Election Time

So it’s time for a general election again here in Sweden as is traditional every 4 years. On September 11th we’re heading out to cast our votes and both me and my wife definitely will. My son still has to sit out this and next election.

Opinion Polls 2022-08-18But I really have a problem with this election. Europe is suffering it’s worst heatwave ever and is drying up fast. There’s water shortages, rivers are so dry that boats can hardly transport freight and fish are dying by the tons, people are losing their homes and livelihoods and it’s all kinds of chaos caused by global warming. And you’d think that even after ignoring Greta protesting outside of parliament for over 4 years that surely this would wake politicians up? Nope. And why would it since the media isn’t holding them accountable. And worse yet, the voters aren’t holding them accountable.

Jimmie put it best during the “Aftonbladet” debate last night when he ‘attacked’ our environmental party by saying – “you only want to make things worse for everyone!”. And that’s exactly the problem. Elections used to be about people asking themselves “what party align best with what I want?” and vote for that. And nobody wants to make things worse for themselves. Nobody wants to give up their summer vacations by the mediterranean, take the bike instead of their car, go vegetarian and generally stop buying new stuff and focus on recycling. But in my opinion the time for “what I want” is over – now it’s critical for everyone to think “what does the planet want?”.

And it’s clear over the past 3 years that it certainly doesn’t want us! First it gave us the wildfires in Australia, then covid, then monkeypox and now a heatwave from hell.

So I wish that for once the voters would think more long term and more globally. Because yes, in the short term not going on vacation in Greece may suck but at least there’s a chance there will be a habitable Greece in 50 years!

As for who I’m going to vote for? Well I also always ask myself “what party align best with what I want?”. And I want a positive future for my son and the planet. And again there’s only one party that is taking any kind of attempts at doing anything about it so again I’m voting for our environmental party. I wish there was at least one more party that would at least try so I can look for other things that align with what I want but … nope!CO2 emissions Under 2% matters Sorry but saying that “what Sweden does doesn’t matter and won’t affect anything” is a poor excuse for not doing anything (read “The Guardian” article here). And building nuclear powerplants won’t solve nothing since they won’t be operational for at least 12 years and by then the waters in the seas will be too hot to cool them (read analysis here, only in Swedish I’m afraid). And that’s about it. That’s all the options right there. So again I quote one of my all time favorite movies – “damn you for forcing me into this position!” (Ed Harris as General Hummel in “The Rock”).

But the way things are going we’re going to end up with team “do nothing since we’re so small what does it really matter” & “build nuclear powerplants”. So that’ll be interesting and I really do hope it doesn’t matter. But I wish I could say “we did our best” to our son but it really doesn’t feel like we did. Even going flexitarian, voting green every time, driving electric car and solar panels on the house, it’s not enough.

My Bout With Covid

As previously mentioned Covid did eventually get me but fortunately I had 2 doses of the vaccine so it was fortunately mild-ish.

But I remember back in January of 2020 when I and a colleague at work discussed it and started hypotheticals about how bad it would get. And in February I realised that it wasn’t going to just go away so I did a bit of prepping- and yes I was one of the reasons there wasn’t enough toilet paper at our local store. Also bought masks, blood oxygen checker and stuff like that just in case.

And then me, the wife and our son got knocked out by something that could have been Covid but in late February 2020 they were only testing people that hade travelled to the high risk areas since it wasn’t out in the wild in Sweden yet. They said. And then we went to the Swedish Eurovision finale with thousands of people crammed into an arena. Right after that the shit hit the fan and those events became unthinkable because by now it was officially out in the wild in Sweden too.

And even though we took precautions and we spent over a year doing our best to social distance and going out as little as possible, I was never really afraid that I wouldn’t make it if I did get it because.. statistics! My wife’s grandmother unfortunately died from it just a few weeks shy of her 90th birthday. But when Adam Alsing died from it I actually did get a bit nervous.

At work this was a disaster since we pretty much had to stop working. No one was allowed to travel so very little we could do. After a few months of furlough for most of the staff (except me that kept on working at 100%, but from home) they eventually had to cut down on the staff. A lot of people in my IT operations team, a few of which I considered friends, was let go but I made the cut. Unfortunately my wife didn’t make the cut and her job so she was unemployed for a few months before finding another job.

Fast forward to October and my sister got it. She works at a hospital so it was just a matter of time. And she got it bad – not bad enough for hospital but bad. I don’t think her sense of smell and taste is fully back yet! But I was mostly worried for my parents and for my other sister in Scotland with comorbidity.

The winter was uneventful as was spring of 2021. During the summer we had a “staycation” on Gotland during which I felt that my place of work had lost its appeal a bit after so many people had left and things were really slow and no one knew how long this would go on for, so I decide to look for another job and pretty quickly found one. And I also got the vaccine as fast as possible because I didn’t want to be worried about it all the time, I had lots of other medical things going on so one less to worry about.

During winter I started my new job and a few months into 2022 our son got a mild case of the flu but we kept him home just in case. And I was still working from home. And the week after I got symptoms so I ordered a test and yep, it was covid! I was knocked out and in bed for a few days but nothing bad. My wife got it after me but she had just taken her third dose so she was only knocked out for a day. So that was disappointingly uneventful but I guess we have the vaccine to thank for that. Go science!