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I have often heard the theory that the waves in, for example, the UK, were caused by a harsh lockdown, followed by a release that kicked off the second wave. To my knowledge, Sweden did not relax its approach at any point and yet still had a second wave. What else could have caused this? I have heard scientists talk about seasonal causes but I don't understand the mechanism. Or maybe did Sweden have a de facto lock and release?

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    Interesting question. Using worldometer data you can plainly see a "second wave" in many countries, but with the exception of Sweden the peaks are fairly closely spaced in time. Sweden, however, had a 3-month lull before a second sharp spike. (The spikes are only apparent in daily cases and deaths, not in the cumulative totals).
    – Carey Gregory
    Feb 14 at 19:21
  • It could just be social behaviour in response to news of the number of infections and deaths. e,g. News saying that there are a lot of infections deaths results in people taking care to social distance and hand washing etc. eventually resulting in lower number News saying there are few infections and deaths, people take less care and infection rates increase.
    – Dijkgraaf
    Feb 15 at 3:27
  • Sweden has had some lockdown-style PH measures see e.g. how restrictions on gatherings have varied over time (and likewise alcohol sales). If you add seasons on top of that an the dynamics in neighboring countries, I'm not sure why you expect things to have been different in Sweden.
    – Fizz
    Feb 15 at 11:15
  • Generally speaking the (late summer) travel season in Europe was blamed (ibid) for the 2nd wave, but surely there are more contributing factors. I can't find any data though on how many Swedes traveled compared to other northerners.
    – Fizz
    Feb 15 at 11:18
  • Sweden lifted its travel restriction in August even to Eastern European countries that were seeing an increase in cases at the time. It's not clear however how much this actually contributed as it depends on the actual travel enabled by that.
    – Fizz
    Feb 15 at 11:24

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