A prominent Danish epidemiological researcher has stated that Sweden “may now be finished with the epidemic” as a result of a sufficient level of immunity throughout the population.
Kim Sneppen, the professor of biocomplexity at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, explained to the Politiken newspaper:
“There are indications that the Swedes have gained an element of immunity to the disease, which, together with everything else they are doing to prevent the infection from spreading, is enough to keep the disease down,”
But widespread immunity has not come without a cost. Sweden gained international attention early on for its relaxed approach towards tackling the virus. The country has since suffered what seems like disproportionately more deaths than any of its neighbouring countries.
At time of writing, Sweden has seen 5865 Covid deaths, which is 9.2 times higher than that of Denmark (635), despite the fact that the population of Sweden is only 1.76 times greater.
However, given the exponential nature in which the virus spreads, the entire disparity cannot be said to be a direct result of differing public policy. A country with twice the population of another is expected to have far more than twice the number of cases, all things being equal.
In any case, time will tell whether or not Sweden’s strategy was worth the cost paid. In the mean time, the surviving population can now look toward what seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.