Update: (27/5) If you compare Sweden with a lockdown imposed on the same date as UK (March 23) then Sweden is apparently doing much better.
Everyone is watching Sweden where the chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has resisted lockdown. Cafes, schools and restaurants have all remained open throughout. Their policy of voluntary social distancing measures while protecting the elderly seems to be working.
I ran Ferguson’s model for Sweden after finally working out how he normalises to different populations. Basically he normalises model death predictions to those actually recorded for a specific date. For the UK this date is April 10 (10,000 deaths). This is how the model compares to Sweden if I use the same date (400 deaths). First with lockdown on 23 March.
Now with lockdown a week earlier on 16th March
Accumulated deaths then appear to be about 1000 higher than they would have been had they applied a UK style lockdown on the 16th March. However the UK figures also show an overshoot of about 5000 deaths even with the 23rd March lockdown.
So in general Sweden and the UK are in a similar state currently. However the Swedish trend is showing a smaller decline implying that R is around or slightly above 1. If the goal in Sweden is to reach herd immunity while protecting the elderly, then it seems to be working. Everything will depend on whether a vaccine becomes available in September. If not then Sweden’s strategy could well pay off.