Only a fool would draw strong conclusions from sketchy data. The biggest fools in 2020 were those who prematurely declared the spike in Swedish Covid-19 infections from April until June as evidence that the Swedish decision not to lock down their economy was wrong. I recall many armchair epidemiologists hyperventilating about Sweden’s obstinate refusal to follow the rest of the world.

Over the summer, Sweden took other steps to control the virus, including local lockdowns, and cases started to rise again in other parts of Europe. Now, Sweden’s new infection statistics look better than much of the EU. But we shouldn’t draw any conclusions yet. It was wrong two months ago to condemn the Swedish strategy based on that data, and it would be equally wrong to draw the opposite conclusion now.

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