Over en million er døde af corona i USA – men amerikanerne er ligeglade

Metaltræthed præger coronadebatten, selv om hospitalsindlæggelserne igen stiger.

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More than 1 million Americans have died from the Corona virus but nobody seems to care.

Corona fatigue characterizes the debate, although hospital admissions are rising.

It’s Wednesday morning, the clock shows 5:45 am. I reach for my my cell phone. A text in red lights up on the screen: “You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.” This is the first time I receive such a message, but I came back from Denmark three days ago, so the message does not surprise me.

“In Denmark, confidence in public authorities and health experts is fortunately much greater than it is in America. The Danish population has not experienced the same heartbreaking consequences as we see in the US, where people react to Covid as a political disease

On my first trip to Denmark in almost two years, not many people were wearing masks on the plane from Seattle to Iceland. From Iceland to Copenhagen, I was the only one out of a handful, and in the metro, wearing my KN95 mask made me stand out to the extend that I got an answer in English when I asked a Danish fellow passenger in Danish for directions.

“Prepare for more waves,” the White House warns, while I blink dully in front of my TV screen. I do not notice any reaction from the journalists in the conference room either.

In the last three months, 100,000 Americans have died from the Corona virus and the media talks about crossing a milestone of a total of over 1 million dead Americans from the virus. The truth is, however, that according to the University of Washington, America already passed this grim number last year if you include direct and indirect courses to Covid-19.

1 in 330 Americans have died, everyone knows or has heard of someone who has had the virus. The long-term effects of Covid have hit thousands of people struggling to hold on to their daily lives in a country where the fear of losing everything over night always lurks just below the surface. It is completely unfathomable that so many have died in the world’s richest country, where everyone over 12 has access to the vaccine. More than 300,000 Americans did not have to pay the ultimate price had they chosen to get vaccinated. But when it comes to public health policy, vaccines and masks have become an expression of political stance.

In Denmark, confidence in public authorities and health experts is fortunately much greater than it is in America. The Danish population has not experienced the same heartbreaking consequences as we see in the US, where people react to Covid as a political disease rather than a public health issue. During my ten days in Copenhagen and Aarhus, I sat in the metro and on busses, in cafes, restaurants, and bars, and everyone went about their lives as if Covid was a thing of the past. The Danes shrug when they hear of raising positive cases. They are vaccinated and know that if they get infected, they will most likely have mild symptoms.

Joe Biden has a reputation for being empathetic when it comes to talking about loss. More than anyone, he knows what loss does to a human being. But he, too, sounds rehearsed and tired when he softly whispers: “We must not become numb to loss.”

The truth is, we have become numb. The shock we felt in the beginning of the pandemic has subsided. The horror of the death toll from countries like Brazil, Italy, England, and the United States, where we saw quickly erected tents with people lying in a row in knock-out-beds in uneven bedding, the sound of pumping machines, coughing and rasping voices, have subsided. The news on tv no longer show such images but reports dryly about millions in isolation in Chinese cities, millions of unvaccinated positive cases in North Korea, and about a new virus wave in South Africa caused by a new variant, it is impossible to remember the name of. And in the meantime, I shake off the words from the news anchor, focus my attention on Ukraine and the debate on Roe v Wade – and embrace the world around me, even though the infection rates are higher than they have been for months.

Today was my son’s birthday. So I put the cellphone away and set the breakfast table with Danish flags and flowers by his plate as is custom. When he ran off to catch the school bus, I found a home Covid test. One strip told me, the test was negative. Some day there will be two strips showing me that I have tested positive. But until then, I choose to let the Danish side of my brain take over and let life feel a little lighter than it has the last few years.

Fuck, de unge taler grimt!

De unge markerer identitet gennem sproget.

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Why the fuck do young people swear so much?

Young people show identity through their use of language.

“Fuck ! Shit! Nederen, LOL´eren, the chiller, meganeder”- I am watching a Danish dating show with my teenage daughter and can not quite find a facial expression suited for the situation. We are watching Wild Love on DR (Danish public service tv network)- for fun and because I want to introduce my daughter in a variety of ways to her Danish culture.

My daughter´s eyes are wide, and every now and then she side glances at me. I feel like a dinosaur. The way the Danish language is used has changed a lot both since I was young and since I lived in Denmark.

My daughter is shocked, but she is also fascinated. In the US, you get in trouble if you drop the f-bomb in school . On my end, I am both repulsed by the young people’s language at the same time rejoicing that they so clearly express identity. Because if there is one thing that is an identity marker, it is how we use language.

“I must say they swear a lot in Denmark,” my daughter states. The next day she starts to imitate the language she has been introduced to. “Fuck, I xxx,” “shit, I xxx…” first, I explain linguistically to her in which context you can use the words she is experimenting with and in which situations they are out of place – I am after all a former Danish Lecturer.

And so she starts experimenting. I sense that she thinks that part of her Danish heritage is exotically repulsive and attractive at the same time. Occasionally, she says something that clearly shows us that she is in the process of figuring out how far she can go before we as adults ask her to tone it down a bit.

My experience is that Danish kids and young adults use the f- and s-bomb in every other sentence and that it is a completely normal and accepted use of language. But here in the United States it is completely and utterly unheard of.

Friends regularly visit us from Denmark. They generally think it is immensely fun to blurt out the words in public I am trying to explain are not equally as accepted here as they are in Denmark.

And here is why. All though, in Denmark cursing expresses identity and has almost at present become a form of adjective and noun in line with any other, the use of the English words shit and fuck is culturally unacceptable here. Danes have a hard time understanding this – perhaps because they think that English swear words work here in the US since they are, after all, English.

Identity can be marked in many ways, but wanting to mark it presupposes that you are aware of which cultural codes you may be breaking – otherwise there is no point in the marker.

“You can not say that!” We exclaimed on the first semester of college to our professor at KUA (University of Copenhagen, Amager). And: “It’s not the correct use of Danish!” He had so much fun as he called us “old farts” and compared us to people who contacted tv and newspaper stations to complain about the journalists use of what they perceived as bad language. That semester, we learned that there is a difference between how people use language and in what situations – and that people do it to mark their identity.

So even though the old fart in me would like to be outraged at what honestly in my ears sounds rather simplistic and ridiculous, especially when English words are pronounced with excessive Danish pronunciation, I must at the same time rejoice that young people do what young people are best at – experimenting with who they are in the world and poking their fingers at the rest of us while doing so.

Kan ro og orden gå hånd i hånd med ytringsfrihed?

Urolighederne i Sverige viser, hvilke enorme udfordringer Europa står over for.

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Is peace and order possible in societies with freedom of speech?

The unrest in Sweden reveal enormous challenges facing Europe.

Are you allowed to spit on a book, step on it, burn it off in a godforsaken rest area in the outskirts of Sweden? Yes, you have the right to do that – even if it is neither very original, nor constructive.

There is no need to discuss what our rights are, we are well aware of them. If you would like to, you could portray Christ with a ginormous boner and gods and prophets with and without bombs in their turbans.

The right and ability to mock politicians, religions, gods and prophets is a way of measuring whether a society is free – it is precisely when freedom of speech is pushing our limits for feeling comfortable that we know it works. It is the cornerstone of a free country. But in a globalized world people with different views move around. And when the majority views freedom of expression differently than countries, in for instance Scandinavia, is it then time to scale back on ideology and keep ones positions on politics, religion etc. to conversations around the dining table within the confined space of our homes?

The Danish model worked because the population was homogeneous and largely based on the same culture and the same values. That is no longer the case. You can mourn it, but it’s the reality. When the demography changes, so must the model of society.

How do we deal with the massive aggressions lurking beneath the surface in many European countries? Around Europe, streets and residential areas are on fire every time religious criticism is perceived as personal persecution.

Something has to give. How should secular nations of atheistic culturally Christians on the one hand and hardcore believers for whom there is no difference between faith and the individual, on the other, live together in the same country?

It is difficult for a Dane to understand the feelings that exist within Islam. And it is a corner stone in Danish identity to seek consensus.

A few years ago, a priest in the United States wanted to burn a Koran in front of his church. The Pentagon asked him not to. For the safety of US forces in the Middle East.

It should be clear at this point in time that in a global world, actions taken in the small Danish town of Skive can reach all the way to Shanghai, Koran burnings at a rest stop in Sweden and drawings in a Danish newspaper can become known throughout the world in an instant.

It should also be clear at this point that it is both ignorant and arrogant to believe that all immigrants from totalitarian regimes who come to Western democracies will naturally embrace the values of western democracies.

We know the conditions in Saudi Arabia, the repression in China, the killings of journalists and political opponents in Russia, Turkey’s mafia methods around Europe on opponents of the president, killings and rapes of women in India, girls’ repression in Afghanistan. The list is long, I have unfortunately only just started. When democracies are attacked by totalitarian powers, and when violence is met with the desire for dialogue, when basic human rights are met with oppression – then resistance is shattered, democracies lose and the dialogue falls silent.

Simply put: The soft fight for freedom of expression, as we have defined it until now, is lost. For the premise of mutual understanding is basically not just skewed, but in a conflicting relationship where the parties can never reach each other. “Freedom of expression is inviolable” faces “nothing critical may be said about Islam”.

Western democracies are fundamentally based on dialogue, exchange of views and compromise. Especially in a democracy like the Danish one, where minority governments have historically been the norm, our approach to resolving disagreements is negotiation, consensus and dialogue.

Denmark is one of the world’s best functioning countries. The Danish model worked because the population was homogeneous and largely based on the same culture and the same values. That is no longer the case. You can mourn it, but it’s the reality. When the demography of a population changes, so must the model of society.

The United States has long debated freedom of speech, and the different states are massively divided on their approach. In general, we have learned to censor what we say and do in public when it comes to religion. There are no Christian holidays here, no Easter egg hunts, and no Christmas decorations in public schools.

That’s fine with me – the less religion takes up space, the better. But for those of us in favor of freedom of expression, the line has been crossed in an attempt to compromise, when books that can be perceived as offensive are censored out of libraries and curricula at educational institutions. The result is young, ignorant and single-minded people.

The balance is difficult, and personal preferences mean that the population groups themselves in enclaves, select schools and educational institutions that meet their beliefs, choose friends with the same ethnicity, culture, and religion. The American society works, but it is divided.

I wonder if Europe will not develop into being more like the ones we have in the United States? How long can European societies last if the streets are constantly set on fire because of hurt feelings before drastic changes have to take place?

If we want a society of peace and order and a peaceful coexistence in a population that is no longer as homogeneous as it once was, freedom of speech and peace and order are opposites.

If we give in and keep quiet, we are compromising the ideology that most of us treasure as absolutely essential to our freedoms, identity and human condition. But if we do not give in and continue as usual, the streets will be on fire again and again and human lives will be lost. None of these to premises are acceptable.

How do we find a different way of living our values than the one that worked in what seems like an antiquated Danish society, where the population shared culture, ethnicity and religion? If we insist on going about religious topics in public space in a way we found healthy and liberating in the 1970s, we risk a divided society.

What did the American priest end up doing? He canceled his Koran burning event – and avoided a reaction of violence and hatred, perhaps even saving the lives of American soldiers in the Middle East. But he did so at the expense of freedom of speech.

Jehovas Vidner vil ikke modtage blod. Og det er vi nødt til at respektere, selvom deres holdning er helt ude i hampen

Voksne Jehovas Vidner har ret til at træffe et personligt valg, vi ikke forstår.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to receive blood transfusions. We have to respect that decision, even if their position is completely out of whack

Adult Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to make a personal choice that we do not understand or agree with.

I’m not a big fan of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where I spent much of my childhood and youth.

Jyllands-Posten reported on a Supreme Court ruling based on a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses who, against his will, received a blood transfusion. The man was unconscious but had a card on him that stated in writing that he did not want to receive blood under any circumstances. The Supreme Court ruled that it was justified, when health staff ignored his wishes and gave him blood anyway.

There are many things, you are not allowed to within the sect of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You are not allowed to celebrate Christmas, you can´t celebrate birthdays, and you must not receive a blood transfusion.

It must be a huge dilemma to be in as a healthcare professional when one’s professional job is to provide the best possible care while at the same time being with a patient who is beyond pedagogical reach.

From an early age, the members of Jehowa´s Witnesses become indoctrinated to such a degree, that their ability to be critical, nuanced and reflective is left in the wardrobe along with the coat, before they find a seat in the congregation and let themselves be seduced.

The role of doctors and nurses is to save human lives – or at least to reduce their patient’s suffering.

It must be a huge dilemma to be in as a healthcare professional when one’s professional job is to provide the best possible care while at the same time being with a patient who is beyond pedagogical reach.

But if we believe in the right of the individual to choose for himself, if we are in favor of freedom of expression and religion, then we have to respect when an adult, no matter how idiotic we think his position is, has stated in writing that he under no circumstances wants to receive blood.

The situation is different when it comes to minors. In those circumstances, I believe society should step in and ignore the wishes of the parents and the child.

I am aware that the argument can be extended to other topics. My position is specifically about the right to, as an adult, to renounce a blood transfusion.

I have a written will. In it, I have made clear that if something were to happen to me, where I end up in a coma, and it is assessed that there is no chance of me waking up, then the equipment that keeps me artificially alive must be turned off. I would like my will to be respected. After all, that’s why I’ve made various maneuvers and gone through a lawyer.

I made my decision as an adult. Personally, I think it’s unbelievable idiotic to say no to a blood transfusion that can save one’s life. I would never do that myself. The attitude is extremist and I don´t understand it. But it is a personal decision that relates to the individual citizen’s right to decide over his own life.

If we do not respect the individual’s personal decision, as long as it does not endanger the surrounding society, we are moving dangerously close to a club of states that have a somewhat different view of when states have a right to infringe on a citizen’s rights.

Glem ”hygge” som sællert i udlandet – Danmarks succes er sammenhold

Danmark kan løfte covid-restriktioner, fordi danskerne bakker op om videnskaben.

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Forget “hygge” as international branding – Denmark’s success is “togetherness”

The reason why Denmark can lift covid restrictions is because the population work together and believe in science.

All eyes are again on Denmark.

Yet again, the country is a frontrunner when it comes to handling the Corona virus. The consequences of the Omikron variant was apparently not as dire as the health authorities feared.

Now, some restrictions are lifted. Cultural venues can reopen, children are back in schools, the hospitalizations are at a manageable level.

All of this happened, because the population have done their part. Each individual Dane has made sensible corona choices. The choices may not always have been easy to make, but they have meant that society as a whole is moving towards greater freedom – and that benefits everyone.

In the United States, we see infection rates like never before. Between 700,000 and 1 million. pr. day. Many never become part of the statistics – because they do not want to be registered, or because they cannot get a test until next week due to lack of testing capacity. 150,000 are hospitalized with Covid, the highest number at any time during the pandemic.

The American population is divided. While Biden and his team are trying to appeal to the public to get vaccinated, many people have a skepticism against the state weighing in on their personal lives. In their pursuit of political gain, many Republican state governors strongly oppose health officials’ recommendations.

“I am proud of the way,

Denmark has handled

the last two years.

Politicians react based on

advice from health and science professional,

and everyone has access to vaccines.”

We have been living with Covid for two years now. Every society in the world, every single citizen’s everyday life, every single family has had to deal with the disease and its consequences.

Personally, I am emotionally exhausted. Even though I am in a privileged situation where I and my children have access to vaccines. I’m honestly so tired of how familiar the names Brostrøm and Fauci sound.

The constant announcements from the authorities, new mutations, restrictions, changes in behavior, cancellations of social events, changes in the children’s everyday lives – it all takes my breath away. Add to that a concern for my children’s mental health and their memory of a childhood during a pandemic.

And then there are the concerns for my neighbors, for the people of the world and the societal consequences we see around the world in the form of riots, empty shelves in grocery stores, the exploitation from dark totalitarian powers now that the attention is directed away from their abuses.

I am far from the only one who is exhausted over constantly dealing with topics of illness, fear of death and a fear of political instability. Every day, I hear from friends, neighbors or the media that people suffer from “covid- fatique ” because of the constant worries.

“Do you want to give a lecture about Denmark and hygge,” my former Professor colleague asked when she invited me to come to the University of Washington to give a guest lecturer in the class she was teaching in Scandinavian culture.

“No, I don´t want to do that,” I replied.

“But I would like to talk about what it is that makes the Danish population stand together, how there is a general trust in the authorities, and why the model of society works in a way that makes the country so well-functioning.”

So, I did – and while the students asked me to elaborate on the way the country works, I realized there are things I miss about my old country.

When I see how Denmark has handled the last two years, I am proud. Politicians are reacting based on advice from health and science professionals, and everyone has access to vaccines. Most importantly, the people stand together and support the decisions that are being implemented – even when they do not agree politically.

The rest of the world could learn a lot from that attitude.

Kender du én, der kommer til at sidde alene juleaften – så gør noget

Alle kan komme ud for livsændringer og sidde alene juleaften.

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Do you know someone who will spend Christmas alone – then do something about it

Everyone can face life changes and end up spending Christmas Eve by themselves.

There is something special about celebrating Christmas – at least if you have a family you can celebrate with.

Maybe you just got divorced, maybe you moved to to a new country or state in December, maybe you have made some life choices that make your family no longer want to be around you.

When we think of someone spending Christmas alone, we often think about older people. But many other age groups spend the night alone, a night that is supposed to be about love.

Even though I am now in a place in my life where I love the Christmas month, Christmas is still filled with a great sadness that always shows up at some point during the Christmas preparations. A sadness that is multilayered. Because, I have a family that is well and alive who wanders around the streets and alleys of Denmark, but with whom I will never celebrate Christmas.

Last night I dreamed that I lived in a studio apartment and was making ends meet cleaning a steakehouse called Niels Ebbesens Bøfhus in the Danish town of Randers. In my dream, I had left Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it was Christmas Eve. I suddenly found myself outside a church, where author and pastor Kristian Ditlev Jensen gave a sermon. To my great astonishment, I had trouble finding the Bible scriptures my fingers used to be able to automatically find.

Kristian Ditlev Jensen stood behind his pulpit and spoke of love and inclusion with a warmth that made me envy his audience. Once in a while he broke out in song, and he sometimes even joked with his congregation. I didn´t understand why the church was only halfway filled. The atmosphere was with its atmosphere in stark contrast to the Kingdom Hall, which has made me sunburnt towards all religion.

But here I stood, still in my dream. Neither inside nor outside the church. It does not exactly require a degree in psychology to understand what my dream was about.

If I lift my gaze from the perspective of my own belly button, I think what I experienced in my dream is how many who are spending Christmas alone see their situation. To be between two points physically or mentally. To be in transition, on the way from one place to another in life. And that situation is filled with loneliness, especially on Christmas Eve.

Many years ago, I made a choice that resulted in me spending Christmas eve alone. Simply put, I had insisted on the right to think freely — and for that, I was punished. That kind of independent thinking, Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot accept.

My choice meant a social deprivation. The interpretation of love in the sect is that when one steps out of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief system, the consequence is that a ubiquitous exclusion will make that person realize that he or she did something wrong. The method works. Many come crawling, broken and destroyed back to the fold.

On Christmas Eve, I am reminded that I do not have an extended family and that I will never have one. We never set the table for my children’s grandmother or for my sisters and their children. Not a single one of the presents under the Christmas is from my side of the family.

Christmas is also difficult when you do not have a family network behind you. Therefore, loneliness can be felt twice when celebrating with a family that is not one’s own.

Many others experience similar feelings. Some have lost family members. Losses of one kind or another leaves a mark. Life forces us to learn to live with difficult emotions.

But Christmas is also difficult when you do not have a family network behind you, because Christmas Eve is the most untouchable of all evenings in Denmark. Therefore, loneliness can be felt twice when celebrating with a family that is not one’s own. It is an evening where many do things in a very special way and are not willing to change family traditions. Although a family situation is dynamic and changing, traditions are not.

Therefore, I am calling on all Danes. If you are aware that someone is spending Christmas alone, then do something about it. Maybe it’s too big a step for you to invite that person to your home on Christmas Eve. But you could write a Christmas card, bring them cookies, invite them for a glass of wine, or just let the person know you see him or her.

I was once invited home to a college friend on Christmas Eve. But I declined the invitation. That is how deep the feeling of Christmas as something very close to the family relationship was. I simply did not, as an outsider felt I had the right to a seat at the table.

I will never lose the inherent loneliness and a feeling of not quite belonging that I carry with me. But I do not think, I am the only one carrying that burden. Especially, on Christmas Eve the feeling can be overwhelming.

Therefore, everyone who can should act and not just shrug and turn away to rejoice with their families. Reach out, give a little of yourself – maybe someday you will need the same charity.

Danmark bør følge USA og lave en diplomatisk boykot af OL i Kina

Sport og politik har altid været blandet sammen; at påstå det modsatte er et privilegeret og mageligt standpunkt.

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Denmark should follow the United States and make a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in China

Sports and politics have always been mixed together; to claim the opposite is a privileged and leisurely position.

You are overreacting – that´s never going to happen!

That was the reaction I was met with in Denmark a few years ago. I was on vacation in Denmark and the discussion I was engaging in took place in a Copenhagen kitchen – far from China and the USA. I claimed that China was dangerous and would soon gain economic power to the extend that the world would not dare to go against the country when it violated human rights.

And here we are. The United States and other nations has announced a diplomatic boycot of the country – they will cheer for their athletes but will do so from home. That decission is the right thing to do. I would prefer that the Olympics were not held in China at all, that the whole world would boycott the event. But that is not going to happen, so the next best thing – a diplomatic boycott – is an important strategic signal. For China is not part of the club when it comes to human rights, and Western democracies must dare to say thta out loud.

The United States is signaling that China’s views on human rights and the treatment of its own citizens are unacceptable. America refuses to send an official diplomatic signal that would legitimize the regime. It may result in consequences in relation to trade agreements, environmental negotiations, etc., but it is a question of integrity – and Denmark and Europe aught to stand up for the human rights they claim to fight for.

The sports world is full of corruption. Again and again we learn about shady deals, where huge sums of money change hands, and holding sporting events are dependent on what sums a country is willing to slip into the pockets of a decision maker. That is unfortunately the way things are, and if we are being honest, we know it – even if we would rather close our eyes and comfortably sit back on the sofa in front of the TV screen while watching the athletes.

To claim that sports and politics have nothing to do with each other is a privileged stand point. And what’s more, it’s so unsympathetic and distasteful that I have a hard time finding a vocabulary suitable for the printed press to describe it.

Because if you claim that you “just” want to sit and scroll in front of the screen and enjoy watching your sport without supporting a diplomatic boycott, you are de facto supporting a regime that has millions of human lives on its conscience. People who, for one reason or another, do not agree with the regime – and pay a hefty price for their desire to think, speak, and believe freely. If you do not take a stand, you are essentially contributing and supporting and thus partly responsible.

But if it does not worry you or touch a string in your human right spoiled universe far from a world where athletes disappear and people are sent to labor camps if they do not show the right loyalty to the Chinese government, then just take a bite out of your pizza slice and down it with a sip of microbrew beer while cheering on your Danish homeland.

We have a responsibility, and we can not just turn our backs because it is convenient for us. Denmark has not yet sided with democracy and human rights in the issue of the Olympics in China. Who knows, maybe the country will one of the next few days – but I wonder if the politicians would have given it a second thought at all, had it not been for the United States stand?

Until a decision is made, Denmark signals no hesitation in sending princes, politicians and diplomats to a dictatorship without respect for human life and the rights of the individual.

Tak for det politiske mod til ghettolisten – den virker

Arbejdsløsheden er faldet, og det samme er kriminaliteten, så selvfølgelig skal vi ikke afskaffe ghettoplanen.

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Thank you for having the political courage to legislate against ghettos in Denmark – it works

Unemployment has fallen, so has crime. Of course we should continue with the ghetto plan.

The ghetto plan – or the parallel society list, as the politically correct term is – has been the subject of much debate.

Parallel community areas (ghettos), transformation areas (hard ghettos) vulnerable housing areas (areas to pay special attention to), prevention areas – there are many names for essentially the same thing. The lists are an expression of areas that have a skewed population distribution with major social problems.

What the legislation aims for is for people to spread out to the entire urban area and have neighbors who are part of the kind of society that is characteristic of most of Denmark.

The ghettos that are no longer on the list have approached the task of changing their status ambitiously – by demolition of apartment blocks and a flexible approach to waitlists so certain people, e.g. those who have jobs are put first in line.

Overall, Denmark has seen a positive change since 2018 when the plan to change the ghettos were implemented.

Yet, there have been arguments against the ghetto plan. You get far away from your circle of friends, you are forced to moving to a different area. But the drastic changes in social life and everyday life are exactly what the ambitious project is all about.

The list does should not be tossed, because it works. Unemployment in the problem areas has fallen more than in the surrounding society. At the same time more people in jobs have moved to the former ghettos.

Crime has also fallen in several of the ghettos, and the places are overall not prone to as much tension. Who knows, maybe the stigma of living in these areas might one day disappear?

I understand that some of the residents are not happy and see the implementation of legislation as a patronizing state intervention. All change are difficult, and it is in human nature to fight them – even when the changes benefit oneself, one’s surroundings, and society in general.

If Denmark wants a society without satellite areas with unemployment, crime, social control and ways of life far from what the country normally accepts, it seems that this drastic model, where people become part of the surrounding society, works.

I tip my hat to the political courage.

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.

Læs hele bloggen her:

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)