Community / The Nation and the World

Pandemic responses vary around the world

As of December 3, 2020, the number of deaths worldwide due to COVID-19 is around 1.49 million, while the United States has a death toll of 274,000 Americans. In order to stop the spread of the virus, strict lockdowns or other protocols were initiated in many countries across the globe, including countries where international Dana Hall students live.

Ines Bayigamba ’22 is from Abu Dhabi but stayed with her mother and sister in Rwanda during the quarantine. Rwanda issued a lockdown and curfew on March 30; no one could leave their homes between 10:00 pm and 4:00 am. Rwanda had very strict rules, and people who broke them face punishment or fines. Alongside the curfew, people were not allowed to leave their homes without permission. Furthermore, they had to wear a mask wherever they went, including transportation vehicles, or else they faced a fine. The cases have gone down significantly in Rwanda.

A new member of the Dana Hall community, Pin Sukavut ’23 from Bangkok, Thailand shared that the Thai government announced a State of Emergency in late February, causing everyone to follow strict lockdown procedures. In Thailand, they had public briefings to address the pandemic, and citizens followed their leaders’ rules strictly because the people of Bangkok were worried about catching the virus and spreading it to others. This strict rule- and protocol-following ended up paying off in the end because Thailand has very few cases.

A former Dana Hall student in Mexico, Regina Sabag ’23, shared that although Mexico tried to proceed with the lockdown method, not many people followed, and there is still a clear struggle to have citizens follow pandemic regulations. The President urged citizens to wear masks and stay inside. However, these rules have not been followed, causing the cases to continue to rise. 

Liliko Kamizuru-Bowman ’23 from Japan, a new student at Dana Hall this year, said that Japan never had a strict lockdown. Instead, Japan issued strict protocols to always wear masks and wash hands. Due to compliance with this protocol, Japan now has close to zero cases.

In unprecedented times, it’s hard to determine what exactly is the right way to respond to COVID-19. Different government regulations and different levels of compliance have led to some countries continuing to suffer through the pandemic, while other countries are essentially back to normal.

Map by Isabel Sullivan ’21, showing home locations of Dana Hall students.

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