Nowadays, some people divide the period of time as Before Corona (B.C) and After Corona (A.C) and this shows how the virus significantly impacted the world even every single person’s daily lives. This harmful virus also has a close relationship with geography especially if we compare the MEDC and LEDC countries.

Currently, in the world, there are 55.6 million cases which are still ongoing for about 1 year. Even though masks and other necessary sanitation tools prevent the possibility of getting infected, the cases still seem to be increasing. In geological terms, we call this kind of virus transmissible diseases which usually appears in most of the LEDC countries because they have weaker medical systems and not enough medical tools to care for the infected people. However, this virus was an exception. It spreaded over the whole world no matter if the country is MEDC or LEDC it was inevitable to get infected and especially in the western countries.

Below is the map of COVID-19 around the world and we can clearly see that America and Asia also Europe have the most cases.

This statistic suggests that even if the MEDC countries usually have non transmissible disease more than the transmissible disease, there are still exceptions. Compared to most African countries where there are lots of LEDC countries, the MEDC countries tend to have way more cases which we can infer that if we look in close detail, we can find some minor problems in every MEDC countries’ medical system.   For example, the U.S has 11.6 million cases which is about 20 percent of the total cases in the world and this mainly happened because of the late prevention of disease by the U.S government. They actually had the most flaws in their medical system, especially the world found out that one of the leaders of the world which is the U.S have a very small number of wards and frontline medical doctors. In addition, the test for COVID was very expensive which made people don’t go to the hospital and cure by themselves which also inflated the number of cases. Therefore, it is clearly shown that for this unique virus, the relationship between MEDC and transmissible disease has been the opposite which means that in MEDC countries there were more cases than LEDC countries.

Another reason is because most of the MEDC have a high population density in average compared to LEDC countries. For example, England has 275 people per kilometer squared whereas Tanzania which is a LEDC has 67 people per kilometer squared. Generally, the risk of getting COVID is higher in MEDC than LEDC even if the masks are provided only for the MEDC the chances are still higher. Furthermore, COVID-19 was a very eccentric virus which no one has expected and experienced so many MEDC has struggled to make vaccinations and treatments for the virus leading to more infected cases. Especially, the countries where lots of people from different countries visit, which is mostly MEDC of course has a higher risk and this is inevitable because the developed countries need to keep the economy going therefore they can’t lockdown the country forever so they are exposed more than the LEDC.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 has let the world know the hidden details of all the countries such as the flaws of the medical system or the careless actions made by some governments in MEDC. When we look at the relationship between MEDC and LEDC to virus, usually LEDC was more vulnerable to these transmissible diseases but ironically for this case it turned out to be the opposite and this was the most interesting part when we closely looked at the relationship between them.

How Different Nations Cope With COVID-19

Nowadays, the globe is in a panic due to the unexpected outbreak of the deadly virus: COVID. However, it seems like different countries are having various methods of coping with it, and some are successful until now while others have been a failure. For example, England and the US have been recorded as one of the countries with the highest percentage of COVID infection, while South Korea and China have been coping well despite the fact that they’re the closest to the source of the virus. This has been justified by mostly cultural, political reasons, and the geographical nature of that country that enables it to either be strong or vulnerable against the pandemic.

It is clear that as the economics and healthcare of a specific country are at a low standard, it is inevitable to be vulnerable to COVID-19. For example, Brazil has been severely damaged since the outbreak. This is because the majority of citizens live in slums with poor sanitation and a crowded population. As large families are conventional in Brazil which has a high fertility rate, social distancing is near to impossible while the lack of hospitals and healthcare causes a dearth of COVID-19 tests and treatments that lead to a higher death rate when infected. Similar cases are identified around the globe but especially concentrated in Africa and South America.

Then, why do various European nations defined as MEDCs with a much higher GDP per capita rise as the new epicentre of COVID? This is mostly due to the late responses of the governments that considered the virus as ‘moderate’, very sociable culture, and the distinctive medical system that counts doctors as officials. The first two factors are obvious to be the cause of such a rapid increase in infection rates, although the third variable contains an interesting background. Many European countries such as England and Italy have most of their medical systems made up of officials(eg. UK’s NHS: National Health Service), which means that the treatment and pay towards medical professions lack quality contrasted to other countries such as the US or Asia, which causes leakage of medical professions. As a result, when COVID-19 outbroke, the UK didn’t have enough doctors and nurses to take care of the sick, while the daily infection rate rocketed as time passed. In addition, it might be a ‘thank you’ towards fine dust for countries which suffered from air pollution it caused, since they were provided with masks from the past that came to be useful during the pandemic. However, countries with better air quality which are most of the European nations weren’t either used to wearing a mask or manufacturing it, which made it challenging for the government to recommend masks for the primary response.

If we have a look at the US, which was identified as one of the most liberal countries and the symbol of democracy, has been on their knees in front of COVID(Average of 80000 confirmed per day during the last month). Considering that it is an MEDC with a high level of healthcare and a small scale of families, the nation failed to effectively respond to the virus. The main reason has been its political system, which is the sure division of colour between the two parties, and the distribution of fifty different states who have a range of voices. The democrats and republicans have each announced their opinions about masks in very different ways: the democrats criticised the people who wouldn’t wear masks by denouncing their carelessness about the health of others and the society, while the republicans emphasised the infringement of individual’s rights and choices towards wearing a mask. Due to this, a vast percentage of Americans refused to wear masks and stay socially distant, which resulted in a higher ratio of infection.

The two maps show the correlation between the distribution of political colours of each state(based on the 2020 election vote results) and the concentration of COVID-19 infections: it is explicit that near the states with a republican characteristic a higher concentration is shown.

However, the country which externally seems to be the most dangerous and vulnerable against COVID has been outstanding in coping itself, which is China(Average of 29000 confirmed per day for the last month). There were many concerns towards China’s impact because of the COVID since the source was Wuhan which is considered to be located close to the middle of the country, but the nation succeeded to fight against the virus by closing down the country and defining masks, sanitation and distancing as uncompromising rules. This was only possible because the country is led by a central government that has a communist characteristic. The emphasis on social good and benefit for the community has been one of the priorities in China for a long time, and the nation has been famous for controversial yet efficacious coping against social issues from the past(eg. one-child policy).

Then, in the middle of nowhere, we find South Korea, which supports individual rights and voices while having been quite successful in reacting against the pandemic. (Average of 180 confirmed per day during the last month). The main cause is predicted to be the unique response towards COVID-19 of the Korean government. Although they didn’t harshly restrict entrances in and out of the country nor closed down the cities, the government has intensely reacted to actual cases of infection, by tracking the previous routes of the confirmed people and frequently held a COVID checkup all around the country. The method of response might’ve been debatable if it was another country, but it wasn’t an issue for most of the people only because of the ‘weism’ of the single population of Korea that oddly stands out in such a crisis. 

The damage due to COVID, no matter economical or social, has been based on a few factors: level of healthcare and economy, culture, politics, and location. There is no such country or place that has an ideal condition of resistance against the virus, and Jeju isn’t an exception either. This is why individual awareness is emphasised as the main feature to stop the spread of COVID. The assembled effort of individuals such as wearing a mask, pumping the hand sanitiser, and socially distancing is the key to go back to the usual lifestyle.

Aiden Bae
Aiden Bae

Student of NLCS Jeju
Member of NLCS Jeju Troubleshooters Society

Ian Yoon
Ian Yoon

Student of NLCS Jeju
Member of NLCS Jeju Troubleshooters Society

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