The Coronavirus In Sweden
March 29, 2020 7:02 PM

The coronavirus has infected Sweden too, just like it has the rest of the world. However, Sweden
's approach to handling the coronavirus differs a bit from most of the countries around the world, or so it may seem. Although I am not infected by the actual coronavirus myself, thank God, the virus still has an impact on my daily life - just like it has on most people around the world I imagine.

The Coronavirus In Sweden
A sign in a grocery store here in Karlskrona in Sweden at the toilet paper aisle urging people to shop with regard. And informing people to limit their purchase of toilet paper to one package per household.

No Bans Or Quarantines In Sweden


Many countries around the world find it hard to understand the approach Sweden has taken to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. For example, we have no quarantines of people in Sweden, except if you are infected of course or have been to certain countries. Day care centers and schools for children in first to ninth grade are still open. Sweden is also very careful about banning people to do things. Instead Swedes are seriously advised to follow the recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden on how to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus.


Why This Approach?

The Public Health Agency holds a press conference every weekday with information about the current status of the coronavirus spread in Sweden and to answer questions from journalists. The person who usually represents the Public Health Agency in media is state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.


Now I thought that state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell explained it very well why Sweden has chosen this approach in the press conference on March 27th 2020. He speaks about how it has to do with culture. To hear the question from the journalist in english and state epidemiologist Anders Tegnells answer in english, check out the video below.



To read more about the Public Health Agency recommendations to Swedes, go to:
The Public Health Agency Of Sweden.

Another interesting website to check out to see how Sweden is handling the coronavirus is:
Emergency Information From Sweden Authorities.

The Coronavirus In My City


Now I live in a part of southern Sweden where the coronavirus arrived quite late, compared to the rest of the country. In the region where I live, Blekinge, we have about 160 000 residents. In the city of Karlskrona in the region of Blekinge, where I live, we have about 67 000 residents. We had our first coronavirus related death in Karlskrona, and the region, this Thursday. An elderly lady in a retirement home died after being infected by the coronavirus. The doctors could not trace how she got infected by the coronavirus. Hence, the coronavirus has now officially arrived out in the society here in Karlskrona as well.

Number Of  Infected And Deaths In Sweden Until Today

Every day at 2 PM the Public Health Agency report how many confirmed coronavirusinfected people Sweden have and how many people who have died from the coronavirus in total. To be clear, from March 13th 2020 the Swedish health care only test people suspected of having COVID-19 (COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus) who are in need of care in hospital and staff in health care and retirement homes. Therefore the number of infected people in Sweden are most likely a lot higher than the reported numbers here.

The numbers for today, March 29th 2020, from the Public Health Agency was:

In Sweden
Infected: 3 700 (+253 past 24 hours)
Deaths: 110 (+8 past 24 hours)

In Blekinge
Infected: 17 (+2 past 24 hours)
Deaths: 0

(I do not know why it says 0 deaths in Bekinge? According to information from region Blekinge we have one coronavirus related death in Blekinge, source: coronavirus in Blekinge.)

About half of the infected people and half of the deaths have been in Sweden's capitol Stockholm.

To see the latest numbers from Sweden go to: the Public Health Agency.

Anders Tegnell Comments On Todays' Numbers

The numbers presented today were positive, accordning to state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. He says in an article in the newspaper Expressen that the number of people infected have been about the same number in the past three-four days. And that the increase in the number of elderly people infected has stabilized. He also says that the number of people in intensive care has decreased in the past days. Anders Tegnell goes on to say that what we are doing in this country seems to have an effect. Because this looks very different compared to those countries that have been very badly effected by the coronavirus.

Stress And Worry

So how does the coronavirus in Sweden effect my daily life? Well, of course it has added a bit of extra stress and worry in my mind. Mostly because of the uncertanty of it. No one can say for sure how long the coronavirus will effect the world, how it will effect the world in the end, or if/when a medicine or vaccine will be developed to help stop the coronavirus spread.

My Workplace

Luckliy for me I work in a place where I will not have to worry about losing my job and where we can work from home. However, it was only this Friday it was decided that the office where I work at will allow 50 percent of the employees to work from home starting Monday. The rest will have to be in the office.

Probably the decision of allowing people to work from home came so late because we do not have such a wide spread of the coronavirus in Blekinge yet. But I have felt like we were too many people in my office this past week, we are about 250 people who work in the buildning. Everybody eats in the same area and work in open landscapes, not very good I feel if you want to apply social distancing. So I was quite relieved to hear the news this Friday. My boss called me today and asked if I could work in the office three days next week, which was fine with me.

Hoarding Toilet paper

Another big way I notice the coronavirus in Sweden in my daily life is when I go grocery shopping. Swedes got crazy about two weeks ago, when the number of infected people and deaths started to increase more rapidly than before in Sweden. A lot of people (not me) decided to start hoarding cans of food, pasta and toilet paper at the same time. Especially toilet paper! Therefore toilet paper has been hard to find the past couple of weeks in stores, especially bigger packs. So when I went grocery shopping yesterday morning, I felt like I had found the biggest treasure ever when I saw this:

The Coronavirus In Sweden
Big packs of toilet paper. Wow! I don't know if I should laugh or cry because this made me so happy to see.

Going To The Doctor

Also, nowadays before you can go to a district health care centre or a hospital you will have to call to make an appointment. When you call you will be told if you have to go through a tent or not. Because if you have COVID-19 like symptoms when you need to see a doctor, you have to go through a special tent first. In that tent you will see a doctor who will make a judgement on whether you might be infected with the coronavirus or not. Based on that judgement you will be sent to a coronavirus wait room or a non-coronavirus wait room. A good routine I think.

The Coronavirus In Sweden
Two coronavirus check tents outside Lyckeby district health care centre here in Sweden.

The Future

When will this end? I hope and pray, for all of us, that the coronavirus soon will be a distant memory. And that some good will come out of this global crisis. Stay safe. Take care of each other, and yourselves, out there. This too shall pass!

The Coronavirus In Sweden
Me on a walk here in Nättraby yesterday. As long as I keep a good distance from people I meet, this is one thing I can still do that has not changed. Ahh. :-)

Lots of love from Sweden! ♥♥♥

//A.L
 
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The Coronavirus In Sweden