Most countries have attempted to control the spread of COVID-19 by what is often called "lockdown". Sweden has chosen another strategy. On this site, among other things, I will analyse the Swedish strategy and the Swedish situation using scientific theories concerning stress that I have partially examined in COPING WITH STRESS: sudden death among orienteers, 1999.
My main goal, however, is to analyse what has already happened around the world to better understand what different strategies have had for results in order to, in the future, choose strategies with the highest probability of success. It is important to be positive about the future, but to build a positive future we need first a factual analysis as to what has worked and what has not worked in the past. Unfortunately, political actors and the country's scientists will often deny their failures.
At the moment I will start this analysis with the Prologue and Table of Contents of a book I am presently writing: Corona Stress: An Experiment with Age Discrimination. The preliminary prologue is here below and the preliminary introduction is in this pdf-fil
Page still under construction
It was sometime in early March. I don’t remember the date, but I had been wondering for some days what the Swedish government was going to do about the corona virus. Then I heard the recommendations and immediately turned to my wife and said:
“Anne, did you hear? That will never work here. There’ll be a lot of deaths, especially
in the elderly care facilities! Judging from other countries five to six thousand deaths.”
The consulting work that I had done with elderly care workers in three districts (communes) told me that the virus was sure to spread in many of the elderly care centers in many communes throughout the country. I was, of course, not the only one with this information about elderly care facilities. As a Swedish national newspaper, Dagens Nyheter quoted a researcher Olivia Wigzell on their editorial page on 20200518 in an article entitled Sweden’s Strategy is built on wishful thinking:
"Anyone who knew anything about the elderly knew it would be like this."
Although a Swedish citizen, I am also a Canadian and spent the first 28 years of my life in Canada. Therefore “my cultural influences” vary somewhat from most other Swedes.
From very early on I have been interested in how to help people cope with stress. As a 20-year old student minister at a United Church of Canada, I had to console a young couple and perform the funeral for their 14-year-old son who when out riding his bike was struck and killed by a truck. That was after 2 years of university education in Sociology and social psychology. Since then I have had a further 10 years of undergraduate and graduate education in a multitude of subjects concentrating on sociology, psychology, education, and statistics. In addition since 1982, I have been to several conferences and courses on Mental training and worked to some extent with the Swedish Mental Training Expert Lars-Eric Uneståhl of the Scandinavian International University.
During the 57 years since that funeral for the 14-year old boy, I have had extensive experience with other people in various kinds of stress. Athletes I have coached experience stress before world orienteering championships or Swedish Athletic championships, as do 10-year-olds before their first experience on their own in the forest.
There are some similarities in how bereaved parents, athletes, youth, aged, students defending their theses, and other people handle stress.
I believe I have carried out the only study done on how a group of people react to instructions from authorities to change their normal behaviour because of death risks from a virus. This two-year study was somewhat summarized in my thesis: COPING WITH STRESS: sudden death among orienteers, 1999.
Obviously, I take everything around this Pandemic seriously, while at the same time I think it important to laugh (sometimes at oneself) to be able to balance the good and the bad as well as reduce negative stress. Therefore, I have elected to include some “cartoons” to humorously look especially at what I think are serious mistakes. All of the best illustrations were drawn by a good friend of mine, Hanna Kumlin, whom I thank for her contributions and inspiration.
Prologue by Canadian Bob.
Chapter 1 – Introduction.
Chapter 2 – What is a Virus?
Chapter 3 – Stress Theory
Chapter 4 – How viruses spread
Chapter 5 – Orienteering Deaths
Chapter 6 – Side Effects
Chapter 7 – Earlier Epidemics
Chapter 8 –The First Strategies
Chapter 9 – Choosing a Strategy
Chapter 10–Reactions to Authorities/recommendations
Chapter 11 – Swedish Experiment –
Chapter 12 – Swedish Culture
Chapter 13 – Early Results of SE
Chapter 14 – Japanese Comparison
Chapter 15 – Analysis of Swedish Strategy
Chapter 16 – Coping Example and Risk
Chapter 17 – Handling stress
Chapter 18 – Individual Strategy
Chapter 19 – Influencing Stressed individuals
Chapter 20 – National Strategies
Chapter 21 – Other Catastrophes
Chapter 22 – More stress and coping theory
Profile of Author