“He was just getting sicker and after a few weeks he couldn’t even go to the store because he was so out of breath. This is a kid who is just 19 and who usually parkours his way from A to B.”
Eliotte Duran lives in Stockholm with her husband and two younger children whilst her eldest son lives away at boarding school. She sent her postcard on 10th May.
Eliotte runs the babywearing wrap company Sjala, which, like many businesses, has experienced a tumultuous time over recent months.
Sweden has taken an unusual path of remaining mostly open during the pandemic. The government has favoured advice, over restrictions, aimed at reducing the virus’ impact on the health service and slowing the spread.
In this postcard, Eliotte reveals how Coronavirus affected her family early on meaning her approach to daily life is far more cautious.
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Sweden’s neighbours, Norway, Finland and Denmark, have started to take tentative steps out of swiftly enacted lockdowns. As of 14 May, cases in Sweden have risen to nearly 28,582 with 3,529 recorded deaths and show no sign yet of slowing. The suburb where Eliotte lives is particularly affected and, as in other countries, the virus has ravaged care home settings.
The WHO, and leaders of countries presiding over strict lockdowns, looked at Sweden with a mixture of puzzlement and horror. Based on current statistics, deaths per million citizens in Sweden (32) is higher than the United States (24).
Neighbouring Denmark, where lockdown was extensive has suffered far fewer death per million (9) and is now entering its second phase of reopening. To preserve this recovery, the iconic Øresund Bridge that links the two countries has all but closed for entry from Sweden.
Debate continues to rage about whether this more pragmatic approach is right in the long term. The government has repeated it isn’t wedded to it and will change course should infection significantly increase.