Have the old been sacrificed in Sweden?

We can never know what might have been.

But the aged in their care-homes did not go out and bring in the virus. They were infected by others. As of 7th April, 7,693 cases have been registered in Sweden and 591 deaths have been attributed to the coronavirus. Of these 2,807 cases (36% of total cases) and 519  deaths (88% of all deaths) were of people over 70 years old. Just in Stockholm’s care homes, 159 deaths have been registered. The major difference in deaths per capita between Sweden and the other Nordic countries is the much higher number of deaths among the old in Sweden.

It may well be that those infected mildly and showing no symptoms have been the main carriers of the virus. In one department at a major hospital more than half of all the employees were without symptoms but were infected with Covid-19.

Of course, there is a youth obsession in Sweden. Of course, those who are labeled “retired” have a lower value. Of course, the care-homes are a place for the old to be tucked away out of sight. Of course, there is a formal perception that with a lower “expected remaining life”, the old have a lower value to society and get a lower priority for care. It could have been worse, of course.

It may not have been intentional but the numbers say that in the fight against the coronavirus, the old have been sacrificed in Sweden.

As of 7th April 2020


When healthy and young has priority over sick and old



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2 Responses to “Have the old been sacrificed in Sweden?”

  1. Jack Broughton Says:

    A very contentious issue and one that only history will judge properly. I wonder if the actual death rate over the last few weeks is actually higher than usual: the ONS data up to 30th March still show UK deaths to be below average. There’s a risk that normal death-rate is being distorted.
    IMHO the biggest issue is the number of lung problems arising rather than the death rate.

    • ktwop Says:

      Yes, and even history may not be able to penetrate the uncertainty. A case of someone, mildly infected by Covid-19, who dies in a road accident (in some jurisdictions) is registered as a Covid-19 death. There is a sharp fall in Europe in some other causes of death – partly due to the lockdowns but also due to being lumped under coronavirus deaths.
      See https://www.euromomo.eu/

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