The strategies pursued by South Korea, Vietnam & China are paying off. As of Nov. 1, the cumulative death rate per million is:

🇺🇸U.S.: 696
🇬🇧U.K.: 685
🇫🇷France: 563
🇰🇷South Korea: 9
🇨🇳China: 3
🇻🇳Vietnam: 0.36

[Chart shows data correct as of Oct. 30] 
The perception of an Asian advantage often falls prey to essentialist thinking: that the East is doing things the West could never do, thanks to profound differences in values, politics and culture, writes @LionelRALaurent.

That’s not necessarily the case 
The key to avoiding more lockdowns is finding a way to “live with the virus” through:

💉Widespread testing
📞Tracing of contacts
😷Isolating positive cases

Western countries have made structural, not cultural errors here 
➡️Extensive testing rolled out too slowly & too late
➡️Not enough contact tracers
➡️Lack of enforcement and financial support to encourage self-isolation

These aren’t questions of philosophy but about implementation of policy 
Compare that with Asia:

➡️South Korea tested early, and often
➡️In Wuhan, 11 million people were tested over 2 weeks
➡️The positive-test rate in South Korea and Vietnam is below 1%, compared to 10% in France and Spain 
While contact-tracing strategies such as Hong Kong’s geofencing wristbands would spook the average Westerner, Europeans failed to implement alternatives properly.

Between July & August, the number of contacts traced per case in France fell to 2.4 from 4.5 
China & South Korea’s decision to monitor patients in special centers is worth considering.

Keeping people cooped up at home doesn’t seem much more liberal. It’s also less effective. One study suggests institutional isolation could avert 3x as many cases 
The difference between Asia & Europe is rooted in recent, not ancient history. Over the past 20 years, Asia has been hit with several epidemics, including:

🗓2003 SARS
🗓2015 MERS

These forced countries to invest in public health 
As Europeans enter winter lockdowns, they should remember that improvements are achievable.

If Asia managed to learn from past pandemics, the West should be able to as well 
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