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Fear for the World

I have been following the daily changes in the country-by-country Coronavirus numbers on the web site, very informative but highly scary. Much worse is obviously yet to come. I notice that the numbers are still quite or very low in very populous countries which are generally very poor, often densely populated and with limited public health services. I am thinking about countries like Pakistan, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria and the rest of Africa, all of Central and South America. I don’t know if the Coronavirus numbers are so low in these countries because the virus has so far not migrated to those populations very much, or simply because testing and reporting are very limited. But I really fear for those countries and peoples, and the world, if, likely when, they are hit full force. In general they do not have the public or private resources to respond in order to treat and protect their people. Extreme suffering, poverty, hunger and fear can easily lead to conflict, violence and extreme migration. First world countries will be focused on the needs at home, will they be open to provide assistance to the world, especially at the level that will be needed?
Thanks for listening. Do you world travelers want to add any thoughts?

Posted by
6073 posts

Yes, the poorest will always be the most disadvantaged - that's why the homeless population here in the US is uniquely at higher risk based on many factors. There are many parallels with global warming, another issue which has been put on the back burner way too long. The sooner drastic steps are taken, the better, but politically no one wants to act until the tragedy is already on the front door and there's no "looking away". Fortunately, knowledge is power, and will hopefully replace fear and get people to act in the collective interest. I believe any place that hasn't really had robust testing really doesn't know the extent of the problem and is blissfully ignorant for the time being. I replied to someone else on the forum, suggesting it may not be a great time to go on an African safari in the near future.

I'm afraid that people in the US are buying more guns in response.. since guns can't kill a virus, only other people. Globally, I think this has the potential for major strife and dislocation from places that are already at war or simply falling apart economically and politically (Venezuela, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, many more....)

Posted by
3907 posts

I suspect that the low figures from such third world countries are due primarily down to low reporting/testing/diagnosis.

I'm finding myself more drawn to the herd immunity concept. I have close friends whose businesses are at real risk if people don't use them and of course there are those who I have no personal knowledge of but the risks are the same. Having a gutless Prime Minister who refuses to make a formal order for pubs, restaurants, clubs etc to close but rather chooses to advise people not to patronise such places therefore rendering them unable to make claims on their insurance to cover loss of income doesn't help one bit. I would rather people carry on their daily business whilst acknowledging encounters with people in the high risk group. Sure, this approach results in more people being at risk of infection but the alternative is huge numbers of businesses closing, millions of people losing their jobs and the resulting disastrous knock on effects.

Self-reliance is always the swiftest and best approach to any "event" and mitigating its effects. Waiting for others to act (government, etc.) - only delays matters. As to the OP's question - it is tough to help other countries when resources are already stressed at home. Other countries have stopped in-coming flights from USA.
Countries like India that are densely populated could face severe problems. But then, poverty-ridden countries like India face extreme problems on a regular basis. (Example - lack of safe water sources.)
Countries like Guatemala are different. Guatemala may have small groups of citizens living in isolated villages. This kind of isolation could protect them from corona virus.
It really boils down to which problems people want to tackle and resources.