What’s it like to live with COVID-19 in other countries? Well, get on Zoom and find out.
That’s what One Detroit’s Bill Kubota did, talking to a doctor in Sweden, a teacher in Tokyo and an artist in New Zealand.
The three provide a bit more of a picture – a snapshot in time of how we’re all coping and dealing with the pandemic.
In some ways, we’re just like other parts of the world. In others, it can be pretty different.
Read full transcript
Bill Kubota, Senior Producer, One Detroit THIS ZOOM TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING. YOU FIND PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND ASK THEM WHAT’S GOING ON.
Tekla Kridle Our national newspaper, it’s the Press…
Donald Trump You see what’s going on in New Zealand?
Tekla Kridle It’s quoting Trump saying New Zealand in having a big surge of COVID-19 cases.
Donald Trump Big surge in New Zealand so you know it’s, uh, it’s terrible we don’t want that.
Tekla Kridle He talks about how bad it is, you know, kind of just like the U.S. and this reporter says well, New Zealand had only nine new COVID cases today. The U.S. had more than 42,000. So it’s not even comparable.
Bill Kubota TEKLA KRIDLE GREW UP IN MICHIGAN- LIVING IN NEW ZEALAND THE PAST FEW DECADES – THAT ISLAND NATION OVER BY AUSTRALIA. KRIDLE IS IN THE CITY OF CHRISTCHURCH.
Anchorman Morning Prime Minister, nice to have you with us…
Jacinda Ardern Morning now.
Bill Kubota IN MARCH, PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN ORDERED A HARD LOCK DOWN – A COUNTRY OF FIVE MILLION PEOPLE WITH 22 TOTAL COVID DEATHS. BY JUNE SHE DECLARED IT SAFE TO GO BACK TO NORMAL – A SHINING EXAMPLE OF HOW TO BEAT THE VIRUS. THEN CAME THE NEWS LAST WEEK.
Tekla Kridle They found discovered a case in the south of Auckland, our biggest city and four family members tested positive and what they’re trying to work out is how that happened.
Bill Kubota MORE INFECTIONS – AROUND 30 NOW – PART OF THE COUNTRY’S ON LOCKDOWN AGAIN AND AN UPCOMING ELECTION HAS BEEN PUSHED BACK.
Were you surprised what was going on in Auckland?
Tekla Kridle No, no, Bill it was always going to come back in some way shape or form, whether it came in at the border, through a port worker, we just they just don’t have a handle on it yet.
Bill Kubota SWEDEN- TEN MILLION PEOPLE WITH A HIGHER COVID DEATH RATE THAN THE U.S. BUT LOWER THAN THE U.K., SPAIN, BELGIUM.> DR. JACOB WENNBERG IS A GENERAL PRACTITIONER IN GOTHENBERG, SWEDEN’S SECOND BIGGEST CITY.
You’re happily seeing patients regularly in person there?
Jacob Wennberg Oh yeah it used to be the 70 plus they were not supposed to come to the clinic, come to the clinic so we had a lot of consultation over the phone, now we have some that is like telemedicine but most people are coming to the practice like we try to space out in the lobby so seventy plus people with various disease, you know if they have hypertension or they’re old and so on, they can come to the clinic when it’s not full. There no risk of being contaminated in our clinic anyways.
Bill Kubota WHILE SWEDEN WAS NOT LOCKED DOWN, SOME SCHOOLS CLOSED, MANY WORK FROM HOME – BUT FEW WEAR MASKS.
Jacob Wennberg People living in perhaps say poorer areas or not as well economic situated, they have caught more of the virus often because they are, they are the ones working in the old folks home, they are taxi drivers, they work in places and they cannot work from home. So they have to go and meet their customers every day.
Bill Kubota IN JAPAN, NO OFFICIAL LOCKDOWN THERE EITHER AND A COVID-19 DEATH RATE SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE U.S. – ONE THOUSAND DEAD COMPARED TO OUR 170-THOUSAND. KATHY KRAUTH TEACHES AT THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN TOKYO.
Kathy Krauth We couldn’t have a legalized lockdown, you could go anywhere, the police couldn’t question you but there was, there’s kind of, you want to do what’s best for society so when you, when I went out one time early on in the quarantine and I forgot my mask and I was walking my dog my neighbor who I know quite well she looked at me in Japanese she said, ‘what are you doing?’. And I was like ‘I forgot! Oh my gosh.’ And I never forgot again. So society, focusing on the policies of the government doesn’t always actually speak to what Japanese society, what people are actually doing. And they, they stayed in.
Bill Kubota Do you have that app on your phone? Did you get the app?
Tekla Kridle Yeah, the app for the tracking?
Bill Kubota COUNTRIES INCLUDING JAPAN AND NEW ZEALAND ARE ENCOURAGING THEIR CITIZENS GET CONTACT TRACING APPS.
Tekla Kridle I have it right here, you, when you go some, to a business you just scan it so like yesterday I was going around a little bit and then I can look and I can see everywhere where I have actually been.
Bill Kubota KRIDLE SAYS SHE’S FINE LETTING THE GOVERNMENT KNOW WHERE SHE’S BEEN. FROM SWEDEN, THE STORIES WE HEAR SEEM TO WAIVER IN IT’S HANDLING OF COVID-19 – THE IDEA OF LETTING THE VIRUS SPREAD FASTER TO GET TO ‘HERD IMMUNITY’.
Jacob Wennberg There’s no… you don’t have the key yet to who did the right thing. But I’m confident, I’m proud of what we have done when since I think we have to live with it for some time. I think the way we have done it is somehow it’s sustainable over time.
Bill Kubota You have a thousand deaths in a country so big, we’ve got more than that many deaths in just Michigan.
Kathy Knauth I know.
Bill Kubota And you’re so close to China.
Kathy Knauth We know, we’re right here so Japan pays attention. I think historically also it’s been suggested that Japan has a history of epidemics and where you have smallpox being documented in the 600s 700s 800s and on so the attitude of not being at war with the virus which is kind of the attitude you get for some people in the States, it’s like we’re going to kill this, we’re going to beat this, it’s going to be eradicated where the attitude that’s been suggested here in Japan is we we need to find a way to minimize the effects while understanding we’re going to have to live with this.