With a death toll over 2 million and nearly 100 million people infected worldwide, Covid-19 is still wreaking havoc even as vaccines are rolled out. Yet fatalities are far from evenly distributed. Some nations have effectively beaten the pandemic; others have been soundly beaten. Japan’s 126 million citizens have recorded just over 5,000 deaths. With a nearly identical population, Mexico has suffered more than 150,000 deaths and counting.
What explains such stark differences? Wealth? Hospital capacity? Age? Climate?
It turns out Covid’s deadliness depends on something simpler and more profound: cultural differences in our willingness to follow rules.
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