A CORONA-story from a tele-pensioner in Denmark. April 2021

After 14 months with CORONA we can start to see the light ahead.

COVID19 came to Denmark on 27.2.2020 and this led to major changes in the country. On 13.3.2020 the country went into lock-down. To date, 244.065 persons have been infected and unfortunately 2.463 are dead. Soon 19 % of our population will have been vaccinated with at least one dose out of 2.

The 2nd wave came with more deaths and infected more people. But this time we were better prepared. At the moment it seems like we are in control, but we never know. We test and test as never before.

As in other countries the new “normal” was home-working, home schooling. Restrictions, assembly bans, however, we could meet outside in small groups in the so-called bubbles. The non-essential stores, places of worship, cinemas, theaters, performance venues etc closed. Borders also closed and vacations were cancelled. Major sporting events and festivals etc had to be cancelled. Overall it was a big disappointment for many, but also an opportunity to do other things and travel in our own country. Our free-time activities have now become cycling, hiking and being in nature more than before. But even so, I think most of us are fed up with CORONA.

We all had to change our lives in some way but we adapted to the new way of living. The restrictions particularly affected our senior citizens in nursing homes, the sick in our hospitals and schools, where the children were not allowed to attend. We discovered that suddenly all children loved their school – something that had not happened before …. Gatherings of maximum 5 persons then 10 and again 5 people. Reopening of small stores and small businesses and then closed again! Business, tourism and cultural life are bleeding and many of the jobs lost will not return for the time being. All in all it has been a very confusing year.

When our Prime Minister announced the lock-down on March 13. 2020 and told us to take it easy and not rush to the supermarkets and hoard, the opposite was exactly what many chose to do! Toilet paper was the big winner. A long time ago when we had a major oil crisis it was yeast. Norway felt sad for us and sent “tons” of yeast, so we did not suffer any shortage of bread. This time we do not suffer from anything except our freedom to choose and to be with our family and friends. We miss togetherness and hugs.

In summer 2020 when we reopened a bit, Danes were able to travel around Denmark. Many sights, such as Tivoli, Lego, ZOO and other entertainment venues were at half price just to keep Danes happy and to stay in Denmark.

During 2021 we also had our protesters, people who went from being nice law-abiding citizens in 2020 to demonstrating against vaccines and other rules in 2021. But most people are calm and wait for better times. We are looking to a reopen in the next few months, but we know everything can close down overnight again.

In Denmark, we have had a good process and we have been supportive of each other. I believe as a small country with 6 million inhabitants, it is easier to deal with a virus than larger countries. It has been relatively easy to get the messages out to all corners of our country. We learned to use the digital media and sing together, get close to each other - at a distance. We have learned to keep our distance, spray everything, wear masks when necessary and have good hygiene. We have also learned that we cannot take our lives for granted and that everything is easy and convenient before can change overnight.

We are now starting to see more of family and friends with the restrictions there are. Thumbs up!

The closure of society with compensation for almost everything undoubtedly comes with a price to pay in the future. A price that will affect us socially, mentally and financially. But all in all, I believe that in the circumstances we did the right thing.

Inge-Lise Flügge