“Herd immunity” is a technical concept I can’t pretend to understand well. I am interested in the Swedish experience for a different reason: How Sweden responded to Covid-19 is how the U.S. used to respond to epidemics, but chose not to this time. In my view we should go back to the old way.
That is, a public health emergency should inspire government action to inform, not control the public. I have lived through chicken pox, measles, influenza and AIDS epidemics in the U.S., and never once been unable to eat in a restaurant or go to a public place because of some government mandate. Such mandates that restrict normal social and economic behavior would have been considered — during most of my life — patently un-American.
I don’t mean to suggest that something has gone deeply wrong with America. Only that Sweden proves that how we used to deal with infectious disease as a matter of public policy still works today. There is no conflict with our values, or at least no conflict with the values we used to hold. Covid-19 was never a good excuse for creating a Brave New World.