While many countries around the world are setting new records for the incidence of coronavirus and urgently tightening quarantine measures, Finland has become one of those countries that still manage to successfully control the COVID-19 pandemic. We found out what is the secret of Finnish success in the fight against coronavirus, and what role the mentality of the northern people plays in it.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of November 26, 23 148 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Finland since the beginning of the year, 384 of them have died. No other country in Europe has such a low level of COVID-19 infection.
For example, in neighboring Denmark, where, as in Finland, about six million people live, almost 75 thousand are registered. cases of coronavirus infection, in Slovakia – 101 thousand, and in Sweden, where only twice as many inhabitants – 236 thousand cases.
How did Finland manage to achieve such stunning results?
First of all, the lightning-fast and timely response of the Finnish authorities helped to prevent a wider spread of the virus. When the number of COVID-19 patients surged around the world in the spring, the government urgently imposed a two-month quarantine. Suomi quickly closed its borders to foreign tourists. Domestic travel was also limited: for several weeks, Helsinki and its environs were virtually isolated. Schools and other institutions were closed, after some time, catering establishments.
Another reason for Finland’s success in countering the coronavirus is due to the fact that social distancing is a natural behavior for its residents. They don’t like it when someone violates their personal space and often prefer to be alone.
Director of the Finnish Department of Health and Welfare (THL) Mika Salminen also noted that his compatriots “like to keep people at a distance of a meter or more” even at normal times. Otherwise, they start to feel uncomfortable.
Moreover, Finland, unlike many other states, “has demonstrated its readiness to act in national emergencies,” writes the Financial Times. She developed this collective experience during the Winter War (1939-1940) with the USSR. As a result, Finnish hospitals had sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the epidemiological crisis.
Even Sweden’s chief state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, known for his rather liberal approach to tackling the pandemic, admitted how good things are in Finland.
“Their level of preparedness simply surpasses anything we could even dream of in Sweden,” he said in September of the situation with neighbors.
Special attention of the Finnish authorities is focused on the system for tracing social contacts. For these purposes, they, in particular, use a mobile application – Corona Flash, which, by the way, was downloaded to his smartphone by almost every second resident of the country. This fact also testifies to the fact that in Finland the public confidence in the authorities is quite high. It is not concerned that their personal data will be misused.
During the spring lockdown, there was no significant resistance to the introduction of restrictive measures in the country. According to a poll commissioned by the European Parliament during that period, more than 70% of Finns said they did not resist the restrictions imposed by the authorities. Moreover, 23% of those surveyed said that their lives had even improved thanks to the quarantine. In Finland, there have been no demonstrations of the so-called “covid dissidents”, which are now actively taking place in a number of European countries in protest against government policies to combat the pandemic.
See also: “How to deal with stress during the coronavirus pandemic”