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How Scandinavian countries coped with the pandemic?

There was not a single country in the world that did not experience the hardship of Covid-19 on itself. The virus which appeared almost a year ago significantly changed the usual way of life and brought devastating consequences for states.

The economy of various countries moved into a deep recession. Markets crashed, prices went up and what’s more a lot of people were left without jobs. However, in the recent period, we have had some positive news about the vaccine and the United Kingdom became the first country to approve it.

Scandinavian countries also brought measures to somehow curb the spread of the virus. We have had an example of Sweden which was built on “herd immunity”. In this article, we will have a look at different Scandinavian countries and their policies during the pandemic period.

Norway

Two neighboring countries, Norway and Sweden, acted directly opposite during the pandemic. Norway, which has imposed austerity, was completely different from Sweden.

In July, for the first time since March 10, there was no patient with coronavirus. Right now there are more than 38,000 cases and over 350 deaths.

Camilla Stoltenberg, director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, suggested on May 22 that the country could do without quarantine. She suggested that they could achieve the same effect and avoid some adverse effects without a lockdown.

The government imposed restrictions on March 12. Norwegians were even forbidden to go to the cottages. Health Minister Bent Høie insisted that in those days the baseline reproductive number was 2.5.

At the end of May, the Institute of Public Health, having analyzed the statistics, reported other data: at the time of the introduction of the lockdown, the figure reached only 1.1. Stoltenberg attributed the discrepancies to the shortcomings of the medical statistics system.

We can also note a huge social responsibility from Norwegian citizens. When the lockdown was imposed they strictly followed the rules, stayed at home. It should be noted that during this period people acquired different skills. Some of them were engaged in various activities. The online gambling industry which is quickly growing in Norway gained popularity. People played a lot at newly launched Norwegian casinos and at the same time, online streaming was also popular.

Laws regarding gambling in Norway are strict. However, it should be mentioned that following the events in Norway a huge reorganization is planned to regulate this field.

Sweden

The country without quarantine – it is the best description that we can attach to Sweden. The country was an example for some countries in this regard.

Sweden was the only EU country where the authorities did not impose a strict quarantine due to the pandemic. At the same time, for half a year the country’s GDP fell by only 7%. The same percentage was the mortality rate from coronavirus, which is much less than in other European countries. However, doctors stressed that the virus in the country simply was not detected because of the lack of PCR tests.

Herd immunity and support for the economy

The Swedish economy has lost half as much during the pandemic than the rest of Europe, where residents have been strictly quarantined. This was reported by Trading Economics.

Thus, according to the statute of European states, on average in the European Union GDP has slipped by 15%. In the U.S., the situation is even worse- where GDP fell by 33%. In Sweden, GDP fell by only 7% during the pandemic.

Although this economic decline is a record for Sweden, it has not had as much impact on the quality of life of the population as it has in other European countries.

The main idea of the Swedish model of control against coronavirus, authored by the country’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, was the natural production of mass immunity to infection, as well as serious support for the economy – people still continued to go to work, visit restaurants, beauty salons and fitness clubs.

Self-isolation in Sweden was advisory rather than mandatory. Only a ban on mass events, a ban on visiting nursing homes and the transfer of students to distance learning were adopted as restrictive measures.

Swedes were not required or required to wear masks in public, and if they travelled to places where the pandemic outbreak was recorded, they were not forced to sit in quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Denmark

Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to declare restrictions on the movement of residents and was one of the first to loosen these restrictions.

Mette Frederiksen, the country’s prime minister noted that it was important that they did not keep the whole of Denmark locked up longer than necessary.

The spread of the epidemic in the country seems to have been brought under control, and the government wants the economy to start working again.

However, the lifting of restrictions will be slow and cautious. The prime minister compared this to the movement of a tightrope walker.

If the country is reopened too early there is a risk that the number of people infected will grow too quickly, and then they will be forced to close it again.

For the time being, Denmark’s borders remain closed for most of the countries.

Finland

Finland is one of the countries in the world where the COVID-19 pandemic is most successfully controlled. No other country in Europe has such a low infection rate of SARS-CoV-2.

By comparison, in Denmark, where almost six million people live, almost six million people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection. Slovakia, which is also comparable to Finland in terms of population, has 99,300. In Sweden, where only twice as many inhabitants are more than 230,000 infected, this is ten times higher than the Finn neighbours.

Quick reaction

When the number of coronavirus infections increased sharply around the world in the spring, Finnish authorities reacted immediately – and imposed a two-month quarantine. Travel to and from Helsinki, as well as the surrounding region’s capital, has been banned. Schools and other institutions closed, and later – also restaurants. This happened in the relatively early period of SARS-CoV-2, the number of infected then was still relatively low. Doctors conduct tests in people in cars Timely introduction of quarantine, a large number of tests are the components of Finland’s success in the fight against the pandemic.

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