These were scenes from Stockholm yesterday. The centre of town is usually full of tourists and locals on Sundays. But it was almost deserted. Many of the big chain stores have changed their opening hours and are now closed on Sundays. I had to go in to get cat supplies and some equipment for remote working so I was glad I was able to get in and out as the trains and buses are still operating on skeleton staff.
It was eerie and sad to see the normal bustling areas deserted, but it felt safe.
Unfortunately, as I got closer to home, the parks and bars were more crowded. People were definitely not obeying social distancing rules when enjoying their drinks, clustered closely together in the small patches of sunlight.
London was forced to close its bars and restaurants because people did not obey the rules and keep a distance. I see it happening here in Sweden as well. Last night the Prime Minister gave a speech to the nation (which Swedish PMs almost never do) telling everyone to take responsibility, telling elderly people to stay inside, telling people they have to behave in the proper way (probably alluding to the hoarding and stockpiling). He implied in his speech that if people did not behave themselves, harder measures will be taken to ensure that they do. This is unheard of in Sweden.
I have been rather disappointed in the behaviour of quite significant groups of people lately. The hoarding and stockpiling of basic items. The price gouging of hand sanitiser, masks and toilet paper on eBay and Amazon. Refusal to keep safe distance or stay inside if part of a risk group. The endless complaining every time there is a government initiative (It’s not enough. What about me?), the verbal abuse every time an organisation tries to help those in the frontline medical corps with free coffee, free meals (What about bus drivers? What about teachers? What about shop workers?). Demanding free internet from companies already under strain. Free Netflix because ‘what am I supposed to do at home all day?’
Love from an eerie Sweden to all my readers around the world. Stay safe!