If vaccinations are key to ending the pandemic, Israel may get there first as it has the highest rate by far of any nation. Paradoxically, it also has the world's second-highest rate of daily new COVID-19 cases.
North Dakota led the nation in COVID cases for months before Gov. Doug Burgum issued a mask mandate last November. Since then, active cases have dropped by 80 percent. The mandate was extended last month but was allowed to expire on Jan. 18.
The City by the Bay has joined eight largely rural counties in California by advancing last Tuesday to the least restrictive tier of the state's new reopening criteria by reducing coronavirus transmission to nearly New York levels.
As the virus surges throughout the South and West and heads north into the Midwest, the Northeast is the one region that has weathered the current phase of the pandemic the best. As of July 21, only one state in the U.S. is on track to contain COVID.
Hong Kong, hailed as an early success in containing the virus, is seeing a resurgence that threatens to exceed the initial outbreak. While minimal by U.S. standards, the government is enacting its strictest restrictions to date to extinguish it.
The governors of Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, and other states where COVID-19 infections are threatening to overwhelm hospitals should consider what their counterpart in Victoria, Australia, did on July 7 to contain the coronavirus.
Like New Zealand, another island has achieved success in reducing viral spread. The ability to quarantine travelers to Hawaii was crucial, but the virus had already arrived. Health professionals played key roles which, at times, led to conflict.
Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong were credited early in the pandemic with having successfully contained the coronavirus without resorting to lockdowns. However, Singapore lost its standing in that elite group. Crowding vs. density may explain why.