In recent weeks, studies have reappeared that Finnish credit to the authorities is solid.

It has been seen as a strength of our society.

And so it is that, especially in times of crisis, Finns like to believe in the authorities and want to trust them.

So everything is fine in Finland?

Sweden also has a tradition of hard credit to the authorities.

The Swedish Public Health Authority and, above all, the state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell have enjoyed immense popularity until the very last few weeks.

In Sweden, too, the strength of society is seen in the strong tendency of Swedes to trust the government and the authorities, especially in times of crisis.

From the beginning of the epidemic, Tegnell and other Swedish authorities wiped the table with the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

Sweden said no to masks, testing, tracing and extensive restrictions, but it did not weaken Swedish credit to the authorities.

As the infections spread, Tegnell and his supporters were constantly seeing signs of herd shelter.

When herd shelter was not born, the authorities said with bright eyes that it was never sought.

However, the Swedish faith in the chosen line did not falter.

When spring turned to summer, Sweden was one of the worst crown-ravaged countries in Europe: more than 5,000 people had died and thousands seriously ill.

Thousands of elderly people died in nursing homes, often lonely and painfully, without seeing a doctor.

But again: citizens' faith in the authorities did not falter.

On the contrary, Tegnell became (almost) a great favorite of all of Sweden, a kind of cross between a pop star and the nation’s father.

He was featured throughout the media.

Part of it was his job, but not nearly all.

Baking in the spotlight seemed perfect for him.

He also appeared extensively in foreign media.

In Sweden, Tegnell became almost taboo: if he was mistaken for criticism in public, he was prepared for a ferocious storm on social media.

This was experienced by the 22 Swedish scientists who criticized the Swedish corona strategy and Tegnell in Dagens Nyheter in March.

And the same fate has been experienced by many others who have made the mistake of questioning the Swedish line.

As incredible as it is, back in early November, Tegnell’s popularity was at its peak, even though Sweden had been in the middle of a second wave of the epidemic, contrary to his promises.

In November, more people died a month in Sweden than ever after the Spanish flu, and criticism of the chosen line has finally begun to wake up.

There is hardly any unequivocal answer as to why Swedish credit to the authorities is slowly collapsing, even though the evidence of a catastrophic failure is heavy.

One explanation is perhaps the tendency of Swedes to think that “Sverige är bäst” and “we know better than anyone else”, but of course there is much more behind it.

The role of the media is particularly interesting.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the majority of the media have been uncritical of the authorities' policies and have repeated them as the only true scientific truths.

The media has played a very central role in creating Tegnell's star cult.

With a few exceptions, the watchdogs of power have been in a deep sleep.

These exceptions have included, since the beginning of the epidemic, Dagens Nyheter and its editor-in-chief, Peter Wolodarski, who have commendably slammed his neck from the line he has chosen.

Some time ago, Wolodarski responded to his critics in an interview with news agency TT.

Wolodarski recalled the basic task of journalism, that is, as he himself put it, to ask “important and uncomfortable questions” to the authorities.

“It is extremely important that the big media, even during a national crisis, maintain their critical perspective and do not become megaphones of power or authority,” Wolodarski said and was rarely right.

In Sweden, blind trust in government and authorities has led to a national catastrophe.

Perhaps it is, however - as the saying goes - trust in the authorities is good, but control is best.

In any country.

The author is the former editor-in-chief of Ilta-Sanomat.