“As societies battened down the hatches and imposed quarantines, one European country appeared to take a different approach. In Sweden, there have been no invasive lockdowns to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants and even nightclubs are operating, though under guidelines to enforce social distancing. Schools for students under the age of 16 remain open. Large gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 50 people, a far cry from the enforced confinement imposed on entire cities in other parts of Europe.
These seemingly lax measures attracted the attention of lockdown skeptics elsewhere, who hailed the “Swedish model” as an example of how a Western democracy ought to deal with the pandemic. It became a cause celebre among American conservatives, who resent the economic toll exacted by social distancing restrictions. Even for nonconservatives, the Swedish approach is now being invoked as an obvious “alternative” to what prevails. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman suggested this weekend that President Trump may hope to “follow Sweden” as he seeks to “reopen” the American economy”
And then in November
“The Swedish government announced strict upcoming coronavirus-related restrictions amid rising case numbers, even though the Scandinavian nation didn’t lock down earlier during the pandemic.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced the new restrictions on Monday during a press conference, according to Business Insider. The restrictions include limiting the size of public gatherings and halting fans from attending concerts, performances, and sports matches. Schools, workplaces, and private gatherings are not included in the ban.
In-person gatherings, which were allowed as long as they were less than 50 people, will now be cut to a maximum of eight people.”
“It is a clear and sharp signal to every person in our country as to what applies in the future. Don’t go to the gym. Don’t go to the library. Don’t have dinner out. Don’t have parties — cancel!” Lofven explained. “It’s going to get worse.”
The health of a country is often judged by life expectancy. How does the USA compare to comparable countries?
Life expectancy at birth in years, 2017
Japan 84.2 Switzerland 83.6 Australia 82.6 France 82.6 Sweden 82.5 Comparable Country Average 82.38 Canada 82.0 Netherlands 81.8 Austria 81.7 Belgium 81.6 United Kingdom 81.3 Germany 81.1 United States 78.6 (Ranks 37th among all countries and has been declining for the past five years)
What we do know is that for many people life expectancy is not as important as Quality life expectancy. What good is it to live to be 90 if the last 20 years are life without joy? HALE, or healthy life expectancy is a much better measure. What this means is the number of years we expect to lead a life with full mobility and free of pain without prescription life support. Using this criteria life expectancy in our country is only 66! Why is it so low? There are several; factors. Obesity rates, quality of healthcare (the USA only ranks 37th (same as life expectancy), immune system maintenance among others.
Kailasa Temple in Ellora, Maharashtra, India, is the world’s largest monolithic piece of art. Master craftspeople carved the gigantic structure from a single piece of solid rock in a cave on a mountainside. The entire building took more than two decades to carve. There are plenty of other mind-boggling facts about this ancient wonder while some of the history behind the temple has a bit of controversy attached to it.
Architects started from the top of the mountain and worked downward to carve the structure. The painstaking process removed more than 2,000,000 tons of volcanic rock between 757 and 783 A.D., according to archaeologists. Kailasa Temple is one of 34 caves in the area carved from solid rock. Other similar caves date back as early as 300 B.C.
Kailasa Temple covers more square footage than the Parthenon in Athens. Somehow, civilizations in India came and went without anyone noticing this magnificent art until 1682.
That’s when Mughal King Aurangzeb, a Muslim, ordered the temple destroyed so he could erase all traces of it. Despite three years and 1,000 men, Kailasa Temple endured. The rock was simply too hard to demolish, even though artisans used only hammers, chisels and picks to construct it.