Singapore

Singapore Total Cases
Singapore Total Deaths

Source:   Singapore. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/singapore/

Singapore is home to nearly 5.6 million people and currently has only 55 active cases (as of November 30, 2020). Singapore's response to COVID-19 was quite fast for their only spike was in March 2020, and has been a constant decline since. Despite their change in numbers recently, the country took a huge hit of COVID cases at the beginning of the spread due to foreign workers according to Thecla Li, a senior journalism major at Biola University and Singaporean global student. Despite the spike in cases, Li explains Singapore's quick problem-solving and intervention to drop the case count significantly.

Singapore Active Cases

Source:   Singapore. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/singapore/

Singapore's response was effective and quick. With a decline from 1,426 daily cases on April 20, 2020, to having no more than 66 as of November 30, 2020, the progress this country has made has been substantial. For many countries alike, there are citizens who agree with the approach and those who disagree. For Li, she had mainly positive remarks for her country's response.

With any country, there is always improvement needed. Li explains some key areas where Singapore, in her opinion, could have improved in their response.

Despite the improvements that could have been done to reduce the number of deaths and cases in Singapore, there are some key distinctions for Singapore. Many countries in Asia have resorted to developing new ways to contact trace. Contact tracing has been found to be crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19 according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Li explains how Singapore has done its contact tracing and her view of the Singaporean government's aid for its citizens in these trying times.

Additionally, with the decrease in cases and easing of preventative measures by the government, many countries have begun to open up businesses and pleasantries to their citizens. Li explains how the country celebrated its independence Day with not only a celebration of the country but a celebration for those who have been working tirelessly to improve the state of the nation's health: the healthcare workers.

As Li stated, Singapore was able to primarily contain their case count by the flexibility and willingness to comply with the government of the citizens. According to Hofstede Insights, Singapore is a predominantly collectivist thinking country. This means there is a tendency to focus on the wellbeing of everyone over the wellbeing of the individual.

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Source:   Country Comparison. (2020, August 12). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/singapore/

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China

Total Cases China
Total Deaths China

Source:   China. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/

China is home to nearly 1.4 billion people and was the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreaks beginning all the way back in January 2020. The first cases were reported in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province in central China, on January 20, 2020. Since then there have been essentially no massive outbreaks within the country. Many people speculate on the actual origin of the virus within Wuhan and who exactly was patient zero but it is safe to say that China is nowhere near the numbers they saw at the beginning of this pandemic. This predominantly due to the government's hands-on approach to battling and destroying this virus. Fangling Zou, senior Christian ministries and business major at Biola University, and a Chinese global student currently residing in China explains the Chinese government's initial approach to combatting this deadly virus.

Active Cases China

Source:   China. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/

Zou explains how China's approach overall was very good, in her opinion. The Chinese citizens are very respectful of their government and any orders released to follow. This approach ahs allowed the nation to fight against the virus and open up more businesses and leisure activities for the people.

China fought hard to ensure the safety of every citizen from this deadly virus. Zou explains how medical professionals would even go as far as forcing individuals to be admitted to hospitals. This approach does seem quite extreme to many but it has allowed China to be in the state it is now: virtually zero cases. Zou also explains how the Chinese government's honesty with the public has helped with the low case count. For many, the virus is very daunting, especially when viewing the numbers of cases and deaths. China was transparent with their citizens, according to Zou, to show their own progress; losses and wins.

Like many Eastern countries, China developed its own form of contact tracing. Since the nation was ground zero for the virus and had previous experiences with the SARS outbreak in 2003, the country was prepared with a system involving color codes. Zou explains how each person is assigned a specific color which allows them to enter different buildings and participate in activities.

China, like many other Asian countries, focuses on the collectivist mindset over the individual mindset like Western countries. As seen with the SARS outbreak in 2003, Chinese citizens banded together to control the outbreak by abiding by government guidelines and looking out for others over themselves (i.e. wearing masks). 

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Source:   Country Comparison. (2020, August 12). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/china/

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South Korea

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Source:     South Korea. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

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Source:   South Korea. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

Rhee has a unique perspective on South Korea's approach from being Korean American. His perspective is unlike many citizens of the country in that he has a connection between the States and South Korea. His perspective on their response praises the nation for its quick actions and steps taken to allow the country to open up and loosen restrictions.

Although Korea's initial response was very well executed, there is still much they could have improved on. The containment of the virus was key but there are still increasing cases within the country. The path to killing the virus is not easy and Rhee explains that while there was a very positive look, in the beginning, there is always room for improvement.

Rhee, like many of the interviewees, explains how South Korea's contact tracing was quite efficient and unique to the country. For South Korea's tracing, they utilized personal data provided to the government through public records, social media, and technology which has all been collected by the permission of the people through their phones. This information has been used to allow residents to know exactly where and when potential contact with the virus has taken place and people receive the information through a text to their phone.

Lastly, Rhee explains how during this time many people have thrown around terminology unique to the pandemic. From many people's perspectives, Rhee has heard the compliance to the government orders has been labeled "being a sheep". This phrase means that people think following orders from the government is blindly obeying what is being told without having their own thoughts. Rhee explains that this is the price he is willing to take to have the freedom to open up the country like South Korea has been able to do.

Now like Singapore and China, South Korea is a collectivist country. According to Hofstede, South Korea is more of a collectivist country than the others mentioned. This directly correlates to the fact that the country has been able to progress as they have and return to somewhat normalcy ahead of many other countries.

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Source:   Country Comparison. (2020, August 12). Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/south-korea/

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