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Living in a pandemic: Life but not as you know it

This week our All Points North podcast looks at Finland's efforts to normalise the abnormal as some restrictions ease.

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Some audience members told All Points North they 'knead' to relax. Image: Mark Bodom/ Yle News

Many kids are headed back to school on Thursday after a two-month remote learning stint, the first major step on Finland’s path back towards a semblance of normality. For now it appears coronavirus will shape education for some time to come, with a bill in the works to allow students to alternate between contact and remote learning if the virus resurges this autumn.

You can listen to the full podcast via the embedded player here, Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed. Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

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Audio: Yle News

"We've seen transmission primarily from adults to children. There have been some instances of transmission the other way around, from children to adults, but to a much lesser extent," said Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the World Health Organization.

This week we ask why Finns have such an affinity for teleworking and probe why some think Finland should step up its own efforts to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

We also explore if people are ignoring social distancing recommendations in anticipation of the lifting of restrictions, particularly amid mixed messaging on social contact. Helsinki University Hospital's infection chief has called for healthy groups to be exposed to the virus while Nobel prize-winning Finnish economist Bengt Holmström said people's fears about being infected with coronavirus can pose a bigger threat to the economy than the government-ordered restrictions.

With the World Health Organization suggesting that herd immunity is a risky goal for countries, we discuss some of the criticism directed towards Finland’s 'Exit' report as it did not consider the possibly speedy development of a vaccine or effective medical treatment as realistic options for combating coronavirus.

On a positive note, it appears diets are changing for the better--at least based on feedback from our audience. This week our readers and listeners shared their quarantine-time cooking strategies with us, ranging from buying in bulk and going vegan to baking their way through anxiety.

Some reported jumping on the sourdough train to bread heaven, with one listener telling us her teenager made a sourdough starter for a school assignment. Bon appétit!

Join the conversation!

This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Egan Richardson. Our producer was Priya Ramachandran D'souza and the sound engineer was Katja Kostiainen.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at and

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