Sunday, April 26, 2020

March had 330 days...

I saw a meme on Facebook about 2020. It's an unusual leap year: February had 29 days, March around 330, and April is five years long. Completely true - and I guess it proves that time is relative.

Even though the months are very long, I haven't been here on my blog for some time. My mom died from the virus a couple of weeks ago. She was in an assisted living facility, and they closed them to visitors the day before she fell ill. So when the nurse called to tell me, they couldn't let me come visit her. I thought it would be possible to suit up in something and be with your loved ones the last few days, at least hold her hand and let her hear my voice, but that was a firm no.

I also thought they'd take the elderly to the hospital if they fell ill, but that was in the old world. In this new and improved (???) world, elderly persons get to stay where they are. If they're strong enough to make it, they make it.

We're not having a funeral at this point in time - in Sweden you're still allowed to have groups up to 50 people, but I will not risk making this worse. Just imagine putting all remaining relatives in the same room... Not happening. There's a memorial area by mom's favorite church in her home village, and when summer comes we'll spread her ashes there. It will be outside, and maybe by then the situation will have calmed down enough for people to be able to meet.

It's surreal. I haven't even been able to go to the facility to gather her things.

In media, there are many discussions about how Sweden has chosen to handle the virus. We haven't had a major lockdown; just guidelines for social distancing. Some international media make it sound like life here goes on as usual - that is not true - but we have fewer restrictions than many others.

I think we've been right about some things - you can only quarantine people for so long, and it isn't possible to shut a society down for as long as it will take for this to blow over.

I also think we've been wrong about some things - our health officials have taken many international findings with a shrug and refused to acknowledge information until it was too late. For instance, that asymptomatic persons can be carriers and infect others.

Many try to compare other nations with the "Swedish Model." That is unfair to leaders all over the world - our societies, habits, and peoples are so different at the best of times. In Sweden, we have a certain amount of faith in our leaders, and we're fairly good at following advice from the authorities. They've told us it's best to stay a couple of meters apart, and many of us practically self-quarantine. Stores offer hand sanitizer and gloves at the entrances, and have marked out appropriate distances on the floor. Without being ordered to do so.

How are things going where you live? Are you worried about society reopening? Looking forward to it? Tell us all about it!

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