Hello everyone! I hope that you are all safe, wherever you are in the world! I am currently based in Singapore for my semester abroad and I will use this article to provide an interesting reading during these boring days at home; this piece will be also an occasion for me to systematically organize my thoughts regarding the different responses that Asian and European countries have given in face of this crisis.
Where should we start? I guess from the moment most of us first heard about the infamous coronavirus spreading in China, which can be traced back to the middle of January, just a couple weeks after my arrival from Europe. Singapore started to spread awareness immediately as the Chinese New Year's celebrations were approaching. In fact, Singapore is a very diverse country in terms of ethnicities: 76% of the population is Chinese; they had therefore foreseen a huge movement across borders during that time. We were one of the first countries to implement travel bans to and from mainland China.
Asian countries have been fighting against the virus for two months now and it seems like they are finally getting out of it. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been moving faster than the responses of the governments worldwide and has now reached the Western countries, which arrogantly often consider themselves immune to the events taking place on the Eastern side of the globe because they are perceived as too far. I will, therefore, list and explain some of the reasons why I believe Singapore has been able to contain the outbreak so far, while European countries have not.
Just to clarify the extent to which this threat has been underestimated I have included two tweets posted by the US president, one from March 9
and the other one from five days later:
There is just one caveat to be taken into account before starting: I am basing our analysis on th