Life Has to Go On: How Sweden Has Faced the Coronavirus Without a Lockdown
STOCKHOLM — She stood leaning on her cane, briefly resting among dozens of bubbly young Swedes out enjoying one of the first sunny spring days of the year.
“I’m trying not to get too close to people,” said Birgit Lilja, 82, explaining that she had left her house to pick up a new identity card in person. “But I trust them to be careful with me.”
Trust is high in Sweden — in government, institutions and fellow Swedes. When the government defied conventional wisdom and refused to order a wholesale lockdown to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus epidemic, public health officials pointed to trust as a central justification.