Bruins' Joakim Nordstrom preferred Boston's COVID-19 approach over native Sweden

Joe Haggerty
NBC Sports Boston

Interesting to get the perspective of Bruins winger Joakim Nordstrom, who has been back in Boston about a week after spending most of the last three plus months in his home country of Sweden.

Nordstrom spent a few weeks around Boston with his girlfriend after the NHL regular season went on pause in mid-March and returned to his NHL home city recently with the July 10 open of NHL training camp rapidly approaching on the horizon.

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But in between, Nordstrom was living in his home about 30 minutes outside Stockholm where Sweden opted to go without any social distancing or protection protocols in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak around the globe. Nordstrom said it's a stark contrast between approaches from his home country of Sweden and a city like Boston that was considered an early hotspot for the virus in the United States.

It also sounds like Nordstrom greatly preferred the approach that Massachusetts opted for when all things were considered.

Nordstrom said he chose to go back to Sweden because he has a home outside the city where he can more easily be self-quarantined rather than the building unit in Boston where he lived during the hockey season. It would be interesting to see what he chose were he to do it all over again as he wasn't even able to skate much in Sweden with all of his hockey equipment stuck back in Massachusetts.

"It's been different, for sure. Back home in Sweden, I went into the city once for lunch and it was like a different world coming from Boston. Here you walk the sidewalk and you're meeting someone else and you're really keeping the distance. You're almost walking out into the street to keep six feet apart," said Nordstrom, who has tested negative three times for COVID-19 and will begin skating with the rest of the Bruins in Phase 2 once he gets through one more round of testing. "Where back home, I could be a little frustrated that people really didn't care about the social distancing downtown. We tried to stay away from the city as much possible. Our house is almost like being on the countryside, so around the house we would live pretty normally.

I don't know what the right approach is, but for me personally I don't want the virus. So for me here in Boston, the precautions and how serious people are taking it was in favor of my opinion. It's hard to say how businesses are doing here as compared to Sweden, the financial part of it. But if you asked me, I like it more the way it's been here with the respect that people have shown to the pandemic and to everybody else. It's been better [in Boston].

That would certainly be backed up by the numbers as Boston has essentially flattened the COVID-19 curve over the last month while slowly re-opening as numbers are spiking in places like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California among others.

It remains to be seen how each country ends up faring against COVID-19 when treatment and/or a vaccine reduces the threat of the global pandemic, but the U.S. has far more COVID-19-related deaths (129,000) than any other country in the world even as places like Boston and New York City have managed to do a much better job of containing the highly contagious virus since the outbreaks back in March.  

Bruins' Joakim Nordstrom preferred Boston's COVID-19 approach over native Sweden originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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