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Photo: Outdoor restaurant in central Stockholm, Sweden, 26 March 2020. Credit: EPA-EFE/Janerik Henriksson

Viewpoint by Paul W. Franks*

LUND, Sweden (IDN) – Daily updated graphs illustrating the rising COVID-19 death rates in different countries raise hopes that we can understand impact of the virus and work out how to stop it from spreading further. But when comparing countries as different as South Korea, China, Italy and the UK, we may find the impression of how different interventions work is obscured by many other factors.

These countries differ in many important ways, including demographics, civil disobedience, population density, patterns of social interactions, air quality and genetics. Italy, for example, has regions with older populations than many other countries. And European societies are unlikely to ever accept the draconian interventions used in China and South Korea.

Photo: Collage of images from the Internet.

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – The U.S. and France are treading unexpected paths to besiege COVID-19 with African assistance. Striking a different note, the Nigerians have strong reservations about a team of Chinese specialists invited to support them in combating the pandemic in the West African country.

While the desperate USAID relief agency has been seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) from poor countries to safeguard much needed supplies in the U.S., and a French doctor wants to test drugs on Africans. But the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is bashing the government for inviting an 18-man team of Chinese specialists in helping to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.

Image credit: The Transnational

Viewpoint by Jan Oberg*, The Transnational Foundation, TFF.

LUND, Sweden (IDN) -– Defender Europe 20 is a huge, basically US military exercise, on European soil between February and May this year. It has already started. In the midst of a closed-down coronavirus Europe. And it is war-preparing, not peace- or confidence-building.

The diagram above from the British Army offers you details of this perverse, surreal idea – take note of Italy being one of the planned participants!

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