SWEDEN. Several members that attended a funeral in the area of Stockholm have gotten the corona virus; at least three are hospitalised and an 83-year old womas has passed away.
The funeral is said to have filled the church, most likely a Syrian-Ortodox one, and two days afterwards there was a memorial service which also was well-attended. A regular Sunday service can be visited by several hundred . In the middle of March people started to get sick and the woman died this Monday. Her relatives were not allowed to be by her side and they are also showing symtoms of corona.
The elderly woman and her family live in an area where many have gotten sick and it’s described as overcrowded. It’s probably the same area as the the Somalis who passed away from the virus and in this case too it was implyed that their living conditions had something to do with it. I think that it’s more important that both groups have immigrant background, which means language barriers, and has visited well-attended religious assemblies.
The church, and twenty others in the same denomination, closed down early this week and the chairman of the church says that they are saving lives. I find that a very strange remark to make. But perhaps one shouldn’t blame him too much as churches and mosques are still open all over the country and at the time it was still allowed to have public gatherings with more than 500 people. Some praise the governments strategy, but I think it’s weak and that they are pushing the decisionmaking to others so they won’t have to take responsibility for any negative outcomes.
Many of the Syrian-Ortodox churches have been opened again due to massive protests from their congregations. They say that the need for the church is extra important in these troubled times, something which I agree with, but the price is just way too high. It’s irresponsible and plain stupid.