Swedish Variation on Social Distancing by Susanna Molander

Swedish Variation on Social Distancing by Susanna Molander

Everyday life here in Sweden is far from normal with online teaching, home schooling etc, but it still seems as if Sweden is among the most “open” countries in Europe so far which is interesting. An experiment of kinds. I guess the thinking is that if we’re in this for the long haul we can’t isolate totally for too long but have to keep some kind of normality around us. The hope is that Swedes, being among the most individualistic people in the world (according to Berggren and Trägårdh), probably can continue to keep distance also in a crisis. Schools are still open, as are restaurants, gyms, hairdressers, department stores. Trusting that people are not being to close in there. Hmm. My husband is already going nuts as he is so used to having loads of people around him all the time. I am pretty fine, so used to be in my own little world with my computer, my teaching, my breaks, and my walks all by myself.

We live in a big park and I actually see more people here now during the week than before. Sun is up, but its cold. There are quite a few runners since not many dare going to the gym, husbands and wives or friends on walks around lunch time or afternoons. Mostly two and two but sometimes more. Since the schools are open I also see parents dropping off their kids in the school close by in the mornings and the kids playing soccer outside.

I am also experiencing how hard the freelancers are hit. The PTs, hairdressers, cafes. While those with safe employment see a cough or sneeze as a sign to stay home and take it easy, the freelancers see those things as a threat to their whole livelihood. To be sure, this pandemic hits those who already are weak the hardest.

Susanna Molander

Ph.D. in Business Administration

Hunduddsvägen 71

115 25 Stockholm, Sweden

Cell: + 46 (0)70 260 91 61



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