Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Lack of alcohol

There might soon be shortage of alcohol in Finland.

At least that is if the of the employees of the Finnish Government monopoly alcohol shop, Alko, are going ahead with their threats about a strike. As 85% of all employees in Alko are part-timers, they are paid less than full-timers and thus also having fewer benefits.

A strike closing down the Alko shops would probably be more devastating on the Finns than the nurses’ unions’ strike with their mass resignations that are likely to be effective later this month. The nurses having signed the lists have received a letter from their employers about their personal point of view of the resignations and 300 of the 12.800 nurses having changed their minds so far. The union is at present making new lists to replace the old ones for their mass resignations in order to obtain better pay for their performed job.

Considering that about 25% of al casualties in Finland are either direct causes of alcohol consumption or side effects with accidents such as falls, fights and so on, so having the Alko shops closed at the same time as there is going to be a shortage of nurses and health care staff due to their strike with resignations would be well timed. 25% less casualties requires 25% less medical staff, does it not?!?

Anyway, I wonder how to avoid getting the winter blues. Now with last Sunday’s turning back of the clocks into regular winter time the sun sets earlier and darkness all of sudden prevails earlier than we are used to.

Now we are in desperate need of some light and warmth. Cuddling up under a warm blanket on the sofa drinking hot cocoa in the candle light is not always enough to do the trick. At least not in the long run, but soon will be Xmas time and then the days begin to grow longer again.

Depression as it happens is the most frequent reason of disabilities to work and for retiring because of health reasons here in Finland, and the more north up you are the more common it gets. Less sun hours means more darkness and I suspect that a winter night going on for several months can not be very good for you. Neither can a summer day that goes on for as long the winter night, for months and months.

Anyway, tomorrow is the real Halloween according to Celtic tradition, the night when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, when the ghosts come back to speak to us and also the Celtic New year if I have not got it all wrong.

The trick and treating of Halloween has not yet got as popular here in Finland as in the Anglo-Saxon countries over the world. Even as it is not a tradition originating from the Nordic tradition still many kindergartens and schools have some festivities like costume parties in order to celebrate Halloween.

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