Jack Young ‘21
Through the chaos of COVID-19, most people are only looking to what is going on in the United States, but as vaccines clear the haze of the pandemic, some countries are coming out better than others.
The countries that handled the pandemic best are Taiwan, New Zealand, Iceland, Singapore and Vietnam. The total number of cases in the countries ranged from 1,500 to 3,000 along with the death toll ranging from 12-25 stated in an online article by Beth Howell.
To put these numbers into context, the highest population of the countries is about 95 million in Vietnam. This is less than a third of the United States’ 340 million citizens, but Vietnam’s death toll multiplied by 23,000 would not add up to the same death toll in America.
The countries’ secrets were acting as fast as they could. Taiwan was already starting testing and quarantining travelers from Wuhan, China. Along with stockpiles of face masks, a vast number of medical professionals, and a well-developed way of contact tracing, it became harder and harder for citizens to pass the virus. Taiwan also had the deaths from a SARS outbreak in 2003 which most likely better prepared the country for the pandemic.
Each of these five countries acted fast with mask mandate, the shutdown of immigration until full operational testing centers were in place, and quarantining. This created a low level of cases and death. A lot of countries waited and did not want to shut down borders right away, causing in increased cases.
The top five countries that handled the Coronavirus the worst are the United States, Brazil, India, Mexico and the UK. Statistics range from 130,000 deaths with 15 million cases in the UK to 580,000 deaths with 33 million cases in the United States.
The United States turned a blind eye to most of the World Health Organizations advice to prevent spreading of the virus, including contact tracing and mask mandates. Brazil never shut down their country, creating no possibility of containment. In the slums of Brazil, testing was hard to find and getting the citizens vaccines was even harder. In the height of the pandemic, many medical professionals and advisers resigned or were fired.
“Indians account for nearly one-sixth of the global population and one in three people living in global poverty,” according to statistics from an article written on Yaleglobal by joseph Chamie and Barry Mirkin. Many families in poverty are forced to live in the slums in houses made mostly of mud, tin, or tarps, filling it with as many people as the hut holds. The slums are also usually located around trash, creating an unsanitary living space.
The average daily wage in India is about 372.33 Indian rupees, which equals $5.08 in US dollars, according to a graph in Trading Economics from the labor bureau of India. Along with poverty, India is having a hardship of distributing vaccines to everyone.
“Zimbabwe was able to handle the effects of the virus with a small number of cases and deaths. There are less than 2 thousand deaths due to Covid-19 in Zimbabwe,” said by Prashil Patel a senior at Riverview High School talking about his home country.
There are clear factors that set the countries that controlled the Coronavirus. Taking action early was a major contributor of such a low death toll and minimal cases through the county.