Corona measures debate A year into the pandemic, criticisms of the border measures remain unanswered

Corona measures debate  A year into the pandemic, criticisms of the border measures remain unanswered

Discussion post This is an introduction to the discussion, written by an external contributor. The publication expresses the opinions of the writer.

On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization announced the official end of the Corona pandemic. Now, one year later, most Norwegians have put the virus behind them. But those of us who live and work near national borders still have fresh memories. Nearly two years of strict border measures have left their mark.

It was completely unrealistic to expect closed borders to delay the spread of infection for more than a few days or weeks. This is revealed in a new anthology published by the Svensund Committee entitled โ€œThe pandemic has closed borders โ€“ what do we do in the next crisis?ยป

However, the authorities took aggressive border measures that were supported by many political parties – from left to right. These measures led to the division of families and provided fertile ground for the emergence of xenophobic attitudes.

Border measures receive severe criticism in the Corona Committee report. It is well established that the procedures were characterized by speed and lack of participation on the part of those who were supposed to exercise the regulations and continuous amendments. In addition, there is little knowledge about the contagion impact of measures and their consequences on society.

As we mark a year without the virus, the question still hangs in the air:

Why are border measures excluded from the political debate as we seek to draw lessons from dealing with Corona?

Viruses don't particularly care about national borders either, and it takes a coordinated effort to stop them

It's not just “nice” to have a good relationship with the Swedes. We are each other's most important export markets, we share a 161-mile border, and together we are far stronger than either of us on the international stage.

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Viruses don't particularly care about national borders either, and it takes a coordinated effort to stop them. We depend on cooperation with each other, and cooperation requires trust.

In the anthology, subject matter experts such as Preben Avetsland and Anders Tegnell call for a comprehensive assessment of the consequences of border measures on public health, the economy, and diplomatic relations. In this book, I and other politicians offer suggestions on how the Norwegian and Swedish authorities can prepare to fight the coming crisis โ€“ as a team.

The proposals reflect what the committee's report recommended:

We must create better routines for handling situations in crisis situations, involving those who will carry out the work. We must also evaluate whether intervention measures such as quarantine hotels and entry restrictions are effective infection control measures at all.

I asked my soon-to-be 94-year-old mother if she remembered any of the previous epidemics. In her childhood and youth, tuberculosis and erosion posed a particular threat to her.

Over the past 150 years there have been plenty of other diseases: tuberculosis, Russian cold, yellow fever, Spanish flu, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, HIV/AIDS, SARS, swine flu, MERS, and Ebola.

And then Corona.

There is no doubt that there will be more pandemics. If we are to deal with the coming crisis effectively, the Norwegian and Swedish authorities must talk together, practice together, learn together, and commit to the Nordic Council of Ministers' goal of the Nordic region becoming the most integrated region in the world.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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