Finland's great at social distancing, and it shows

There's a country in Europe where social distancing is said to come naturally to its citizens... because, culturally, they already did it anyway: Finland.

And it shows. While many countries are struggling with a second wave of infections, Finland has largely stopped coronavirus in its tracks. It currently has the lowest level of new reported cases in Europe.

Personal space and solitude are part of their culture, so says Juha Koskinen, a teacher in the capital.

"We as Finns we do it anyway in a way. ... If there's a free seat, double seat on a bus, then we sit on the free double seat. That's like natural social distancing for us and it's I think it's how we are brought up in the culture that we live in. We are quite happy about it and personally, I don't mind it."

As of Sunday, the rate of infection per 100,000 inhabitants stood at about 54 people. The average on the continent is way higher at 576.

The fact that Finland is in a remote Nordic location - and has one of the lowest population densities on the continent - also play in its favor.

But according to a Eurobarometer poll, 73% of Finnish respondents said they found the first wave's confinement measures had been very or fairly easy to cope with.

23% actually considered the rules quote, "even an improvement" to their daily life.

Director of the Finnish Association for Mental Health, Kristian Wahlbeck, said many have enjoyed spending more time in nature.

"We like to be in solitude to wandering the forests and swim in the lakes, so many Finns have actually enjoyed that they have been able to move away from the cities, they don't have to go to the crowded shopping centers but they can enjoy peaceful nature.''

Finland also had Europe's highest rate of remote working back in April during the first wave - 60% according to a Eurofound study.

And of a population of 5.5 million, 2.5 million downloaded the government's contact tracing app to their phones.

That's a rate many countries can only dream of.

Video Transcript

- There's a country in Europe where social distancing is said to come naturally to its citizens because culturally they already did it anyway, Finland, and it shows. While many countries are struggling with a second wave of infections, Finland has largely stopped coronavirus in its tracks. It currently has the lowest level of new reported cases in Europe.

Personal space and solitude are part of their culture. So says Juha Koskinen, a teacher in the capital.

JUHA KOSKINEN: We as Finns, we do it anyway, in a way. We don't sit. If there's a free seat, double seat on a boss, then we sit on the free double seat, and that's like natural social distancing for us. And I think it's how we are brought up in the culture that we live in, and we are quite happy about it

And personally, I don't mind it. I'm the same. I take the free seats in the bus or in the train and mind my own business.

- As of Sunday, the rate of infection per 100,000 inhabitants stood at about 54 people. The average on the continent is way higher at 576.

The fact that Finland is in a remote Nordic location and has one of the lowest population densities on the continent also play in its favor. But according to a Eurobarometer poll, 73% of Finnish respondents said they found the first wave's confinement measures had been very or fairly easy to cope with. 23% actually considered the rules, quote, "even an improvement to their daily life."

Director of the Finnish Association for Mental Health Kristian Wahlbeck, said many have enjoyed spending more time in nature.

KRISTIAN WAHLBECK: We like to be in solitude, to wander in the forests and swim in the lakes. So many Finns have actually enjoyed that they have been able to move away from the cities. They don't have to go to the crowded shopping centers, but they come and enjoy peaceful nature.

- Finland also had Europe's highest rates of remote working back in April during the first wave, 60% according to a Eurofound study. And of a population of 5.5 million, 2.5 million downloaded the government's contact-tracing app to their phones. That's a rate many countries can only dream of.