Have female leaders dealt with the COVID-19 crisis better than their male counterparts?

The COVID-19 crisis came when no one expected it. We all thought that we’d never have to deal with something like this but it crept upon us. The virus that was initially not taken as seriously has taken the world by storm.

All around the world, leaders are struggling to cope up with the speed the virus is spreading. Populations still aren’t taking this seriously which is making it spread ten folds.

People are refusing to stay out of mosques, markets, parks. Most are treating the lockdowns as an extended vacation, not maintaining social distancing and putting everyone’s safety at risk.

We’re constantly seeing how the rest of the world is dealing with the pandemic and there’s one thing that some of the countries that have successfully flattened the curve have in common – they all have female leaders.

New Zealand is under the leadership of Jacinda Arden. The country had it’s first confirmed case in late February and so far have had only 4 COVID-19 related deaths while 1,330 have tested positive.

Newzealand is an island country and has fewer international flights, which has aided in the way they’ve dealt with the crisis. Arden imposed a complete ban on foreigner entry when the virus was still in its early stages. Nationals coming back into the country were held in a government facility to quarantine – no self-isolation was allowed. The people of New Zealand have taken their 4-week lockdown very seriously. All of these factors have come together to flatten their curve successfully.

Germany is another great example. The leadership of Angela Markel has been noteworthy. Their government announced the crisis as “The worst crisis since world war 2” and advised the people to take the situation very seriously. They’ve had a very low death rate because of the virus. Their average number rounds up to about 33 deaths per million due to COVID-19.

Denmark is under the leadership of Mette Frederiksen, she has also done a phenomenal job during the crisis. Denmark was one of the first European countries to impose restrictions. Their early action has slowed down the virus to the point that they’re planning on relaxing the restrictions and slowly opening everything up again.

Taiwan under the leadership of Tsai Ing-wen has also had one of the best preemptive measures in the world. The country started screenings at airports in December 2019, months before the rest of the world was even concerned. Surveillance, contact tracing and isolation began in January. This strict action ended up in great results. The country has 388 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6 have lost their lives.

Finland (According to The New York Times) has been the most prepared Nation of the Nordic countries for the pandemic situation. Under the leadership of Sanna Marin, the country has had one of the best systems to slow the spread of the disease with the first advisory restrictions being imposed as early as January. People were advised to not gather in groups of more than 10, schools were suspended and most government-run facilities were closed down.

Iceland is under the leadership of Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Their government focused more on early detection, social distancing and contact tracing. They wanted to curb the spread of the virus without spreading panic. The people of Iceland were advised to practice social distancing and that they should not panic-buy groceries or medicine. The pandemic reached Iceland in February 2020 and so far have had around 1200 confirmed cases, with over 900 recovered and only 8 deaths.

“Act as if you have coronavirus, lives will be saved”

Jacinda Arden

The way all these leaders have dealt with the crisis is amazing. We all need to take a page out of their book. Countries, where people took the virus as seriously as it is, are surviving. They have all successfully flattened the curve.

For the first time, all we are asked to do – is to do nothing at all. Stay at home, and you’ll save many lives. COVID-19 will not discriminate. It’s easy to see the numbers rise and think “eh it won’t happen to me” but it can. Take this crisis seriously and take all the necessary precautions. Protect yourselves and your families and we’ll all come out of this together.

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