British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a British hospital on Sunday. The symptoms of the coronavirus did not subside. Boris Johnson, the last European ruler to take restrictive measures for his population, the last to close bars, parks, and meetings.
A study by John Hopkins University published by Politico shows that European countries were making decisions about the coronavirus without coordination, mainly based on national decisions and the cases identified in their territory, without taking into account that the virus does not understand borders. Borders that, in addition, the majority closed unilaterally.
It remains to be seen whether this unilateralism in the first reaction will transform into an agreed transition from confinement as the European Commission wants.
The cut-off point, that of recognized deaths, has to do with the first coronavirus death in each country identified as such. In other words, it is possible that they had died from previous coronaviruses that the health authorities of the countries did not attribute to COVID-19. For example, recently in Spain, it has been known that on February 13 a person died of pneumonia due to the coronavirus. Thus, the first coronavirus deceased in Spain – known so far – was not identified as such until March 3, weeks later.
Meanwhile, the data shows how the United States has come in last and, also, more randomly, while the federal government has made economic decisions – such as ordering General Motors to manufacture respirators – but those that have What to do with the confinements have been taken staggered by the different States: the first to decree the confinement was California, on March 19; followed by New York the next day. The last one was Florida (April 1).
Something similar occurs in Germany, where the landers are the ones who are making these kinds of decisions, but it is clear that they have been making them among the first in Europe. Thus, Italy was the first major hit, and the first to apply confinement in stages – various municipalities; then Lombardy; and, on March 10, the entire country – and the cessation of non-essential activities.
Did you act late? Spain took four days to follow the example of Italy, while other countries – France or the United Kingdom – took longer. Others, however, acted with fewer deceased than Spain, or without recognized deceased –which does not mean that there had not been, but that it was not found until then that they were due to coronaviruses–, such as Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic or Greece.
Of course, the most restrictive measures, related to the cessation of economic activities, have only been taken by Italy and Spain, for the moment. And the most authoritative, from a political point of view, have been taken in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán governs by decree after the declaration of a state of emergency.