Japan and South Korea never did full lockdowns. It left lessons on how to coexist with the virus.

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TOKYO – In Japan, the newly minted prime minister has vowed to create a path into the “post-corona era.” South Korea has launched a “living with covid-19” panel of experts.

Like many countries, both are navigating a way to safely coexist with the coronavirus in the face of increasing economic pressures and a potential new wave of infections in the winter.

But unlike many other countries, neither Japan nor South Korea imposed a full lockdown and have been trying to coexist with the virus all along.

They pursued a middle ground – consider it lockdown lite – that relied on the cooperation of citizens already accustomed to mask-wearing and social distancing in response to previous respiratory epidemics. Businesses, more or less, voluntarily closed early to help keep the virus at bay.

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The approach hasn’t been perfect, and both countries have faced waves of cases, especially with the delta variant.

www.sfgate.com/news/article/Japan-and-South-Korea-never-did-full-lockdowns-16550763.php

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