Korean caller's family fears for his health in the UK

14 July 2020, 15:04

By Seán Hickey

This caller explained that his family back home in Korea have been shocked by the UK's comparatively ineffective coronavirus response.

As another layer was added to the face mask debate in the UK with the wearing of face masks indoors becoming compulsory in England, Sang, from South Korea but living in London, told James O'Brien how his family have been reacting to the government's comparatively slow response.

"I've been getting messages from my family and friends in Korea worried" he said, and James couldn't find any fault in their concerns. He imagined that his family wonder "what the hell is happening in that country?" When they get in touch.

Sang went on to say that "in Korea they've been looking at countries in Europe and the US as countries that have been looking after their population" and it is strange for his family to see the UK and the US having such poor coronavirus responses in that regard.

"The countries with the most money have provided some of the worst responses" James pointed out. He wondered how the concern comes out when he speaks to his parents. Sang told James that his mother is consistently telling him to wear his mask and keep hand sanitiser with him.

"She says that every week."

South Korea has been a world leader in repressing coronavirus
South Korea has been a world leader in repressing coronavirus. Picture: PA

The South Korean said that he couldn't understand "understand why there's no ministry of health explaining statistics" because in Korea, the numbers are explained daily by government officials.

"We can't even agree on what the statistics are" James quipped. He finished up by asking Sang what his family thinks of him "being put at unnecessary risk by what is essentially government policy."

The caller told James that he has been prepared for the pandemic since December, as he could see the virus coming when it reached Hong Kong. "The reverse was true for my parents" he said, detailing how Korea was initially unprepared but quickly took control and repressed the virus well.

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