The Latest Information, March 21 2020

The  Latest Information

  • 450 confirmed cases in Finland, 50 more than yesterday.
  • 0 deaths have been reported.
  • New infections have been traced to ski resorts in Lapland. In Finland, a lot of people go skiing for spring break. So ski resorts are now being closed.
  • Public schools are reopening, but only for grades 1 to 3. This is also voluntary, so if parents want to keep their children at home they can. Those grades had remained open for the children of parents whose jobs are considered critical, but there was confusion as to the definition of “critical”.
  • Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, who is 71, is urging people 70 and older to stay home. He doesn’t like dividing the population into cohorts by age, but the most vulnerable people are basically being put at risk by brave idiots certain they’ll be okay if they catch it.
  • I saw an address by the actual Leader of the Free World, Angela Merkel. She warned that this is going to be tough, but that we can get through this together. The chancellor didn’t blame anyone, and didn’t make any excuses. She praised front-line health care providers, grocery store workers, and everyone engaged in acts of kindness.
  • The most recent daily briefing from Johns Hopkins has some concerning news about Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Iran has basically stopped communicating with the outside world, so there are no numbers on infections and deaths. Reports inside say it’s bad. Over 50% of the verifiable infections in Pakistan are apparently refugees fleeing Iran, who are being held in quarantine camps. The situation is apparently similar in Afghanistan, with Iranian refugees accounting for large numbers of cases in that country.

Many university students here in Jyväskylä rely on campus restaurants for meals. As all were ordered closed as of Wednesday, they have been sending catering trucks out to student housing villages with packaged lunches. The price is the same, €2,60 for students and €7,60 for non-students. They will be setting up around lunchtime each day until further notice. This makes sense, as they plan meals and order food a month in advance. They had food on hand and incoming that would otherwise go bad.

Today Katie went down to the cul-de-sac where they set up for our complex and picked us up two lunches. They do not take cash, because money is filthy. Almost all cards here are chipped, and you can tap the card to pay rather than having to touch a keypad to enter a pin. Pay and they hand you a paper bag. They also had fresh-baked loaves of bread for €2, so Katie got one.

The lunch consisted of 8 meatballs and mashed potatoes in one container, and a salad with light oil and vinegar in the other. There were two slices of fresh bread, a piece of rye and a piece of sourdough, in a heat-sealed bag. It came with a carton of milk and a sealed pat of butter. The food is refrigerated on the truck, so it needs to be heated up.

Please be sure you’re getting information from reliable sources.

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