Sweden is an outlier in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic:
After a long winter, it’s just become warm enough to sit outside in the Swedish capital and people are making the most of it. . .
On the roads in Sweden, things are noticeably quieter than usual. Stockholm’s public transport company SL says it saw passenger numbers fall by 50 per cent on subway and commuter trains last week.
Polls also suggest almost half of Stockholmers are remote working.
Stockholm Business Region, a state-funded company that supports the city’s global business community, estimates those numbers rise to at least 90 per cent for people working in the capital’s largest firms, thanks to a tech-savvy workforce and a business culture that has long promoted flexible and remote working practices.
“Every company that has the possibility to do this, they are doing it, and it works,” says its CEO Staffan Ingvarsson.
His words cut to the heart of the government’s strategy here: self-responsibility. Public health authorities and politicians are still hoping to slow down the spread of the virus without the need for draconian measures. . .
We tried that here with people from overseas who were supposed to self-isolate but it didn’t work.
There are more guidelines than strict rules, with a focus on staying home if you’re sick or elderly, washing your hands, and avoiding any non-essential travel, as well as working from home.
“We who are adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumours,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in a televised address to the nation last weekend.
“No one is alone in this crisis, but each person has a heavy responsibility.” . .
Whether we’re locked down, as people in many countries are, or left to take responsibility for ourselves, adults need to be adults.
I’ll try to keep reminding myself that every time I hear the woman in the advertisement telling me to wash my hands often and well as if I was a child.