COVID-19 Around the World 4.30.20

by Stranger’s Guide

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



Senegal will mass produce COVID-19 testing kits that cost under a dollar—that’s between five and 20 times cheaper than current molecular tests. The Dakar Pasteur Institute announced a partnership with British company Mologic, which specializes in manufacturing diagnostics for other diseases such as Ebola and dengue fever, and are aiming to distribute the kits by June. (Africa Oil and Power)


Mexican band Los Tres Tristes Tigres has been recording songs about the coronavirus. The first one “Canción del Coronavirus” (“The Coronavirus Song”) racked up 3.7 million views on YouTube. Los Tres Tristes Tigres are known for comical songs based on regional Mexican music genres, such as corridos. “They closed Disneyland, and this is scaring me,” they sing in La “Canción del Coronavirus.” (Global Voices)


A married gay couple in Poland gave out 300 rainbow face masks in the city of Gdansk to help people protect themselves against COVID-19 and simultaneously raise awareness of the situation of LGBTQ people in the country. Poland doesn’t recognize same-sex unions, and pride parades have become flashpoints for violence in the past. Dawid Mycek and Jakub Kwiecinski say they face frequent abuse in Poland for being part of a so-called “homosexual plague” so, Kwiecinski said, as “we are dealing right now with a real plague we could help protect people from [it] and do something good.” (NBC News)


With bodies abandoned on sidewalks, packed into cardboard coffins and stacked several deep in morgues, Ecuador’s coronavirus death toll may be15 times higher than the official tally, according to a New York Times analysis. Based on that data, Ecuador could be suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world,. (New York Times)


Journalist Arunoday Mukharji, from BBC India’s Delhi bureau, gave viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work of a TV journalist on lockdown this week as he showed how he continues to film his live broadcasts from his living room. Spoiler: he relies on the help of his 70-year-old mother, who he tells us “is a teacher, but who has proved she’s a great student.” (BBC / Twitter)


See more Postcards from around the world



North America

Desert Heat

On July 10, 1913, California’s Furnace Creek (population 24) in Death Valley recorded a temperature of 134°F, making it the hottest place in the world—a record it still holds. What’s more, it boasts the highest recorded ground surface temperature (201°F in 1972). While the Mojave Desert temperatures vary widely with elevation, Death Valley this July endured average summer temperatures around 120°F; in winter, though, it can reach a chilly 20°F.