Hot Bovril

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.’

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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6 Responses to Hot Bovril

  1. Tony says:

    There will soon be a Press Spokesperson on the US model for the Johnson government, no not Laura Kuenssberg but Allegra Stratton another ex-BBC Tory. Then BJ will be able to hide behind her, and only make his sub-Churchillian addresses to the nation when there is some good news – if ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Apparently there are no laws in Sweden to enable the government to enforce lockdowns.”

    The government has had plenty of time to introduce a law that would allow it to enforce lockdowns. All other EU members have the power to do what is needed; one wonders why Sweden has been so slow on COVID, and so convinced that it knows better than everyone else, when clearly it doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s because the govt trusted its people to be naturally obedient.

      Liked by 1 person

      • However, for many months Swedes did not even seem to have been (politely) asked by their government to socially distance and wear masks. Life proceeded as if nothing was wrong – unless you had the misfortune to inhabit an aged-care facility. Now perhaps one in six have the virus in Stockholm, I read, which will have, is having, devastating consequences.
        How odd – and now tragic – that there should have been such a similarity in approach between the irrationalist Republicans in the US and the social-democratic Swedes, with the former using the case of the latter to support their own imbecility.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Phil says:

    There is going to be a vaccine, though – our government are apparently talking about starting vaccination next month(!) – so however stringent the lockdown is it surely won’t be permanent.

    Liked by 2 people

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