports here and this will make the case for them even weaker..." read more
Tegnell, when pressed about vaccine mandates/passports: “we do not divide society by vaccination status for any other vaccine and we won’t do it for this one. We have seen how divisive this is in other European countries”.
But the government this week: “we are considering them for large concerts and certain professions” - so, as has often been the case, the health authority and government are at odds. read more
"The numbers here are creeping up, but are still relatively low (The smart epidemiologists on Twitter are saying Delta peaks after 5 weeks, I think Sweden is 2 weeks away). No region is reporting a strain on health care. There is an extremely high level of vaccine uptake among the over 50’s (90%) which drops off in the younger age groups... 20% of ICU patients have been vaccinated....Re vaccines for 12-15 year olds - the Health Authority says no, rates of side effects are too high; vaccine passports - also a firm no; boosters - “we haven’t seen a need”...
On a political level the sitting government has asked to extend the authorization to implement emergency pandemic measures for an additional 4 months past September 30th - and could not get support in parliament! " read more
"Once a journalist asked Tegnell if domestic vaccine passports would be a possibility, and Tegnell said NO. He said if cases go up again, we would work together as a community to try to bring them down." read more
We have a population of about 10,230,000, of which about 8,200,000 are eligible for vaccination (over 18)
Of those 8,200,000, 6,365,362 have had their first dose: 77,7%
4,118,142 have had their second dose: 50.3% read more
"All is well here, most of our light restrictions and recommendations have been lifted now. And not a whiff of domestic vaccine passports. Our case rate is 30/100,000, below the 50/100,000 where Tegnell said the crisis would be over." read more
Tegnell said when our numbers get under 50/100,000, it will be “extremely unlikely you will get sick”. We are almost there. read more
Rates plummeting but "the Public Health Authority extended their guidance to "stay apart”, “avoid new contacts", and "work from home" until end of September" read more
Churches, school graduation, and vaccination for children read more
What changes have come now that June 1 is here read more
About in-person school attendance read more
Deborah's comments re an April 19, 2021 piece in the Lancet, re Sweden read more
Limits on numbers allowed in stores read more
Vaccination rates and opening up for larger events read more
Kids and schools read more
Wondering how the numbers in the news line up with Deborah's own experience. read more
About Swedish parks read more
Includes Deborah's summary of Sweden’s Public Health Authority report of the results of 2 studies.read more
Including a vacation trip, and returning to Sweden read more
1. Our chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell now has 24 hour police protection. :-/
2. At the beginning of the pandemic, care homes for the elderly were closed to visitors, while the situation was brought under control. The sharpened routines were better hygiene, better training of staff, fewer staff interacting with each patient, that type of thing. But then a decision was made when the pandemic waned late spring, to allow visitors, as the mental health effects of not allowing visitors was considered a worse health risk than the virus. Elderly who have had both their shots are free to meet people as they choose, and “hug their grandchildren”. The situation concerning the unvaccinated is less clear to me - I believe each care facility has discretion. Hospitals are quite strict here as well. A friend’s mother was in the ICU (not covid) and he couldn’t visit her until the very end of her life, when it was clear she wouldn’t recover.
3. Interesting data on Swedish schools remaining open: basically, there have been less infections among children than seasonal flu; no deaths of the 1.8 million children aged 1-15 who remained in daycare or school.
March 9, 2021
A zoom call with Deborah. It sounds like despite the fact that up to the day of our call Sweden has somewhat fewer covid deaths per million than most other EU countries, Swedish media generally follow the broader international media consensus: that the handling of the pandemic in Sweden has been a shameful disaster. Deborah said that the amount of bullying on twitter seems very similar to that in other countries as well (mostly name-calling), with some tweets saying that Anders Tegnell ought to be brought before the international court of justice for genocide.
See also: supplementary material sent by Deborah