I’ve been under self-quarantine in Stockholm since mid-March. My experience.

I read this article in CNBC by someone else who has been under self-quarantine. I live in the same area of Stockholm that the author mentions in the article and I think my experience is a little different.

Like the author, I have been under self-quarantine, only going out if needed.

How do I fill my days now?

My days are full of writing articles, cleaning up data, meetings and FIKA via Zoom, etc.

I have my groceries delivered using a service called MatHem, so I do not even have to visit a grocery store. 

I order items online that I need instead of going to the store. However, this backfired as instead of being delivered directly to my mailbox, they were delivered to a nearby Post Nord (USPS or Royal Mail equivalent) desk. 

Instead of using public transport, I have been using my bike. This keeps me allows me to keep a healthy distance from people, while also staying in physical shape.

Sweden in the news

Sweden has been in the news recently for how they are handling the pandemic, mostly negative. Despite that, in the beginning, if you walked outside, it looked like the month of July. I say ‘the month of July’ because Stockholm essentially becomes ghost town one month a year, as most people are on vacation, 5 weeks of vacation is the minimum and it normally begins after midsummer. 

So, it has been a somewhat relaxed, many other Nordic countries surrounding Sweden have been under a lock-down. Sweden’s method is essentially putting the desire of self-isolation onto the individual.

I was looking at the photos in the article and in some of them, you can see people adhering to social-distancing, which is most likely because there are markers at nearly every shop demonstrating how far to keep a distance within the line.

However, if you take a look at the parks near Fältöversten, they are full. I went out yesterday to pick up a delivery from Post Nord and I saw a couple of people at the restaurants but they were mainly empty.

The photos are recent photos (April 17, so many people have been under self-isolation or quarantine for a few weeks already). At the beginning of this, everything was empty, only a few people were on the buses or the metro, as you can see in the above photos. I did not see anyone eating in restaurants, only takeaway. The only people I saw were those walking around the parks.

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Has there been a change in people going out?

At first, I thought the photos were misleading since when I had gone out the week before to pick up a book at my office and everything was empty. However, I had to go out on April 18th and the shopping center was packed! I have never seen it that packed, even around the Christmas season. It was definitely over the 50-person limit that the government has set. It is probably that everyone is now anxious to get out of the house after being at home for several weeks. After my outing yesterday, it appears that many people feel anxious to end this.

Anything else to add?

It has been sunnier, and it is increasingly getting warmer. Many Swedes love the sun, I mean during the summer months you see people sunbathing everywhere.

Most businesses are operating, however, several restaurants that I can see from my window are closed until further notice. Public transport usage is down, particularly the metro, but there are no numbers for buses since they stopped requiring people to show fares in an effort to curb the spread of the virus to the drivers.

I did notice something else around late March/ early April, it was that more people were cycling. Now, this time of year is still cold and most people wait until May to begin cycling again. I spoke to some other people I know in town who are now cycling, and they said they started to avoid public transport. A similar reason as to why I began cycling again in mid-April.

However, I will still be somewhat in self-isolation.

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