Europe: nCOVernments

by Nathan Chong

Here’s what 10 Europeans aged 15-18 had to say about the question “How well do you feel your government has responded to the coronavirus?”, edited slightly for clarity. 

Spain (1,200 cases per million)
Lots of Spanish people including myself think that they are responding very badly to this alarming situation, and they are doing things in a terrible way. It’s terrible because the President (Pedro Sanchez) spent huge amounts of money buying 1 million approved testing kits and they were fake. They allowed the protests with 8 million people to take place when the coronavirus was already here, and started the quarantine too late. The president doesn’t know how to be a leader; he is just doing stupid things and all that he does is unuseful. – Helena Roca (Vilassar de Mar)

Switzerland (1,340 cases per million)
Originally in Swiss German: I find they reacted well despite the fact that Switzerland was run over by the coronavirus to a certain degree. They immediately reduced all open public activities to quell the proliferation of the virus. But I’m not really scared about Corona, so yeah, I’m not buying a lot of toilet paper or something. – Jann Martig (Munchwilen)

I think our government has reacted well to the crisis. They have acted pretty quickly, they are supporting the people with money, and what I think is very good is that they haven’t forbidden us to go out as long as we comply with the protection measures. They care about how people are doing. – Lisa Luthi (Stechelberg) 

Germany (480 cases per million)
The German government reacted pretty quickly. They tried to balance out the effects for the economy and for the people, putting people’s lives as the top priority. 90% of Germans actually think the government reacted perfectly. – Toby Elker (Dusseldorf)

Well for us in Germany (especially in Bavaria), the government’s response is quite good since they’re really trying to decrease the number of infected people by not letting people outside (only for good reasons like going to get groceries or pharmacy), but I feel they could have reacted a little earlier (like when those corona-parties [sic] started). – Isabella Steck (Regensburg)

Italy (1,190 cases per million)
So very honestly I think that our government has reacted very well to this crisis because they have been swift and firm, though gradual enough not to cause excessive panic. – Dario Cochelli (Rome)

The government at first didn’t close nothing [sic], only the schools. Two weeks later the president of the government stated through the news that we have to stay home. I can’t go out otherwise the police will tell me to stay home. – Camillo Lange (Milan)

United Kingdom (140 cases per million)
So the government in the UK said they were containing it when they weren’t. It was already too late as they already had like the 6th most cases in the world. Look at the Czech Republic who closed down a couple days after the first cases, and they only had a couple hundred of them. Also, we aren’t testing enough so I’m pretty sure our number [of cases] is a lot more, compared to in the US, who are testing a lot more, giving a clearer understanding of the crisis. – Oscar Elkins (London)

Well, I’m not an expert or anything, but to my knowledge, the government is obviously trying hard to create a compromise for the economical aspect and the actual welfare. So it was a hard decision but a lot of restaurants, pubs, cafes and basically any stores are being shut down, postponed, etc. As a result, the virus is being mitigated but this means that the economy is being heavily affected. I think they should have acted sooner and closed places of mass gathering sooner like schools and whatnot, but they are acting accordingly. – Oli Lockey (Abbots Bromley)

Luxembourg (3,176 cases per million)
I think they reacted quickly and well: closed everything except for bakeries, gas stations or supermarkets as well as schools. You can’t leave the house except if you’re going for a walk alone and you have to keep a distance of 2 meters between strangers or people that aren’t living with you. 145€ for getting caught going out. – Victoria Thierer (Sandweiler)

Canada (193 cases per million)
I feel like the Canadian government has taken the steps necessary and has done a pretty good job considering that we only have, you know, a certain amount of cases, whereas obviously the American government was late to put in their precautionary measures (and you can look what’s happening to New York). I feel like the Canadian government has been somewhat more proactive, and in that approach, we’ve seen the drastic amount of limited cases. I think that we will only be able to judge the response in a few weeks; and if they keep these measures in place, we will know if the government is being effective in combating Covid-19.