People who spent a few years following Sesame Street—by choice or compulsion—will recognize words on the title line. A memory of these lyrics emerged when I followed statistics related to the impacts of coronovirus.
Alexander Smoltczyk, writing from Lisbon for Spiegel International, says Portugal had a better response to coronavirus than its neighbours:
It was the fear of developments similar to those seen in Spain that drove Portugal to adopt precautionary measures early on. In early March, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was the first head of state to go into voluntary quarantine. Luckily, it was a false alarm, but it served its purpose as a warning. Supermarket chains like Pingo, Doce, Continente and Lidl began only allowing small groups of customers inside at a time. Shoppers were surprisingly disciplined and the darker the news from Madrid, Barcelona and Milan grew, the larger became the distances between people waiting in line.
…The vast majority of suspected cases or patients with mild symptoms are kept at home, amounting to 85 percent of those who have tested positive. It is a prudent strategy, given that in northern Italy, the virus frequently spread in hospitals, despite all of the precautions.
…And there is a further possible explanation: In contrast to Spain and Italy, seniors in Portugal are generally vaccinated against tuberculosis. A recent study has found a possible correlation between countries where such a vaccine is mandatory and a lower COVID-19 morbidity rate…
After this virus recedes, experts will study the effectiveness of human responses and argue about their conclusions.
But the differences in fatality rates are striking. They are here in Canada as well. For example, deaths per million in Spain (355) are 32x that of British Columbia (11). BC’s rate is two-thirds that of Ontario’s and one-third of Quebec’s.
Yet, these results might cause people in BC’s lower mainland to be complacent. A drive past Horseshoe Bay Park today revealed busy ferries and parking places with no empty spots. Numerous groups were congregating in the park without observing rules for separation.
BC is doing quite well but that is at risk if people don’t follow directions of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, or if an outbreak occurs at one of the large industrial camps kept open by irresponsible companies like BC Hydro and Teck Resources.