When will life go back to normal? That question has been on everyone’s mind ever since the global pandemic was declared in early 2020. Since then, the world’s leaders have implemented a range of “flattening the curve” measures in response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Everyday life has changed significantly, with many relying on the internet to engage in everything from playing online casino games at sites like online casino sverige to distance learning and remote working. Of course, each country is dealing with the pandemic in its own way, with some garnering praise and others, criticism. One such nation is Sweden, known for its controversial approach to tackling the coronavirus.
Amid these unprecedented circumstances, fears of prolonged lockdowns from some and hopeful optimism from others still beg the question of whether life will ever return to some semblance of normality. Will we be able to play in the casino as before? Visit loved ones in other countries? Enjoy a stroll in the park without a mask? Expert author Dominic Andreasson takes a closer look.
How Our Lives Have Changed
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation officially declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. Little did we know that reports of a strange virus from Wuhan, China, would result in every aspect of our lives changing. In the year since the global community has adapted quickly.
For most, the buzz of everyday life came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, people were working from home, schools were unceremoniously closed, and many businesses were forced to close their doors. Entire industries like tourism and hospitality were shut down overnight as travel restrictions and lockdowns were put into place to protect populations.
To some degree, we all had to adapt to this new reality. Social outings, concerts, and sports events became a distant memory. Meanwhile, public health systems and governments did their best to prepare for the worst.
A Balancing Act Between Misinformation and Genuine Measures
Amid these extraordinary circumstances, watching the news for updates and expressing our opinions, fears, and concerns on social media became part of our daily routines. However, this quickly led to an influx of misinformation, fake news, conspiracy theories, and geopolitical polarization.
Sweden is a prime example. The international community was quick to vilify the nation as sensationalist websites and journalists published article after article about the country’s unique approach to the pandemic. Still, that’s not to say that there weren’t (or aren’t) genuine concerns about how the Swedish government has been dealing with COVID-19.
Then again, the same can be said for other countries too. The United States was widely criticized for its overall slow response to taking preventative measures. Meanwhile, governments in other parts of the world were slammed for their harsh measures.
According to Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, Japan, Taiwan, and New Zealand came out on top in late 2020 while Sweden ranked sixteenth. First-world economies like the US and UK initially thought to be the most prepared to handle a pandemic, have been frequently overwhelmed by COVID-19 infections and expensive lockdowns.
The Global Mental Health Status
The coronavirus pandemic affects us daily. Naturally, in these unprecedented times amid uncertainty, fear, and economic pressure, many of us have seen a decline in our mental health. According to a survey conducted across 59 countries, 25.4% of participants reported moderate to severe depression, with 19.5% experiencing anxiety symptoms. Some of the cited reasons include:
- COVID-19 exposure
- Government-imposed lockdowns
- Trouble transitioning to drastic life changes
- Increase in at-home conflicts
The Current Situation
Countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and India were among the first to have the most COVID-19 vaccine agreements in place in late 2020. Since then, the latest data shows that Israel, Chile, and the UK are some of the top nations with the highest vaccination rate.
The rollout of mRNA experimental vaccines has brought hope to populations around the world. However, this comes with its own unique challenges. Access to the labs in underdeveloped countries, safety and efficacy concerns, and logistical issues are all contributing factors. Combined with new waves of infections and the threat of virus mutation, it’ll be a long while yet before we stop the pandemic in its tracks.
The Road to Recovery
Every nation is fighting the same pathogen, but after a year, quality of life and flattening the curve measures look vastly different across the globe. A country’s strategy, economy, population, and access to vaccines all play a significant role on the road to recovery.
The New Normal
As governments and citizens continue to gain a better understanding of the coronavirus, optimized measures to curb its spread and mitigate its damaging effects will also emerge. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get to play a regular casino game or frolic in the sun at an exotic destination sooner than we expect.