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“There must be an end to the party now”

Corona pandemic continues to affect our lives. Work, travel and social activities are changed or cancelled completely. Culture and sports have taken on a great deal of responsibility, with representatives saying that these activities have been allowed to do more than others. Reactions have come when pictures have been spread of partying people without social distancing. At a press conference, Prime Minister Stefan Löven got enough and said: “It must be ended now!”

It is strange how little the role of alcohol has previously been mentioned as a risk of increased spread of infection. In several countries, restrictions have been introduced on sales, opening hours and even closures of restaurants. When my own region where I live went out with extended recommendations, one of Uppsala’s group still thought of holding a party event with 400 people.

After media attention, they also came to the realization that it was not a good idea. Of course, restaurants are affected financially if they are to close earlier or completely. But there are many other activities that are also affected.

The debate highlights the larger sports associations that are losing audience revenue.

It is clear that it will be difficult to see proportions when large arenas have not been allowed to have an audience, while we can still be crowded in shopping centres and restaurants. The cultural sector has also presented its difficult situation with cancelled events.

Something that does not reach the same level in the media noise is the small non-profit associations that in many places have had to reduce or completely cease their activities. This applies not least to many of our Blue Ribbon Associations and districts.

In addition to the fact that many people lack the social part that is so important, it also means poorer finances. Coffee breaks, auctions and lotteries are for many important incomes.

At the same press conference, Minister of the Interior Mikael Damberg said: “It is not enough to run around at parties and contribute to increased spread of infection at the same time as the number of patients increases”.

It is well known that if you drink alcohol, your judgment deteriorates. Social distancing during the day can be forgotten when the party is running, at a restaurant, nightclub or at a private home party.

The governments of several countries have decided to restrict sales and serving, as this connection is seen. The government has also done this, but words are not enough, decisions are needed too!

PER-OLOF SVENSSON
Editor-in-chief of the magazine Blå Bandet