From Our Latest Issue: A Look From a Different Perspective

By Joan Janzen

I recently heard this comment … When baby boomers want to say millennials don’t know too much… just remember what generation covered real hardwood floors with linoleum.

In a similar fashion, the North American media is stunned by Sweden’s unorthodox approach to the crisis, A Canadian living in Sweden described the people as possessing a relatively untraumatized collective psyche.

A young American male and his Swedish girlfriend living in Stockholm noted the calm atmosphere in Sweden, but also stressed that everyone is taking the situation seriously.

“We trust in the government and the government trusts in us,” the girl observed, describing the government as “incorrupt”, having earned the public’s trust. Has our government earned our trust?

Recently there’s another case of a Canadian pastor being fined for delivering food to the homeless in Calgary. A meat processing plant in Alberta is home to a big viral hot spot, employing temporary foreign workers through a federal program that brings people in from poor countries to work for low wages, while Canada’s unemployment hits 20 percent.

A Canadian MP’s comments were described as racist for simply wanting accountability by Dr. Theresa Tam for following the inaccurate directives of the World Health Organization in January. As a result, thousands of Canadians signed a petition to demand withdrawal from The WHO.

A recent petition by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation asked for federal MPs to cut their salaries, as Canadians are expected to make sacrifices at this time. Another petition protests the federal government’s gun ban including bolt- action hunting rifles used for large game, claiming these restrictions will not address gun crime associated with illegal guns.

The young American noted that when people are locked up too long and have lost jobs, they start protesting and want their freedoms back. He added, “Sweden is taking precautions people can follow for a lot longer,” while the economy remains stable. His girlfriend believed the young, and healthy individuals would be able to overcome the virus and develop immunity, while social distancing from the elderly and compromised.

The young American said, while North American media makes money from sensational headlines, the media in Sweden is not scaring people. Perhaps it’s because Sweden rates highly for media freedom, only surpassed by Norway, Finland and Denmark.

How does that compare with Canada where MP, Dominic LeBlanc is interested in a call for laws to punish the spread of dangerous misinformation online? And who will be the judge as to what is classed as “misinformation”?

Canadians who may think Sweden doesn’t know too much can always look at it from a different perspective.

You can also contact Joan Janzen at

Joan Janzen is a freelance opinion columnist. For more, visit

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