Husby, like many other socioeconomically challenged neighborhoods, is to a large extent inhabited by immigrants who live in close quarters and sometimes lack access to official communications or the language skills to understand them.
“I have three friends who ended up at intensive care for corona,” said Husby resident Salar Sauza, who is 62 and on disability. “To be honest, I don’t think the Swedish government has taken the issue seriously. Now, everyone stays at home here except the young ones. When I ask where they are going, they say, ‘To town to drink Corona.’ ”
While some hail the still-open society for trying to stave off further economic crisis, others argue it is now too late for a lockdown anyway. Björn Olsen, a professor of infectious medicine at Uppsala University, was a vocal critic of the government’s response initially, when people vacationing in Italy were allowed back into the country without going into quarantine — a decision widely believed to have kick-started the contagion in Sweden. Now, Olsen advocates limiting the damage through extensive testing and directed quarantines rather than by shutting borders and schools.
“The storm is here,” he said. “The strategy to protect the weak has miserably failed, but we can’t just cynically abandon them.”