Culture is a critical factor in controlling the coronavirus

By Kent R. Kroeger (August 7, 2020)

A Virtual model of coronavirus (Image by Rayyar and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.)
(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))

The latest worldwide coronavirus data says ‘culture matters.’

Serious research is already weighing in on the effectiveness and importance of lockdown policies and other M&S strategies in controlling the coronavirus. For example, whether due to untimely gubernatorial decisions or bad luck — or both — Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island suffered a catastrophic number of coronavirus deaths in March and April. Would they have suffered fewer cases and deaths had they shut down sooner? Columbia University researchers offer an emphatic “Yes!”

The Data

I analyzed 108 countries using data from, Johns Hopkins University and The data is current through August 3rd for the coronavirus policy data ( and through August 5th for the coronavirus case and fatality data ( Due to issues with its data reporting, I have excluded China from this analysis. Its inclusion, however, would not have changed the substance of the results reported below.

The Results

The path model and the parameter estimates for the total effects of each variable on the number of Deaths per 1 Million People (outcome variable) are seen in Figure 2. This table does not include the mediator variable — Cases per 1 Million People — whose effect on the outcome variable is seen in the path diagram and reported in the appendix below.

Final Thoughts

Despite the panic porn that describes most of the national media’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, I do believe the policy answers we crave are already out there.


I am a survey and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion (You can contact me at:

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