El coronavirus se desató en Corea del Sur a finales de enero, cuando Yoo Yoon-sook cumplía seis meses en su nuevo trabajo. Ella se acababa de mudar de Seúl, donde pasó tres décadas trabajando en la misma farmacia, para abrir la Farmacia Hankyeol (“confiable”) en la ciudad de Incheon, cerca del aeropuerto internacional. Yoo aún no conocía bien el vecindario que rodeaba su nueva farmacia “antes de que todo esto ocurriera”, me dijo. Todo se centraba en el coronavirus, todo el tiempo.
Las 1100 farmacias de Incheon, incluida la de Yoo, comenzaron a vender las mascarillas KF-94, equivalentes a las N95 estadounidenses, hasta que se agotaron.… Seguir leyendo »
The coronavirus erupted in South Korea in late January, six months into Yoo Yoon-sook’s new job. She had just moved from Seoul, where she spent three decades working in the same pharmacy, to open the Hankyeol (“Steadfast”) Pharmacy in the city of Incheon, near the international airport. Ms. Yoo hadn’t really gotten a sense of the neighborhood around her new pharmacy “before this all happened,” she told me. It became all coronavirus, all the time.
Incheon’s 1,100 pharmacies, including Ms. Yoo’s, began to sell out of KF-94 face masks, the equivalent of the American N95. So did corner stores and large retail chains like E-Mart.… Seguir leyendo »
LAGOS, NIGERIA—Because of my work in digital communications (social media, less fancifully) for the federal government, I have in the last four years divided my time between Lagos, which I consider home, and Abuja, the federal capital. It’s now clear, however, that I will spend the next few weeks in Lagos—my longest stretch here in years—obeying the #StayAtHome message that now seems to encapsulate the fastest and surest way to defeat this stubborn virus.
That message has been the eureka! for me in Lagos in the last couple of days. It’s where all the public information energy should go, for a viral disease for which there is really no treatment, only the management of symptoms.… Seguir leyendo »
Outside the North Korean Embassy in Hanoi, a glass case displaying an array of patriotic photographs was reportedly reorganized just before Kim Jong-un’s arrival. The chairman’s portrait remained untouched at the top of the vitrine, but the images of fruit orchards and fishing boats had been swapped out for those of factories and a satellite antenna. A South Korean reporter, standing outside the embassy, observed that the new pictures seemed “tailored to fit a theme of Vietnamese-style reform and opening.”
Instead, President Trump and Mr. Kim cut short their parley, ending the summit on Thursday with no agreement in hand. Much of the American foreign policy establishment, including Democratic legislators, reacted with smug surprise.… Seguir leyendo »
On Saturday evening in Seoul, images of President Moon Jae-in of South Korea embracing North Korea’s Kim Jong-un lit up tens of millions of smartphones. The Presidential Blue House announced that Mr. Moon had just met with Mr. Kim on the northern side of the border — their second encounter in a month. At a press briefing Sunday morning, Mr. Moon explained that Pyongyang had made the request, via the inter-Korean hotline, to speak “informally.”
It was a bold recovery for Mr. Moon, who had been perceived as a tragic middleman since President Trump canceled a planned summit with North Korea last week.… Seguir leyendo »