A pandemic transits the orb (7)

Por: José Antonio Michelena


The pandemic unfeded by The Covid-19 has shocked the world and made it clear that despite all the technological advancement we have come to, nature can charge us dearly for our mistakes, and that globalization is excellent for expanding viruses.

As each nation has charted its strategies, its own crisis management, we have convened a group of intellectuals from diverse countries to put into context, from their respective nations, this current, globalized scourge of humanity.

They are scientists, professors, writers, journalists, communicators, who will leave their voices here to transmit their experiences, information, opinions. By sharing them, they encourage us to feel that protection that knowledge and ideas provide, something we need very much at this hour.

Covid-19 in Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark)

Miguel Ángel Fraga
Miguel Ángel Fraga


By Michelangelo Fraga*

With ten million inhabitants, Sweden adopted a unique way to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike its Nordic neighbors and much of the world, there is no quarantine in Sweden. Utility centers remain open, as well as shops, restaurants, gyms and customer service offices. Civic awareness and social discipline are called upon. Responsibility is individual.

Every day the new restrictions are reported and the population is reminded of prevention measures based mainly on the interpersonal estating of two meters, hygiene (hand washing), how to cough or sneeze in public, and above all, stay at home if one has the least symptom of either allergy or flu. People over the age of seventy are advised to isolate themselves. It is encouraged to work from home and that work meetings are through online videoconferences.

As measures of social estating, in bars, for example, it is no longer served at the bar but at tables; Paper currency is avoided as much as possible, most payments are made by card or swish (form of payment with the cell phone). You get on the buses through the back doors with the ticket already purchased by app or in the automatic ones. The driver, protected in his cabin, has no contact with passengers.

Sweden has received international and political sector criticism from the country, but the decisions being made are not governmental but based on public health authorities and epidemiology experts. Based on these views, regions or communes carry out their own restrictions or regulations.

In a general sense, the way to deal with coranavirus is not through social confinement but through measures that, while decreased potential contagions, make it possible to continue the country’s development and social life. They add that confinement and drastic or excessive measures in the long run could have catastrophic consequences for the economy and for overall health.

Sweden data until April 30

21 092 positive cases; 1 005 recovered; 2,586 deceased.

212 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

It now has 176 active cases and 26 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

The first case was detected on January 31.

100 deaths were reached on 27 March; and 1,000 deaths on April 14.

On 30 April, there were 790 positive cases, the second largest in the month, after the 24th that reached 812.

The greatest number of deaths (185) occurred on the 21st.

Sweden has a population of 10.2 million

*MIGUEL ANGEL FRAGA (born 1965) is a narrator, playwright and poet. Author of three books of interviews and testimonies, three novels, and four story collections, he has dedicated five books to the so-called pandemic of the twentieth century, HIV/AIDS, the last of which, Casa Cercada. Diary of a maid, he saw the light in 2018. He has lived in Sweden for more than twenty years.

Kristin Havgard
Kristin Havgard


By Kristin Havgard*

The first case of Sars Cov 2 was confirmed in Norway on 26 February. Fifteen days later, on 12 March, there were already 400 positive cases and community transmission had begun. That is why, four days later, like Denmark, the country’s borders were closed. Classes were also canceled in all teachings and activities in kindergartens, gymnasiums, hairdressers ceased, and restrictions were applied to cafes and restaurants. Sporting and cultural events were also cancelled until at least June.

From 13 March visitors were banned from entering Oslo Airport, except for citizens and residents of the country. Non-resident aliens were sent home.

On 16 March these measures were extended to all borders and to Non-Norwegian Nordic citizens, although domestic travel continued.

On 6 April the Ministry of Health announced that the virus was under control and that the reproduction rate of Sars Cov 2 had been reduced to 0.7.

A negative, critical factor in Norway was the lack of existing means of protection in the health sector. Hence they had to buy them from China: masks, clothes, almost everything.

Primary schools and restaurants will open in the coming weeks, but bars will continue to be closed.

Norway data until April 30

7,738 positive cases, 7,496 active cases, 210 deaths, and 32 recovered.

Norway has 145 positive cases and 4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

On 16 April there was a spike in contagion, 156, but the next day it dropped to 41; the 22nd there was another peak: 147, and the next day it descended to 63; closed April with a figure of 28, the lowest amount of the month, similar to the 26th.

The first case was detected on 26 February; more than 100 cases were accumulated on 6 March; 10 deaths were reached on 24 March; 100 deaths were reached on 8 April; the highest death certificate in April, 16, was the 20th.

Norway has a population of 5.3 million.


Data from Denmark until April 30

9 356 positive cases; 6 741 recovered; 452 deceased.

167 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The first case was detected on March 27.

It has had three-digit figures in positive cases daily throughout the month of April; on the 25th there were 235 (peak).

Denmark has a population of 5.4 million.

*KRISTIN HAVGAR is a journalist for the NRK (Norwegian radio and television) and the Inter Press Service (IPS) agency in that country, and a consultant to DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma). She is a graduate of the University of Oslo, where she resides.

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