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As previously reported in the Trends JournalSweden was one of several nations that did not impose any official lockdown orders on its population.
The government did suggest citizens practice social distancing and use their judgment to slow the spread of COVID-19, but all restrictions were voluntary rather than top down government control.
Elementary schools have remained open. Restaurants, cafes, bars, and parks are open. No businesses have been shut down.
High schools and universities are closed, however, and no sporting or cultural events are occurring that attract an audience of over 50. Public transportation usage is down significantly.
Unlike most countries where political leaders issued executive orders giving them full control, in Sweden, it was left to the medical profession to determine how best to deal with the virus.
Relying on early data and projected simulations, Sweden’s medical team determined it would not seriously harm the vast majority of those who got infected.
Sweden has experienced a somewhat higher death rate than its Scandinavian neighbors.
Yet, the number remains small considering just over 2,275 deaths had been recorded from COVID-19 in a country of ten million people (0.023 percent).
Staying on-trend with other nations, one-in-three coronavirus deaths in Sweden have taken place in care facilities for the elderly.
As previously reported in the Trends Journal, research shows the vast majority of people who contract COVID-19 experience either no symptoms or those so mild they never report to a doctor.
Dr. Shigeru Omi, the leading medical advisor to Prime Minister Abe, recommended a strategy similar to Sweden. On 23 April, he stated, “Japan wants to bring down the number of cases but it’s impossible to bring it down to zero because of the nature of the disease… that’s why we want to balance the maintenance of socio-economic activity with managing this outbreak.”
Based on this strategy, social distancing has been voluntary. While the prime minister did officially declare a “state of emergency,” he did not impose a strict national lockdown.
Some businesses considered most vulnerable to spreading the virus, such as gyms, have been asked to close down, however, restaurants and parks are open.
Dr. Omi added, “If 80 percent of physical contacts can be avoided, we expect to reduce the level of infections dramatically, even without locking down our citizens.” The doctor has clarified that while he wanted to see expanded testing for all citizens not feeling well, he saw no reason for testing healthy people.
As of yesterday, just 375 Japanese citizens have died from COVID-19 in a country of over 126 million people (0.0003 percent).
This island nation of almost 24 million has seen only six deaths from COVID-19. No national lockdown was imposed.
Schools, businesses, restaurants, and the majority of entertainment and cultural venues have stayed open. And, unlike hunkered-down citizens in countries such as the United States, during April, some million and a half Taiwanese citizens travelled to resort areas for vacations.
Ironically, during February, when coronavirus infections were first reported, sales at retail establishments and even restaurants actually went slightly up.
One of the main reasons seen for Taiwan’s highly successful containment of COVID-19 was preparedness. After the 2003 SARS virus epidemic, Taiwan set up interrelated agencies with the responsibility to detect any pandemic early and establish containment strategies, such as insuring needed supplies would be adequately stockpiled.
As reported two weeks ago in the Trends Journal, in Belarus, there is no lockdown.
We noted that its president, Aleksander Lukashenko, stated that in other countries, the cost of the lockdowns to deal with coronavirus outweigh their benefits, referring to the moratorium on business and pleasure as “frenzy and psychosis.”
Also, he emphasized the importance of putting in extra protection for the elderly who are most at risk.
TRENDPOST: While many mainstream media outlets have not attacked Sweden, Taiwan, and Japan for not imposing draconian lockdown measures, we noted they referred to the Belarus strategy as “risky.”
In this past Sunday’s New York Times, a headline blared: “‘There Are No Viruses Here’: Leader of Belarus Scoffs at Lockdowns.”
The article goes on to state in a subhead: “Under the autocratic rule of President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, Belarus has yet to impose any restrictions to slow the virus. No, everything is not fine.”
The article states just 63 people have died from the virus, but they write in detail that the numbers must be manipulated. Yet, then they note: “though Ukraine with four times the population has fewer reported cases.”
The Times does not accuse the Ukrainian government, an ally of America, as a number manipulator.
 Using name-calling with words such as “autocrat” to describe President Lukashenko is a term the western media would use to call the “Kings of the Middle East” and other dictatorial leaders whom their governments partner with for massive wars of destruction.

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