74% of all U.S. coronavirus cases are in just 8 predominantly Catholic states; 73% of all European cases are in just 5 predominantly Catholic countries
SCOTTSDALE, MAR 25, 2020 – A week ago, we pointed out an interesting phenomenon – an apparent link between American politics and the deadly virus (see JUST 8 “BLUE” (liberal, Democratic) STATES ACCOUNT FOR 72% OF ALL U.S. CORONAVIRUS CASES). Now another unusual connections is emerging – between religion and COVID-19.
The same 8 “blue” American states also happen to be predominantly Catholic. And as of today’s statistics, they account for nearly three-quarters (74%) of all coronavirus cases.
This trend is even more pronounced in Europe where just 5 predominantly Catholic countries account for 73% of all virus cases.
Why is that? Is it because the church leaders in those countries ignored the early virus threats and allowed religious services to continue? It was not until two weeks ago that Italian church authorities, for example, suspended all “civil and religious ceremonies, including funeral ceremonies, are suspended at a preventative level throughout the country until Friday, April 3.”
By then, of course, the deadly virus was already wreaking havoc in this predominantly Catholic country which at present has 74,386 cases and 7,506 deaths – far more than China, a country pf 1.4 billion people where the virus had originated.
In fact, Spain, another large mostly Catholic country in Europe, has now also surpassed China in terms of total deaths from the virus (with 7,610 cases and 3,445 deaths).
By contrast, Germany, for example, the largest country in Europe, has 35,740 cases, less than half of Italy’s, and just 186 deaths.
How did the Germans manage that? By being more disciplined and better organized. And also less devout in terms of church attendance. Check out this article from today’s Washington Post on that subject.
For weeks, virologists here have been asked a persistent question: Why, compared to other countries, are so few of the Germans who are diagnosed with the coronavirus dying?
In Italy, 9.5 percent of the people who have tested positive for the virus have succumbed to covid-19, according to data compiled at Johns Hopkins University. In France, the rate is 4.3 percent. But in Germany, it’s 0.4 percent.
The biggest reason for the difference, infectious disease experts say, is Germany’s work in the early days of its outbreak to track, test and contain infection clusters. That means Germany has a truer picture of the size of its outbreak than places that test only the obviously symptomatic, most seriously ill or highest-risk patients.
Initially, at least, the country’s health authorities tracked infection clusters meticulously. When an individual tested positive, they used contact tracing to find other people with whom they had been in touch and then tested and quarantined them, which broke infection chains.Washington Post, March 25, 2020
For more, check out Why Germany’s coronavirus death rate is so much lower than other countries’.
Large percentage of relatively agnostic population (46.8%) in Germany may have also been a factor. The Catholics in that country account for just over a quarter of all religious adherents, a slightly bigger percentage than the Protestants.
It is perhaps ironic, therefore, that the less people attended church services, the safer they were.