World Coronavirus Update

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Photo by NIAID-RML.

Some of the world’s great success stories on fighting the novel coronavirus are showing signs of failure, and are quickly moving to correct them. Meanwhile, some countries continue to fail consistently.

New Zealand, which has been held as the primary example of success, has entered a second phase of lockdown in the city of Auckland following a breakout in that area. The lockdown began on August 12, after a spike of illnesses were diagnosed following weeks of no known cases in the nation. The latest case was found early this morning in The Landings, an apartment complex housing 220 families. Residents have been informed they are all potential victims and have been instructed to shelter in place and monitor for symptoms. Contact tracers have isolated at least one of the sources of the latest breakout to a local nurse who interacted with an infected passenger from Los Angeles during the passenger’s isolation period.

The New Zealand policies, while generally successful, have resulted in a continuing economic damage for a country which has come to be heavily dependent on tourism. Some of the strong restrictions were found today to have been illegal by their high court because they were given by oral request instead of written order, which provides guidance for future actions as they may become needed.

Meanwhile, South Korea is seeing a larger breakout. That country had reduced new cases to a rolling daily average of 50 or less for months, but has now had six successive days with three-digit caseload growth with the largest number being found today, 297 infections. A large number of the surge of cases have been tied to one place, Sarang Jeil Church, whose pastor has been highly critical of the South Korean President Moon and his restrictive coronavirus policies. 623 members of the church have been infected, some of whom passed the disease to non-members.

In both of these countries, their existing measures of free, available testing and aggressive contact tracing have allowed the new outbreaks to be identified and contained.

Japan, another early success story, is now seeing regular daily caseload increases of more than a thousand and rising. They recently logged fifteen deaths in a single day, their highest daily mortality since the beginning of the global pandemic. Because the normal Japanese precautions of contact avoidance and mask usage and due to an existing social tendency to obey orders of those in authority (many of the people diagnosed have been instructed to go home and completely isolate themselves, and they have done so) they had successfully managed the virus without many of the restrictions faced by other countries, putting down not one but two small outbreaks. This third, larger spread has inspired the nation to implement similar restrictions to those of other countries, and the mandates are generating a pushback similar to those of Canada, Germany, France and other nations.

Some of the other countries are seeing the results of those protests. In Germany, they recently saw their largest one-day rise in cases in the last four months… about ten days after a massive, multi-thousand person protest march against restrictions was held in Berlin. France’s surge in cases have triggered new rules, issued today, requiring people to wear masks in public offices.

In all of these cases, there are actions which have been established to reduce the spread of the virus: travel restrictions, contact tracing, testing, wearing masks, focusing on outdoor activity and ventilation and more. In all of these cases, the reason for the spread has been people who have refused to accept the guidelines.

The problems in the United States stem not only from the failure of the same types of recalcitrant citizens as are seen in other nations but also from federal and state governments which are consistently failing to address the issue with a level of seriousness seen in other nations. In this, we are at least performing one valuable service to the world; we are an example. Some national leaders, under pressure from segments of their populace tired of living under restrictions, may be tempted to accede to their demands. The US death toll of more than 175,000 and its daily new caseload of greater than 40,000 infections provide a warning of what can happen under a leadership which chooses politics over solutions.

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About AlienMotives 1992 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.