In this article for Foreign Affairs, authors Nils Karlson, Charlotta Stern, and Daniel Klein discuss the benefits of the Swedish COVID-19 strategy and why more countries will soon emulate it. The authors also discuss the many reasons why countries must begin to ease lockdowns as soon as they can.
Editor’s Note: The success of the Swedish strategy means that we have all miscalculated the positive impact of lockdowns.
As locked down countries are starting to realize, the curve may have been flattened when they imposed a lockdown, but only temporarily. Today, as their citizens go out on the streets, infection rates are increasing, and while it is a cause of concern, there is a growing understanding that such increases do not necessarily result in widespread fatality. We are also discovering that the novel coronavirus is not as virulent as was once feared. In addition, there is an acknowledgment that the increase in infection rate will happen as an inevitable consequence of forcing people inside their homes. Furthermore, lockdowns only prolong manipulated fears.
The Philippines must also realize that no matter how long we lockdown our cities and provinces, the virus will still infect those that it can. No amount of fear-mongering for a second wave or shaming of curfew violators will change the reality that only a strong immune system can stop this coronavirus.
Must leaders cause undue economic and psychological hardship to their citizens by extending lockdowns? [Nicanor Perlas has published a new blog that directly addresses this. See The Avoided And Unanswered Question: People Just Don’t Get!].
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