‘It Has Very Much Relied On Its Relationship With Its Citizenry’

at | 80 Replies

Stockholm, Sweden last Saturday; Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert

Sweden.

Where adults are treated like adults.

“I think there’s a perception out that Sweden has not put in control measures and just has allowed the disease to spread. Nothing can be further from the truth.”

[instead of lockdowns] ‘the country has put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting people in long term care facilities.

What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate. In that sense, they have implemented public policy through that partnership with the population.”

Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organistaioon yesterday.

WHO lauds lockdown-ignoring Sweden as a ‘model’ for countries going forward (New York Post)

Previously: Philip O’Connor: Sweden’s Relaxed Strategy

Getty/AP

80 thoughts on “‘It Has Very Much Relied On Its Relationship With Its Citizenry’

  1. JamesJoist

    I wonder if the park in the picture is the one where they recently dumped tons of chicken poo to stop people congregating ?

    Reply
    1. f_lawless

      I remember weeks ago being scoffed at for lauding the Swedish approach. Now the WHO are officially doing so

      Reply
      1. Commenter #1

        From the article:

        “The country, which has a population of 10.3 million, has seen more than 20,300 cases and 2,462 deaths as of Thursday afternoon — far higher than its Nordic neighbors, which implemented stricter containment measures, the latest data shows.”

        So, what’s the line? Sweden’s approach is correct because the WHO said some laudatory things about it, even though Covid 19/coronavirus seems to have impacted it much worse than its immediate neighbours and elsewhere?

        Edited to add: Relying on the state’s relationship with its citizenry instead of instituting restrictions is great when (1) that relationship is good and (2) relying on it has a beneficial impact on controlling the impact of coronavirus. When either (1) or (2) aren’t true, then you’ve got problems.

        Reply
          1. Commenter #1

            I don’t know what methodology Sweden uses to count its cases. I do know that our testing infrastructure is inadequate, and we are likely undercounting our cases here; that is the consensus globally also as I understand. What my issue is is that Broadsheet/Bodger believes this snippet of the WHO’s belief is worth propogating, but not the comparison with other nordic countries stated in the same article.

            But I just want to be clear: what do you think is nonsense? The efficacy of lockdown, or the impact of the virus?

          2. Commenter #1

            “…Sweden has roughly the same number of confirmed cases per million people as Denmark and Norway. But it’s misleading to say that Sweden is doing no worse. The total number of confirmed cases is increasing at a faster rate in Sweden than in Norway and Denmark — even though Sweden is doing less testing per 1,000 people than Norway and Denmark. Moreover, Sweden has higher death rates.”

            https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/28/facebook-posts/sweden-mostly-open-has-higher-covid-19-death-rate-/

            Sweden is doing less testing than we are also, it appears, at least per this data:
            https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/full-list-cumulative-total-tests-per-thousand?time=2020-03-01..2020-04-19&country=SWE+IRL

            So that would go some way to explaining why we are showing as many cases. Do more testing, identify more cases. At least if you believe that Coronavirus is a real, prevalent thing. Which, you know, apparently some on here do not

          3. Cian

            So we have as many cases as Sweden with less than half it’s population and in lock down?
            Ireland has done 153,000 tests compared to 120,000 for Sweden.
            By population we have tested 31,000/million population, Sweden is only at 11,800/million.
            The less you test the fewer positive cases you find!

            For comparison, UK have testing 12,000/million; Italy and Spain tested 31,000/million.

        1. f_lawless

          I think you’re not considering how things are likely to pan out in the longer term.

          While Sweden – whose death rate is on a par with that of Ireland’s, by the way – made some mistakes in not doing enough to protect those in nursing homes (similar to many other countries, including Ireland of course) , their policy of non-lockdown social distancing has meant that they haven’t tanked their economy and at the same time have quite likely built up a significant level of immunity among the population. Those other Nordic countries may have lower death rates at this point in time but in the longer term, what are the consequences for having shut down for so long(economically, socially, etc)? They can’t remain in lockdown indefinitely waiting for a vaccine. And, if it’s the case that due to the lockdown measures, the level of immunity among their respective populations is much lower than that of Sweden’s , then aren’t they still stuck at square one in terms of protecting the most vulnerable and conquering the virus?

          https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus-herd-immunity.html

          Reply
          1. SOQ

            +1

            Everyone is doing the same thing which is try and manage the spread and not overwhelm the health care systems- because it cannot be stopped. The fatality rates will pan out very similar in the long run.

            When you look at Britain’s situation where the hospitals built for extra capacity are lying idle and medical staff are doing stupid dance routines on TikTok because they are so bored, it is quite clear that in some countries there has been an over reaction.

  2. J DIZ

    The Irish wouldn’t be able to put that into practice. We have a lockdown, and people throw street parties. We have a high number of scum in whole communities that couldn’t follow a rule if their lives depended on it. If we tried to to a Sweden on it, people would do absolutely nothing different. As a population, we are clowns.

    Reply
    1. scottser

      your comments refere to a tiny fraction of a per cent of the population. ascribing those traits to everyone is the mark of a silly. see, what’s happening here is that you think everyone is a scumbag and the behaviour of a few justifies that in your sick and twisted head. you are a misanthrope and a pyschopath. you’re the one who should stay in and never, ever, ever go outside again.
      silly.

      Reply
      1. J DIZ

        How do you know it’s a tiny percentage? I’ve seen videos of the areas I’m referring to and there is 100’s on the street ignoring the law. People hate when you point out that certain areas have anti social behavior by the majority of the residents. You love a bit of name calling don’t you and just because I gave an alternative view to you? You pal are the Psycho. Stay home and argue in the mirror. I have followed the recommendations of staying at home,.

        Reply
    2. Brother Barnabas

      who is the “scum”?

      the south county dubliners fecklessly heading off to their holiday homes in small rural communities without giving a thought for the potential consequences ?

      Reply
    3. Fergalito

      I think it’s unfair to spit bile at the Irish populace and label us all clowns, as you put it. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority of people have complied with the lockdown rules. True, a margin have flouted the rules and I’m sure this holds true in other countries too. It’s more a hallmark of human nature rather than an Irish specific “flaw.” Culturally of course we have our differences when compared in this instance to Sweden. Perhaps, as the narrative introducing the WHO commentary suggests, if we were treated like adults we would behave as adults. I’d posit that we have in general behaved responsibly in general terms.

      Your comment reminds me of a quote from Shaw (I think) – “if you put an Irish man on a spit you’ll always find another Irish man to turn him.” Your tabloid, Ian O’Dohertyesque indignation may either be a result of the lockdown blues or a predilection towards amplifying the anecdotal so as to represent the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

      Reply
      1. Fergalito

        I think it’s unfair to spit bile at the Irish populace and label us all clowns, as you put it. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority of people have complied with the lockdown rules. True, a margin have flouted the rules and I’m sure this holds true in other countries too. It’s more a hallmark of human nature rather than an Irish specific “flaw.” Culturally of course we have our differences when compared in this instance to Sweden. Perhaps, as the narrative introducing the WHO commentary suggests, if we were treated like adults we would behave as adults. I’d posit that we have in general behaved responsibly.

        Your comment reminds me of a quote from Shaw (I think) – “if you put an Irish man on a spit you’ll always find another Irish man to turn him.” Your tabloid, Ian O’Dohertyesque indignation may either be a result of the lockdown blues or a predilection towards amplifying the anecdotal so as to represent the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        Reply
    4. Cian

      @J DIZ
      “If we tried to to a Sweden on it, people would do absolutely nothing different. As a population, we are clowns.”

      I disagree. The “clowns” are going to do stupid things regardless of whether they are asked not to (Sweden model) or told not to (rest of the world). The law that is in place to prevent us from going out and about relies on our better nature. If everyone decided to ignore it and go back to normal the Gardaí couldn’t do anything about it. 14,000 Gards can’t arrest 4.9 million people.

      Reply
    5. Qwerty123

      Jdiz is correct, just badly worded. People from certain sections of irish society wouldnt care and would go out of their way to break protocol.

      I dont think Sweden has a high of level of these types of people.

      I.e. nacks

      Reply
      1. J DIZ

        I may have badly worded it, but it’s true. I have lived in one of these areas till i was 16. People on a daily basis would do things that others wouldn’t dream of. Bin Charges? Nah I’ll burn it in the field. 3:00am? Think it’s time to turn up the music. Sunny day? Walk around drinking cans. Cut me grass? Nah, I’ll let it grow 6ft tall and make the place look like a kip. Car broke Down? Sure i’ll leave it outside the house with no wheels for the next 6 years. Paint me house? Nah, i’ll get the paint fall off sure who cares.

        These sort of people don’t follow the norms. The area I lived in was maybe 300 houses. at least 200 of the houses were in complete disrepair.

        Reply
        1. Finnster

          J DIZ – Oh dear, where to begin with these sweeping generalizations. I grew up near a council estate and hung out with some the best people I have ever known. Sure, some of the houses in that estate were in disrepair – for all I know, the occupants may have been depressed, ground down or may not have had any support. I’ve been to many council estates and I don’t believe for one minute that 200 out of 300 houses were not maintained. If anything, it’s often a very small minority. Nobody really wants to live in s squalor – margianalised people are more to be pitied that scorned. Many housing estates built in the 1970 had no facilities/shops/libraries nearby. When the tenements were knocked down, families were sent out to the outskirts with little or no public transport.

          If you peel back the layers and look a little deeper, you might develop a better understanding of what it is to be human in a world where you’re looked down upon.

          Reply
          1. J Dizzle

            Gonto Google earth, go to Darndale, scroll around and tell me more than 50% of the houses arent in bits.

          2. Finnster

            Are you for real?Judgemental much. Curtain-twitching via Google Earth to look at house facades in Darndale. None of my business how people’s homes look. I don’t judge people by buildings they occupy.

        2. Clampers Outside

          I lived in the Liberties for 20 years.

          It took one family with three teen sons and no dad to wreak havoc on the whole neighbourhood and the passing tourists.

          It only takes one or two, as the saying goes.

          Reply
    6. Jake38

      True to some extent but I think just for the usual minority. Remember we are a post colonial society with lots of dependancy culture and a particular attitude of distrust towards authority. The Swedes, on the other hand, have been adults for a long time.

      Reply
    7. Harry Robertson

      We have a lockdown and straight away people were losing their minds, at supermarkets buying toilet rolls. How many stories or pics of people (from I’m guessing all sections of society) crammed into supermarkets not an hour after the first and second announcement by the Taoiseach. I agree with you point, we Irish don’t do rules. It’s always ‘someone else’s fault not mine’

      Reply
  3. H

    I’ll just leave this here, https://www.econlib.org/sweden-is-not-the-model-taiwan-is/

    Tat article is a couple of weeks old now so just to update, there have been no new cases reported in Taiwan for three days, and their overall figures are 239 cases with 6 deaths.

    I attended a very interesting Webinar about the Taiwanese approach yesterday and the speaker put their success down to five key points:

    1. They did not believe what the Chinese Government said (or the WHO for that matter)
    2. They starting putting measures in place in December, while fully acknowledging that they may have ended up as not being necessary
    3. The government appointed their Vice President, a leading epidemiologist, as the lead and let him get on with it
    4. They made use of digital technology for tracing etc in a transparent way
    5. The people co-operated, not because of their mythical submissive culture, but because they had confidence in the strategy being used

    Reply
      1. Fergalito

        I think it’s unfair to spit bile at the Irish populace and label us all clowns, as you put it. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority of people have complied with the lockdown rules. True, a margin have flouted the rules and I’m sure this holds true in other countries too. It’s more a hallmark of human nature rather than an Irish specific “flaw.” Culturally of course we have our differences when compared in this instance to Sweden. Perhaps, as the narrative introducing the WHO commentary suggests, if we were treated like adults we would behave as adults. I’d posit that we have in general behaved responsibly.

        Your comment reminds me of a quote from Shaw (I think) – “if you put an Irish man on a spit you’ll always find another Irish man to turn him.” Your tabloid, Ian O’Dohertyesque indignation may either be a result of the lockdown blues or a predilection towards amplifying the anecdotal so as to represent the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        Reply
          1. Fergalito

            Yeah, apologies,

            My banana fingered posting makes me look quite the fool. One comment replicated three times, i will stand those fingers down and return them to the fruit bowl.

    1. ReproBertie

      Key sentence in that article – “Taiwan was impacted by the SARS epidemic, and its government took this issue very seriously.”

      Once bitten, twice shy.

      Reply
    2. Rob_G

      Interesting.

      4. I am doubtful this would work in either Ireland (or Britain, for that matter); witness people in Ireland losing their poop about having to carry a card to access social welfare services.

      5. I’m not sure I agree with you with the ‘submissive culture’ thing – Taiwan was a dictatorship until relatively recently. Several countries in Asia have had lockdowns/quarantines in recent years; I remember when the virus was centred in Wuhan, and people needed a piece of paper to leave the house, thinking: “jesus, I hope that virus doesn’t make it to Europe – European people would never agree to that”. Even when it was implemented in Europe, I could scarcely believe it. Just look at all the protests in America – the further west you go, the greater the obsession with freedom at any cost, and distrust of any forms government control.

      Reply
      1. Johnnythree

        ‘4. I am doubtful this would work in either Ireland (or Britain, for that matter); witness people in Ireland losing their poop about having to carry a card to access social welfare services’

        Irish people would, I am sure, carry a card if they were clear about why they had to carry it, who used their data, why the data was used and when. We don’t carry cards because our Govt dont treat us like adults and give us clear information. The data protection commissioner raised the issue, made a ruling and what did the Govt do? Challenged her in court (still ongoing- Thanks Regina Doherty). I regret the day I moved back to Ireland from Germany – seriously – not perfect but more transparent than you would believe,.

        Reply
        1. Rob_G

          Your comment reminds me of Fergalito’s Shaw thing above – you complain about the public services card (which I’m pretty sure you don’t need to ‘carry’, as you suggest, only bring it wiht you when you go to the SW office), while in Germany I’m pretty sure one has to carry one’s ID card all the time, and they fine you if you move from one commune to another without informing them of your change of address within a certain period.

          Reply
          1. Johnnythree

            The Government want us all to use the card for lots of things. I assume you know that? In Germany you don’t bring the card with you for everything but you do use it in all official interactions, thing is – its use and the storage and tracking of data is transparent there as it is in most other countries. In Ireland thats not the case and when you have the Govt challenging the Data Protection Commissioner in court you can be sure they are not doing it for fun.

          2. Rob_G

            (i) What are the specific use cases of the Irish public services card that you object to?
            (ii) How do these use cases differ from those which you would need your ID card in Germany?

  4. Finnster

    Yeah, would be nice to be treated like an adult. Quarantining healthy people and intimidating them into submission while crashing the economy, is utterly ridiculous. We will pay dearly for it.

    Reply
  5. Type0Negative

    Problem is – and I say this in a fairly lighthearted way –  we as Irish people take some delight in bending rules and have a residual resentment of authority deep in our blood that dates back hundreds of years, we have a little of the “ah sure its grand” mentality when it comes to being told what to do, and when we see rules being flouted we tend to keep quiet and gossip about it later. Most of us would behave but I don’t trust about one in ten of us to not act selfishly, and that mentality crosses all classes in our society.
    The Nordic mindset can be trusted to follow guidelines to the letter and to hold each other accountable, I’ve been to several of those countries and the cultural obsession with order is striking.

    Reply
    1. mexican

      If our approach to how we follow the rules of the road is anything to go by, then you are correct. We do not like being told what to do and IMHO we are pretty selfish about it too.

      Reply
    2. Andrew

      I agree TypeONegative. Any of you who have lived in another European country you would know this. There is no comparison. There are a significant cohort in this country, across all social classes that think rules don’t apply to them and cannot even comprehend how their own behaviour has an effect on others.

      Reply
    3. scottser

      ‘the nordic mindset’
      what the hell is wrong with you people today?
      any more of this and i’m off to the journal for some proper commentary.

      Reply
    4. f_lawless

      On top of that residual resentment I would say there’s plenty of more recent events in Irish politics that have reinforced the public perception of authority here as self-serving, unaccountable and often incompetent.

      Sadly, I have doubts the Irish government could have implemented a Swedish style model here even if they had wanted to. That would have meant “going against the herd”, taking a strong stand contrary to the majority of Europe and asking the Irish public to have faith in their leadership. Can you imagine the uproar?

      Reply
      1. f_lawless

        ..that is, I mean to say they probably wouldn’t have been able to inspire the public to get behind a more liberal Swedish-style policy

        Reply
  6. J Dizzle

    The HSE app that will be released soon will show you what we think of this. People list their minds over the public services card, so do you think that the app will be downloaded by the majority? People think the governments are out to get them.

    Reply
      1. Cian

        Yes. By your phone company.

        Why? So that when someone phones you, they can connect that call it to your phone. That is literally a minimum requirement for a mobile phone.

        Reply
    1. Johnnythree

      People only think the Govt are out to get them when they have reason to suspect the same. In most other countries the trust in the government and institutions is high so the populace have no reason to think there is any other motive. Here it’s clear that the Govt work off spin, deception and the hiding of facts, then they are surprised when we don’t co-operate. Which do they want? Treat us like adults and respect our decisions or hand feed us and wonder at our non compliance? Can’t have both.

      Reply
    1. Commenter #1

      Come on George, don’t you understand that the important thing is that Sweden’s government “treat adults like adults.” If twice as many people have to contract and/or die from Covid 19/coronavirus, well, that’s a shame.

      Reply
      1. J Dizzle

        They dying were were treated like adults, it should be written on all headstones.

        I didn’t want to come across as an Ian ODoherty. I also don’t want to be viewed as a self hating Irish man. I just feel the heavy lockdown we have is necessary in a country that typically ignores rules. A fire alarm goes off in a pub in Spain let’s say, the Irish are still sipping their drinks while all other nationalities are outside. We wait for the smoke to be seen. Its in our nature. People will only take these social distancing recommendations when we have an over flowing hospital system and 1000s dying. I think Italy suffers the same type of thinking.

        Reply
  7. Peter Dempsey

    It is funny that the Left will bend over backwards to not condemn bad behaviour by “nacks”. South Dubs are wrong for heading to their holiday homes but inner city Dubs are also wrong for having houseparties

    Reply
    1. Steph Pinker

      Thanks again, f-lawless; there are so many aspects and consequent reactions to Covid-19 which are illogical, unconstitutional and unnecessary – I’ve been of this opinion since the complete lock-down was announced yet it is still being endorsed and enforced at all costs – literally and otherwise.

      The decisions taken were political under the guise of public healthcare, but the mask is finally slipping; so many other aspects of civilian life have been compromised and violated due to our politicians and civil servants who, for the most part will be unaffected unlike the electorate they are supposed to serve, many of whom have died in HSE hospitals and nursing homes – and I’m not just referring to patients. It’s too little too late and FFG are cynically using this pandemic, not just currently, but as a potential threat in the future because a nervous society is more likely to stick with what they are told by ‘experts’ than question the authority behind those experts – it seems the Irish electorate have very short memories and little imagination.

      I’d say Plato is chuckling away to himself in his cave – who needs a Republic?

      Reply

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