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APN Podcast: Will face masks and a pub curfew slow down Covid acceleration?

On this week's podcast APN looks at how Finland is reacting to an upsurge in Covid cases.

All Points North podcast logo featuring photo of a pub.
Image: Jarkko Riikonen / Yle
Yle News

As Finland grapples with an 'acceleration stage' of the coronavirus epidemic, the All Points North podcast looks at pubs and ice hockey crowds and their efforts to limit transmission of Covid-19.

You can listen to the full podcast on the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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With case counts rising, we reported that Finland wants to close pubs early, looked at hockey crowds during the pandemic and asked if we really live in 'Finntopia'.

As sporting events worldwide have adjusted to a world without crowds, Finland is one of the few places where supporters have been able to watch their favourite teams during the pandemic.

Veikkausliiga clubs have been playing football since the summer, with fans cheering them on, and they've avoided some of the worst financial consequences seen elsewhere.

Ice hockey's men's professional league gets underway on Thursday, in the wake of infection chains among several hockey teams in recent weeks, with clubs planning to allow crowds at between 40 and 60 percent of capacity.

We asked Janne Oivio of the Pallokerho podcast what he makes of the hockey plan.

"It's a big risk for them, they have the most to lose," said Oivio. "They have by far the biggest TV contract, they have so much financially on the line, the most jobs for players and people in the background.

"So this is one of the most critical seasons if not the most critical season in recent history for SM Liiga because they have to play through the season."

Finntopia - Fact or fable?

Also in this week's podcast, we asked Annika Koljonen about her new book Finntopia, which was co-authored with British academic Danny Dorling.

The book asks why Finland has been ranked among the happiest countries in the world, and looks at Finnish history, culture and politics to find some answers.

Koljonen said that Finland gets a lot right on inequality, education, social mobility and social inclusion, but there are some things it could learn from other countries — and successful integration of immigrants is one of those things.

"Considering the amount of pressure we put on maintaining the workforce to be able to pay taxes to maintain the welfare state, we really do need to be paying more attention to all youth who are left behind in our education, and that really requires research into structural racism and inequalities that keep them behind," said Koljonen.

Get involved!

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Ronan Browne, produced by Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Anders Johansson.

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