It’s not getting any better, is it? Both Britain and Sweden seem to be experiencing ‘peaks’ in the virus just now, with only flickering hopes of a vaccine in several months at the earliest. The Swedish statsminister, Stefan Löfven, is scheduled to broadcast to the nation at 7 o’clock this evening (CET), which alarms me slightly; the only occasion I recall the British prime minister doing that previously was to announce that ‘we are now at war with Germany’. That seems unlikely today. Denmark – Sweden’s traditional enemy – can still be pretty irritating, but I can’t see a casus belli there.
Nonetheless things seem pretty serious. It looks as though we should be planning for a long-term – maybe even permanent – lockdown. For people who have to work in crowded environments, or enjoy company, that’s going to be very hard. Luckily I fall into neither category. Isolation provides the perfect conditions for a writer; my sambo is here in my bubble with me; and other family and friends I can reach via the internet. Thank God – or whomever – for Zoom.
It’s starting to get cold here, with flurries of snow. Luckily I have my long-johns; and yesterday we ventured into the city to buy (among other things) some Bovril, from Taylors and Jones, the wonderful English butchers in Hantverkargatan. A cup of steaming Bovril is just what one needs after a long walk in the cold. Kajsa claims it’s no different from buljong, but there must, surely, be more to it than that?
We’ll see what Stefan has to say this evening. Kajsa’s guess is that he’s going to admonish Swedes to do the right things. Apparently there are no laws in Sweden to enable the government to enforce lockdowns. It all depends on the individual’s sense of social responsibility. This is a free country, after all! Doesn’t that go against at least one stereotypical view of ‘socialist’ Sweden? But there’s no doubt that people here are more aware of their social obligations than they are in – say – Britain. There’s hardly any littering, for a start.
7.30 CET: It was much as Kajsa predicted. ‘Keep to the rules for the sake of your fellow Swedes.’