I have been sent DM’s, asked by friends, and in every way that I can be contacted, to ask why I did not go home to wait out COVID-19.
I usually just answered because I live and work in Sweden now. Although, that is a half-truth. I might get some flack for posting about this but it is a valid reason as an American. I do know other Americans who are working in Europe and they are currently struggling to get home but I have decided to remain.
In Sweden, our taxes are high, but it includes healthcare for the most part. Aside from the yearly payment of $100.00 when you go to the doctor. After that, the state pays for pretty much everything. So, my recent surgeries due to having a broken and dislocated arm only set me back a couple hundred dollars. There are pros and cons to having it completed here but I still have a working arm which is the most important part.
So, if I got sick on the flight home and became hospitalized, I would be drowning in medical debt. This is the main reason I stayed
While living in the U.S, I was fortunate to have some sort of health insurance for most of my life. Only a short period I did not and a family member was in an accident where we had to pay for the majority of the care out-of-pocket.
What is different now?
This has changed. I no longer have health insurance in the U.S. So, if I got sick on the flight home and became hospitalized, I would be drowning in medical debt. This is the main reason I stayed. I have a temporary resident permit for a while, so I decided to not rush it. In addition, when flights were beginning to be canceled in Europe and President Trump made that address mentioning that people only had a few days to come back, even though the borders would not close to Americans. Well, I saw people on social media paying thousands of dollars to return home, many of which were on vacation. Around that time, Sweden made a similar announcement that only Swedish citizens would be allowed back into Sweden, which was then clarified to include those who have certain permits.
So, with all the craziness I decided to wait it out.
Plus, the only thing I could do when I got home was to stay at home. Since now there are curfews and orders to do so.