METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has praised Denmark's response to the new coronavirus, saying that the way the Scandinavian country has handled the crisis is "inspiring for the rest of us."
Denmark recently began slowly lifting restrictions to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Schools for children up to age 11 have reopened, as have small businesses such as hairdressers and tattoo parlors. The move came a little over a month after Copenhagen closed nurseries, primary and secondary schools, as well as cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms and hair salons. Denmark also widened its testing to include people showing mild symptoms. Previously only those displaying moderate to severe symptoms were tested. Other restrictions remain in place until at least May 10. The borders are closed and gatherings are limited to 10 people.
Ulrich, who was born in Denmark and lived there until the age of 16 when he moved to Los Angeles, discussed the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday (April 28) during a chat with Marc Benioff for an installment of the Salesforce CEO's livestreamed fireside chat series.
Lars said (see video below): "Denmark was one of the first countries anywhere in the world to actually go into complete shutdown, and they have registered the lowest case numbers in all of Western Europe. Just about a week a half ago now, they started opening up daycare and kindergartens and schools. And so far it's going well. It's still early in that curve.
"I think what we have to remember, no matter where we are, as the world opens up again, the way the world shut down in one or two days or a week, it's not gonna be the same opening," he continued. "So it'll be a very gradual opening. As we can see, even in the United States, there are places that are starting to open — in Europe, in Asia, and so on. Every country will have their own set of aesthetics and their own ways of getting back to the new normal. But Denmark, which I follow on a daily basis and read the Danish newspapers and communicate with my friends in Denmark, they have started now. And I think they are off to a promising start. The numbers and the statistics and all that haven't radically changed; actually, they continue to go down. As you know, what happened in some Asian countries when they started softening up some of the stay-at-home orders, the case numbers went up. But in Denmark so far, it looks promising."
Ulrich added: "When I think of Denmark, I just think of the word 'we.' Everything in Denmark is always 'we' and 'us' and less about 'I' and 'me.' And so when I think of what Denmark has done through this crisis, I'm very proud to call myself a Dane. And I think that the progress that's being made there is certainly encouraging and inspiring for the rest of us."
When Benioff suggested to Ulrich that the drummer may want to return to Denmark if the coronavirus crisis gets much worse in the U.S., Lars said that he still has his Danish passport and joked that he sleeps with it under his pillow. "That Danish passport is close by in case it's needed," he added.
As of today, there have been a total of 9,206 confirmed coronavirus cases in Denmark and 443 deaths in a population of 5.8 million.
METALLICA has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when the band canceled an Australian tour and announced that frontman James Hetfield was returning to rehab for the first time since 2002 to battle his addictions.
Last month, METALLICA announced that its South American tour, which was originally planned for April, was postponed until December. In addition, the band's appearances at four Danny Wimmer Presents-produced festivals in May and September were canceled: Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville in Daytona, Sonic Temple in Columbus and Louder Than Life in Louisville.
Leading Through Change: How to Connect with Your Fans from Home
This week in Leading Through Change, Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff will discuss staying in tune with your community and the relief efforts led by the band’s foundation All Within My Hands. Plus, see a special musical performance.
Posted by Salesforce on Tuesday, April 28, 2020