Mirja Keinänen, a nurse and clinical expert in nursing in Tornio, faces a difficult choice if the western border of Finland is to be closed to commuting.
Keinänen, who works at the Haparanda Health Center, like other nursing professionals, has to choose between work and family if long-term residence on the Swedish side is not possible.
- It's a matter of great thought. The ethics and morals of the nurse will be hard on if there is a big crisis in northern Sweden and I cannot be involved in helping. There is already a shortage of nurses, Keinänen regrets.
The North Calotte Border Counsel estimates that there are about 2,500 to 3,000 people living on the surface of the border between Finland and Sweden who commute across the border in either direction. There are no official statistics on the subject.
Keinänen's family is in Tornio, but parents in need live in Haparanda on the Swedish side. The fate of getting help from the elderly weighs one's mind.
- For family reasons, I have to stay on the Finnish side. Life gets really difficult. Parents are sick, I have been able to share their medication and manage his case. What do I do if the border is completely closed, Keinänen takes care of.
Keinänen has not yet definitively decided how the everyday life will continue as the border control tightens. However, family reasons seem to weigh more heavily than jobs.
- I want to be home if the border is closed. I don't want to stay in anyone's corner for sleep. There is more to life than work. Even in a crisis, family helps me and gives me strength. If I were to go to Sweden alone without the support of my family, where would I get the strength to work hard, she apricots.
Sanna Keränen packs the goods from the Haparanda office and moves to work at Karunk.
Sanna Keränen, who is a curator at Haparanda High School and Vocational School, commutes daily to the Haparanda crossing the western border. The commute is about 25 kilometers from Karung.
The tightening of border traffic announced by the Finnish government on Monday prompted Keränen to pack his goods at the workplace.
- I've packed half-branches in the car. I can work remotely from home via phone, email and Skype. At home there are children aged 6, 8 and 9, so I would not be able to live for weeks on the Swedish side, Keränen describes her own situation.
Swedish schools are still operational, but upper secondary and vocational schools moved to distance education on 19.3. Keränen's work includes, among other things, drafting the schedule and budgeting together with the Principal.
- Right now I'm making a schedule that should be ready by summer. The job is handled from the Finnish side, he says.
Keränen's job description also includes acting as deputy principal, if necessary. For example, if the headmaster becomes ill, the job becomes more difficult as daily contacts with teachers and students become more difficult. more difficult.
- I always have open doors at school. You have to give it up, he says.
Riikka Särkijärvi, who works as a speech therapist for Coronaria Teramere in the Kemi, Keminmaa, Tornio and Ylitornio areas, does not yet know what tighter border control means in practice, but is already prepared to work remotely at home in Kalix, Sweden.
According to him, the employer has trained the staff for telecommuting and it makes everyday life easier. Särkijärvi already works at home part of the time and visits Finland a couple of times a week.
- I can work on a computer. The company has done a lot of teleworking, ready-made materials are available, and there is training in remote therapies. If a customer is not used to using a computer or smart device, it can be challenging at times, but for the most part, everything goes well, he says.
Riikka Särkijärvi lives in Kalix, Sweden. He thinks that once the border is closed, the work of a speech therapist will be done completely away from home.