Sweedish Teenagers Coping with Covid-19 and Distant Learning

Life in Sweden changed drastically for everyone over just a few hours as the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed. Social distancing and partial lockdown were the measures taken by the Swedish government in order to protect the population from the pandemic. How are Swedish teenagers coming to terms with these measures?

Swedish teenagers’ first reactions

Since most of us are immature teens that couldn’t even imagine the effect this would have, we started joking about it and sending memes to each other instead of actually taking precautions. My friends and I decided it would be a good idea to stock up on hand sanitizer and so we did. We went to the closest store and bought all the hand sanitizer we could find. But then, suddenly, we were not alone in doing silly stuff; no one seemed to do anything else except stocking up on toilet paper for some peculiar reason!  Stocking up on toilet paper is a weird thing to do, mostly because there has not been a shortage in the supply of toilet paper and the virus does not affect your need to go to the bathroom. More reasonably, people also started stocking up on food which is a way more understandable than toilet paper.

Stocking toilet paper Game of Thrones style

High schools switching to distant learning

A couple of weeks passed and the virus rapidly spread throughout Sweden. The government decided that the schools should not be affected by this pandemic and instead insisted on just continuing school activities all the way until it all turned into a crisis. The issue with this decision though is that once it’s a crisis it is already pretty late to “prevent” the spread of this virus. On the 17th of March high schools were recommended to close down and have classes from home instead. We had our last day in school on the 17th March and now we’re doing assignments at home to prevent more spread of the virus. This means that students went from being in school to everyone being in isolation in less than one day. It all came as a shock. I mean we all wanted the  school to end but now that it did,  we all miss it dearly.

Swedish teenagers trying to face up to the challenges of social isolation and distant learning with humour

Coping with social isolation

Being in isolated quarantine has obviously affected all of us drastically since we are used to being outside and conversing with friends and other people.  Some of my friends and I have decided to be in facetime when we work on our own during  different classes because isolation makes you feel  very lonely and in order to thrive and live on we have to keep contact with our friends.  We still haven’t gotten any rules about not being outside. However, considering that the schools have closed in order to hinder the spread, it would be useless if the students met up anyway. Since no stores have decided to close down yet and most workers are still going to work, the whole thing  doesn’t feel like a quarantine.  Finally, the isolation period has affected us all drastically due to friends not being able to see each other and having online classes instead of being in school.

Caring for the elderly

However, it is not us teenagers that the virus has affected the most.  It is the elderly who haven’t been able to go out or to the stores and the sick and disabled ones who need help but are not in a position to receive the help they need. Some companies have started a helping service where the mentioned groups can request help with their grocery shopping so that they don’t get infected with the virus. This is a really good thing because when we are in this situation, the elderly should not be out roaming the streets.

Written by Gabriel Bexvall, Lund, Sweden

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