I Live in Two Worlds:
One in the States and One in Myanmar

I live in two worlds: one of my worlds is America, and the other world is Myanmar. I have families in both worlds. During winter break from teaching in 2013, I went to Myanmar in an attempt to interview Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, often called the Lady. I failed. However, I happened to meet a young lady, Ti Ti. She was nine at the time. Ti Ti was the link that tied my two worlds together.

During winter break in 2017, I returned to visit my family. If I thought the first trip was exciting, it paled in comparison to the second. During winter break in 2019, I returned to see my family yet again. However, seeing my family was seeing my family on our family tour for nearly a month. I can’t express how much fun, joy, and excitement we had together.

During winter break in 2021, I plan to return for our second family tour starting in Yangon, Golden Rock, Mawlamyine, etc. Then several years from now, I plan to return for Ti Ti’s graduation from college. So, you can see the effect that they have had on me. Regardless, I am getting ahead of myself in this tale about my other world.

When I returned to the States in early January of this year, I was as happy as the proverbial lark. A couple weeks later, I had my 77th birthday on January 20th. Tragically, on the same day, the first person in America was diagnosed with the coronavirus. However, by late February, I was checking on a daily basis the Johns Hopkins’s COVID-19 website for confirmed cases and deaths in America and Myanmar. It was literally several weeks before Myanmar and any confirmed cases or deaths. I couldn’t understand it.

Then the first two cases were reported in Yangon…and the government shutdown the entire country. They got used to wearing masks. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi showed by example by wearing them.

"“Trump, it won’t hurt you if you wear a mask.” I think that is what she said."

That was the good news, but the bad news was that Moh Moh and Ko Ko were out of work. They are tour guides. Even if the government hadn’t shutdown the country, no one in the rest of the world was thinking about traveling. Also, Ti Ti was going to head off to college this fall, but all the schools were closed.


In my world in America, we have 6.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and nearly 200,000 deaths. In my other world, Myanmar has 1,254 confirmed cases and 7 deaths. America’s population is about five times that of Myanmar. So, to evaluate how both countries are dealing with the coronavirus, multiply 1,254 confirmed cases and 7 death by 5. Therefore, Myanmar would have 6270 cases and 35 deaths if their population were the same as America.

America makes up 4.25% of the world’s population. At the present time, we have 6.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, which represent 24% of all the case globally. Relative to the death count, we are 22% of the deaths throughout the world. Donald the Dumb stated that America was ready for COVID-19, “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it…and it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

The government in my other world, Myanmar, shutdown the entire country when two confirmed cases of the coronavirus were found in Yangon. The northern border of Myanmar is shared with China on the east and India on the west. They acted and didn’t repeat what our fake president said about the coronavirus, “It will go away.”

Myanmar is a developing country without all the medical expertise and technology that we have, but they responded to the pandemic. As a result, their death rate is 0.1%, which is an extremely low death rate worldwide. Our death rate was as high as 10.7%, but it is now down to 6.6%.