In the spring of 2020, as a new and deadly virus rapidly spread across the globe, the world shut down. But a small country in Northern Europe remained open. The Swedish Covid-19 strategy has been alternately lauded and held up as a cautionary tale by international governments and journalists alike – with all eyes on what has been dubbed “The Swedish Experiment”. But what made Sweden take such a deviating path?
In The Herd, journalist Johan Anderberg narrates the improbable story of a nation that took a startlingly different approach to fighting the greatest global pandemic in over one hundred years. First, it was no restrictions. Then, it was no face masks. While the rest of the world looked on with incredulity, condemnation, admiration or even envy, Sweden stood alone.
But The Herd is more than just a look at the evolution of the Swedish Covid-19 strategy. With delightful ease, Anderberg guides the reader through the history of epidemiology, R0-rates, inoculation, and international organizations and strategies. He also presents a colorful cast of characters and the ticking-clock decisions they are faced with on a daily basis. Weaving past and present with effortless buoyancy, Anderberg has written an everyman’s guide to everything you want to know about the pandemic that reads like a thriller.
Johan Anderberg is a seasoned journalist with publications in Swedish and international media outlets, including Fokus, Expressen and Wall Street Journal. With close access to all the key players in this real-life drama that is unfolding in the present tense, he has a remarkable ear for suspense and a rare ability to make figures and facts come alive.