This Photo Perfectly Captures How the U.S. Is Handling COVID vs. Canada

The neighboring countries have approached the novel coronavirus very differently—and this photo shows it.

After initially jumping to different locations around the globe, the United States has held the top spot for the most reported coronavirus cases in the world since March 26. And at just shy of four million cases, America currently finds itself in a very different position than its neighbor to the north, Canada, which has reported around 114,000 cases. But while those numbers may already show a stark difference between the two nations, one photo of a popular tourist attraction is going viral, perfectly capturing just how the U.S. is handling COVID differently than Canada.

The image, depicting two tourist boats at Niagara Falls, shows a drastic contrast. The American-based Maid of the Mist sails in one direction, at 50 percent to capacity but still crowded on deck. Meanwhile, a Canadian-based vessel called Hornblower Niagara Cruises sails past in the other direction—nearly empty, with only six passengers on board despite a 700 person capacity, due to limits from the Ontario provincial government. According to the province's reopening plans, businesses can operate in Ontario at 30 percent capacity.

"I'm glad I'm in Canada," Amanda Barnes, a tourist from Ontario, told Reuters. "You can see why the pandemic is raging in the United States and not in Canada when you look at the difference between the boats."


The scene at the shared border between the two countries—which has been closed since March—has become almost as much of a sight to see as the world-famous waterfalls themselves, which began reopening in mid-May.

"We actually took a picture of the [American] boat," said Julie Pronovost, a visitor from the Canadian province of Quebec, told Reuters. "I don't find that it's very safe to be on a boat like that. It's much better here."

Even when considering the large difference in population sizes between the two—with Canada's 38 million people versus the U.S.'s 328 million—the United States has had much less success in keeping the pandemic at bay. The U.S. reported 57,777 new COVID-19 cases on July 21 in comparison to 786 in Canada, according to Reuters.

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The U.S. has also reported about 118 coronavirus cases per 10,000 residents since the pandemic was first declared, while Canada has managed to stay around 30. And for more on how the United States is viewed in other countries, check out Americans May Be Banned From This Entire Continent Through July, Officials Say.

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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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