Figure 1 illustrates the daily mortality attributed to covid-19 in Sweden, New York, Illinois, and Texas. The figure plots the daily number of deaths per million population. This figure illustrates the rise and fall of deaths from covid-19 in four different policy environments. The data were obtained from Worldometer.
Sweden: The Control Group
Sweden (blue dots) has served as a control group to compare policies intended to decrease deaths from covid-19. Sweden has been unfairly criticized for its policy despite having an outcome more favorable than places with authoritarian lockdown policies. Sweden did not close its schools. Other than stopping gatherings of more than fifty people, the Swedish government left decisions of closing businesses, using masks, and social distancing to the Swedish people. The government encouraged the use of masks and social distancing, but there were no requirements and there were no penalties for those who declined to follow the advice. Mortality attributed to covid-19 hit a peak value of 11.38 deaths per day per million population on April 8, 2020. This mortality was matched on April 15, and mortality has decreased since then. Daily mortality has been less than one death per day per million population for the previous eighteen days. Cases are very low. For all practical purposes, the covid-19 epidemic is over in Sweden. Almost certainly herd immunity has been achieved in Sweden irrespective of any antibody test results. Testing is usually only for IgG antibody and the herd can become immune via IgA antibody or cellular mechanisms that are not detected by the usual testing. Whether covid-19 will reappear this next fall or winter remains to be seen.