Monday, July 20, 2020

Very Brief Blog: Wall Street Journal today: Why is Europe Far Better at COVID??

Wall Street Journal has an article today with the headline:  "How Europe Kept Coronavirus Cases Low Even After Reopening."   I believe it's listed under Coronavirus Free Resources (no subscription).  The article is here.

The headline can't be argued with for Europe as a whole, which has (loosely) about the same population as the US:

And longitudinally, Europe's case curves for Spain, France, Germany, and Italy look pretty similar to what we observed in the U.S. in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts:

For example, with a population of 70M, Germany is running about 400 cases a day now.  With a population of 330M, US is running 60,000-70,000.   Another view:  Germany with 70M people runs 400 cases a day right now; Massachusetts with only 7M people is one of our biggest success stories, but it runs about 300.    

In brief, the WSJ concludes that as case counts plummeted in Europe, and continue to stay low, social distancing, testing, contact tracing were widespread.  Regarding masks, WSJ writes, "In a sign that European governments remain concerned about a jump in new infections, masks in the continent are increasingly becoming obligatory. In France and the U.K., masks will be mandatory in public enclosed spaces from next week. In Germany, Italy and much of Spain, they already are. Austria is considering reinstating its indoor-mask order following a recent rise in infections."  There are opponent groups; but smaller than in the US, and their spokesmen generally don't hold senatorial and governor's positions.

A few weeks ago, to a round of applause during a European Union speech, Chancellor Angela Merkel remarked: "You cannot fight the pandemic with disinformation." (Here).  ("Mit Desinformation lässt sich die Pandemie nicht bekämpfen.")


A July 22 article in NYT says "Northeastern US stands out in virus control," remarks, "Looks like Europe."  Here.