Why is the verb "is" not "are"?
There are two rules you need to remember. 1. By using the "whole", one stresses the unity of an entity, not its multiple components, so a singular verb is followed. Ex: The whole town was destroyed by the earthquake. 2. The verb is singular if the two subjects separated by "and" refer to the same person or thing as a whole. Ex: Red beans and rice is my mom's favorite dish. In this sentence, 'the whole city' and 'the whole country' is considered as the same thing, so 'is' is correct.