From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Anyone talking about keeping the lockdown until there's a vaccine should be ignored, or, if they're a politician, voted out of office.
We just had a great four-day weekend in Korea. This son of a gun is all but beat. I think it's been four or five days with ZERO indigenous cases in the country. A few trickle in at the airport each day. The latest: S. Korea reports no new local virus cases ahead of eased social distancing
I took my family to the country's largest amusement park on Thursday, which was Buddha's Birthday. It was crowded, but everyone was wearing masks and we got a complimentary temperature check on the way in. The social distancing wouldn't have passed the Karen test (i.e. it wasn't too good). We spent the night at what they call a "pension" and then went to a nearby folk village the next day, which was also fairly crowded by the time we left. It was great to get out. We met the missus's sister's family, and my wife's sister is also a nurse practitioner. If they're cool with such outings, then I'm cool. The government is still afraid to open public schools, but private ones are good to go if they want. My daughter started pre-school two weeks ago. There are about eight kids in her class and they wear masks.
Here's a Korea recap:
- No lockdowns on private business except a 10-day closure of large nightclubs in Seoul.
- No "essential" business designations: if you want to be open, stay open, and sell whatever you want within your store.
- Public schools closed fairly early, and will probably reopen within 10 days.
- No ban on people coming from other countries; however, you'll be subject to testing (from some countries) and a 14-day quarantine (from everywhere) if you come here.
- People have been enjoying the great outdoors throughout, but people do wear masks.
- Subways have remained open.
- There was a national election on April 15 and people have to cast paper ballots in person here (they don't trust mail-in or electronic ballots, and believe it or not, they require ID to vote). Turnout was higher than the average legislative election and there were zero Covid cases attributed to voting.
Good luck and may your respective lockdowns end sooner rather than later.
Korea is a model for us all to follow.
Some of what is happening is undoubtedly cultural, and may not be something other countries can do exactly in the same way. I do see here though more and more coming around to the idea that masks are important, that keeping away from others is useful, and that we're in this together.
Korea never had the number of cases the UK or US or many other countries now have, so there is just a lot more of it our there. There is a ways to go to get case numbers lower to be able to do things like open shared office, restaurants and pubs, unfortunately.
A friend working in the financial sector just let us know that she's been told her office will only be allowed to have 1/3 usual occupancy once they're open, at least for a while.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill