• Countries Visited: 38
  • Travel Wishlist: Antarctica, Galapagos Islands
  • Locked down in: Sweden

The death rates are worse than ever. We have (today) the 9th highest death rate in the world. And Stockholm is the deadliest of all cities. 

I am writing this on a grey and cold Sunday afternoon December 20 here in Stockhom, Sweden. Yesterday, the sun shined for the first time since December 1st. For a few hours’ life almost felt good again. For a few hours I forgot about this shitty year we are all sharing together. That same day we got our most strict measures yet, and reality slapped you right back in the face. We are all in for a long and terrifying winter. I will come back to those measures later on. But first, here is how my Life in lockdown (sort of) in Sweden has been…

Sweden got the first case of Covid-19 in January 24, and the second one almost a month later. I must admit that in the beginning of all this, I didn’t think much of it. Many thought it to be just another flu. I was one of them. The first death in Sweden was March 11. As the weeks went on, I started to realize the seriousness in what this was. 

I work in retail, and I am one of those who are lucky enough to still have a job to this day. As we go back to March and April, no big changed what so ever as I can remember were made. We were told to wash our hands. Use hand sanitizer. Keep distance to each other and so on. But no strict rules. People were told to work from home if possible. The only thing is that those people who were “responsible” enough to work at home, were not home at all. Shopping, shopping and shopping. Our sales at my job had never been higher. Sometimes almost 50% more than last year’s sales. And yes, toilet paper was a big part of that in march. 

So. Moral dilemma indeed. Trust me, I am very fortunate to still have a job. So I really can’t complain can I? But it hurts me to see that so many people just don’t seem to care about all of this. Every day I see people who don’t keep distance. Sick people walking the streets. You name it. Would these still do this if the government made tougher rules? If they pointed out the seriousness in all this?

While many countries around the world went into lockdown. NOTHING happened here in Sweden. Oh yeah, I forgot. We were not allowed to be more than 500 people in a public event. So that’s something I guess? By this time Sweden had one of the highest rated Covid cases in the world. 

The months went on, and the Summer arrived. The Covid cases faded out (as expected). Swedes started to relax a bit after a spring of worries and confusion. Big parties were held. The beaches were packed. So was the restaurants and the ski resorts. But still, the cases had stopped for a bit. Fewer people died. 

I quote our state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell; ”As long as the summers development stay the same, it is unlikely that we are going to have the same situation as we did this spring.”

It’s easy to sit here now and point fingers. But I think it’s statements like this that people just doesn’t take this seriously. I mean, I know a lot of people who traveled this summer. Is that really necessary? Come on! Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you HAVE to. 

Oh well. I spent my summer trying to work as much as possible. I spent my spare time with my family. I could hang around with friends. Go to the beach. Party all night long. I COULD. But I choosed not to. Too bad many didn’t do the same. 

Summers is gone and enter Fall and Winter. And we are back to where we started. The death rates are worse than ever. We have (today) the 9th highest death rate in the world. And Stockholm is the deadliest of all cities. 

So, as I were saying. Yesterday we got our strict measures yet. Not more than a company of 4 in restaurants. No alcohol served after 8pm. They urge us to use mouth guard in public transport during rush hour. They will announce in a few weeks’ rules of how many people can visit stores at the same time. 

I think this is what we need. But we are no way near a lockdown. If that is a good thing, time will tell. 

My life during all of this hasn’t been that bad. I have a job. My family and friends are safe and healthy. 

I miss the small things of course. Travel. Go to the Gym. Play sport activities. See my friends. The difference with me and with so many others of you around the world is that I sill CAN do all those things. But I choose not to. And I believe that it is that possibility in doing all of those things that makes the day better. If I were in lockdown, it would feel so much worse. At least I still have my freedom.

The other day my grandmother turned 99 years old. Every year we have a big celebration with the whole family. There are about 20 of us. We sneak into her house in the morning when she sleeps (or at least pretend to sleep) and start singing to her. This is what she lives for. Her family. And it just broke my heart that we couldn’t celebrate her this year. So my biggest wish for next year is that we can make a huge celebration for her 100th birthday, and that I can just give her a big hug. Is that too much to ask for, Covid-19?