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April 7 2020: The Latest Information

April 7 2020: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now in intensive care. A month ago he insisted that people would be ‘pleased to know’ that the virus would not stop him greeting hospital patients with a handshake. One has to wonder how many people he managed to infect before he became symptomatic.

This next bit constitutes a bit of reading between the lines on my part. Anecdotally, I can tell you that a lot of Finns have been heading to their mökki (summer cottages) to isolate. This is what a lot of folks in Helsinki were doing, or trying to do, before Uusimaa was locked down. It makes sense. Load up on supplies and ride things out from your cabin in the middle of nowhere. Human nature drives people to move away from the source of any problem.

Sweden and Norway have far higher rates of infection than Finland. As of this writing, Norway has 5,865 cases and 77 deaths against a population of 5.37 million. Sweden has 7,206 cases and 477 deaths against a population of 10.23 million. Finland has 2,308 cases and 27 deaths against a population of 5.52 million.

Lapland is a hotspot. They say it’s because of the ski resorts, and those have been closed since March 27. I have to wonder, though, if there has been an influx of people from Norway and Sweden trying to move from places with higher rates of infection to a place with a lower rate. For those readers outside the Nordics, yes, Finland shares borders with Norway and Sweden waaay up at the Arctic Circle.

I think that this is the reason Finland has closed all borders, in addition to sealing off Helsinki where the airport and major harbors are. People not showing that they have essential business in Finland are being denied entry. Those that are allowed in are placed under mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Latest Information

I don’t even know where to tell you to go for good information any more. Not only is testing inconsistent around the globe, but many countries aren’t reporting deaths accurately. While attributing a death to pneumonia or cardio-pulmonary issues is technically accurate, not counting them as COVID-19 victims skews the data. Most of this is political, i.e. governments want to downplay the impact and appear more in control than they actually are.

All I can say is, please continue to vet your sources of information. Seek the most accurate, up-to-date facts and use critical thinking skills. Listen to doctors and scientists. Ignore politicians, and question the motives of random people on the internet.

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