COVID-19 is in Iceland like everywhere else in the world and we are fighting to isolate it as much as possible. All Icelandic travelers coming home will be in isolation for 14 days from arrival. Visitors do not need to be isolated but there are not many visitors coming at the moment.
All the workers who can work from home do so. The situation is like the children book Paul alone in the world by the Danish writer Jens Sigsgaard (1910-1991) describes where Paul wakes op one morning is alone in the world. There is no people around. I read this book as a child and now suddenly it is in my mind.
Stay at home
Many people work from home, study at home and find recreational activities at home.
Testing for the COVID-19 is ongoing. Those who are positive are quarantined and those around him/her are isolated. This is slowing down the spread of the Corona virus and so far the Health system is able to help those people who are ill.
We are specially protecting the most vulnerable people, elderly and others with underlying illnesses.
A ban on public gatherings, thousands of people in home-based quarantine and hundreds in isolation. All these measures, intended to slow the spread of COVID-19
We are going to fight COVID-19 with everything we got. The nation is united and we stand together like one man.
All the world is fighting this common enemy, but with different approach. We have to follow World Health Organization guidelines if we are going to be successful.
The request for some medical supplies like swaps for testing have increased and it is hard to get some of it. We almost ran out of these swaps but about 6,000 swabs for testing were discovered at the medical microbiology and virology department of Landspítali.
We were expecting 10,000 swabs from the US, but they went instead to the highest bidder. It remains unclear whether 20,000 swabs, provided by Össur prosthetics firm, are usable for testing for the virus.
DeCode Genetics, a private company in Iceland has open the doors for individuals who want to be tested and they are doing it for free. The information gathered and the static results will be published in approved Medical Journals for the world to use. DeCode Genetics will also select a group of people to be tested.
Help each other
The nursing home, just like all other nursing homes in Iceland, are closed to visitors in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19
Fifteen singers, some of them well-known in Iceland, gathered in the back yard of Hrafnista-Ísafold – a home for the elderly in Garðabær, to cheer up the residents..
Therefore, residents flocked to their balconies to enjoy the cheerful singing outdoors. The singers sang several popular Icelandic songs, while residents, wrapped in wool blankets, sipped hot chocolate and enjoyed the music
The Icelandic government announces
The Icelandic government announced sweeping economic measures Saturday, intended to limit the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of ISK 230 billion (USD 1.6 billion; EUR 1.5 billion), representing nearly 8 percent of Iceland’s GDP, will be provided to stimulate the economy during this difficult time. These are the largest economic measures in Icelandic history.
The measures are threefold, aiming to protect the livelihood of individuals and companies, protect the foundations of society, and, finally, to create a major investment initiative.
They entail the following:
- The Icelandic government will take on up to 75 percent of salaries
- State-backed bridging loans for companies will be provided
- Deferral of tax payments
- Financial support for the tourism sector
- One-off child benefit payment
- Access to third-pillar pension savings (private pension savings)
- Refund of VAT for construction projects
- Public projects will be accelerated – investment in technical infrastructure
A change is apparent, too, in traffic, which is down by 15 percent, compared to the same period last year, and down by 42 percent on the Ring Road. Income from the use of parking spots and garages in downtown Reykjavík is down 70-80 percent from a month ago.
Air traffic has decreased in a major way. Departures and arrivals at Keflavík International Airport were only 11. A total of 55 flights were canceled.
The Positive Affect
When the world stands still as it does at the moment, nature recovers. And the world needs to recover. We are not protecting our environment as we should. Hopefully we will learn from this and respect the nature better and change our ways of living.
We like to think positive thoughts. In our minds we will win this fight. The scientists of the World will find a solution. But we need to work together, hopefully the world will unite and after COVID-19 it will be a better world.
Our beautiful nature will be here after COVID-19 and hopefully in a better condition. When the world has recovered we look forward to seeing you here in Iceland.
I wish you all the best, may your GOD be with you.
As always I would love to hear from you. If you have a question or a comment, please leave it below.
Þórhallur / Thorhallur
Founder of FactsAboutIceland.com