The coronavirus has killed so many people in certain countries or regions that they have resorted to mass burials. But somehow, in neighboring countries or regions, the death toll is minimal. Though it has reached almost every country on Earth, its impact now shows to be rather capricious: some cities, like Paris, London or New York are being devastated, while other, like Baghdad or New Delhi seem to be spared, leaving us wondering who is really at risk.
AGE IS A FACTOR
The power of youth is undoubtedly surfacing now more than ever… Indeed, the many countries that have escaped the mass epidemic so far have relatively younger populations. And as we know, younger people are more likely to contract mild cases that are less transmissible, research shows. Africa has only 45000 cases reported, despite 1.3 billions people. It is the world’s youngest continent… In some countries, doctors are also studying the link between genetic differences and Covid-19 complications.
In certain societies, social distancing is built-in within the cultural habit, which may have given those countries more protection. In Thailand and India, for example, people greet each other at a distance, with palms joined together, as in a prayer.
EARLY AND STRICT LOCKDOWNS
Furthermore, in countries that have imposed early and strict lockdown measures, it has proven to be effective. Of course, this is to be taken with caution, as places such as Myanmar and Cambodia did neither, and yet, have few cases reported.
HEAT AND LIGHT
It has been said here and there that with heat and sunlight, the virus would disappear, however, researchers now believe that the idea that hot weather can repel the virus is just wishful thinking. Indeed, some of the worst outbreaks in the developing world have been in tropical places such as Brazil.
ROLL OF THE DICE…
Most experts agree on one thing, at this stage: there might be no single reason why some countries are hit while others are spared… The answer is most likely the combination of the above factors, as well as sheer luck…
Another theory is that, maybe, those countries have not been hit by the virus yet.
Only time will tell and will be the equalizer, as we are still very early in this disease. Indeed, doctors specialized in infectious diseases around the world say that they don’t have enough data yet to establish a real epidemiology picture.
NUMBERS ARE TOTALLY UNRELIABLE
The fact that the testing is woeful in many places, leading to vast underestimates of the virus’s progress, and that deaths are almost certainly undercounted, no numbers can be reliable enough.