CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19): Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? Analysis of several European countries.

Following discussions on Italian media and social media, few days ago I published an analysis of the Italian and the Swedish method to face the COVID-19 pandemic (https://www.emigrantrailer.com/?p=2333).

My conclusion was that, based on official data, neither the Italian nor the Swedish method have proven effective. Conversely, I also concluded that other methods, like the Greek one, the Czech one and the South Korean one, would deserve more attention and analysis.

I do not want to go back on the subject, but I reflected on one of the comments I got: “It is very difficult for many to understand a comparison among Italy and South Korea. They are geographically too far and you are too optimistic to believe that everybody can follow your analysis and comparisons. It would be easier for the majority a simpler comparison, maybe among two neighboring countries”.

Well, even if I do not quite agree on this kind of simplifying comparisons, the following analysis is the result of it, with the aim to facilitate the continuous data analysis about COVID-19 in the World, and trying to answer the question about neighboring countries: “is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence?”

As for previous analysis, I used a chromatic classification: VERY BAD (Red), BAD (Orange), MODERATE (Yellow), GOOD (Green), VERY GOOD (Light Blue).

The comparison among neighboring countries is made using four different set of data (as of June 1st, 2020): TOTAL CASES, TOTAL DEATHS, DEATHS VS CASES (this ratio is expressed in percentage and could be considered as the fatality rate), DEATHS VS POPULATION (this ratio is expressed in percentage, and the population is the national population). All these data are displayed in a single picture divided in four quadrants. Table 1 reports the thresholds I choose for each of the quadrants and for each of the steps of classification.

Table 1 Chromatic classification and relative thresholds for each of the four selected parameters: Total Cases, Total Deaths, Deaths vs Cases, Deaths vs Population.

The source of COVID-19 data is the World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports.

For each comparison, I will report just few personal comments due to the fact that the table and the data will be self-explaining. Please consider that this is the status as of June 1st. The situation in some countries might change since it is in continuous evolution as reported in my other analysis https://www.emigrantrailer.com/?p=2525.

If this type of comparison are of interest, please share it. In the future, I will add other neighboring countries.

Today, I start comparing several European countries.

Europe: Belgium, Netherland and Luxemburg

Status for Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg

These are three neighboring countries located in Europe. The comparison clearly shows that Belgium and Netherland have a worse situation comparison versus the Luxembourg. However, despite the lower total number of deaths, the latter country is also not in a good situation, if we analyze the percentage of deaths versus the national population.

Europe: United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland

Status for United Kingdom, Ireland & Iceland

These are three islands located in the north-western part of Europe. The comparison clearly shows that United Kingdom is the worst in all the selected parameter. Ireland has a better situation but, similarly to Luxembourg, the percentage of deaths versus the national population is not good. Iceland has a good situation, with few deaths and a low fatality rate.

Europe: France, Spain, Portugal

Status for France, Spain & Portugal

These are three countries in the western-southern part of Europe. Spain has the worst number for the total deaths and the ratio of deaths vs national population. France has the worst number for the fatality rate. Portugal has slightly better situation, due to the lower population.

Europe: Italy, Switzerland, Austria

Status for Italy, Switzerland & Austria

These are three countries separated by the Alps. Italy shows the worst results in all the analyzed parameters. Switzerland has “moderate” results for total deaths and fatality rate, but the ratio of deaths versus the national population is not so good. Austria shows the best results among these three countries.

Europe: Germany, Poland and Czech Republic

Status for Germany, Poland & Czech Republic

The status for these three countries is better compared to other European countries as suggested by the color of the table. Among them, Germany has the highest number of deaths and ratio of deaths vs population. However, it has a similar fatality rate. Poland and Czech Republic have similar values for the ratio of deaths vs population, but the total number of deaths in Czech Republic is three times lower.

Europe: Sweden, Norway, Finland

Status for Sweden, Finland, Norway

These three countries belong to the Scandinavia peninsula. There is a significative difference between the status in Sweden and in the other two countries. Specifically, Sweden has a total number of deaths significantly higher (> 13 times) and a higher fatality rate. Finland has a low number of deaths, but it is not so good the ratio of the deaths vs the population. Norway shows the best situation among the three, and of the best in Europe.

Europe: Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine

Status for Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine

These are three large eastern European countries. Compared to the rest of Europe, the situation in terms of deaths is so far not so bad. Among them, Russian Federation has the highest number of total deaths, Ukraine has the highest fatality rate and Belarus places in the middle in terms of ratio of deaths vs population.

Europe: Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria

Status for Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria

These are three European countries where the Danube passes. Romania has the largest number of deaths. Hungary shows very high fatality rate, similar to western European countries. Bulgaria has the best situation among them.

Europe: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus

Status for Turkey, Greece, Cyprus

These three countries belong to those on the eastern side of the Mediterranean sea. The total number of deaths in Greece and Cyprus is much lower compared to Turkey. However, the fatality rate in Greece is doubled compared to the one in Turkey. When we look at the ratio of deaths vs the population, Turkey is again at the top among the three and Cyprus has values slightly higher than the Greek one.

Europe: Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia

Status for Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia

They belong to the northern part of the Balkan peninsula. The total number of deaths is low in all three countries compared to other European ones. Slovenia has the highest values for the fatality rate and the ratio vs population. Serbia has the lowest fatality rate, while Croatia the lowest ratio vs population.

Europe: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania

Status for Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro

They belong to the south-eastern part of the Balkan peninsula. Similar to the northern countries, the total number of deaths is very low. Bosnia & Herzegovina has twice the fatality rate of Albania and Montenegro. All of them have moderate values for number of deaths vs the national population.

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