Ever since the self-imposed isolation caused by the rampant COVID-19 pandemic, I have been addicted to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus website1. It gives relatively up-to-date statistics for most, if not all, of the countries on the planet with regard to their number of COVID-19 cases and the number of deaths. There is also a running total of the world’s cases and the number of dead. It centres around a map of the world which has reddish blobs over each country or region, with the diameter of each blob somehow relating to the number of cases in that country or region1. At the risk of sounding ghoulish, it has been interesting, if disturbing, to watch the spread of the disease across the planet. When I first stumbled onto the website, Europe was clearly the epicentre of the disease, something which had been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the middle of March2.
As the rate of increase of infection started to decline in Europe (except for the UK) the epicentre shifted to the US and, as the rate of increase there has started to slow, the blobs are now getting rapidly bigger in South America and Southeast Asia, and soon will in Africa1.
At the time of writing, there are 3,685,129 cases across the world, with 258,051 dead1. Of this, the USA, with 4.2% of the world’s population, has 1,204,475 cases, which is 32.7% of the world’s total, and 71,078 deaths, 27.5% of the world’s total number of deaths. While this is staggeringly awful, this is not where it will end. Proportions like this are pointless at this stage while the disease is still spreading, and are more an indication of the time it takes for the virus to spread around the world, rather than how badly a nation is doing. This is not to decrease the guilt that should be sheeted home to the Mango Mussolini and his entourage of incompetence for their disbelief of reality and their bungling of the response. That bungling is measured in lives lost.