A view from the north – Corona in Norway

by Brynhild Blinka.

 
Infected web
The sky is blue today in Norway, but the birds gives a hint of a different story. They have taken over the pavilion and the ground, talking loudly to eachother without keeping any distance at all. I imagine they are confused like us about how the world suddenly is turned up-side down. The streets are now empty. It´s easy to let the imagination run free these days. „La peste“ by Albert Camus is supposedly a much read book right now.

SARS-CoV-2 has entered the country and the home is our castle these days. Those of us who can work from home do. We „stand together by keeping our distance„. Many things are closed or closing these days. Its advised to avoid areas with a lot of people when one goes outside to get some air. We salute the people working in the health care system, but also the many others who are just as necessary to hold vital parts of society up and running. „Dugnadsånd we call the voluntary spirit that is surrounding us. We have a long tradition for this spirit. However, it has been dying out these last decades; „Dugnad´s“ more evil twin – better known as „Hybris“ – has been on the loose for some time in the north. With access to good food he has been growing every year. So one could say that „dugnadsånden“ has its renaissance now in the current „health-dugnad“. This latter particular shift is something one should hope remains when all this is over…but when is it over ? 

How long is this tunnel? A question on everyones lips right now. This is only the beginning, therefore we have not reached the deepest part of the tunnel yet. In the air lies the seriousness; more people get hospitalized, thousands are (temporarily) loosing their jobs. Companies are on the verge of collapsing, big or small. The boarders are closed. People are stuck abroad. Legal hearts are worried. The news are reporting about live-stream funerals … It´s surreal. The news are filled with fear. It´s like a domino effect. How will everything look like when all this is over ? Too early to say, but the virus has already affected all layers of our society.From Italy they report that «people are dying alone». We have seen the images of the trucks driving in lines through Bergamo. We all know what´s inside, where they are going. What about the fact that a vast part of the worlds population does not have access to soap and water ? One thing is for certain: 2020 will be a challenging year. We who are in the north should be really grateful for the window we were given by birth.

Fragile life, but flowers are in the garden
These are the times when we understand that life is fragile. These are the times when we understand that we are all in the „spiders web“. The threads are connected delicately, „the chain is no stronger than its weakest link“ as they say. You and I always make an impact even though we can´t see the result immediately. At the same time as this virus spreads – almost like a parallel world – Mother Nature is moving on. Spring is early this year. Feels a little like she is moving on without us this time. Comfort lies in the fact that even though our lives are on hold, at least something is almost on track.

When you are alone knowing that the shadows are around, and at the same time you see that beautiful flower fighting its way up from the soil; what do you feel ? This can be a time to reflect. If your life is currently put on „pause“, how do you view it from a distance ? Which choices did you make, which did you not make? If hypothetically a plague were happening right now, then many of us would not have the possibility to press „play“ ever again; may times like these remind us to be grateful for what we already have – for what we had if we loose it – and enlighten what´s important. These times reveals many things, both about ourselves and our society. Perhaps we should pay attention to these discoveries. Further, the silence that occurs in this vacuum could be well used in the „garden of the mind“. Maybe it lacks flowers ? Nobody said that you can´t plant flowers even though tears are in your eyes.

Shadows are dancing a slow waltz amongst us right now. I send my warmest thoughts to all the windows out there in the world, both the open and the closed ones.

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