Life in Copenhagen is gradually returning to some semblance of normal after more than two months of Covid19 lockdown. The sense of relief among the population is palpable. I took these photos in the week of 18 May, 2020, after cafés and restaurants were allowed to open. I was at my local wine bar at the first opportunity. If you’re wondering about the lack of facemasks, here’s an article about how the Nordic and Baltic region never resorted to that bandaid solution. And then there is this article about how The Culture of Fear relates to a crisis like this one.
Denmark During COVID19
Denmark acted early and effectively. On 13 March, 2020, all public sector employees in non-essential roles were sent home and public institutions were closed, along with high schools. On 16 March, all schools and child-care institutions were closed. On 18 March, shops were closed and restaurants could only sell takeaway food. A limit of ten people gathered together was implemented, with a possible fine of 1500 DKK (€200). Social distancing recommendations were put into place — the classic 2 metre rule of thumb. Danes were free to move about, but the streets were largely empty as people worked from home. The borders were closed unless you were Danish, a resident or had a good reason to come.
Fast forward to 18 May, 2020. Phase 2 of easing the lockdown commenced. Kids in grades 0–5 had been back at school for a couple of weeks but now shops, cafés, restaurants and other services were allowed to open.
Personally, it all felt so “normal” for the first time in two months. The authorities reduced the recommended social distancing limit from two to one metre — between people you’re not sitting with. The limit of no more than ten people gathered together is still in place.
While a second wave is a real possibility, the way that Denmark — and other countries in the Nordic/Baltic region — tackled the corona virus crisis has shown that leadership, respect for science and tight-knit societies are prepared for a crisis such as this.