I'm a Norwegian, and I've been a long time listener to the Osterholm
I live in a somewhat rural town in the geographical center of the
country, and as such we've been pretty fortunate in there being almost
no Covid19 cases here at all even since it all started over a year ago.
At least so far (knock on wood).
My government job also means we're getting a lot of extra precautions to
follow, so even if restaurants, shops, even gyms have been open pretty
much since summer, I've been stuck working from home since xmas.
I think it sucks, but thanks to the media obviously, and of course
thanks to Mike telling it how it is on the ground in the US, I'm well
aware that there are people who are suffering way more than me.
So, I tried to do my part by buying a few of the cool CIDRAP items from
the MN Alumni shop, as well as taking part in the so called "Secret
Santa" gift exchange on Reddit this xmas.
Since Reddit has a global reach and user base, but is still pretty US
heavy, I imagined the chance of being paired with someone from the
states was big. And sure enough I ended up sending my gifts to two kind
ladies, one in NY and the other in Kansas, who had both experienced
losing loved ones to Covid, and suffering other losses which badly
impacted their lives during the pandemic.
Both of them sent notes of thanks after receiving the packages which
expressed that the gifts really brightened up their day and lives, even
in this trying time.
For my own part I got a package from a kind woman in "Steel City"
Pittsburgh with lots of local goodies, a very cool city themed t-shirt,
and a letter where she too wrote of hardships due to Covid, but that
being able to take part in the exchange itself had made her day alot
better. During the exchange I was able to chat with everyone as well,
and it was a nice experience and way to reach out and learn of someone
elses lives and situation.
I'll attach a couple pictures of the packages they received once they
were opened. One was a legit xmas package of goodies from Norway, the
other a sort of xmas card, that I have to admit I ended up going way
overboard with. It ended up essentially as a DIY xmas ornament and card
all in one. But it was fun, and I'll definitely do it again!