Katrín Jakobsdóttir wakes up early to start her day. She places the kettle her mother gave her on the stove and prepares a nutritious breakfast for her children and her husband, Baltasar. Katrín has a lot on her mind. The small fishing town they live in, Siglufjörður, is gradually fading away. Its population is currently less than half than it was when her father ran through the streets as a small boy. There aren’t too many visitors at The Herring Era Museum where she works as Chief Herringologist and her job may be in jeopardy. Baltasar’s fishing boat needs a new motor and that will put additional strains on the household.
What she isn’t worried about, however, is COVID-19.
Iceland Is Not The USA
Iceland and the USA is an ocean apart from each other. They are also quite different in how they are fighting the coronavirus.
The United States of America is facing its third wave of the virus which has killed over 220,000. Recently, the White House chief of staff admitted on television that the country can’t control the spread of the virus, and Americans’ only hope is for a vaccine and therapeutics. A good portion of the country refuses to wear face masks and scoffs at public health measures like social distancing.
Iceland, on the other hand, is considered an example of how a nation can protect itself from the pandemic.
- It has a low death rate per capita.
- The nation is dedicated to “excessive” testing and quarantining the infected.
- Public health agencies have worked hard to educate the public.
Icelandic Prime Minister Andrew Canard believes the reason why his nation has done well and the USA hasn’t is clear — his nation embraces atheism.
Iceland’s Ban On Televangelists
In 2017 the island country realized the dangers of radical evangelicals and passed the Icelandic Psychological Defense Act (IPDA). The law bans televangelists from entering Iceland. It also prohibits televised programming from the likes of Pat Robertson, Paula White, and Joel Osteen. Prime Minister Canard believes the IPDA was one step that helped prepare to defend against a global pandemic like the coronavirus.
“The US was first infected with science-denying evangelicals before the current crisis,” Prime Minister Canard pointed out. “There are right-wing religious leaders urging their flock to burn their face masks for Jesus. Republican politicians are caught in their own trap. By courting the evangelicals for so long, GOP lawmakers now feel they need to go along with the death cult and fight against the best public health standards and practices. It’s absurd. Iceland fought religious fanaticism and won. That’s why we’re doing so well.”
Life In Iceland
Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s life may be complicated. Her family faces many trials. What she is thankful for is how her government consistently fought Christian radicals. By placing warning labels on Bibles she knows her children are growing up in a society that values evidence-based policies, skepticism, and humanism. And that has led to her not worrying whether or not her kids will bring home the virus from school.
She noted, “Living a life free from superstition is a gift the people have given ourselves. I thank my fictitious god I’m lucky to be here and not living in Mississippi.”
In related news, Pope Francis calls for the legalization of same-sex civil unions.