#COVID19Chronicles-185: October 13, 2020: WHO says ‘Whoa! Stop lockdowns.’ It’s beginning to look Swedish :)

So, the world has to pivot, or wheel and come again.

“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”

So said Dr. David Nabarro’s (Special Envoy of WHO DG on COVID-19), whose main criticism of lockdowns involved the global impact, explaining how poorer economies that had been indirectly affected.

“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry in the Caribbean, for example, or in the Pacific because people aren’t taking their holidays,” he said.

“Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. … Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”

Oh, well, there we were in June being told in the British Medical Journal that there was no alternative to lockdowns—a ‘blunt but necessary tool, and hearing that lockdowns were saving millions of lives in Europe.

Well, those of us who did not sneer at Sweden’s decision to not lock down are beginning to smell a bit sweeter:

“In the autumn there will be a second wave. Sweden will have a high level of immunity and the number of cases will probably be quite low,” Mr. Anders Tegnell (Sweden’s state epidemiologist who devised the no-lockdown approach) had told the Financial Times in May.

Just a few days ago, The Economist had a good look at what Sweden has been doing; it’s a good read:

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)