USINDIAMONITOR is fortunate to have grown up in 5 different countries, and visited 20 others so far. Over that time span, like many people, I have developed favorites. Before a drop-off where things get a little muddled, there is a clear top 4 in my book that has been consistent for nearly a decade. Which are, in order:
(1) United States of America– my current home nation, where I took the citizenship oath at age 9, unlike most Americans. I am an American, civil servant, and patriot by choice (and these are some bad days for those of us)
(2) India– the land of my parents and ancestors, and the hub of my spiritual outlook on life and the universe, the largest democracy in the world by far, and the reason I created this blog as an unpaid hobbyist
(3) Brazil– far and away the sexiest, coolest, friendliest, funnest, freest, and most laid back country on the globe- and if I had to choose- the nation closest to my heart
(4) New Zealand– the nearest discovery of mine approaching utopian peace, prosperity, and natural beauty I have ever found in this world.
The coronavirus has done a number on all of my top 3, has in fact brought them onto their knees, which due to unfortunate circumstances are also the 3 nations where the coronavirus outbreaks are out of control, and outstripping all others. In order, the cases of coronavirus are the highest in (1) United States; (2) Brazil; and (3) India.
Many people including myself are predicting that India will overtake Brazil and the US to be the worst epicenter of the pandemic, and once it reaches this dubious distinction, it is sadly unlikely to relinquish this pole position due to poverty, overcrowding, and weak medical infrastructure for an overgrown population. The one bright spot in all of this is that the tiny island nation of New Zealand has courageous, competent leadership, which was able to lock the country down early and get the case load under control quickly and decisively. And dozens of other nations, including most of Europe, have managed to do about the same after severe early struggle, even with close cultural and economic similarities to the United States.
As for the other three, we are unfortunately led by shambolic leadership and emergency management systems that have caused and will continue to cause many thousands of people to die needlessly for months on end. In the case of Brazil’s Jair Balsonaro, he himself has contracted the COVID-19 bug and deserved it because of his irresponsible behavior, words, and leadership just like UK’s Boris Johnson.
At least India and Brazil have a good excuse: they are dirt poor nations with tin-pot dictator wannabes, riddled with densely populated favelas and slums with little hope of containment measures succeeding. America’s only excuse is how DUMB we are for electing crooks and morons to positions of power, people who have brought us neither safety nor a functioning economy in this century’s darkest hour for humanity. America should have been leading the global response to containing the virus, rather than being the world’s biggest recipient of shame and pity from the others.
We are reduced to sitting here, mourning pathetically, for that is all there is to be done at this point.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor