Få nu bare en maske på jeres unger, Danmark

Hvis danske skolebørn bar masker, ville smittetallet falde i Danmark

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Make your youngest school kids wear a mask, Denmark

If Danish school children wore masks, the number of infections would fall in Denmark

“Does he practice with a mask on? Poor kid! ” That was one of the comments on one of my Facebook posts, where I had happily announced that my son could now attend soccer practice after 540 days at home from school and leisure activities. I was speechless over the heartlessness of the passive-aggressive provocation.

Since then, it has dawned on me that many Danes have a fierce aversion to children wearing masks. Why, I do not fully understand, because if you ask the kids here in the US what they think, they do not seem to have as much against it as the parents who are opposed to it. The kids just want to go to school, play with their friends, and go to their after school activities. If that means they have to wear a mask, then they will do it.

In fact, I think children are much more adaptable than many adults. At least my experience is that they do not see it as a problem at all, but have now become so used to wearing masks that they no longer think about it or mind it.

Denmark has navigated through the covid pandemic in a way that has spared the horrific death tolls we have seen in the United States, Brazil, and in many other countries. The schools have not been as badly affected as they have here in the US and the Danish health care system has been able to keep up. But the number of infections are rising, and now it is yet again necessary to reinstate restrictions. Danish health experts are nervous for what the next few months will look like.

When my kids came back to their schools, I was nervous about whether the infections would go crazy and how long it would take before the schools had to shut down again.

At my son’s elementary school, there are over 650 students. When the kids returned to school, vaccinations for those under 12 were not yet approved. It was a requirement that all students, staff, and teachers wear masks.

At my daughter’s middle school, 75% of students were vaccinated. The school has over 960 kids. Here, the requirement for students, staff and teachers to wear the mask was the same as at my son’s school.

Long story short, it seems that the mask requirement works. In my son’s class, which has more than 30 students, we have not yet had to keep him at home due to Covid in the class.

The children would rather go to school, see their friends and have as normal a child and youth life as possible than sit at home in front of their screens and go to school virtually. I know this for a fact after talking to many of the kids who stayed at home for over 1½ years. If the chance of having a normal childhood means that they have to wear masks in schools, then they would rather do that than stay at home.

It is the adults who have to pull themselves together – for the sake of the well-being of their kids and for the infection rates to be curbed. Sending the kids to school with a mask on is a small price to pay for the mental and physical health of the Danish children and the prospect of keeping the country open.

(partly, Google translate)

»Mor, vi er i lockdown. En ambulance er på stedet, og politiet gennemgår vores skabe«

For få dage siden begik en 12-årig dreng selvmord på min datters skole. Og ja, det sker, at helt unge begår selvmord – også oftere end mange af os måske går rundt og tror. Det skal der fokus på – så vi kan gøre noget ved det.

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“Mom, we’re in the lockdown. An ambulance is on site and the police are inspecting our lockers.

A few days ago, a 12-year-old boy committed suicide at my daughter’s school. Yes, children do commit suicide – more often than we think. We need to talk about that – so we can do something about it.

Children commit suicide. More often than many of us might think.

Just writing this makes everything in my gut wrench. My stomach tightens, I feel despair, anxiety and fear.

The other day we received a brief email from my daughter’s school. “There is a health-related situation at your child´s school at the moment.” This cryptic message made my alarm clock go off, and I texted a quick message to my daughter, “Are you okay? Should I come and pick you up?”

“I’m ok. People say it was a heart failure caused by an overdose, but teachers aren´t saying anyting,” my daughter replied via text message.

And then my panic set in, but I couldn´t show her that. “Don t listen to rumors,” I wrote after she told me that police was systematically going through students’ lockers.

»We know nothing, waiting for more info. I’m with friends and am ok,” my levelled headed daughter texted me. She was able to stay calmer than her mother.

That evening we received a message that a student had passed away at her middle school. Afterwards, the rumors flourished among the students. He was suffocated, it was an overdose, could it be xxx or xxx?

The next day we received a message that the student had passed away as a result of suicide.

He was 12 years old. My daughter told me, everyone called him Prince, because he was always so well dressed. He was in “the gifted program” for highly intelligent children, joked with everyone, had many friends and was well-liked. In other words, he was not a student who would normally be seen as exposed due to bullying, lack of intellect, physical characteristics, etc.

That same week, all students at the middle school had undergone a program they call SOS – Signs Of Suicide, which focuses on seeing signs in young people at risk of suicide and informing them where they can get help. And that same week, the boy and my daughter attended a Rainbow Meeting, a meeting for LGTBQIA + people.

The next day, he committed suicide in one of the school toilets. Now all the hooks on the inside of the school stalls in the bathroom have been removed.

The numbers of suicides in this age group in Denmark and in the USA are comparable. Fortunately, suicides in this group are rare, however, a person under 13 commits suicide every five days in the United States. In Denmark, two to three young people under the age of 15 commit suicide every year. Over 75% in the age group are boys.

All weekend, my daughter has been watching baking shows and reading Harry Potter. I read her behavior as a need to reach back to childhood. On Monday, I had to pick up my 11-year-old son because he had broken down in tears in his classroom. His teacher and the school principal cried at the morning meeting and it all became too overwhelming for my son. As a fifth grade teacher, my son’s teacher taught the boy in her classroom two years ago.

We have contacted our family therapist, signed up for a workshop for survivors and are trying to do what we can to tell our children that we are here for them. But it’s hard not to let my own “shit” scarred inner self run wild. My anxiety cannot take president over the role I have to put at the top as a mother of two children.

“It’s as if I’ve been introduced to an adult world from one day to the next. Yesterday I was a big kid, today I have to deal with a world I am not ready for,” my daughter told me.

What do you say when you are hugging your children while tears run down your cheeks? After all, there is nothing that can describe the feelings of fear and sadness that you as a parent experience. But I have to tell myself, that my feelings are not theirs, and my feelings should not take over. It is important to create a space for the children, an emotional safe room to be in around us adults.

So I grapple with to things. I reach out to them with my adult perspective while being at eye level and letting them have their feelings in their world which is not yet an adult one. And it’s hard. “Life is never so black that there is no light ahead. There is always help to find, from us or other adults you trust,” I say, hoping that the straws I grasp for are the right ones for them to hear.

There is not much research on suicide by young people under 13, but the numbers show that suicides in this age group are on the rise.

Last Friday, that fact came way too close to our and my children’s lives here in the United States. But the problem is global. All over the world, children are struggling mentally, in Svendborg and in Seattle, in Soul and in Sao Paulo.

Monday morning, there was a sea of ​​flowers around the flagpole at my daughter’s school. Many of the children wore black clothing, several of them had written cards which they lay down by the bouquets. All employees in the school district who have had the slightest training relevant to situations like this, had been called in and were ready to receive the children. Yet only two-thirds of the school’s students turned up for class. The teachers tried their best to make the school day bearable, and the school councilor did outreach work to the students.

For this young boy´s suicide to happen in a week where the students learned about recognizing the signs of suicide and where many of them participated in a rainbow meeting, something has gone terribly wrong. How a young boy, just 12 years ole, could end up lifeless in a school bathroom, I will never fully understand.

But despite good intentions of creating a space for conversation, to inform and to reach out, a family lost their son. Information about suicide and other initiatives related to children’s identity must be reviewed and evaluated. Perhaps the teaching material is not up to date? I am sure, we can all agree that something went wrong.

I’m not blaming anyone. I’m just saying that when such a tragedy can happen, there is something that could have been handled differently to give this young boy help he needed.

Because, sadly, it happens that very young people commit suicide – and it happens more often than many of us might think. This fact needs to be addressed – so we can do something about it.

»Jeg bliver en broccoliborgmester,« siger New Yorks nyvalgte leder

Nye tider i New York varsler måske nye tider i USA.

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“I’m going to be a broccoli mayor,” says New York’s newly elected leader

New times in New York may herald new times in the United States.

“I’m going to be a broccoli mayor,” newly elected Eric Adams, New York’s new mayor, told city citizens. “You´re not going to like it when you eat it, but long term, you’re going to see the benefits of it.”

The newly elected mayor is a good example of what Americans want. And if you look at who Adams is, there is hope for America.

The election across the United States on Tuesday was focused on issues around crime and police work.

Tuesday’s election showed that Americans do not shy away from debating. But ordinary citizens want the police to ensure a safe community. Americans do things their own way and can think for themselves.

Across the United States, mid-leaning police force-supporting politicians won over more extreme candidates. The reason is that the vast majority of Americans want peace, security, and safety on their streets in the city center and in their neighborhoods.

Adams has told the press that when he faces an obstacle or needs to pause and think, he plays Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Because that’s how he and the United States do things.

New York’s new mayor, Eric Adams, is the American dream. He worked as a dishwasher, had a learning difficulty as a student in grade school, was arrested as a young man and beaten by the police.

The same night the police beat him up, Adams’ life changed. He decided to turn his life around, started going to school at night while working during the day. He became a police officer and for the past +20 years he has focused on becoming the mayor of New York.

Adams is African American. He rose up from a challenged socio economic challenged life and being on the wrong side of the law. As a former police officer, he has spend time on both sides of the interrogation table. He emphasizes that safety and security are the most important parameters for making an urban area thrive. If these fundamental civil rights are not in place, nothing else will work.

As in the rest of the United States, there are plenty of problems to deal with in New York, where violence and shootings and abuse of police force have spiked after the corona pandemic.

Adams and the United States do things their way. And that is sometimes just as healthy as broccoli. 

Er det med vilje, du kun har én sok på?

Fordomme og virkelighed – en helt almindelig morgen med en ADHD´er

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Did you mean to only wear one sock to school today?

Prejudice and reality – an everyday morning with an ADHD kid

October is ADHD awareness month.

There are many misconceptions about ADHD. Some people think that ADHD is all about overly energetic kids, mostly boys. That ADHD is something young people with a challenged childhood have, that the kids end up getting themselves into trouble, that many turn out to be drug addicts. Many think that people with ADHD are not as intelligent as others.

There are so many prejudices, so many misconceptions. Recently, focus have turned to adults with ADHD. Several high profile Danes, including former secretary Manu Sareen and former Baroness Caroline Fleming have shared their stories about living with ADHD.

Did you mean to only wear one sock to school today?, my husband asks on the way out the door before driving the kids to school. My son is balancing on the edge of one of the steps on our stairs while looking down at his feet. Oh, I forgot the other one, he says, running up to put on the other sock.

I did everything I was supposed to, he says. And then we review his list for the morning. Do you have your backpack? Is today library day, did you remember your clarinet for band, do you have P.E.? Do you have your lunch box, your jacket, your glasses, your face mask? Did you eat breakfast, brush your teeth, feed the dog? Every day we run through the list, every day there is something he forgot.

If we get annoyed with him, he does not understand why we are so angry with him. And interacting with him has to be in a calm voice, loud sounds are unpleasant, so raising our voices it is completely out of the question. In fact, his hearing is so good that before Covid, we would always bring earplugs when going to the cinema.

He does not do mean to forget things or not hear what we and the teachers just said. He simply did not hear it. So, I tap him gently on the shoulder or click my nails on the table in front of him, ask him if he heard what I just said, ask him to repeat what I asked him.

He is 11, but in some areas he is much younger. In others, he is on par with a young high school boy. It can be very confusing to navigate this universe as a parent and it takes some practice to figure out which age group matches which competencies. Executive functioning skills is a fraise, I and other ADHD parents have come to learn and understand.

Do you have something stuck in your ears, I often said to my son before I found out he had ADHD. He easily gets distracted – by a thought in his head, by a sound at the other end of the room, a funny remark he heard on The Simpsons yesterday or by a bird outside the window – and meanwhile his brain is not present in the conversation, I thought we were having.

It is as if several television programs are running at once and that I have to follow them all, he once explained. If that’s the way ADHD feels, then I’m actually pretty impressed with how he gets through the weekdays without major altercations and half-finished school assignments.

Sorry, I did not hear you, he often says. The strange thing is that there are things he remembers quite clearly. The things he remembers are things he has an interest in. The kid is a walking Simpsons dictionary and can unravel mathematical formulas I do not even remember ever learning.

But when he has to do things he has no interest in, which the rest of us have learned to do because that is part of everyday life, he will finish partially, before something distracts him and he turns to something other than what he was doing.

For a long time I thought he was trying to provoke us and his teachers that he would not do what he was told because of laziness. That was before I learned about his diagnosis. It turns out that ADHD’ers have an eminent ability to remember and focus when something is going on around them if they are interest in that thing or topic.

It is confusing for the neurotypical world to understand how these kids can both be so “sloppy” and at the same time so extremely knowledgeable. This has led many to believe that people with ADHD simply do not bother. But that is far from the truth. They work twice as hard as others to achieve the exact same thing as neurotypical children and adults.

Fortunately, the human spices is adaptable, so people with ADHD learn accommodate when they face challenges. If they are lucky enough to have a combination of ADHD and a high IQ, and if they get the help and support they need, she sky is the limit. Kids with ADHD and a high IQ have the potential to become excellent researchers, engineers, surgeons, etc. – all jobs where the ability to focus is essential.

So when my son in a few minutes comes home from swim practice without his flip-flops, forgets to take his wet towel out of his bag and doesn´t take his lunch box out of his backpack, most likely forgot something at school, including his raincoat, and while talking about four different topics with 150 miles/hour, with no thought of whether or not he is interrupting me in the middle of something, I will take a deep breath. And then, I will spread my arms out. Because if there is one thing that many ADHD’ers are known for, it is their need for physical touch.  And that part, I enjoy every single day. Because my beautiful, easily distractible, impulsive, always testing boundries, curious son, gives the world’s the best hugs.

Happy ADHD awareness month, everybody!

Sygeplejersker og sundhedspersonale er pandemiens helte – nogle betaler med døden for deres heltedåd

Mere end 180.000 sundhedspersonale har betalt med deres liv under covid-19-pandemien

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Nurses and health professionals are the pandemic´s heroes – some pay for their heroic deeds with their lives

More than 180,000 healthcare professionals have paid with their lives during the covid-19 pandemic

If you are a nurse, SOSU assistant or healthcare professional who has worked with corona patients, I would like to thank you.

Healthcare professionals around the world have brought sacrifices, both mentally, physically and in the form of thousands of lost human lives in the healthcare sector.

The WHO estimates that up to 180,000 nurses, doctors, nurses, porters and health professionals in general may have died of covid-19 in the period January 2020 to May 2021. The WHO has stated that the figure may in fact be estimated 60% too low.

After nearly two years with this disease monster, nurses and health care professionals are at the brink of exhaustion. They are burnt out, stressed, suffer from anxiety and are tired to the core of their bones.

Here in the United States, many nurses are looking for work in other sectors of the healthcare industry to get away from the hospitals. This means that those who are left behind have to run twice as fast or compromise on the quality of their work because they simply cannot do everything.

I have followed the development from the sidelines. My friend works as a nurse at a hospital here in Seattle. She is a wound care nurse, so she comes into close contact with the discharges of vulnerable citizens. It is a job that requires hygiene standards to be followed closely. The job is made no less dangerous by the fact that many of those she treats are homeless, drug addicts and mentally vulnerable. They are often aggressive and unpredictable in their behavior.

For the first many months of the pandemic, she had to reuse her surgical mask for up to two weeks and was of course not vaccinated. She saw several nursing colleagues leave their jobs, after which she had to step in and cover their work. At the hospital, there is a constant shortage of nurses and the nursing positions in her ward have still not been filled. In several hospitals in my state, many surgeries are postponed indefinitely because the resources are spent on Covid patients.

Denmark has done formidably well, partly because the population, and thus also the health personnel, have had access to vaccines. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere in the world. In Africa, only one in ten in the healthcare industry is vaccinated.

Regardless of whether it is politically motivated when Denmark sends vaccines to a specific country in Africa, it helps the healthcare staff and the country’s population when the nurses are healthy enough to be able to take care of their patients.

In eight days, the G20 countries will meet. Between now and then, It is the goal to have 500 million doses produced and that at least 40 percent of the world´s population is vaccinated. Right now, it seems that 82 nations are not reaching that goal, mainly due to lack of access to vaccines.

Countries with access to and an abundance of vaccines have promised to provide 1.2 billion vaccines to those countries that are in short supply. But they have not yet lived up to their commitment. Only a total of 150 million have been reached. Meanwhile, the healthcare workers in these countries pay the highest price with their lives when they try to save their patients.

Once the vaccines reach the countries that still need to receive them, it is vital that healthcare professionals are the first to receive the jab that enables them to survive and save others.

If the health care system is on the verge of collapsing, we have no welfare, then a country’s system is collapsing. It’s that simple, and it does not matter what form of government you have. This applies to the welfare state of Denmark, and it applies to countries that do not have the same welfare structure as the Scandinavian countries.

The corona pandemic has cost far too many lives. Today, I bow my head in respect for nurses, ambulance drivers, porters and everyone else in the healthcare sector to respect all the lost heroes who paid the ultimate price with their lives.

(Partly Google Translate)

Tillykke med kvalifikationen, Danmark …

Den bedste måde at fejre fodboldslandsholdets succes på er at blive hjemme.

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Congratulations on qualifying for the soccer World Cup, Denmark …

The best way to celebrate the success is to stay home.

I am proud when Denmark is doing well. When an American audience did their best to shout Rune in the US Open match against the tennis giant Novak Djokovic, I got chills. When Denmark is highlighted for its green initiatives, or when the national soccer team qualifies for the World Cup, I beam with pride.

The problem is that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in the state of Qatar, a dictatorship.

And before you say, “Now let’s just enjoy some draft beer and some ´ball and not mix politics into the picture,” then think about your integrity. It is too easy to abdicate responsibility and focus exclusively on one’s own need for entertainment and overlook the strategic interests one thereby supports.

Denmark is usually quite busy telling the rest of the world how amazing our Danish values ​​are. But is there any substance to that if we do not stand up for them when they matter?

I understand, that the easiest thing would be to abdicate all responsibility and without the slightest distaste enjoy the Danish national sport in front of the screen at home or at the nearest sports bar.

There is a lot in the world I would like to close my eyes to. But now that we know what is going on in the host country, we can not just sweep the conditions off with the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s words: “We must separate foreign policy and soccer. And tonight we celebrate soccer, and we will do the same at the World Cup.”

How can we close your eyes and enjoy the game as the Danish football team run around at a stadium that has claimed the lives of thousands of immigrant workers in the construction process? Can one support an event held in a country that does not hold democratic elections and treats girls and women as inferior, lesser beings?

Well, in a little while there will be a Winter Olympics in Beijing, so should we boycott that one, too? Yes, we have to!

Make no mistake. When we say that sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics should not be political, then the regimes where these events are held claim the exact opposite. We allow them to show all their bells and whistles to promote their ideology and worldview as we cawe and submit – how does that make our democratic worldview look?

Telling the world how how amazing our Danish values ​​are comes with a responsibility. Those words mean nothing if we do not stand up for them when it truly matters – even if it means we can not follow our beloved sport.

If we can not stand up for who we are and what we represent for something as simple as a sporting event, then it sounds somewhat hollow when we self-righteously tell countries all over the world that they must stand up for democracy and human rights.

(Partly Google Translate)

Hvorfor accepterer vi pædofili?

Så længe vi accepterer, at religioner foretager selvjustits inden for lukkede døre, kommer børn til at betale prisen for samfundets manglende mod.

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Why don´t we stop pedophiles in religious communities?

If we keep accepting that religious communities deal with pedophiles within their own ranks, children will pay the price for society’s lack of courage.

Children cannot always take care of themselves. They have adults for that job. Or so it should be. The problem is that somethimes, we trust the wrong adults. Children who are exposed to pedophiles pay an outrageously high price for that. All too often, religions and sects function as places where sick souls have free range.

We know this all too well, have heard it so often. Things happen on inside of the confessional booth and behind closed church doors that should never happen between adults and children.

The latest scandal is about the Catholic Church in France, where at least 3,000 Catholic priests from 1950 onward till present day have raped and sexually assaulted more than 10,000 children. The report is based on church, trial and police reports as well as interviews with the victims.

Again and again we hear stories of children who have been sexually exploited. We read the structures that allow the abuse to happen. We know about how religions internally have their own mechanisms to avoid getting into the spotlight of the public eye and the media. And the fact that we know it makes us as a society complicit if we do nothing.

The religious systems protect their own, sometimes reprimanding the perpetrators behind closed doors, other times sending the pedophiles around to new churches where they can abuse new victims. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes within Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, who keep such cases closed and order the parties involved not to share their experiences with anyone – neither with family and friends within the sect nor with authorities, law enforcement or psychologists outside.

Why do we as a society do nothing? Why do we just watch from the sidelines? Yes, yes, of course we are disgusted by what we read and hear, but then we apparently shrug before moving on to reading the next newspaper article. There is such a huge fear of meddling when it comes to stepping into the holy halls, when it comes to questioning what is going on within various denominations. Why do we have a notion that when something happens within closed religious groups, then we can not touch it?

Only cowards do not dare to react to injustices. Power is closely linked to fear, and the fear that the victims of pedophiles experience both during and after the assaults is reinforced when we as a society maintain taboos. We have a duty to not shy away but face this head on and confront the organizations and structures that repeatedly exploit the leeway of these religions.

Politicians have a responsibility to act and enact harsh legislation in relation to what religious practices look like when it comes to dealing with pedophiles behind their closes doors. But instead, out of fear of not respecting various groups’ religious autonomy and freedoms, they turn their backs and hearts to children’s suffering.

(partly Google Translate)

Tre oplevelser har lært mig, at det ikke er altid nemt at træffe det ansvarlige corona-valg

Hvornår melder man afbud, og hvornår vælger man at tage afsted til et arrangement med en lille tvivl i maven?

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Three recent experiences have taught me that making the responsible corona choice is not always easy

When do you cancel, and when do you choose to go to an event with a little doubt in your stomach?

“I’m calling because your son is not feeling well, so please come and pick him up at your earliest convinience.”

That´s the voicemail I received from my son’s after-school program yesterday.

Things are under control in little Denmark. In fact, the country has lifted all of their Corona restrictions. Throughout the pandemic the country has not seen the dreaded pressure on their healthcare system and the population have a pragmatic approach to getting the vaccines. Unfortunately, this is far from the case in the rest of the world.

When I received the message about my son, I was on my way to an outdoor BBQ event. The event was meant to mark the beginning of our first physical meeting in a year and a half for the members of the Advisory Committee I sit on for the Scandinavian Studies Department at the University of Washington in Seattle. I had been looking forward to the freshly caught Alaska salmon on the grill, a cool glass of wine in my hand, and reuniting and conversing with members who, like me, are passionate about promoting Scandinavia in our northwestern corner of the United States. The event was to be held outdoors and it was a requirement that everyone was vaccinated. 

“You have to pick him up and take him straight to the test site,” I told my husband. “Then I’ll try to find rapid tests in the meantime.”

It quickly turned out to be quite impossible to find rapid tests anywhere. After four attempts a some phone calls, I gave up. My online order will arrive in the mail within the next two days. My son’s Corona test results will arrive within 15-48 hours. There is a lot that is different here compared to Denmark…

Maybe my son is just feeling sick because he has not been near other kids for more than a year and is now picking up bacteria. Maybe it’s just a lot to start in school and institution after staying in a house with his parents for so long without any other social stimulus. Maybe he really will test positive for the Corona virus. Maybe, maybe.

So what does one do? Do you cancel the social event that starts in less than an hour, or do you take the chance and bet that the test will come back negative?

A few weeks ago I gathered up enough courage and booked an appointment with a hairdresser. But not just any hairdresser. I asked my friend – who is a nurse and who is super diligent when it comes to being safe, her level of hygiene, etc. – which hairdresser she goes to. When I arrived, the lady was wearing a mask and was sanitizing the chair after her last costumer. “That´s a good sign,” I thought. We started conversing, as one does and I asked her if she had been vaccinated. “No,” was the answer to my great surprise. And for the time being she did not intend to do so either. “I’m sorry,” I said “I would love to support a self-employed female business owner, but I just do not feel comfortable with this.” In that situation, the choice was not difficult. It’s just hair, I can put it in a bun and almost forget that about my split ends.

Last week I went to have taken blood samples taken. Again, I started conversing the masked and gloved woman I was sharing the room with. While she was getting the needle ready, I asked about her vaccination status. I should not have done that, because while I was sitting there and watching the needle go in, she replied that she was afraid that the vaccine would affect her DNA. She was not vaccinated and did not plan to get the vaccine. I was shocked. Meeting conspiracy theories in a medical clinic in a city where more than 80% are vaccinated, is something I was pretty unprepared for.

I felt like yanking my arm away from her and rushing out of the clinic. But I stayed in my seat. And then I took a deep breath and started talking to her about the misconceptions about the vaccine without giving in to the far out indoctrination it turned out that her boyfriend had fed her. “It can be difficult to make a different choice than your surroundings if it creates conflicts at home and goes against the perception in the social circles one moves in,” I said, and she nodded.

In the state of Idaho, which borders my state of Washington here in the northwestern corner of the United States, they have just announced that, for the first time ever, they are forced to choose which Covid patients they choose to treat. The hospitals have no more capacity. Several patients have already been sent to our state. Healthcare professionals are now forced to choose to help only those citizens who have the greatest chance of survival.

The citizens here in the United States who are hardest hit are the non-vaccinated. The group consists of children under 12, those who for various health reasons can not tolerate being vaccinated and then the last group – namely vaccination opponents. 1 in 500 have died in the US – from a disease that could be prevented with two small jabs in the upper arm.

But the reality is that everyone has to make personal choices every day that weigh risks, pros and cons in their daily lives. In that equation, one can potentially risk taking another another person’s life.

Går danskerne ind for ligestilling? Ikke, hvis man skal tro debatterne om sports-bh’er og barsel

Danskerne går baglæns i ligestillingsdebatten – hvorfor går de ellers ind for, at kvinder skal pakkes ind, og er imod tvungen barsel til mændene?

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Do Danes support equality? Not if one is to believe the debates about sports bras and maternity

The Danes are moving backwards when it comes to the gender equality debate – why else would they they favor women being wrapped up as well as being against forced maternity leave for men?

Let’s start with the fitness center in Odense, which will ban women from training in sports bras. To me, two things are problematic in the gym’s argument for introducing their new rule.

Firstly, the argument for implementing the rule raises several red flags. The rule is introduced because of ‘respect for cultural differences’. We all know what that means. It means that a very specific group of young Muslim men have a problem with being in the immediate vicinity of free women who dress as they please. And no, I am not advocating for girls and women running around schools and workplaces in very short tops. But in a context where you are spending your free time in a place designed for the body to physically work, as is the case in a gym, and the focus is not on intellectual and professional performance, the situation is somewhat different.

If one gives in to the kind of misogyny that the injunction quite obsessively expresses, it opens the gate to an avalanche of restrictions that could be created aiming to make women take up less space in the public sphere.

Secondly, the fitness center operates under SDU (University of Southern Denmark), which only underscores my next and disturbing point. Of all, especially universities, should be aware of what signals they are sending and for what reasons. Maybe they are, but then they are definitely not aiming for a a gender equality mindset the Danes usually pride themselves of.

“But, wait!”, you might be thinking to yourself. Weren´t you the one who said we should not sing that Shu-bi-dua song? No, I have never said what one may and may not do. Contrary, I said that once people are in Denmark, you have to talk to each other in a civil and inclusive manner. That is the exact opposite to what is going on when one is intolerant and promotes inequality between the sexes.

The second debate, which is taking place in the Danish media this week, is about maternity leave. Many Danes are completely up in the red because new rules ensure that the father must take more maternity leave if the mother wants the right to receive maternity leave beyond a certain number of weeks.

There are many aspects at stake in the debate, including some that have to do with the EU. Rainbow families are almost completely left out of the debate as well. And before spoiled Danes, who do not even think of maternity leave as an incredible welfare benefit, start arguing, it should be said that people always have the right to do as they please – but that it then be without the state’s payment.

Seen from the outside, it seems to me quite unreasonable to complain about the generous welfare benefits that a long Danish maternity leave is.

I have countless girlfriends here in the US who, after a few weeks, have had to return to their workplace or have simply been forced to quit their jobs.

For my own part as an employee of the University of Washington, it was stated in my contract that I as an employee would be entitled to what is considered a good scheme here, namely 12 weeks maternity leave.

Neither a short maternity leave nor the choice of women to stay at home benefits family life or the equality of women. Why are the Danes fighting over a rule change that will create better conditions for the well-being of the family and for women’s equality?

In Denmark, it is not a question of depriving anyone of anything, but on the contrary of supporting women’s career opportunities, fathers’ attachment to their child and gender equality in general.

It has always been the case that if women wanted the same rights as men, we would have to twist their arms. Gender equality does not happen by itself, it must unfortunately be introduced by law. This has been the case with the right to vote, the right to abortion, etc., etc., and this is also the case if we are to have a family life where the mother and father in the child’s first months are equal in parental attachment.

Is Denmark really willing to move backwards in relation to women’s equality when it comes to bare belly skin and childbirth?

(partly Google Translate)

Nej, det er ikke uamerikansk at gøre vaccinationer lovpligtige

At tvinge amerikanerne til at blive vaccineret ved lov er temmelig amerikansk – og en patriotisk løsning. I sin tid tvangsvaccinerede George Washington hæren for at redde nationens fremtid.

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No, it is not “un-American” to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory – on the contrary, it is American and rather patriotic

George Washington forcibly vaccinated the Army – to save the nation’s future.

If more soldiers died from a preventable disease than from the enemy´s sword and you could save your men from dying by a single shot of vaccine, what would you do as Commander in Chief? – you would of course get your army vaccinated as fast as possible. That’s exactly what George Washington did in his day. I will get back to him.

Recently, the Ohio Republican Jim Jordan stated that it is “un-American” to make Covid vaccinations mandatory. But maybe Jordan should reconsider his words before lecturing poeople on what is American and what is “un-American.”

Before, during, and after the insurrection on January 6, Jim Jordan had several phone calls with Trump. That day, hordes of terrorists attacked the very symbol on  what is American, namely democracy.

In the heated debate in the United States, the reference to “the founding fathers” is always slapped on the table as a debate stopper. In particular, it is Republicans who like to patent what they think these gentlemen would have thought about today’s issues. Currently, they pull out the founding father´s in the debate over Corona vaccinations.

Especially the always high-pitched Republican Jim Jordan has received media attention by saying Biden’s new vaccination mandate is “unamerican.”

But before he and other Republican politicians claim to own the right to know what is and especially is not “American”, they might want to readdress American history before lecturing the rest of us.

And here we return to George Washington, arguably one of the most “American” Americans. Back in his days, Washington soldiers died like flies, 90% of deaths in the army was due to illness. So what does a wise leader do in such circumstances? – he makes sure, of course, that he has people who can fight at his disposal who are not sick or dying. Therefore, in 1777, he mandated mass inoculation requiring all soldiers to be vaccinated for smallpox.

Let’s see Biden’s vaccination mandates rolled out, so society and schools can stay open. That way, we also ensure that school students learn their country’s history so they are able to refute blatant falls statements about our founding fathers and what is “unamerican” and what is in fact pretty patriotic.

(some Google Translate)