Travels in the Age of Coronavirus

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10 April 2020

Currently I'm traveling the ferry from Stord to Bergen with my bag and a hamper full of clean laundry after spending a relaxing week on the island. I think the hamper full of clean laundry is the funniest part. In a couple hours I'll be carrying it through Bergen sentrum to catch my bus home. Koronatider have been much less intense in the Nordics than in much of the rest of the world. Sweden has taken the most liberal approach, but Norway has also retained a great deal of freedom coupled with personal responsibility. And Scandinavia has weathered the storm and is emerging on the other side now. Restaurants and shops are open. Dates for schools to reopen have been set just a couple weeks from now. Even hairdressers will be allowed to reopen and practice their trade soon. And why not! High trust societies like this one pull together in times of crisis.

America is NOT a high trust society. It's too big and far too diverse for people to pull together; most people's default in group is not society at large. So the legal system is ill-equiped to do much other than enact draconian restrictions that are swiftly destroying the economy.

In Hungary they've re-established dictatorship, giving president Orban near absolute power to create and enforce laws.

In India, where my boss is trapped due to an unluckily timed vacation, people can't even venture out onto the streets without police attacking them with sticks.

So am I glad I live in Norway? Heia Norge!

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This file last modified 25 April 2020 by Bradley James Wogsland.

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