COVID-19 first appeared in China in December. Since then, it’s spread relentlessly around the world. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the virus a global pandemic.
When looking at the success each country is having (or not having) in dealing with the outbreak different factors obviously come into play.
Remote island nations may be facing significant hardship in years to come from rising sea levels due to climate change, but with COVID-19 they’re better off than countries that share borders with multiple other countries — especially where population densities are high.
Countries with underdeveloped medical systems might not have the capacity to accurately gauge how many COVID-19 cases they have. And getting honest stats from countries with authoritarian regimes –cough, Russia, cough — is problematic too.
Then there’s the whole cultural angle. Different countries in different parts of the world have different attitudes toward individual freedom and collective responsibility.
China, for instance, while still the hardest hit by COVID-19, seems, for the time being anyway, to have brought the virus under control. But it also took steps like welding apartment building doors in Wuhan shut to keep people inside during the weeks-long quarantine that was imposed.
Would that fly in the Western world? Probably not. But people everywhere do need to follow the advice of public health officials and be responsible.
As of today, the top ten countries for COVID-19 are China, Italy, United States, Spain, Germany, Iran, France, South Korea, Switzerland and United Kingdom. You can get updated global tallies here. The numbers include total cases, new cases, fatalities and per capita infection rates.