Chairs stood empty. Hot ribs were provided on the stairs. This Christmas, many had to celebrate alone because they were infected with covid-19.
– Christmas was different, but I think it was worst for mom, says Simon Torp (29) from Oslo. He celebrated Christmas Eve alone for the first time.
This was the Christmas holiday when many families demanded a negative coronal test before the ribs or chops were served.
Figures from FHI show that 22,719 people tested positive from 17 to 23 December. Many of these, their closest and other close contacts are still in isolation.
Digital Christmas dinner
Simon Torp from Oslo was to be in Dovre and celebrate Christmas with his parents, aunt and sister. Torp is an aspirant in the Foreign Service and works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo.
He took a test for safety before leaving, and it had a positive result. Now the plans had to be changed:
– This is the first time I have not celebrated with my family. I got ribs from my sister, and made medister cakes with dad’s recipe, says Torp.
And the Christmas dinner, with red tablecloths, lit candles and crispy swear words, was eaten with the family. Admittedly fully digital.
– Not as shocking as feared
– Christmas was not as shocking as I had thought. With a creative family gathered in Dovre, it was possible to participate digitally in the most important thing, namely dinner and gift opening on Christmas Eve, he says.
He also had friends who came by for a chat. Simon sat on the windowsill of the apartment and his friends stood at a safe distance in the backyard.
Simon Torp’s parents are priests. The mother is a parish priest in Dovre. Simon has always started the holiday with a service.
This was not the case this year.
– It is a little strange to have the disease that is the reason why society moves from being closed to open.
Despite the fact that Simon has been fully vaccinated, he was prepared for him to be infected at some point.
– But the timing was a bit bad!
Fortunately, he was only a little tired and tired the days the virus ravaged his body.
Now the shape is better. He is out of isolation and on his way abroad.
– This went well. All in all, I think this has been worst for mom, he says.
Tested for grandma’s sake
Harald Nordbø (25) also tested himself for safety. And from Tuesday he had to be in isolation. He stays there for six days. Including Christmas Eve.
Therefore, Christmas Eve was celebrated in the dormitory in Oslo with roommate, Nils Joakim Heyerdahl Reichelt.
And the plans with dad on Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve with the mother family were thus changed.
Extra sad is that he did not get to see his grandmother, whom he has not met in a long time.
– It was because of her that I tested myself. I’ve been afraid of infecting her. She is 85 years old.
Harald also got a rib on the door, from his mother. And gifts were delivered.
He himself ordered delivery at the door of several when it became impossible to get to the store.
– It was sent to two girls I love.
And the dormitory is decorated for Christmas, because the 25-year-old stopped by Gjenbruket and bought elves in December. Nordbø is a musician, journalist and author and likes to have a good time around him.
– What felt terrible, of course, was not having to spend Christmas Eve with my good friend Nils, but that none of us get to see the family alive for a while. All this because we actually took enough responsibility to take a test, even though I strictly did not have to, he says.
Still, he sums up this year’s celebration:
– Christmas was good. Missed mom and dad and «a gay mother».
The teachers were infected at work. And right in Christmas isolation
The Strand Sødal Grasbekk family went down for counting at about the same time just before Christmas Eve.
Fortunately, neither young nor old were hit very hard by the corona. They got a headache and a slight fever.
But the family had to be isolated and quarantined. Olav (4) and Eira (10) had to stay home from friends and classmates. Climbing frame and toboggan run were replaced with games and indoor activities.
It also meant they could not celebrate with grandma and great-grandma.
– Unfortunately, this means that my grandmother and the children’s great-grandmother of 91 years had to celebrate Christmas Eve alone. For the first time in his entire life, says Silje Strand Grasbekk.
The family at Oppsal chose to have the most normal celebration possible. On Christmas Eve, it became traditional:
The family ate well, decorated themselves and opened presents. Friends and families have done what they could.
– We are privileged. Everything is delivered to the door, food, Christmas stockings and activity bags for the kids.
Topped it all with chicken pox
As if the corona was not enough, Olav got chickenpox in it all.
And the days got long. The children still miss their playmates.
– They think it’s boring to be inside.
Silje is a teacher, her husband Gaute is a kindergarten teacher. They are not surprised that they became infected.
– But it’s weird that it came now. But with the infection control regime that was for children, there was no way out.
Crying trip from Asker to Grimstad
Just before Christmas rang in at. 17 received the friends of Trude Teige (61) a message on Facebook:
With an ironic picture of bubbles in a bottle, she wrote; «Extremely bad timing to test positive on little Christmas Eve and had to flee in isolation just before the children come home! It’s weird to celebrate without the family together – and sad. “
The author behind one of this year’s bestsellers “Grandpa breathed with the sea” was one of those who took the test because she had a cold. And who was infected.
Later it would turn out that her husband also tested positive.
Trude Teige’s eyes were full of tears when they had to get in the car and drive from the house in Asker to the extra house in Grimstad.
Her three grown children were expected home for Christmas. The parents brought Christmas food and a few packages.
Mom instructed the chefs
The rest was left to the three children. And the Christmas preparations were followed with mum Trude on screen.
– The children are big, good and adults. They made both chops and kohlrabi steak. They have even filleted their own rakfisk for the first time.
Also with them, the gifts were opened in facetime.
– I was a little sad to begin with. But when the children took it in stride, it was nice anyway.
Trude Teige lay in bed for a few days.
– Corona was like something in between the flu and a strong cold. It is a consolation that the immune system is boosted.
Another consolation is that the husband is also in isolation.
– But it’s annoying that I can not bear to write on a crime script, she adds, – and is betting on improvement soon.