Death is final and can’t be reversed. The Virus has seen many countries reporting death rates dishonestly, while a very small number had done it honestly. But what can you expect when many politicians have take the “I-am-in-charge-route”. This has lead to the result that a coordinated global response to the pandemic have melted away and we are left with a far from optimal series of hopeless measures.
WHO should have led the response but they appear to be a bunch of highly-paid specialists who missed the boat because they like their perks in Switzerland. It appears that they are not trusted by small-minded national politicians. You can blame Trump, but also most off the other “leaders” too!
But death tells all in the end because it has the final word…
Finland is a small country with very strong traditions which have developed over the decades and have got stronger possibly because outside influences are few and far between. Unlike the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain we have relatively fewer tourists, no mountains, cold weather, and a cold sea, a strikingly hard language and a strong national aspiration that Nokia is still the world’s best mobile phone.
These traditions are strong and offer comfort to many even if they are not based on facts but more on feelings – they are part of the national identity and that is sufficient. Hardly anyone goes to church, less than 5%, but around 70% belong the church(s) and pay a church tax that is collected by the government and is around 1.5% of taxable income. Churches are useful for marriages, christenings and funerals… and that is where death pops up again…
So it appears that people here pay up, probably because death is the unspoken thing in many peoples’ minds…
Finns approach to the “Virus” is also another good example of traditional thinking. If you live in an apartment of terrace house, like the majority of Finns, talking to your neighbour is frowned upon. The Virus gave an even better excuse to frown even more and slip away as fast as possible if a neighbour was outside his door just as you were leaving, or if you come across him or her in the local grocers at the same time. The “Finnish Frown” is great – you crease your forehead a little more, look down at the ground and walk at least 2 meters to the left as quickly as possible. Even older ladies are lighter on their feet today.
A third example of the preoccupation with death is the Midsummer festival which always takes place at midsummer when the sun never goes down. That is the time that Finnish men show their feelings with a bottles of beer of something stronger. After eating grilled (burnt) sausage and washing themselves in the ritual midsummer sauna a few of them drown in the lake and they get to appear in the headlines as if this is world-changing event. The numbers vary between zero (if the weather is cold and windy) to around 10 if the weather is hot and dry. Given that up to 150 drown each year means that the midsummer number is another useless statistic that the media loves to report – but the preoccupation with death is there again.
But back to the Virus – the total number of deaths in Finland so far hardly exceeds 300 and most of the patients were elderly near the end of their natural lives. This number is almost as meaningless statistically as the midsummer one. The numbers of people dying this year has not been significantly different from the numbers of past years but the media has kept up a dreadful macabre habit of blasting the front pages with these “terrible” figures…. And when nobody has been reported of dying because of the Virus then the headlines become red-hot again!
Virus deaths are higher when too many get to be exposed and when the national healthcare system is not able or is unable to handle the flow of patients. But you would never believe this by looking at the media coverage, or at the behaviour of politicians and of the general population.
The Brits claim that they have the best health system in the world but the NHS so far appears to be underfunded and overwhelmed even though the OECD reports that they spend the same amount of money per head of the population than small Finland.
So far the NHS Brits have the highest number of deaths per million of the population after Belgium – 627 compared to Belgium’s 837. Finland has had 59 deaths per million which is one-tenth of the Swedish number of 500, something that many International media companies have suggested has been a prime example of a successful anti-Virus campaign – something that no Swede can be proud to share.
Climate Change has not gone away and deaths from it are rising but have not been reported much because we have the Virus. As soon as a vaccine is announced and in use perhaps we can then get back to stopping the death of the Globe – something which is far more important that deaths from the Virus…
Photo: Wikipedia Commons Arch Dale cartoon about the imminent outbreak of the First World War.