Yesterday, on Children’s Day, Korea’s widely adored KBO professional baseball league finally started its 2020 season. Even though the opening games were played without spectators, many were likely watching the TV broadcasts. I hope our people – exhausted as they are by COVID-19 – will be able to take comfort in baseball returning to us once again.
The opening of our professional baseball league has drawn global attention. The matches were even broadcast live in the United States and Japan. By watching the opening of the Korean professional baseball league, the world will carefully follow and come to learn how to enjoy sports while simultaneously maintaining infectious disease prevention and control amid daily routines. Seizing on this opportunity, it’ll be all the more gratifying if K-baseball gets the recognition it deserves.
Following the KBO league’s opening, Korea’s professional soccer league will kick off again on May 8, Parent’s Day. The number of spectators admitted will gradually increase, and it will be possible to enjoy watching sports firsthand at stadiums in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully sports can bring a sense of optimism to those who want to return to normal as quickly as possible. To that end, the opening of sports leagues should take root smoothly in harmony with our infectious disease prevention and control efforts.
Starting from today, social distancing will be transitioning to “distancing in daily life.” Adding to the considerable drop in the number of new confirmed cases, the daily number of new infections within Korea has been zero for three consecutive days and for five out of the past seven days. This is what Korea’s COVID-19 response has achieved to the amazement of the world. It’s the result of the people pulling together as the principal players in the infectious disease prevention and control efforts. I ask you to once again join forces in this period of distancing in daily life so that this trend will carry on.