Covid-19 crisis in Spain

Spain and Italy are not far behind Belgium in the Covid-19 death rate, however they are also high up (for countries of comparable population) in the rate of tests per million, so they would appear to have a slightly better idea of how many deaths are down to the virus. Seek and ye shall find, as they say.

It is also early days; France and the UK are not far behind.

Germany sticks out for having a lower death rate than its neighbours and has extensively tested, but not much more than Spain or Italy. I have read one hypothesis that this is because Germany’s testing was more targeted, and that they traced and isolated much more.

OK, the most convincing arguments I have seen for why Covid-19 has spread to the extent it has in Spain and Italy, and (apparently) sooner:

Both are tourist destinations and have mild winters, so they draw many more visitors in the winter months than their northern neighbours. Indeed, Spain’s patient zero is believed to have been a German tourist who went to the Canary Islands in January.
In both, different generations live cheek by jowl to a much greater extent, or at least meet more regularly. It is very common on Sundays in Spain to see at least three generations sitting down to eat in restaurants.
In both people spend much more time out and about, on pedestrian streets, city squares, in indoor and outdoor cafés, etc. In Spain people usually sit down in a café to have coffee of a morning, rather than take it away.
In both people are a lot more tactile, hug and kiss each other, and shake hands much more often.
It is also true that both could have locked down sooner, although they were quicker off the mark than their neighbours, and much stricter. In Spain, for instance, we haven’t been allowed out to exercise and throng parks for five weeks, and this appears to be paying off because Spain and Italy have both peaked.
Thank you for the A2A, .

Spain overtakes US in new daily coronavirus cases as Benidorm and Majorca see spike