“A fairly stable level in most places but a cautious small increase. Not at all as exciting as it is seen in many other European countries. But it is slowly but surely going in the wrong direction.”
Then state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell described the spread of the infection at a news conference on September 24. However, the spread of infection did not increase “slowly but surely” or “gently”. In one week, cases increased by 35 percent, according to the Public Health Agency’s tally of confirmed infections.
Shouldn’t it be described as a very steep increase until people realize that this is a dangerous thing about to happen?
Well, after a relatively short time, we also started taking more and more action.
Yes, but the question is: Why did you say that the increase was weak?
That was the evaluation at the time.
But despite the rapid increase in the spread of infection, Anders Tegnell ruled at the end of September that the increase would recover and stabilize. One of the reasons is that the Swedes, he says, are still good at following the recommendations.
“Residents are very familiar with the kind of restrictions in place and continue to follow them very well. So we have high hopes that we will be able to stay at a fairly low level and not take back what we experienced this spring.”
But this statement does not In full line with reality. Conversely, surveys from Telia, the MSB Authority, and the Novus Public Opinion Institute gave clear indications that Swedes were following recommendations worse and worse and that this development had been continuous since the beginning of the summer.
Anders Tegnell asserts that many Swedes still follow the recommendations at the end of September, but today they admit that a change has occurred:
There has been a gradual return to something a little more normal during this period.
Tov Fall, Professor of Epidemiology At Uppsala University, it is believed that the Public Health Agency should have communicated differently:
– A disease like this. When it depends on general compliance. Then it is extremely important for the audience to know that there are warning flags.
Anders Tegnell again:
– It’s always a balance of how much pressure you have to squeeze, so to speak, frightened and how much to use carrots and say we’re doing really well.
Wouldn’t it be better if we suffocated a little quick before it reached the high level we got to?
But it’s also about the signals he sends to the population. If you then send a signal that it’s totally pointless, that it’s here that it’s crashing anyway, even though we’re working and toiling, that will have an effect as well. I just want to try to make it clear that this is a complicated matter, and I cannot say what is right or wrong. After that, it is always possible to say that if we had cried as a wolf it might have made a difference, but we just don’t know.
Calculated based on average turnover for seven days through September 22 (last fully reported day at the time of the press conference) Source: Public Health Agency 09-24-2020