Are Swedes Shunned for High Covid Rates—or Is It Really ABBA?

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    • #329810
      Homer Ramone
      • Total Posts: 381

      Given that Sweden is still in the midst of an uncontrolled outbreak, it’s no wonder that countries that have made great sacrifices to virtually halt the spread of the coronavirus within their borders are unwilling to allow Swedes to wander about their countries without restriction. Yet Erdbrink gives credence to the idea that the closures are related not to health concerns, but to “resentments and differences that usually are obscured by a Scandinavian sense of mutual identity and niceness.”

      “Sweden is a sort of regional hegemon, and, its critics say, given to a certain arrogance and exceptionalism that can be grating,” he writes, suggesting that its neighbors are jealous of Sweden having “successful brands like Volvo, Ikea and H&M, as well as the band ABBA.” The story closes with Swedish journalist Asa Linderborg moaning: “We are supposed to sit here in our corner of shame, and the worst part is that you’re savoring it…. All Norwegians, all Danes and all Finns are loving that the Swedes aren’t welcome anywhere.”

      A reporter’s effort to put the happiest face on coverage that hasn’t aged well wouldn’t matter so much if the New York Times hadn’t been one of the most prestigious news outlets pointing to Sweden as a model for a “what me—worry?” approach to the coronavirus. This reporting, ridiculous in real time, contributed to the premature reopening of states shut down to curb Covid-19—and thus is partially responsible for the fact that the US too faces a resurgence in infection rates, to the point where the European Union is talking about barring travel from the United States until we get our outbreak under control.

      The New York Times story (6/23/20) on the EU’s prospective ban on US visitors is actually much better than its coverage of Scandinavia’s ostracism of Sweden—making it clear that it’s infection rates, not “resentments and differences,” that make Europeans wary of American travelers.  Perhaps reporter Matina Stevis-Gridneff doesn’t have any embarrassing celebrations of a lackadaisical approach to the coronavirus that she needs to live down.

    • #329821
      • Total Posts: 4,378

      Has to listen to this until the epidemic is over

      Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.

      If you just got finessed into calling the medicine that won the 2015 Nobel Prize for its role in treating human disease ‘horse de-wormer’ then you need to sit the next couple of plays out.

      • #330020
        • Total Posts: 279

        almost never get out the old turn table any more.

        Guys, ABBA was just what we needed in the ’70s.  It was joyful, nice melodies and hamonies.  The orchestration was superb, and it was eminently dance-able.

        Remember the seventies:  The Beatles broke up, Vietnam War, the  invasion of Cambodia, Kent State and Jackson State shootings,  Jimi Hendrix dies of a drug overdose, Janis Joplin dies of a drug overdose, Jackie Robinson dies,  Watergate began quietly, Richard M. Nixon re-elected president, the fall of Saigon,  Apollo 17 and the end of the Moon program, <i>Roe v. Wade,</i>   The Senate Watergate hearings begin,  Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns in disgrace, Gerald R. Ford of Michigan becomes the first person to be appointed Vice President under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, 1973–1974 — The United States is affected by the Arab Oil Embargo; gasoline prices skyrocket as supplies of gasoline and heating oil are in short supply, The House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach the President, President Nixon resigns,  Ford pardons Nixon,   Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, Fall of Saigon,  President Ford survives two assassination attempts in a 17-day span…

        And that was just some of what was going on the first five years of the seventies.  We know things did not get better (Iran Hostage crisis, Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Boycott of the Olympics…

        ABBA was fun!

        But an hour of Dancing Queen and not any of the other selections on that ablum?!?  Shame on  you!

        You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here.

    • #329822
      • Total Posts: 5,325

      Yeah, I know they have a reputation for being “safe” cars, but they’re so goddamned UGLY.

      As for IKEA… Hell, even if you never buy anything in their stores, just walking around one of the mammoth stores is sufficient exercize. Probably why the concept was invented in Sweden and they do well in US states without the best climate. When mortals need to go for a long walk and the inclement weather doesn’t make that feasible outdoors, just drive to Ikea and do as many laps around their maze of a store as you feel like. With a meatball break in the middle, if you need more calories to burn.

      "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy

    • #329900
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 12,932

      There’s a similarity between Sweden, the US, & Brazil.

    • #329905
      • Total Posts: 2,102
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