The Pandemic has opened up our eyes to how vulnerable we all are and how important good health really is. It might be hard to accept that we can’t just eat junk food and not move our bodies without it taking a huge toll on our health both physically and mentally. We are just not as strong as we can be to battle these new types of viruses that can hit us at any moment. It’s apparent after this year that no one was expecting the year to turn around to something so huge as a pandemic to hit the whole world. We’re all still trying to manage how this has affected our daily lives even if we haven’t had any near and dear ones being affected by the virus negatively. We’re all waiting to either get it and get it over with or trying to stay away from the risk as much as possible. There has not been enough conversation about how this has mentally affected us as individuals and as a society, the struggle to cope with uncertainties such as these.
I remember in the beginning of the pandemic we all thought things would turn to be better until the summer and everyone was convinced, at least in Sweden, that things will turn around. In hindsight, I think it wasn’t based on any data or evidence, it was just pure hope. We hoped that things would turn around until the summer, because in a cold country like Sweden and the Nordics, the summer is so precious to us. We crave the summer like no one else, because we’ve been starved of sun and heat for the rest of the year. Summer means freedom and it means that we’re off from work to hang out with friends and family. Sometimes it means that we travel and explore, go out for drinks and basically everything we’re not supposed to do in a pandemic.
The whole world was watching Sweden and if people didn’t know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland, they for sure know by now. We didn’t ever have any full on lockdown. Every store and everything has been open the whole year. There have been guidelines and common sense advice to the whole population of what to avoid and what to do, but there has not been any rules up until now.
Now we have a few regulations regarding public gatherings, such as parties and formal activities, for the amount of people meeting in such constellations to not exceed 8 people. It has taken the whole year for the Swedish government to take this type of “extreme” decisions and put them in place.
The online world sometimes seems to think this is an issue only for the year of 2020, and the common joke has been that things would somehow be normal after new year. I really hope people don’t believe that just because it’s a new year things would actually become normal. We have to hope for the best and that a vaccine actually can stop the spread. I pray for the world to recover from this.
However, one thing that I do notice as a positive effect of the pandemic, has been the focus on the importance of a good diet and have a healthy approach to exercise. When we all were confined to our four walls and many people had to work from home, it started becoming obvious how important it really was to move around. I saw so many people, often the same people, take lunch walks every day ever since March. I am thankful that there was no lockdown in Sweden, because we were able to move about and still get the essential business done. I think that each country has to find the ways that suit them of course, and for a country like Sweden it seems hard due to laws to have a complete lockdown. It would require some law changes from what I understand, and that’s a whole different issue. Forcing people to do something is not in Swedish nature, so I understand why it could seem off for other countries watching Sweden’s approach from afar. The media doesn’t always cover the reality of the situation either. It’s not as extreme as it might seem. People were mostly adhering to the advice of social distancing. We’ll see what the future will hold.
I have also been following India and their approach on how to handle it. I have friends and family in India, so it’s important to keep track of what goes on there. Keeping fingers crossed that the curve which has been going down will keep going down there and that the virus ends its spread there. It’s so much harder with a huge “continent” type of country like India, to try to get everyone to adhere to restrictions but also to make everyone understand why we have to. Education level varies so much in India, and it’s what makes it so hard to have one way that will fit all. Such a big challenge to tackle. I pray that things will be better there soon so we’re able to also visit India soon again. It feels like ages ago, even if I was just there in January this year. Before the madness began…
Next post: some things I’ve done to keep busy during the quarantine and staying at home this year.
Peace and Love,