As COVID-19 spread across Europe, many countries chose to implement swift and stringent lockdown measures on their populations in March 2020 by shutting down businesses and banning large public and private gatherings. Sweden, however, chose to manage the pandemic by relying on its citizens to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. This paper places Sweden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a political and economic context. The paper also analyzes the country’s response and effectiveness in implementing voluntary and stepwise actions. Research finds that although measures taken to slow transmission while accounting for efforts to preserve the economy did not come close to achieving their medical goal, whether refraining from a shutdown was enough to save the economy in a significant way is less clear.



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