A Country Doctor Reads: Why Sweden isn’t Restricting Personal Freedom During the Covid-19 Pandemic – Svenska Dagbladet

I read in the news media that my native Sweden is not restricting personal freedoms the way other countries are. I just recently happened to subscribe to Svenska Dagbladet, one of the big Stockholm newspapers. Here is what they quote historian Lars Trägårdh saying about why:

“First, there is a deeper trust in public institutions in Sweden than in other countries. It is not blind injunctions that make us obedient citizens but faith in expert authorities who in turn trust their citizens. It is a matter of mutual trust.

Therefore, Swedish authorities believe that it is enough to make recommendations such as staying inside if you feel ill and avoid large crowds. “Use your brains“…. Classic Swedish freedom and responsibility in other words. May also be called common knowledge, common sense or sense of duty.

Secondly, the Swedish exception can be explained by the ban on ministerial rule. This is a deeply rooted rule that goes back to the 17th century when the foundation was laid for the Swedish state apparatus. This means that Sweden is governed by expert authorities and not the government. Politicians who want to show muscles in tough times should keep their paws away from apolitical institutions whose decisions are based on skill and expertise.

This is very deeply rooted in Sweden. Elsewhere in the world where they don’t have this strict rule, many politicians now take the opportunity to prove themselves as strong leaders and impose harsh prohibitions especially if it is an election year. “

https://www.svd.se/historiker-coronafester-ger-inga-pluspoang-har

3 Responses to “A Country Doctor Reads: Why Sweden isn’t Restricting Personal Freedom During the Covid-19 Pandemic – Svenska Dagbladet”


  1. 1 Marc Lippman March 29, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    So the point of course is that Swedish people don’t stand very close to anybody else even under the best of circumstances so social distancing is a very “relative” concept

  2. 2 Paul Terrill, MD, FAAFP March 29, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Time will tell if they made the right call. Their cases are take a significant upswing. But, that’s what this virus does. I wish all Swedes well, my wife included.


  1. 1 What doctor bloggers are writing about COVID-19 – watercress words-exploring and sharing the HEART of health Trackback on May 6, 2020 at 6:38 am

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