Merry Christmas with corona

Merry Christmas from Hamburg!

Christa Möller-Metzger, Hamburg:

At the moment it is snowing in Hamburg, but the wheather forecast says, that there will be rain tonight. No white Christmas. And Omikron has arrived in Hamburg and there will probably not be a real christmas-break for us in parliament. Lockdown and compulsory vaccination are being discussed, with correspondingly strong protests on the streets. We are allowed to meet a maximum of 10 vaccinated people (not counting children), there is no more standing room in bars and restaurants, restaurants must close at 11 p.m., masks are required when shopping, on trains and buses, in theaters and cinemas, FFP2 masks are recommended in all indoor areas, fireworks may not be set off in public places on New Year’s Eve. Many people are tired of the never ending story! Have a peaceful holiday und „guten Rutsch“!

Vivianne Gunnarsson, Stockholm:

I am really longing to travel but once again we are locked in. The political climate in Sweden has risen since we got a women prime minister and we are already campaigning although the election is in september next year.

Have as nice holiday as possible.

Reino Lampinen, Helsinki:

Situation here is quite similar to yours – some kind of a lockdown was presented for most threatened areas, like Helsinki, starting after the Christmas days. No travel, no meetings, no big gatherings for concert, sport etc, masks on in metro and buses, only allowed to go to shops for food …Here the weather is very variable: yesterday -12 °C, today +/-0 °C, tomorrow again -12 °C. And Finland is a long country, like Sweden, and hence the forecast for Lapland is somewhere between -20 to -30 °C.

We will have elections for new regional areas in January. These areas have been established just this year and will be responsible for healthcare and emergency services. The country was divided to 21 regions (Helsinki left out as a “region” itself). The responsibility was taken from the municipalities (some 300). The latest polls are not encouraging for Greens – around 10 %. But something positive from our Government: a baby boom prevails – our Chair Maria Ohisalo is pregnant and on maternity leave, the Minister for Health and Basic services is also pregnant. Our minister for State Finances just came back from maternity leave… Our Prime Minister is also a mother of a small baby.

I wish a peaceful Christmas for all of you, try to keep safe from the corona.

Erwin Schaefer, London:

We have a grey day in London, no sunshine, not cold, not warm – and you’re getting close.

Scotland, Wales are definitely going into lockdown, as mandated by their devolved governments. England (i.e. Britain without the devolved nations) has an unfortunate government that doesn’t know what it wants. There was a by-election last week (when an MP dies or resigns, their constituency has new elections). A Tory sleazeball had to resign and his 23,000 majority was overturned by the Liberal Democrats. Pictures of government parties during previous lockdown periods are causing widespread upset – along the lines of Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Next year could get interesting here.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.

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