Almost 5 months after coronavirus COVID-19 was confirmed to be human-transmittable, a pattern begins to show which countries have been paying attention and which haven’t.
Countries in Western Europe such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy were initially caught unawares, but have been able to stem the spread.
Meanwhile the governments of countries such as the United States of America, Brazil, Russia and India, and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom, have shown little intention to stop the deadliest disease since the 1918 American Flu.
On 16 June 2020, the US had 2.2 million confirmed cases of the virus, followed by Brazil (932 thousand), Russia (545 thousand), India (354 thousand) and the United Kingdom (298 thousand).
Conservative US president Donald Trump, known by his most ardent followers as a straight-talker, suggested not too long ago that his citizens inject themselves with bleach – an approach Beezels.net would like to stress you do not follow!
Conservative Brazilian president Bolsonaro encouraged his citizens earlier this month to storm the COVID-19-stricken hospitals of his country.
Russia has been faring slightly better than the USA, the world’s worst stricken country, a fact that right-wing Russian president Vladimir Putin has been ghoulishly gloating about. Russia is however doing considerably worse than most of the rest of the world.
Observers have been wondering about the low mortality amongst the Russians, something that may however be explained by the fact that Russia does not have a lot of old men, the group most vulnerable to the current strain of the virus. A virus cannot kill those that are already dead.
In the late 1990s, around the same time Putin came to power, the average life expectancy of Russian males plummeted to below 60 in what has since become known as the Demographic Crisis of Russia. Although the Russian life expectancy has recovered a little since then, it is still well below that of modern, democratic countries.
Of the ten most populous countries, the US, Brazil and Russia have suffered the most deaths per million citizens.
Illustrations: Our World in Data, some rights reserved; NIAID, some rights reserved.