The video-clips of quarantined Italians gathered on their balconies to make music had just about gone viral when a concerned Finn demanded immediate preventative national measures on Twitter, asking whether “us Finns could jointly agree right now that there shall be no rampaging on balconies“.
Finland is a country where pandemic lifestyle has forever been the norm. To make the most of your social distancing, herewith the best from the Finnish Playbook of Self-Isolation.
- Merely having a secluded summer cottage in the middle of nowhere is very last season. You can do better. Buy the plots of land on both sides of your cottage like a Finn, so as to prevent anyone else from building anything inhabitable within shooting range.
Be like a rich Finn and supersize it. Buy an island. At the time of writing, there are still plenty of uninhabited islands left in Finland, but be quick.
- Don’t risk having people (includes family members and relatives) visit you at your cottage by being careless and announcing your exact whereabouts on social media. Finns find nothing more socially unacceptable than unannounced guests. Or any guests, full stop.
Living your best life is yours alone to live.
- One-week €4000 silent retreat in an Alpine resort full of chatty Central Europeans?
Finns don’t binge like that. We spread our silence evenly throughout our lives. You ask us, we shall respond, economising our words in case something is not clear at first attempt and there’s a second question.
We know our small talk and like to keep it like that. Small.
- Bars and nightclubs closed? Get Päntsdrunk at home. Lock out family members, slip into your comfiest athleisure-wear, hop on the couch and start drinking alcohol. Any type will do. Watch TV or don’t. Listen to 90s music, get nostalgic and cry a little. Drunk-text your exes.
Books have been written about this national treasure. My Mediterranean friends have often jokingly pitied me and my fellow Finns for being such a pathetic, psychologically and socially challenged bunch of hermits. Our lifestyle not so funny anymore, now is it?
- Don’t seek unnecessary and highly uncomfortable physical contact with strangers. Someone already in an elevator? Get the next one. Same with buses, metros, restaurants, libraries, gyms, swimming pools, movie theatres and supermarkets.
- Don’t seek unnecessary and highly uncomfortable physical contact with people you know. Hugging and kissing when you meet is never necessary and rarely desired. A brisk wave of a hand (either will do) and a “Hi!” shouted from about 2 meter’s distance is perfectly adequate in any situation.
- The world loved Nokia mobile phones, but it is less known that mobile phones are merely a refined by-product of toilet paper: Finnish Nokia paper mill started producing toilet paper already in 1902. Today a Finnish paper mill has the capacity to produce daily up to 340 tonnes of tissue paper, which is the equivalent of 3 million toilet paper rolls. Daily.
Considering that Finland is basically a 338,440 square kilometre forest, we’re good on the raw material front.
So don’t panic, dear friends in self-isolation around the world.
We’ve got your shit covered. Literally.