The Pacific Islands: How Nations Around the World Respond to COVID-19

The+Pacific+Islands%3A+How+Nations+Around+the+World+Respond+to+COVID-19

Rowen Vincent, Writer

Due to the nations of the Pacific Islands location on the map, they have successfully kept COVID-19 off of their shores, but this does not mean that the pandemic has left the people of these islands unaffected- instead, some say the economic toll on these nations will lead to widespread poverty and homelessness.

Ten nations have no reported cases of COVID-19- this includes: Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu. Despite the unspoiled white sand beaches and crystal clear water, these ten nations are some of the least visited nations on the planet, and have an extremely low number of tourists. However, even though there are not many tourists, the economies of these nations are still based off of the that industry. With literally nothing else to support the economies of these nations, a complete collapse would not be unprecedented. The bubble-like community is completely isolated from the world- meaning barely anyone has actually ever heard of these nations. That leaves tourists from other countries out of the game- they can’t support these struggling nations. That means there is only one solution- locals. The owner of the Palau Hotel, Brian Lee, explains that, “Palau is a small country, so locals are not likely to stay here.” So, how will these small nations recover? Is their any need to? Various sources say that many of these countries will be underwater within 20 years, anyway. Locals say much sooner. 

While two other nations, (North Korea and Turkmenistan), don’t report having any coronavirus cases, the governments in these nations are not the most reliable sources of information, so it is unknown. Therefore, the nations of the Pacific Islands are the only countries that have no confirmed cases of COVID-19. You might be thinking, “Wow, I really should escape this place and go to the beautiful beaches of Tonga, help out their economy, and never get COVID! Problem solved!” Well, not so fast. The borders have been closed since early February. Actually, the COVID-19 Task Force was created in Tuvalu in January. The governments of these nations all have created COVID-19 Task Forces in early January- they saw that the pandemic could potentially wipe out there entire population. The insight saved hundreds of thousands of lives.