Official Swedish state demographer Örjan Hemström recently appeared in a one-hour documentary aired on Swedish left-wing television station SVT. During the interview, he revealed that overall deaths during the coronavirus pandemic are lower than during any other pandemic in the past hundred years. Furthermore, the deaths are even lower than during some periods of no pandemic at all. Despite the low death rates, Sweden implemented its first mandatory lockdown since the start of the pandemic in January.
Sweden was one of the few countries in the world that haw not imposed the same strict public health measures that were implemented throughout the rest of Europe. Instead, the Swedish government relied mostly on the public following official health recommendations voluntarily.
Statistics reveal that overall death rates in Sweden were actually higher in the 1990s and 2000s than they have been during the current pandemic. Despite these enlightening statistics, Sweden has implemented the country’s first lockdown since the start of the Corona pandemic.
In January, Swedish lawmakers passed an emergency lockdown law allowing the left-wing government to “introduce special restrictions for both certain activities and places,” – as noted in a statement on the parliament’s website.
The law permits the government to restrict the number of people in shops, businesses and public places including theaters, swimming pools, among other areas. Authorities can also fine individuals for violating coronavirus rules as well as order businesses to close in the case of violations.
The measures have infuriated citizens whose business are being harmed, and lives affected by the various regulations that have been imposed allegedly due to the coronavirus.
Watch the following clip from the SVT documentary with demographer Örjan Hemström. As the official Swedish state statistician shows, coronavirus has been the least deadly pandemic since 1900. The deaths during pandemics such as the Hong Kong flu and Spanish flu are much higher than the coronavirus.
Many thanks to Ingrid Carlqvist for the following translation:
But how many more than usual died during the Corona year of 2020? To find that out we asked the demographer Örjan Hemström from Statistics Sweden, who researches mortality. During this year of the pandemic — how many more died?
Approximately 7,000 more than the last five years.
But it’s was up and down during the year.
—Can you show us?
In the beginning we had fewer dead than in recent years.
But at the end of March we saw a big rise, and we had an excess mortality up until June.
But from July to October it was back to normal, I mean as few or fewer dead than in the years prior. And then in November and December we see again that the number of deaths has risen.
So, in total around 7,000 more than the last few years.
But does 2020 stand out regarding mortality historically?
Then we need to compare the number of deaths to the size of the population to better compare different years.
From 1900 we see quite a high mortality that went down until we see this major increase 1918, with this big spike. —And that is the Spanish Flu, that horrible flu?
Exactly. That is the worst pandemic we’ve had, that took the most lives since 1900. After that mortality decreased until WW2 where we see it goes up and down and then it goes down again until the Asian Flu, but you can hardly see it.
It was no big increase. That was in the late 1950s?
Exactly, the late 50s. In the late 60s we also had a big pandemic — the Hong Kong flu.
That does not show very much either — a small ripple on the surface.
Yes. From 1990 and onwards we see a clear decrease in mortality, fewer dead per capita. And then 2020 we see a spike. A small growth? Yes, so we are back to the mortality of 2012. But if you compare to the Spanish flu the mortality was very much higher?
Yes, many more deaths in 1918 than in 2020.
Especially in proportion to the population, which was millions fewer in 1918.
The curves thus show that the level of excess mortality is the same as it was a decade ago, and in a longer perspective mankind has suffered worse pandemics than the one we are in now.