How South Korea squashed the coronavirus curve

____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ But just as South Korea appeared to be descending into catastrophe, the country stopped the virus in its tracks. The government demanded that the Shincheonji Church turn over its full membership list, through which the Ministry of Health identified thousands of worshippers. Related: Coronavirus crisis around the world (Photos) Footballers of the U-10 age group of SV Loschwitz train on the pitch at large intervals, on May 5, in Saxony's capital city of Dresden, Germany. In the time that South Korea righted its course, the United States veered into disaster. Juxtaposing the South Korean response with the American tragedy, some commentators have chalked up the difference to an ancient culture of docile collectivism and Confucianism across the Pacific. It also exoticizes Korea’s success and makes it seem like the inevitable result of millennia of cultural accretion, rather than something theU.S., or any other country, can learn from right now. The truth is that the Korean government and its citizens did something simple, admirable, and all too rare: They suffered fromhistory,and they learned from it. In 2009, the H1N1 influenza, which likely originated in Mexico, spread to more than 1 million people globally and killed several hundred South Koreans. From these epidemics, South Korean public-health officialsrecognized the necessity of early testing and the importance of isolating new patients to prevent secondary infections. But 2015’s Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, created the playbook that the country has used to break the back of COVID-19. “MERS was transfixing and frightening to Koreans, because the disease was spreading through crowded hospitals and their waiting rooms,” Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me. “People were getting sick, but they were also afraid of going to the hospital for fear that it would make them even more sick.” Today, Korea’s COVID-19 response strategy sits atop three pillars: fast and free testing, expansive tracing technology, and mandatory isolation of the most severe cases. One of the key lessons of MERS was that bending the curve required an accelerated plan for designing, manufacturing, and distributing accurate tests. They also note, with asterisks, whether their houses havebeen disinfected, whether there were contacts, and whether they were wearing masks the entire time. Lately, most of our cases have been imported, so the routes are pretty boring: Peoplearegoing from the airport, to quarantine in their house, to their community health center to get tested.” Related: Coronavirus myths busted (Photos) While several drug trials are ongoing, there is currently no proof that hydroxychloroquine or any other drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. It is also beneficial for your general health to maintain a balanced diet, stay well hydrated, exercise regularly and sleep well. The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. If you have cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Methanol, ethanol, and bleach are sometimes used in cleaning products to kill the virus on surfaces – however you should never drink them. Make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Bydoing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus. In 2015, the government’s most public failure was its refusal to share any information about the hospitals where sick patients might have visited. In 2020, Koreans seem mindful of the trade-offs between privacy and publichealth, and the sources I spoke with welcomed tracing technology. And the asymptomatic “contacts” of recently diagnosed cases are asked to self-quarantine at home anduse separate bathrooms, dishes, and towels from their cohabitants. “A delicate balance of trust … drives the entire thing,” the writer Yung in Chae told me. People trust the government in part because it works to keep raw politics out of public health. South Korea’s Ministry of Health has for months held daily briefings to update the public and convey best practices, such as social distancing and hand-washing. Rather than announcing an official lockdown that would fully close restaurants and businesses and force citizens to stay home, the Korean government has opted to keep more of its economy open. If you don’twearmasks, you get looks on the street.” Before the crisis, Choi said, he would leave his apartment early, ride a crowded subway, elbow his way through a packed gym to the treadmills, and then go to the office. There’s a regular diner that I go to forlunch, and the staff there tell me that their work schedules have been reduced to avoid layoffs. Larger social gatherings, at bars and restaurants, have been paused.” I asked Choi how the country had come together so quickly to stem the spread of the disease. But we’re in a better place because the entire society has been in this game, fighting together.” As he spoke, my mind turned to vaccination. A live vaccine uses a weakened version of a virus to teach the immune system how to respond to the real thing. Long after the vaccine is gone, the body remembers its immuno-playbook and stands prepared to fight a stronger pathogen in the future. Otherepidemics came and went, but they left behind guidance that Koreans recalled and executed when they were suddenly confronted with the plague of the century. Korea’s world-class response to COVID-19 is not the product of religion, or cultural destiny, but rather the result of diseases bested and crises weathered. The United States entered this pandemic discombobulated, blundering, and hamstrungby our lack of readiness.