This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Crossing borders during lockdown

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flightsProbably a once-in-a-lifetime: 48 hours of departures on one screen, at Copenhagen airport in May. The direct international connections seem very random: Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Doha, Tallinn, Oslo, Stockholm, and Sofia.

Faroe Islands and Bornholm belong to Denmark – and so does Greenland, which seems to have been completely isolated. No flights at all to Kangerlussuaq. Or Helsinki, for that matter (the other Nordic capitals were open while Finland shut itself as well as Denmark did).

I only swung by Copenhagen airport to switch from metro to the Öresundståget train which took me to Sweden, over the bridge. I had private matters to attend to in Malmö, and as a non-Dane returning to well-isolated Denmark I was equipped to the teeth with paperwork and health insurance cards and rental agreements and work contracts. I had heard stories of returning expats detained at the border because following the rules and simply showing the yellow health insurance card was not enough. Fortunately, a show of the yellow card and a smile was sufficient to let me pass back into Denmark.

Technically, I was now required to spend two weeks in quarantine after spending just 4 hours in Sweden – in an area with less coronavirus than Copenhagen. I thought of my only obvious possible Swedish source of contagion: a lady speaking loudly on the phone behind me in the escalator, stepping up right behind me every time I moved a step onward to make more distance between us.

When I entered the chock-full metro train back into city center, I discovered that my best bet for getting sick that day was in the Copenhagen subway. Fortunately, I managed to stay healthy while probably some less lucky people did not.kastrupborder(Copenhagen, Denmark; May 2020)

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