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Sofyan Aswad: Sofyan Aswad: ”Is the government letting the elderly in Sweden down”

Do journalists only ask about the number of dead? Do they never talk about the people who are ill and how the community turns its back on them? Is the government letting the elderly in Sweden down? These are a few of the questions my mother asked in a video chat with me and my two brothers.
Sofyan AswadSkicka e-post
Kristianstad • Publicerad 12 maj 2020
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Kristianstadsbladet. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.
Sofyan Aswad.Foto: Lasse Ottosson

Several years ago my family came to France , the country my mother admired for its health system, its legal system and its social system.

Today my mother is sitting in her house in France along with my brothers in obligatory quarantine. She says all that journalists focus on is how many people have died. Now patients in France are being held responsible for their infection, they are called irresponsible and selfish, she says.

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When the crisis in China was at its worst, videos circulated on the social media, urging people not to ’show their weapon’ for others, that is, not to remove their protective masks. Without a mask, your face can be weapon that can spread the virus to others.

””In private groups on Facebook the tone was different, with hateful comments such as ”dead” and ”brain-dead””
after German Chancellor Angela Merkel was put in quarantine

Gradually people who were infected were shunned. The virus was transformed from an illness which threatens humanity into a hate which threatens the community.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was put in quarantine for a time. She had met a doctor who was infected by the virus. Many people wished her well. But in private groups on Facebook the tone was different, with hateful comments such as ”dead” and ”brain-dead”.

”We are just as worried as everyone else. In addition, many of our doctors and nurses were not born in Sweden”
Sofyan Aswad

In France, China and Germany , but also here in Sweden, we heard many voices blaming new arivals for spreading the infection in the community; they don’t understand Swedish, they don’t pay attention to warnings and recommendations from the government and the authorities, they go on gathering in big groups, they don’t show any responsibility, and other racist accusations.

How can people say things like that? We are just as worried as everyone else. In addition, many of our doctors and nurses were not born in Sweden. Doctors and nurses, no matter where they come from, are battling against this virus, without weapons. They try to help everyone, without discrimination, without thinking about nationality.

”A person can pray anywhere, but can only be treated in hospital”
Sofyan Aswad
Wash your hands while singing Twinkle Little Star.Foto: Pi Frisk / SvD / TT

We must all fight this virus, which is a real threat to people’s lives. We cannot relax, we must go on keeping our distance, washing our hands carefully, sneezing into the crook of our arm. We must follow instructions and stick to the guidelines published i many languages in the media.

My mother asked me, ”Does the Swedish government let old people die?” Certainly not, I answered. No country, irrespective of what happens, can give up its history, and real history is old people, not old buildings.

The infection has spread in so many care homes. A lot of old people have died. The authorities are now trying to find out why.Foto: JANERIK HENRIKSSON / TT

It is very sad that the infection has spread in so many care homes. A lot of old people have died. The authorities are now trying to find out why, they are leaving no stone unturned and are introducing counter-measures.

It is already apparent that there is a greater need for more nurses and doctors than for imams and pastors. A person can pray anywhere, but can only be treated in hospital.

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