[INDEPENDENT] We’ve observed how South Korea and the US have handled coronavirus — and the differences are clear
[Northeast Asia Center / Jaehyung Kim (Research Fellow)]
We are Korean sociologists working in different continents – one in Seoul, in South Korea, and the other in New York City, in the United States. We’ve each paid careful attention to Covid-19 from the beginning of its spread in Korea since the first case was confirmed on January 20. In Korea, fortunately, the number of confirmed cases has declined since February 29, with increasing testing and a low fatality rate, without any lockdowns, while many countries in Europe and North America have been struggling. Because of this, governments and global media began paying attention to Korea’s approach to the virus to see what they could learn from the Korean case in order to prepare for an outbreak in their own country. As sociologists, what we find interesting during this dark time is how we have developed different coping mechanisms and responses: individual efforts versus systemic or collective efforts.