Thanks Yannis for a thoughtful and informative article. I rather suspect the real reason most people hysterically criticize Sweden, the Netherlands, and Iceland is merely because as a primate group species we’re hardwired to want to enforce group norms (regardless of whether these norms actually make any sense). It’s a knee-jerk reaction and as most people aren’t very good at reasoning from facts, it’s a comforting reaction. It’s so nice to be part of global hysteria, perpetually encouraged by sensationalist mass media giving daily context-free death counts and by equally sensationalist nonsense spewing forth on social media. Sadly the absence of thought does not equate to presence of optimal measures. Few seem to grasp that an utterly unsustainable reaction to what is in reality a harmless infection for at least 98% of the population is a very poor strategy indeed. But with the mass media screaming meaningless death numbers on an hourly basis, most people feel that “This is no time for thinking! We need to be saved! Whatever it takes!” Even if “whatever it takes” will actually kill far more than are temporarily “saved” by our panic-induced measures.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.