Guilford County family living in Sweden describes life in a country that never shut down due to the pandemic

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — While most of the world closed businesses and quarantined people because of COVID-19, Sweden did not. 

Now that country has one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 in the world. 

The Wolschon family moved from Guilford County to Gothenberg, Sweden last year. 

The father works at Volvo and the family decided to move for a two-year work residency. 

Laura Wolschon says travel was one of the biggest reasons they wanted to live in Europe, but now COVID-19 has shut that down. 

“Most of the EU has travel restrictions against Swedish residents because there hasn’t been a lockdown and because the numbers have been so much higher.  That put a stop to our travel plans,” said Wolschon.

Sweden decided against lockdowns in order to protect the economy, but Wolschon says businesses are still struggling.

“Businesses have closed. We went to one yesterday that’s going to be closing, and there have been layoffs. The economy has been affected either way,” she said.

Even though the situation seems dire in Sweden, the Wolschons all same they would rather be there than in the United States.

“I felt lucky to be here to be able to go places to go to school and hang out with friends,” said 10th grader Charlie Wolschon.

Laura says the Swedish people don’t have the same fear as Americans.

“Here people seem to be more relaxed, and if you like decide to wear a mask, great,” she said. “If you decide not to wear a mask, then OK, nobody’s going to be upset about it.”

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