Last Updated on May 2, 2024 by cwl

Our local Progressive rag, the Colorado Springs Independent, had an article this week about when Colorado might reopen. I thought the article was pretty balanced, until I got to this statement:

For those who say we should have rejected such strict measures, look to Sweden, which did exactly that and has seen its numbers of those infected and those who have died skyrocket.

“Skyrocket”? I don’t think so. Let’s look at the data, and while we’re at it, let’s compare Sweden’s infection rate to Colorado’s.

Sure, there are some significant differences between Colorado and Sweden in terms of climate, demographics and culture, but let’s look at the data anyway, because Sweden is one country that has not done a complete lockdown of its citizens.

Population of Sweden: 10.1 million

Population of Colorado: 5.7 million

Sweden has implemented what I would call a “rational” response to the virus: voluntary isolation of the “at risk” population, no gatherings larger than 50 people, high schools and universities closed (but not elementary schools apparently). Restaurants are open with table service. Bars, parks and shops remain open. No recommendations for using masks (which are basically useless).

I’m getting this information about Sweden from a National Review article, dated April 6th, 2020. If I find more evidence substantiating the details, I’ll follow up in a new post.

Contrast this with the State of Colorado’s response: stay at home orders, mask recommendations and a set of “essential” services that remain open, while “non-essential” services are forced to close. The whole thing looks contrived and arbitrary. Example: I can visit my doctor, but I may not visit my chiropractor. Someone will have to explain that one to me very carefully. The State has no authority to decree what services are “essential”, that is done by free people in a free market.

Roughly 127,000 Colorado residents have been thrown out of work in the last three weeks as a result of “imperial overreach” at the Governor’s office.

Now let’s look at some virus numbers:

Sweden COVID-19 cases (4/16/2020): 12540

Infection rate: 100 X (12540 / 10,100,000) = 0.12 %

Infection rate per 100,000 population: (12540 / 10,100,000) X 100,000 = 124

Colorado COVID-19 cases (4/15/2020): 8280

Infection rate: 100 X (8280 / 5,700,000) = 0.14 %

Infection rate per 100,000 population: (8280 / 5,700,000) X 100,000 = 145

A 0.12 % versus 0.14 % rate difference may be statistically insignificant. But to the point, Sweden’s economy is still functional, whereas Colorado’s economy is tanking. And Colorado’s infection rate is higher.

The State of Colorado is destroying Colorado’s economy in order to save it. This cannot stand.