krona vs corona 3

krona vs corona 3

Notes from Stockholm in the Plague Year

You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?

This famous quote of great thinker and orator is once again haunting us. This time we managed to upset a large opinion around the world by our approach to the corona crisis. Our morning papers are reporting the papers from around the world reporting on Swedens apparent lack of proper response to the crisis. From Germany to USA, to Argentina there are reactions to the swedish reaction (or lack of it).

Is it a genuine concern about our well being or anger and frustration when marshal laws at home are compared to ours relative freedom of movement? I later this may also imply that some people are waiting around, hoping for something terrible to happen to us. As a proof of them being right and us being wrong. We had already this terrible experience years 2015-2016 after welcoming a huge influx of refugees banned by others.

Personally I think that its a little bit of a misunderstanding. What we have here is basically the goal as in many other countries. What differs is the ways Swedes are used to. Generally it’s based on rational and responsible behavior, high level of trust in authorities com and – not least important – in each other and peoples responsible behavior and common perception common sense. Stuff that are sooo boring in everyday life and so appreciated in the times of crisis.

Just look at the bike riders around Stockholm (and they are usually a lot of them) almost everyone, young and old, cool or terribly uncool, is wearing a bike helmet. Why? Because is safe.

Same thing with skiers. Years ago I’ve noticed I many places around Europe that you could easily point out the Swedes, Finns or Norwegians on slopes by their ski helmets. (Most of them are good skiers as well but that’s another story.)

So in the time of pandemic people here are walking around with their virtual helmets on – i.e. behaving responsibly. You just need recommendations from the health authorities. Don’t need to close down everything and send out the police or military to enforce the rules.

Will it be enough? Will it work in the long run? Or will it end in a giant disaster?

Let me use famous quote of a really great thinker and orator, Tevye the Milkman from Anatevka:

“I tell you: I don’t know.”

Stay tuned!

krona vs corona 2

krona vs corona 2

Notes from Stockholm in the Plague Year

So what’s going on in the Kingdom of Sweden? How does it work and why? Is it good approach or is it naive, careless or outright stupid?

Apparently the position our authorities have taken on the corona have raised some eyebrows both at home and abroad. Given the high tensions felt around the risen eyebrows were rather something of high voices screaming: “Are you stupid?” If foreign, voices meaning “are you (Swedes) stupid?” If domestic, meaning rather “are you (authorities) careless or heartless?”

One set of arguments could easily be discarded: the conspiratory ones. These were repeating (hinting, implying) assumption originally voiced in Britain. Supposedly the government is in cold blood is letting the majority of population get infected and hundreds of thousands to die, all in order to gain the herd immunity. Those assumptions were actually served in articles at home and abroad, and repeatedly followed the same pattern. First – statement that there are suspicions of this cunning schemes, second – quoting the official denials and third – quoting the critics: “but the group of scientists argues against it”. And so it goes on and on again. I’ve seen it in some mutations in several articles.

Presented in this particular way it’s nothing more than a conspiracy theory. A terrifying and therefore really vicious one, but still nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Of course health authorities are very much aware of such thing as herd immunity. Of course it is highly desirable that our societies ultimately will be gaining it. In the long run and until the vaccine arrives it is our only hope. But to repeating (hint, imply) that the government is deliberately letting tens, hundreds of thousands of our citizens to die, is careless, heartless and outright stupid.

Well at least in Sweden…

Stay tuned!

Feature picture credit: fir0002 flagstaffotos [at] gmail.com

krona vs corona Part 1

krona vs corona Part 1

Notes from Stockholm in the Plague Year

We – my family and friends – are living scattered around the world. We – in Stockholm Sweden – our family and friends in UK, Poland, USA , Italy and Germany. Hope didn’t I miss anyone?

We are all sitting at home trying to live as normally as possible. Well, are we all? What we are allowed to do in Sweden differs apparently a lot from many other countries. Since couple of days ago we are prohibited to gather in public groups of 50 people or more (down from 500 up to now). It’s a far cry from total prohibition in Italy or Poland, or no more than two persons in Germany. Our schools are still open – and a lot of kids up to 9th grade are still attending classes. Other schools – including the one I occasionally work for – switched to distance learning. Working on distance and generally distancing wherever it’s possible is recommended. Well social distnacing is something we are generally good at here in Scandinavia.

Our streets are far from empty. People are still going out, not only to shop the macaroni and toilet paper. The restaurants, bars, pubs, coffee shops are open. Lately they were told to not server customers at the counter, table service only. Stores, gyms are and barber shops are still open. They have fewer customers than usually but they still have some customers. To be honest I don’t dare to go and have a haircut. Not yet anyway.

See for yourself:

So what’s going on in the Kingdom of Sweden?  

Tomorrow I’ll try to explain/understand, Stay tuned!

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