From Iceland — Last Words: Iceland v. England

Last Words: Iceland v. England

Last Words: Iceland v. England

Published September 11, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

When the world first started to take Covid-19 seriously, the British Government was notoriously slow to react. Mandatory lockdown was implemented a few weeks after most other countries had been put into quarantine and eased much earlier than everyone thought was safe. All the while, much of the British public has been very vocal about their anger towards the Government’s lack of urgency surrounding the pandemic.

Iceland, on the other hand, managed to get a grasp on the situation pretty quickly. And the public didn’t need to be forced into their homes. Nor did they need to be told what they should do and when they should do it. They simply did it, knowing that quarantine would slow the rate of infection.

In fact, one could be forgiven for forgetting that Covid-19 is even a thing whilst in Iceland (please don’t forget—it is still very much a thing). With no mandatory mask wearing in public buildings; no shops, pubs, restaurants or schools shut; and no sense of panic, confusion or anger, everyone quietly gets on with life, doing their bit to help and doing their best to adhere to what they know to be best practice.

It’s all about common sense

The way in which the Icelandic public has reacted to the pandemic and how well the country has coped with it as a whole is testament to the power of common sense. Before the Government even began to put guidelines in place, people already understood what they had to do. They didn’t need to be told that if you can, work from home. They just did. They didn’t need to be told to stay at home if they might have been exposed to the virus. They just did it. Because that’s common sense.

The English public, for the most part, have needed their hands held by the government every step of the way, being told what to do and when to do it and not taking vital steps to help before being explicitly told to. And it’s been the blind leading the blind, with confusing, ever changing instructions making the public second guess their individual actions and making common sense…well…not that common.

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