Korea’s approach attracts a global spotlight
The author is a senior columnist of the JoongAng Ilbo.
China combated Covid-19 by mobilizing military power to enforce lockouts. Korea, in contrast, contained the virus without sealing off its borders or virus-stricken communities or restricting migration. This is why Korea has come into the global spotlight and is being cited as an exemplary model of disease control.
The European media are comparing Korea with European countries where business and individual activities have come to a standstill because of lockdowns. They are praising Korea’s fast and effective actions, cooperation between the government and the private sector, use of advanced information technology, reliable public health care and medical infrastructure and mature civic sense.
France’s TF1 TV channel aired a feature on Korea coping with Covid-19. It observed that Koreans were disciplined about hygiene and social distance, compassionate toward the weak and not inclined to hoard. They are the real heroes in the battle, the report said. The broadcast was watched by 2.18 million and received 2,300 likes as well as 1,400 postings. A YouTuber pointed out that the words French viewers used to describe Koreans were “discipline,” “example,” and “bravo.” Many French also observed that Korea was a nation France must learn from.