I’m especially interested in how various nations are surviving COVID-19 because of my recent book, published July 1, which is provocatively entitled Moses Predicted COVID-19. So far, the authoritative Johns Hopkins University of Medicine says the nations that have suffered the most COVID-19 deaths per capita of population are most of those in Central and South America, with the U.S. and then Canada right behind.
Peru is the worst, with 104 COVID deaths per 100,000 people. Then, (with numbers rounded) Bolivia has 74, Brazil, Ecuador, and Chili have 72 each, Mexico has 67, the U.S. has 66, Panama has 60, Columbia has 57, and Argentina has 56. Canada has 26. Thus, South America has nine of the top sixteen nations in the world with the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths. That is alarming when you consider that there are about 195 nations in the world.
Southeast Asia is just the opposite. Johns Hopkins University of Medicine has the following nations at the very bottom of its list. All of them have less than .1 % COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people. They are Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Only one of these, Tanzania, is not in Southeast Asia.
Moving up from the bottom of this Johns Hopkins list, China reports .34% COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population. However, many Americans accuse China of purposely underreporting to make it look better in overcoming this novel coronavirus, since the virus definitely originated in China. Continuing up this list from its bottom, Singapore has only .5%, South Korea has .85%, and Japan has survived well, with only 1.3%.
These comparative figures are shocking. Why have the Americas been hit so hard with this devastating coronavirus, yet Eastern Asia has survived quite well so far?
Since this coronavirus is called “novel,” meaning new, health authorities are learning about it everyday. They claim there are many factors that are contributing to higher COVID-19 death rates in different areas in the world. The biggest factor seems to be age. That is, so far it seems that elderly people are much more susceptible to both contracting COVID-19 and dying from it than younger people are.
Another factor is that those nations hit the hardest with COVID-19 often have more international travel. This results in a higher rate of transmission of the virus with carriers of it. The U.S. has suffered from this factor because there is a high incidence of international travel both to the U.S. and its citizens traveling abroad as well. People from areas of high infection rates travel to areas of low infection rate and transmit the virus to people there. That is why some nations have blocked people from nations with higher COVID rates from traveling to their nations. President Trump blocked citizens from China traveling to the U.S., though some critics claim it did not help much since it was too late. And some European countries have blocked U.S. citizens from traveling to their countries.
Authorities say another factor leading to a high rate of COVID-19 deaths is obesity. Obesity is an increasing health problem in many portions of the world, but not in Southeast Asia. For example, in the Wikipedia article entitled “List of countries by obesity rate,” which data is taken from the World Factbook authored by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the top ten nations in a list of about 195 nations are among the many islands of the Pacific Ocean. Their obesity rates range from 61% to 46%. The U.S. is the 12th leading nation in the world with the highest obesity rate, it being 36%. Yet the islands of the Pacific do not have a high rate of COVID-19 deaths. This likely is because there is very little travel of people to and from these islands, thus a very reduced possibility of transmission.
Again, we find just the opposite in Eastern Asia. In the World Factbook list of rates of obesity in about 194 nations in the world, the bottom thirteen nations have between 5% and 2% obesity rate among their people. Ten of those are countries in Eastern Asia, and they include India and Japan. Both China and Singapore have 6% obesity rate.
Mexico has a high obesity rate at 29% and a high COVID-19 death rate at 67 deaths per 100,000 capita of population. Peru, with the highest COVID-19 death rate at 104, has an obesity rate of 20%. And many South American countries have an obesity rate between 20% and Argentina’s 28%. Canada’s obesity rate is 29%.
In conclusion, the Americas have both a very high COVID-19 death rate and a very high obesity rate; yet Eastern Asia has both a very low COVID-19 death rate and a very low obesity rate. It therefore appears that COVID-19 is exposing obesity as a more serious health problem than we thought.