Before Christmas 2019, it seemed as if the new coronavirus epidemic would stay confined to China. A few weeks later, authorities declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, causing a variety of symptoms and pneumonia-like problems.
The coronavirus transmits through bodily fluids and droplets. Exposure to a person’s saliva or mucus through the eyes, nose, mouth, or cuts can cause the infections. Some researchers believe that someone with active disease is immediately contagious, even if that individual doesn’t report any symptoms.
As of June 11, 2020, COVID-19 has been reported in 188 countries and territories around the world.
COVID-19 Has Infected Over 7 Million People
Estimates from Johns Hopkins University suggest that the new coronavirus has infected over 7.2 million people. The ease of transmission for this virus is causing health officials, scientists, and governments worldwide to suggest social distancing measures.
Unless there is a compelling reason to go outside or travel, authorities are recommending people should stay inside.
The United States is the global leader in reported infections, with about 2 million people and over 111,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
On the other end of the spectrum, a total of 13 countries and territories have not reported a single case of the new coronavirus. Those governments are Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Greenland, and North Korea.
With the exceptions of North Korea and Turkmenistan, the reason why the other governments are not reporting coronavirus cases is simple. Their isolation is an advantage during a global pandemic.
Using COVID-19 as a Political Tool
The other governments are not reporting new COVID-19 cases because they feel it is their best interest to behave this way.
North Korea sees the idea of reporting cases of the coronavirus as a sign of weakness. When their adversary (the U.S.) is the global leader for infections and deaths, saying that nothing exists in their country portrays a domestic feeling of strength.
Turkmenistan says that it is coronavirus-free. The government recently uninvited a team from the World Health Organization to check on conditions, raising suspicions about the information coming from the country.
COVID-19 will likely be a disease that we must learn to live with until effective treatment solutions get found. We know that social distancing can work, and the island nations of the South Pacific are evidence of that fact.