New Zealand often gets compared to Nordic nations, but usually for similarities rather than differences. Like them, we also live in a small, green land with a beautiful back yard and plenty of fresh air.
As people look at what has and hasn't worked in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have frequently been grouped with Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland as other plucky, female-led places that have got on top of the coronavirus through restrictions, testing and tracing.
But we are also drawing comparisons with Sweden as two countries with opposite approaches.
Whereas we chose to "go hard" to keep deaths to a minimum and suppress the virus, Sweden relied on citizens to voluntarily protect themselves with social distancing and good hygiene. Most schools and businesses were kept open. The elderly and ill were asked to stay home.
Sweden's model has been held up as an example of herd immunity, especially by some politicians, business leaders and pundits around the world focused more on economic fallout than health safety.
Evidence that avoiding lockdown could keep profits ticking over while gradually spreading immunity in the population, is mixed.
Sweden's central bank has forecast an economic contraction in the export-reliant country of between 7 and 10 per cent and unemployment of 10 per cent. The eurozone contraction is expected to be 7.75 per cent.
And the cost has been steep. Nursing home residents and the immigrant community have been hit hard. Sweden, with about 10 million people, has had 3925 deaths and 32,809 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. That is more than three times the combined 1112 death toll from about 16 million people in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
But Sweden overall has fewer deaths per capita than Spain, Britain, Italy and France which all had lockdowns. One of the key lessons of the pandemic is that lockdowns need to be introduced early in an outbreak to be most effective. For instance, Columbia University research estimates that America could have prevented at least 36,000 deaths if it had begun social distancing a week earlier than it did.
In terms of immunity, studies of antibodies in England, Spain, France and Sweden suggest that about 5 per cent of those countries' populations have had the virus – well below the 60 per cent estimated to be required for herd immunity.
United States Surgeon-General Jerome Adams tweeted: "We are a LONG way from herd immunity, even in hardest hit places. We're going to have to rely on development of therapeutics, plus physical distancing, hygiene, face coverings, & contact tracing, to get us through till we have a vaccine."
Regardless of how they initially dealt with the virus, countries now face the same problem of rebooting economies and resuming links.
Sweden's stated aim has been a sustainable way of dealing with Covid-19 for the long haul. We went with a goal of elimination. So far, our approach has been more successful in saving lives and controlling the outbreak.
Now we are cocooned – secure in our castle, with our border drawbridge up, surrounded by our Tasman moat. After the strictness of levels 4 and 3, at level 2 there is a mixture of caution and complacent business-as-usual in shops and on the streets.
When we eventually expand our bubble to Australia and beyond, we will invite risk in. Will we be ready?