How Taiwan and South Korea Have Safe Open Economies During Coronavirus

Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam have been countries with the best coronavirus procedures and they are safely keeping their economies open. South Korea had a significant outbreak that they were able to contain.

The US now has more than the level of testing that South Korea had when it contained its outbreak. The US has more cases than South Korea’s outbreak but coordination of testing, contact tracing and pro-active quarantine maintenance and monitoring should be possible.

Taiwan has used electronic and other monitoring of potential patients and actual patients. They used mobile phones to make sure infected people didn’t leave quarantine.

Israel said last month that it would emulate Taiwan’s monitoring of potential patients.

Israel will use mobile-phone tracking technology to give a far more precise history of an infected person’s movements before they were diagnosed and identify people who might have been exposed.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country was going to follow, pretty closely, the Taiwanese model.

Google and Apple will enable global contact tracing via smartphone starting in May. This will enable all phones to determine who was in contact within 6 feet for over 15-30 minutes.

Smartphone movement tracking and tracing will be enabled.

Permanent Global Privacy Loss

The Dark Knight movie had Batman using a smartphone sonar network to spy on citizens and to determine the location of the Joker. The fictional Prism system was destroyed at the end of the movie.

The new global smartphone movement tracking system will clearly never be de-activated or destroyed.

I believe that with credit card usage and smartphone records any smaller group of people could be thoroughly tracked anyway. The people of the world just have to stay vigilant that this new capability exists and needs to be managed as openly as possible.

SOURCES – AP, JAMA journal, Dark Knight movie
Written By Brian Wang,,

11 thoughts on “How Taiwan and South Korea Have Safe Open Economies During Coronavirus”

  1. They’re already tracking your location and using it for marketing purposes.

    But the Apple/Google system actually preserves your privacy reasonably well. Phones exchange random codes directly via bluetooth. People who test positive publish the codes they’ve sent recently. Other people anonymously read the published codes and there’s one they’ve received via bluetooth, they know they’ve been exposed. There’s no need for location tracking at all.

  2. Indonesia has a program where they pay farmers not to keep pigs and ducks near each other exactly because of influenza – Indonesia is and has been a big source point of viral outbreaks.

  3. Uh, no. Just not tested. Avian flu, lots of dengue, Zika etc. Millions killed in 1918. When infectious diseases are all around in an immense island network, and basically no testing, it is what it is. They are now starting to ramp up proper testing so we will see what happens.

    Re wet markets. Not all wet market food produces Corona. IF that were the case, humans would be long gone as bush meat has been consumed for 1,000s of years.

  4. Herd Immunity does not exist except where you have a population vaccinated above a given threshold. Natural infections do not give herd immunity it is a simple logistic balance between predators (the infection) and preys. It is obviously possible that the evolutionary pressure removed genetic traits that made the population more susceptible to certain kind of infections, but it is very different from what is considered herd immunity. We have seen pandemics from China and (failed) epidemic from Africa, if air travel will get back to the same levels we might very well see future pandemics stemming from south asia, India.
    This is also true for Europe and US: new viruses occur every day, everywhere and when you get a common cold you have millions of different mutant viruses produced in your body: most of them are mutated in a negative way and only a subset of not mutated viruses carries over the infection, but every once in a while you get a virus with an advantageous mutation, so as long as you have densely populated and highly connected areas you get a higher probability of epidemic and pandemic.

  5. I cant figure out why a pandemic hasn’t started in the past from Indonesia… There are Pages of YouTube videos of tribal people In Indonesia every eat every living creature For dinner, including bats and even rats on a stick…. yet, None of these south Asian countries Where they eat wild meat even more than the Chinese have significant covid outbreaks… they must have natural immunity already…

  6. Does this mean that this tracking will be enabled for all phones, even if you have not installed a tracking app? Very bad in that case.. Corona is going away, so you would be trading a one time gain of a minuscule amount of human lives against a permanent loss of privacy…

  7. I don’t think this will fly with those afflicted with a worldview that cause them to see tyranny as the motivational imperative behind any action not previously vetted as orthodoxy by the gerontocracy.

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