You don’t get a lot of information about living in a world crisis in Sweden. Swedes are a stoic lot. One of my first experiences here was in Stockholm when someone on the platform deliberately smashed their arm through the window of an underground train as it pulled out the station. People around me in the train compartment had glass and blood on their faces. Nobody said a word, and at the next stop everyone calmly walked off the train.
Here in Kiruna, living alongside Covid-19, I haven’t noticed a crisis. Nothing seems very different, except that, unusually for us, we’re still here mid-April, as the ice is melting in warm sunshine and otherwise the snow is still falling. And falling. And falling. As it’s spring, the winds are strong, so the snow is blowing. And blowing. And falling.
We were due to do our once-a-week food shop, keeping our (one moose) distance from others, and stocking up where possible to avoid to soon a return to the shop. For this we need a car. The one currently held captive at the bottom of the driveway.
So yesterday I was up to my waist in snow, clutching a snow shovel and fighting my way through to the ice-covered driveway. The snow-packed wind whistled through my hat. Was this really a good way to spend Easter?
For an hour or so I loaded my shovel and pushed the heavy snow up the driveway to the side path – the only place left to dump it – slid back down to load it again, repeat. The wind bit into my face and it all felt quite a struggle.
I know, there are worse things happening in the world. But please. We don’t need no more trouble.