Tue 22 Dec 2020 08:53:00 AM EET
Dear Saija friends,
The year 2020 is coming to a close. It has been a very peculiar year. The coronavirus epidemic has affected the lives of us all. The year started very well in Saija. January and February as well as the beginning of March were an excellent time. We had a lot of lovely guests who were dear to us.
The first coronavirus case in Finland was discovered at the end of January, borne by a Chinese traveller. The coronavirus was the topic of a lot of discussions in February and March. Our guests said that they felt they were safe from the virus with us, and that was likely true. On the 16th of March, we got the news that Finnish borders would be closed beginning at midnight on March 19. Our last guests for the winter had arrived on Saturday 14th of March, with their return flights having been scheduled for the 21st of March. Some of our guests departed before the following Saturday, but the last ones out of the door left according to the original plan.
Nearly everything in Finland was closed down. Schools were closed down from the 18th of March onwards. Restaurants and bars were fully closed through April and May. It felt like the whole of our society was shutting down.
During the summer, the coronavirus situation was well in hand in Finland. We had hopes that the borders would be reopened for the summer, and that we could have had you as our guests. The Finnish borders were opened twice for very short periods of time. Only a few of our guests got the chance to visit Finland during those periods. At the moment, the coronavirus situation is difficult throughout the entirety of Europe, so the winter season looks like it will be difficult, too.
We have had the good fortune of staying healthy here in Saija. The Taivalkoski municipal area has about 4,000 residents. Our locality had no coronavirus cases during the spring or the summer. So far we have had 6 cases total in September and October, but no new cases since then.
Coronavirus poses a major challenge for the whole of Europe. Perhaps we really will not be able to have you as our guests this winter? We hope that the vaccination programs can get underway successfully, and that Finnish borders are once again open by the end of the winter, or at the very least the summer. However, everyone’s health is what is most important. Hopefully we will meet some of you during the coming summer at the latest, and each and every one of you during the winter season of 2021 – 2022.
We’re making dog sled trips with our own staff now. Even Niina from our office here is going on afternoon rides with the dog sled nearly every day. I can also give you one bit of excellent news: Elisa from the dog kennels is off for maternity leave in February. Elisa’s first child will be born in March.
We wish you all a happy Christmas and a wonderful new year.
Jokijärvi, 21st of December 2020
Helena & Asko
Hosts of SaijaTakaisin ajankohtaistasivulle