Disease, death, and lockdowns have taken their toll on the world, and a group of Canadian researchers set out to quantify the suffering. They found that their own country suffered severely, along with the UK, Spain, and France.
Published on Monday by Canada’s MacDonald-Laurier Institute, the ‘Misery Index’ examines the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government response on human happiness in 15 developed countries. Among 16 different metrics, cases of Covid-19, hospitalizations, and deaths were all taken into account, as were restrictions on normal life, and spikes in unemployment and government debt.
In first and second place were Norway and New Zealand respectively. Norway has to date recorded just over 75,000 cases of Covid-19 and imposed a brief national lockdown last spring. A localized lockdown in the capital, Oslo, began easing gradually last month. New Zealand recorded less than 2,500 cases of Covid-19, and has responded to spikes in infection with short and localized lockdowns, as well as border closures. New Zealand’s economy entered recession last year, but has since returned to growth.