Fears of the coronavirus and COVID-19 have caused a silent mental health crisis from the United States to the Far East and everywhere in between, as billions of people grapple with difficult questions relating to safety, health, and how to best continue their lives in the midst of the chaotic situation.
Human beings are social creatures, and while safety precautions prescribed by politicians including governors, presidents, and other leaders are designed with safety in mind, there is a growing contingent of dissenters who believe that the under-documented side effects of life in isolation, and hidden behind masks, have taken a far greater toll than anyone has dared to question.
Mixed messages and around-the-clock alarmist media coverage and social media commenting, have only served to exasperate the problem, as there appears to be a lack of a uniform message as to how best to handle the situation that aligns with the natural human instincts for socialization, financial security, and healthy, stress-free, clear-minded living.
One thing’s for sure, though: it seems as if true health is not longer the real focus (building the immune system, getting adequate sunlight, movement, rest, and the freedom to pursue happiness and enjoyable social connections), and hasn’t been for an exceedingly long time.
Now, as Americans pretend to send their children back to the alleged “new normal” being thrust upon us by the powers-that-be, millions of people are forgetting what it means to live mask-free, and forgotten what it means to socialize and work face-to-face with their contemporaries on a daily basis, all out of a pervasive fear unlike anything the United States has seen since the days of 9/11.
In order to remind people of what life was like before COVID-19, one video blogger from Israel documented his own experience traveling to the country that has taken a decidedly different approach: Sweden, which has mostly eschewed the standard precautions taken by the rest of the world, in favor of a “personal responsibility” based approach that allows life to continue as normal for those who are not elderly or particularly at-risk for the disease.
“After Spending Two Weeks Here, I feel Like I Can Breathe Again”
While Sweden’s stance on social distancing and mask-wearing, or lack thereof, has been roundly questioned in the mainstream media, according to filmmaker Arthur Moore, who boasts nearly 200,000 subscribers on YouTube, the feeling in the air is entirely different, and more conducive to health in the Scandinavian country of 10.3 million people.
Moore had visited Israel to receive treatment for a condition that he said put him in a risk category for COVID-19, but was appalled at what he saw: government tracking devices everywhere, people shouting at each other amid even the most incidental of mask slippages, and a thick feeling of repression in the air that made life miserable for him.
Upon his arrival in Sweden, however, Moore felt as though things had opened up in a way he hadn’t felt in several months.
“After spending two weeks here, I feel like I can breathe again,” he says in the short film below, which goes behind-the-scenes of Moore’s journey to Sweden, where people congregate in public without masks and the overall mood is one of freedom and relaxed social distancing policies.
“So, I’ve been in Sweden for the last past three days and, you know, corona doesn’t exist here, like people…the place continues as normal. Nobody checks your fever, nobody forces you to put a mask.
“And the more I stay here, the more I realize, wow, it feels like other countries have lost their —-ing mind, that’s how it feels.”
Regardless of how you feel about Sweden’s approach, which is focused on allowing its healthy population to contract the virus and develop immunity to it naturally while also emphasizing a free and healthy lifestyle, the video below is well worth watching simply to see how the drastically different approach, as well as Moore’s skillful portrayal of the country and life in its cities.
He also makes an excellent point in his comparison between prison cells and the devastating effects that social isolation can wreak upon even the most resilient human spirit: