Mackem expat lifts lid on life in Sweden, one of the only European countries not to impose a lockdown
An Sunderland expat living in Sweden says ‘life is the same’ there despite coronavirus.
David Smith, 51, a businessman originally from Pennywell, moved to Sweden in 2005 and lives in the town of Hudiksvall, 170 miles north of Stockholm.
But controversially, unlike other European countries, life carries on almost as normal.
David’s plans to open a brewery however have been delayed by the pandemic.
Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Schools remain open, but not colleges and universities. Shops, pubs, gyms and restaurants are open, but lack of custom means many have changed their opening hours.
David said: “The shops are well stocked, there hasn’t been a rush of panic buying. Although Heinz baked beans are hard to find!
“I don’t think we can apply the same thinking to Sweden as the UK. Almost as many people live in Greater London than in the whole of Sweden, and a higher percentage of Swedes live alone and/or in very rural areas.
“Personally I think rather than lock down the whole country, the government should lock down cities over a certain size and stop people from these cities, where most of the corona cases are, from travelling to other parts of the country until it blows over.
“I hope some sort of lockdown will take place in cities of, say, 60,000 people and bigger. For Hudiksvall I think things will carry on as ‘normal’ for at least another couple of weeks. Time will tell if the Swedish government is correct about all of this. Personally, I hope they are.”
One thing affected for David, a Sunderland AFC fanatic and season card holder, is his travel schedule.
He added: “I had tickets booked for me and my partner Tina to attend my nephew’s engagement party at the Queen Vic in Roker; but that’s now off.
“I was planning to go to the last match of the season at Rotherham the day after, so I’ll miss that.”