How Different Governments are Handling the Pandemic

Reo Lee, Staff Writer

The sudden halt in everyday activities was as unexpected as the spread of the COVID-19, but citizens around the world are pitching in to help their community by practicing social distancing. Currently there are close to 1.6 million cases reported and the death tolls reached just above 100,000. With every place affected slightly differently than one another, many different countries are using various tactics to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

The origin of the COVID-19 virus strain comes from the large commercial city of Wuhan, the center of the Hubei province of China. There was an immediate lock down that isolated the 11 million citizens that lived there, but the ban was recently lifted after almost three months. Although the city originally had a large shortage of supplies that led to the emergency building of three new hospitals, the death rates are slowing down considerably. As the government recommended people to stay at home, volunteers delivered necessities such as food, medicine and sanitation supplies for families in need.

The amount of European countries that have taken a devastating hit from COVID-19 is overwhelming. The epicenter of it all is the United Kingdom, and the situation took a grave turn as the prime minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the virus. They have the highest death rates in all of Europe that does not seem to be slowing down. The Queen advises all citizens to stay in and limit outside contact, as all of the British people are still in lockdown.

South Korea handled the outbreak of the virus better than any country, by utilizing a method that they call “trace, test, treat”. All citizens have access to free testing via drive-through or walk in, and any tested positive would receive immediate help from local hospitals. Catching a mass amount of infected people from the start meant that there was less exposure to the people in the future and with the social distancing, the number of citizens in contact with the virus was low. This strategy proved to be successful as South Korea has the least amount of deaths and people infected with COVID-19.

A country that has taken on a different approach to battling the virus is Sweden. Contrary to all the other countries who have issued lock-downs and advised citizens to stay indoors, Sweden originally took relaxed measures, with children and adults resuming their individual school and work. They call it “herd immunity” and many health advocates around the world criticized the government’s decision to defy the World Health Organization’s guidelines. Only the very young or elderly who are more likely to be at risk were advised to stay home, and large group gatherings are still permitted.

With a slow start to take actions, the United States became the country with the highest amount of reported cases. Every state is slightly different, but all citizens are to stay indoors and practice social distancing. Though President Donald Trump originally did not think national action was necessary, the recent increase in numbers seems to be building momentum to enforce the national lock-down. Many individuals like doctor Anthony Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, want a more serious approach to combating the virus while President Trump is already planning on how to revive the economy.

Regardless of what type of actions the government of each country took, everyone around the world is working to bring an end to the pandemic. Doctors and nurses have all hands on deck in efforts of treating everyone in need with the limited amount of resources available.