COVID-19 Around the World 4.23.20

by Stranger’s Guide

Each week, we’re taking a look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world. Here is our roundup:



A single volleyball match in March quickly turned Saaremaa Estonia into “corona island” After half its population appeared to contract COVID-19, the municipality’s mayor resigned this week saying he took political responsibility for the outbreak. (ERR — Estonian Public Broadcasting)


Iceland may be “the best living lab we have on the planet for studying coronavirus.” As a country with little immigration and a global pioneer in population genetics, it’s long been a place for geneticists to study. With widespread testing, contact tracing and sequencing hundreds of patients’ viral samples, researchers are building a detailed picture of the evolution of COVID-19 and answering questions the U.S. and others are trying to answer. (Bloomberg)


A World Health Organization employee was killed after his marked UN vehicle came under fire in Myanmar’s Rakhine district while delivering COVID-19 surveillance samples for the country’s health ministry. A Myanmar health official was also injured in the incident — supposedly the result of crossfire in the violent conflict between government troops and armed rebels from the Arakan Army which is fighting for greater autonomy for Myanmar’s western region. The conflict has lasted more than a year. Ironically, citing the coronavirus pandemic, the Arakan Army declared a month-long ceasefire in April. Both sides have denied responsibility. (Al Jazeera)


“I’ve been much more aware of the attractions and features around me and more appreciative of the available green areas,” writes Farah Makki, an Italian who produced a pretty map, in pink and green pastels, of her neighborhood which she walks each day. It was in response to a request by Citylab, which invited its readers to draw maps of the new “worlds” in which they’re living in the time of coronavirus. Those who responded—so far they’ve come from Turkey, Mexico, New Zealand and the US among other places—have charted how their lives have been transformed under stay-at-home orders. (Citylab)

Hong Kong

Human Rights Watch accuses Beijing of exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to “inflict more body blows to Hong Kong people’s struggle for their human rights” as police in Hong Kong arrested 15 prominent pro-democracy leaders this week, accusing them of “organizing and participating in unlawful assemblies” during the widespread protests in 2019. (HRW)


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