Stoicism is a part of many nations’ identity, not just Britain’s: can the pandemic be faced with dispassionate resilience?
After weeks of quarantine, Shanghai is slowly reopening. Many here say that China is the safest place now: no new cases have been reported in the city for four days.
Italians braced themselves for the worst, and they were right. Now that the lockdown has been extended to the entire country, people are despairing over the harsh measures.
When coronavirus erupted in China, many predicted Taiwan would be among the worst-hit nations. But thanks to the government’s fast reactions disaster seems to have been avoided – and public confidence restored.
As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the EU institutions rises, there is speculation that the European Parliament will soon fully shut down.
Coronavirus has hit Japanese exports, and is keeping consumers at home. Shops, bars and restaurants are quiet and Tokyo Disneyland is shut. Any hope that the faltering economy will recover this year is gone.
Twenty-seven million Americans do not have health insurance and many more have insufficient insurance coverage; the US could be sleepwalking into a public health catastrophe.
Berlin is behind the curve. At the time of writing, 48 people here have the virus and the city remains relaxed. I have seen no one wearing a face mask. There have been only limited signs of panic buying.
This article appears in the 11 Mar 2020 issue of the New Statesman, How the world is closing down