With its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though, Sweden’s upright image has been tarnished. Over the past few weeks, the world has watched as Sweden’s public health agency has largely ignored international scientific consensus on the most efficient and lifesaving response to COVID-19: social distancing.
Sweden is the only nation in the group of more economically developed countries taking an almost entirely laissez-faire approach to the pandemic. As a native Swede who has been based in the United States for the past 10 years and recently made a temporary return to my home country, I have found it difficult to experience Sweden’s uniquely incautious yet self-assured response, even if it hasn’t been entirely unpredictable. Sweden’s problematic approach has many layers.
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