In Europe Germany has managed to achieve a low fatality rate when compared to other European hot spots of Italy and Spain, experts believe that Germany has faired well so far due to carrying out one of the most aggressive testing regimes in the world, maintaining a high level of trust in the government, and the country’s immediate and decisive government action and messaging. Germany’s government quickly sought the advice of the Robert Koch Institute, the national disease research institute, and immediately put in place a national pandemic plan; closing schools, prohibiting nursing home visits, closing borders, impose curfews and travel restrictions. The good domestic handling of the pandemic demonstrated by Germany is in stark contrast to the lack of handling internationally by nations that were slow or disorganised in their reaction to the crisis, however some have criticised Germany for their slow international effort at fighting the virus. For this reason Germany may be a positive populist demonstration of successfully controlling a massive viral outbreak.
Pros – Good pre-emptive handling of the virus, clear messaging, strict guidelines, high level of government trust, robust and well resourced healthcare system.
Cons – Despite all the adequate planning in Germany the government failed to communicate with manufacturers and suppliers and subsequently suffered a mask shortage, similar throughout many countries. They were also slow to help neighbouring regions, imposing limits on medical exports, and potentially worsening the virus elsewhere.