Corona Does Denmark

There are worse places to be while the world battles the coronavirus. I count my blessings that we aren’t living in a country where it is a struggle to get information in English.

I count my blessings that Denmark is a nation that has a deeply rooted since of community and responsibility to its fellow man. The Danes seem to follow the guidelines to help mitigate this pandemic. John’s clients started conducting all meetings via teleconference this past week and he will be working from home until further notice.

I also count my blessings that I have friends. I have Danish friends that have reached out to make sure we heard the latest news as each major restriction was released. And we have others checking in on us to see if we need anything. How did we get so lucky?

On Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister informed the public that the entire country was shutting down schools, from daycare through university. The following morning my gym cancelled all classes in an effort to keep us all healthy. Other businesses decided to shut down on their own accord or have limited hours. Friday it was announced that the Danish borders were closing midday Saturday.

What has been refreshing is I haven’t seen mass hysteria and hoarding. I’m sure there is some, but I haven’t personally seen it. John and I had stocked up on basics the weekend before in Germany, not because of the virus, but because we needed to go. Spurred by the PM’s message, I did go to the grocery store on Thursday to grab a few things to stick in our little freezer and a couple dozen eggs. Yes, there were extra people there, the stockers were feverishly filling up the freezer section, but it was a smooth experience.

Yesterday I had to go to the grocery for a couple items. The shelves were full, except for hand sanitizer, fewer people were in the store for a Saturday afternoon and we were all keeping our distance. I did take note that it seemed that everyone in line either had sweets or alcohol in their basket. We all have different coping mechanisms …

I can’t lie. It is a bit discombobulating to be in a foreign country while this pandemic sweeps the world. When there are travel restrictions, it makes me feel a bit trapped. Yes, we would be allowed to travel back to the United States if we could find a flight, but it is just a feeling of being far from home. On a selfish note, a few weeks ago we made arrangements to travel to Berlin over the Easter holiday. As of now, we canceled those plans since the Danish travel ban extends just beyond our travel dates.

However, the coronavirus will not keep us down. We are being smart if we are out and about and washing our hands like it’s our job.

We learned that Denmark was closing schools and knew the impact it would have on the small shops around our apartment. Coffee and gelato calms the nerves and gives a bit of hope to the shopkeeper. It was us and a party of 10. A few others came in for to-go orders.
This weekend we shared a few laughs, coffee and cookies with friends – Stine, David and Steen – by the sea. We kept an appropriate distance and the wind was blowing so hard, there is no way a germ would stick to us.
After a self health check – How do you feel? Do you have a tickle in your throat or runny nose? – we had a lovely evening with new friends, Torben, Margunn and Magnus, in their home. We had a wonderful Danish meal of beef patties, wedge potatoes, brown sauce, fried onions, broccoli, cake, strawberries and ice cream. The night was full of excellent hospitality, interesting conversation and some incredible guitar playing by the 11-year-old Magnus.
Home time means projects. I tried out a new falafel recipe. I consider it a keeper.
I think the key to making it through with our sanity in tact is to keep ourselves busy. We’ve been preparing for self containment all winter since Danish weather can be less than ideal. Today I broke out the stitching again. I’ve even considered sorting through my emails and computer files. I’ve only considered email as an option. The procrastinator in me may prevail on that project. Maybe I’ll tackle that during the next pandemic.

We will keep you updated on us, but, right now, we are as healthy as a horse. We pray that we stay that way and are relieved the Danish government and its citizens are taking this threat seriously.

Until next time, hej, hej!


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