|By Christina Anderson and Henrik Pryser Libell
Stockholm — When the coronavirus swept into the Scandinavian countries, Norway and Denmark scrambled to place extensive restrictions on their borders to stem the outbreak. Sweden, their neighbor, took a decidedly different path.
While Denmark and Norway closed their borders, restaurants and ski slopes and told all students to stay home this month, Sweden shut only its high schools and colleges, kept its preschools, grade schools, pubs, restaurants and borders open — and put no limits on the slopes.
At a news conference this month, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden announced the closing of high schools and universities, but not of the country’s preschools and grade schools.
In fact, Sweden has stayed open for business while other nations beyond Scandinavia have attacked the outbreak with various measures ambitious in scope and reach. Sweden’s approach has raised questions about whether it’s gambling with a disease, Covid-19, that has no cure or vaccine, or if its tactic will be seen as a savvy strategy to fight a scourge that has laid waste to millions of jobs and prompted global lockdowns unprecedented in peacetime …
… A recent headline in the Danish newspaper Politiken, encapsulates the question ricocheting around Europe, “Doesn’t Sweden take the corona crisis seriously?”
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