(c) The Atlantic

In Business Insider yesterday:

Sweden’s strategy for dealing with the novel coronavirus so far has not included a lockdown. Instead, the country has allowed people to go to parks, bars, and restaurants and to keep working, while encouraging but largely not enforcing social distancing. It’s a strategy that most in the country appear to support. But it has sparked alarm among some experts who point to the country’s relatively high death toll, the effects on vulnerable groups, and what they say is an approach that ignores much of the best research on COVID-19.


And, the strategy did not work, with only 7.3% of the Stockholm population developing Covid-19 anti-bodies by the end of April.


Though they were to back-off under pressure, as late as early March, the UK Government’s top adviser Patrick Vallance, was clearly still in favour of it:

Britain’s chief scientific adviser stoked controversy on Friday when he said that about 40m people in the UK could need to catch the coronavirus to build up “herd immunity” and prevent the disease coming back in the future.


Even with the strategy moderated, vulnerable groups have suffered most and the fondness for herd immunity is revealing of a wider ideology found on the political right in England including, notably, members of the current Cabinet. It’s an ideology with its roots in Eugenics and crude Darwinism which is comfortable to see a cull of the infirm, the disabled, the ‘feckless poor’ and the psychologically ‘weak’ in the interests of a more potent, efficient, competitive society.

Back in Sweden, as recently as 1976 (!) women were being sterilised ‘with state approval to improve Swedish “racial purity” as part of a policy of “ethnic hygiene”


Pregnant women seeking abortions because their foetus was damaged were told they also had to consent to sterilisation. People could even apply to have problem neighbourhood families sterilised.


Even more recently:

Until 2012, sterilisation was mandatory before sex change. This last mandatory sterilisation has been criticised by several political parties in Sweden and since 2011 the Parliament of Sweden was expected to change the law but ran into opposition from the Christian Democrat party.


So much for Abba?