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The first thirty days : comparative lessons from the covid pandemic

This paper aims to compare the effectiveness of national responses to the covid-19 epidemic in 24 countries, mostly in Western Europe, but also covering North America and Central Europe; Russia, Turkey, and South Africa ; and the Middle East and Asia. Written by Paul-André Rosental, population historian, for Terra Nova put them in perspective.

Synthèse

This paper aims to compare the effectiveness of national responses to the covid-19 epidemic in 24 countries, mostly in Western Europe, but also covering North America and Central Europe; Russia, Turkey, and South Africa ; and the Middle East and Asia. The question is whether we can say anything about the effectiveness of responses to the pandemic, including :

1) “reactive” measures immediately taken by public authorities, and the population’s behavior in response to them;
2) “proactive” measures, consisting of regular health spending and the state of health infrastructures.

To this end, the study focuses on available mortality data. First, it recalculates national mortality rates by controlling for national demographic parameters that might prevent any direct comparison between them. Second, it compares these corrected and now comparable mortality rates with some major public health parameters. The goal is to observe the extent to which the combination of structural (proactive) health efforts and immediate (reactive) measures tempered the severity of the scourge.

Written by Paul-André Rosental, population historian, for Terra Nova put those countries in perspective.

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