Coronavirus in Australia vice the U.S.

Still not done blogging about the coronavirus (sorry). Australia has kind of been one of the success stories, while the United States has not. Here is the daily counts of U.S. reported infections:

One will note after the initial sudden rise in cases (driven by the NE U.S.) there was a general decline and now the current explosion as the virus hits most of the rest of the country.

Australia is having a similar double peak, although neither peak is as large. Still, considering how successful Australia was at containing the virus, this is a warning of the nature of the problem that everyone faces.

Now, the is a real difference here in size. The United States has a population of 330 million, while Australia has a population of 25.64 million, less than a tenth of the U.S.. The United States has reported a total of 4,826,861 cases, which is 1.46% of the population, or one case every 68 people. Australia has reported a total of 19,863 cases, which is 0.08% of the population, or one case every 1,291 people. There are a reported 158,321 deaths for the United States, which is 0.05% of the population or one death for every 2,084 people. There are a reported 255 deaths in Australia, which is 0.001% of the population or one death for every 100,549 people. Needless to say, even though Australia is getting a second spike there is still a big difference between Australia and the U.S.

A couple of graphs from two countries, Canada and New Zealand, who are doing better than their larger neighbor.


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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

Articles: 1516


  1. Hypothesis: lower population density and lower travel volume helps in terms of lower spread of disease and easier abatement of disease.

    • That is probably true and the lock down and border closures will restrict travel a lot. Some other factors may be that testing is free in Australia as is hospitalisation and visits to the doctor (up to a point) – I have heard that people have to pay for their testing in the US (Is this true?).

      Melbourne has some densely populated suburbs which were hit hard. Most of Australia has a low population due to the arid climate.

      Mask wearing and lock downs are not politicised in Australia as the major parties are in agreement that it is necessary and follow Health Department advice. It does seem to be politicised in the US.

      • Clinton, Georgetown University (where I work, or rather for which I telework during the pandemic) will be paying for the testing/screening of the few employees being brought back to campus. Some employers pay for testing/screening as do some governmental jurisdictions with regard to specified categories of people, but it’s mostly the financial responsibility of individuals and insurers.

        I knew from travelling accounts of the late Canon Jim Glennon (Saint Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral, Sidney) that travelling to distant parts of Australia took a bit of effort and so wasn’t as widespread as in the USA.

  2. The second wave in Australia is mainly in the capital city (Melbourne) of one state (Victoria). It is reported to be mainly due to people not self isolating once tested positive, or before they get their test results. New South Wales has some problems and the other 6 states have had only a few or no cases for some time. The numbers are expected to start declining in about a week as the Victorian borders are closed to limit the spread and there is a severe lock down being enforced by Police who can impose substantial fines. Mask wearing in now compulsory in Victoria. Latest details are here

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