Countries without Lockdowns
Social distancing has been the word(s) of the day in the United Kingdom and many others countries suffering from the Covid-19 outbreak. While those of us in the UK have become accustomed to keeping a safe 2 metre distance between ourselves and others, there are a number of countries which didn't enforce any sort of lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus. In today's article, we're going to have a look at some of these countries, and how the impact of coronavirus affects them differently.
Belarus is notably the only European country not to implement any form of social distancing. Despite having over 30,000 cases of diagnosed coronavirus, and almost 900 new cases each day (at time of writing), Belarus has not forced any lockdowns or required any citizens to wear masks. The Belarussian dictator Lukashenko has not put any measures in place to limit the spread of coronavirus, and with 70% of polled Belarussian citizens expressing a desire for increased safety measures, this bodes ill for his government.
Despite 21,000 cases to date, Sweden hasn't imposed any sort of lockdown, instead preferring to control the outbreak through softer-handed measures. While people have been encouraged not to leave their homes unless necessary, schools and some businesses have remained open, with the only real restrictions being placed on the elderly, who are expected to social distance and avoid public transport. These measures have been effective for Sweden, who have had relatively few deaths compared to other nations in Europe.
In spite of its geographic proximity to the source of the outbreak in China, South Korea has done exceptionally well to prevent the spread of coronavirus without any lockdown at all. South Korea has had half of Sweden's number of cases, and only suffered 247 deaths in total. The Republic of Korea achieved this through plenty of testing and track-and-trace schemes from the onset of Covid-19, which have been immensely effective at preventing the spread.
An interesting example of a country without a lockdown, the central Asian republic of Turkmenistan has recorded no Covid-19 deaths or even cases in its country... officially. The Turkmen government halted all international flights and imposed checkpoints outside of cities where visitors' body temperatures are checked. The reason why Turkmenistan's record of 0 deaths is treated with skepticism is because the country's government is one of the most authoritarian on the continent, and according to some independent journalists, actually cleared many quarantine zones of people before a visit by the World Health Organisation. Other reports say that the media is forbidden from discussing the coronavirus outbreak, and that the country is treating it as though the disease doesn't exist. We may never know the truth.