Coronavirus in Denmark

Sarah Owens 01 Apr 20

It started with the discouragement of hugs and handshakes in early March, which caused much confusion for many Danes - how on earth is someone supposed to greet another without these things? (Physical contact is a much larger part of Danish culture than us Brits are generally comfortable with!)

800 cases had developed in Denmark when the WHO announced a worldwide pandemic, after which the Danish government immediately held a press conference and put the country into lockdown for two weeks, and only a few days later, the borders closed. Musicians collected their instruments as soon as possible from the academy, all concerts were cancelled and so began life at home. 

We’ve now had those two weeks, and started our two week extension, which is also expected to be extended further, at least for educational institutions, and I can say that personally, I’ve actually quite enjoyed it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with my flatmate, doing different activities together such as puzzles, walking, baking, practising Danish, and the time to rest more than usual is welcome. However there are many in Aarhus who live alone, or whose friends and cohabitants went home to spend lockdown with their families. Some of those left are international students who can’t even travel home now if they wanted to, so it’s more important than ever before to reach out and stay in touch with those people.

The staff at RAMA (Royal Academy of Music Aarhus) are starting to make alternative plans for upcoming exams and deadlines. The adaptability of this country is impressive, but as live performances are so crucial to musicians, the thought of having exams online or delayed by months can cause stress and anxiety.

Like many others, my church has taken to live-streamed services. I’m so grateful for this and it is a good way to keep us together as a church body at this time, yet I can’t help but miss the fellowship and encouragement of meeting other Christians every week.

Unfortunately too, the KFS (the Danish CU movement) mission week had to be cancelled since all the students would be at home and the university closed. We’re gutted about this of course, but the weekly KFS meetings are now publicly live-streamed podcasts and we still meet to pray a few together or online in larger groups, seeking for God to show us how we can serve and reach out to others with the gospel. 

Please praise God for:

  • My flatmate and landlord both being understanding and tolerant
  • Parks and green spaces nearby
  • Rest

Please pray for:

  • Those who are lonely
  • Others with troublesome neighbours / difficulty practising at home
  • Exam solutions to be appropriate and continued good-communication
  • Motivation for home practice 
  • God to be present and to teach us through this situation, showing us how we can share the good news in this separation from each other.

Thanks!

Sarah

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