A tale of two pandemic cities

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  • Drew Smylie says:

    Sounds like a great trip. Perhaps Canada could learn from Sweden’s experience, and learn to live with the virus by opening up more judiciously.

  • EM says:

    Thanks for this article. For some reason, the pandemic and pandemic response seem to have plunged the Anglosphere into a full-on existential crisis (“we can never go back to normal”, “things will never be the same again”), whereas continental Europe has largely treated it as a temporary state of affairs. As a resident of the UK, I travelled to Europe twice during the summer and noticed exactly that.

  • Catherine Mulvale says:

    You’re awesome. Thanks gor your bravery, curiousity and clarity.
    We should all try exoeriences that “open our minds, to show us possibilities we didn’t know existed”.

  • Carolyn Thomas says:

    So the enlightened Swedes are “ready to squeeze the juice out of the summer’s final stretch” – despite a COVID-19 death rate twice that of Canada? What tiresome nonsense… Foreign travel is hardly required if diving into water with your skirt and halter-top on is what makes you happy – you could do that off Hanlan’s Point beach on Toronto Island all summer long. And the Scandinavians’ superior decision to “face the virus as a long-term lodger they would need to make peace with” is an attitude long shared by most people I know here on the west coast – yes, even those who have chosen not to travel abroad in order to learn that obvious lesson.

  • rickk says:

    Hmmmm – a cogent comment GB – thanks – what we hear on the news vs reality are 2 different things – new cases, new cases, new cases – but extremely few convert into hospital admissions, and even fewer die. Weird that the media are not a the front door of the hospitals showing the overwhelming masses ‘slamming’ the ER with covid – shutdowns were employed to NOT overwhelm the ERs – not to try the utterly impossible: prevent covid infections – a virus is going to spread, one cannot stop it. The vulnerable need to protect themselves – isolate, assume everything is dirty and wash your hands etc, protect the most vulnerable in the long term care homes.

    Comments from an ER doc in Stockholm (07-Aug-2020 – Malcolm Kendrick blog

    “Then, after a few months, all the COVID patients disappeared. It is now four months since the start of the pandemic, and I haven’t seen a single COVID patient in over a month. When I do test someone because they have a cough or a fever, the test invariably comes back negative.”

    “Sweden ripped the metaphorical band-aid off quickly and got the epidemic over and done with in a short amount of time, while the rest of the world has chosen to try to peel the band-aid off slowly. At present that means Sweden has one of the highest total death rates in the world. But COVID is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected any more.”

    “I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place, because all those countries are going to end up with the same number of dead at the end of the day anyway. Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.”


Gabrielle Bauer


Gabrielle Bauer is a freelance writer with an honours B.Sc. from McGill University and postgraduate studies in biochemistry at Harvard University. Medical writing accounts for the majority of her work.

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