Today was registered the highest number of corona cases registered in Norway in 24 hours, and that record is of 5,413 new cases. It may seem small compared to other countries, but you have to remember that Norway is the home to only 5,379 millions as of 2020. If you consider the ratio, it’s then quite high, especially in a country where a big majority of the adult population is fully vaccination, and where the third dose is already being given to those at risk and over 65 years old.
How is that even possible, knowing that the country had been quite spared so far? One of the reasons could be that we spend more time inside than outside, especially that recently the temperatures really dropped everywhere, and that the spaces are not enough ventilated. It might be a good reason, because the abrupt rise of cases started a little bit after our first snowy event in Bergen, for example. It could also be due to the Omicron variant, that is still considered « new » in the country but the rate of infection has been so important that it’s eager to dismiss it so easily. After two years of semi-confinement, we have also been a lot in contact with other people, sharing a lot of seasonal diseases that, by their nature, facilitate the spread of the virus. All is still in the air, but two months only after the reopening of Norway, new restrictions are being decided every week nationally but also locally, with a stricter note for Bergen actually.
The Viking and me have been in contact with friends who got sick recently, and we have gotten self-tested many times, but we have managed to keep safe so far. That is why I noticed this time: a hell lot of people I know here got corona since the end of November. Luckily, since most of them are fully vaccinated, they remained quite healthy and didn’t suffer much.
In the last three weeks, the authorities have reviewed the isolation rules in case of infection or contact with someone infected no less than four times, the latest time for Bergen being this week, with the municipality deciding that all COVID cases would be considered as an Omicron one. This means that if you’re a « close » contact (they are not so clear about who it concerns practically), you have to stay ten days in isolation, while the person infected has to stay home… seven days. Imagine what it means for work places! Nationally, alcohol serving has to stop at midnight, and there is a limit of amount of guests you can have, whether in private or public spaces. And of course, it is mandatory to wear the mask almost everywhere you can’t stay away from people, like in most places in Europe.
For the restaurants and night clubs, the pill is hard to swallow. We were having a great Julebord season, with a lot of big groups and big parties spending a lot. Now, most people working in the industry barely have hours, or depend on smaller tables that might book a table despite most people being quite scared and avoiding to mingle with others.
All we can do is hope this peak of infection will eventually cam down, and at a less important level staying safe to be able to enjoy Christmas with our loved ones without risking anyone’s health. The Viking and me have planned to go to France to spend it with my family, as we haven’t gotten the chance in four years. To all of you, I wish to remain safe, healthy, spend good times with your loved ones and spread the love, as usual. We’ll get through it!