‘Every decision you make matters’: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s message to Sweden

'Every decision you make matters': Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's message to Sweden
Stefan Löfven urged the public to do their part in the "shared responsibility" to curb the spread of infection. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT
This is an English translation of the message Prime Minister Stefan Löfven gave to Sweden on Wednesday, in connection with the announcement of a move to stop the sale of alcohol after 10pm.

This is The Local's own translation of the prime minister's comments in a press conference on November 11th. If the government releases an official English translation, we will share that.

There are times in life when it feels like an hour has more than 60 minutes, when weeks drag on, and unfortunately we are living through such a time now. Time bleeds together, the evenings look the same, and the high points of winter that you look forward to, be it parties or travel, are cancelled. It hasn't even been a year since we in Sweden classified the disease Covid-19 as a socially dangerous disease, and already the time before the coronavirus seems completely distant.

It is November. This is the darkest month of the year and the darkness will be with us for a while now, and unfortunately it also seems like we are moving towards darker times when it comes to the spread of infection in parts of the world, in Europe and here in Sweden.

All indications are now going in the wrong direction.

The infection is spreading fast, and in the past week the number of people being treated for Covid-19 in intensive care has more than doubled. So far, the healthcare sector is managing the pressure, but staff in the sector have been overworked since spring, and now they risk standing on the front line for a long time to come.

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We are ahead of a situation that risks becoming completely dark. We risk more people getting sick, more people dying, more overworked people in the healthcare sector, more postponed operations. We are risking, in Sweden, the situation we had in spring. I have held many press conferences this year and said again and again roughly the same thing, take responsibility, follow the advice, follow the recommendations, we need to help out.

And the overwhelming goal is, has been the whole time, reduce the spread of infection, flatten the curve that is now going in the wrong direction, and that the right measures be introduced at the right time. So we need to stick to this, this requires perseverance, every person should follow the recommendations and advice that exist, these are not general tips, these are what should be done.

There are lots of people still doing the right thing, there are lots who keep their distance, who turn down party invitations, who perhaps also question their friends who are acting in the wrong way, and many who take their share of this shared burden. Many of you, of us, are doing our part, but some people aren't.


A sign thanks people for keeping a distance. Under national recommendations, everyone is asked to keep a distance from people they don't live with while in public. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Some people, I don't know whether knowingly or unknowingly, ignore this, and that risks affecting us all. There are more people who have begun to relax over autumn, there's no doubt about that, more people think that an evening out doesn't matter, maybe one day shopping at the mall maybe doesn't mean anything, more people think, 'my birthday party won't make a difference' or ‘my meeting doesn't play a big role', but unfortunately it does make a difference.

Every decision we take in our everyday life makes a difference, it counts. Everyone's behaviour, everyone's negligence, matters.

In the situation we are in now, the government makes the assessment that we need more measures to curb the spread of infection. Therefore, the sale of alcohol will be forbidden after 10pm, and that is according to a proposal that the government has sent out for consultation today and it is intended to apply from November 20th.

The government will continue to make the decisions that are needed to protect people's lives, health, jobs, but it is most of all everyone's shared responsibility to do what is needed to curb the spread of infection. Everyone.


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