The world, in effect, is split: While Asian countries, which moved swiftly to contain their outbreaks early on, persisted in their fight against the virus, growing pandemic fatigue in the U.S. and Europe has led to relaxed attitudes about social distancing that are complicating efforts to control a resurgence. As cases rise, Western governments are struggling with testing shortages and contact tracing is becoming ineffective. Many in the West are pinning their hopes on a vaccine for life to return to normal.

Asia, on the other hand, has managed to suppress the virus largely without the nationwide lockdowns that crippled Western economies in the spring. Governments there have put in place aggressive contact-tracing efforts, quarantine programs to isolate those infected and strict international-travel requirements. Cultural differences, consistent messaging and experience with outbreaks of SARS and MERS have led to more widespread acceptance of practices such as wearing face masks and, in some places, more intrusive government intervention…

The more successful handling of the pandemic in Asia has yielded better economic performances. The International Monetary Fund projected China’s economy to expand by 1.9% in 2020, making it the only major world economy to grow this year amid the pandemic. The U.S. economy is expected to shrink by 4.3%, while the eurozone is forecast to contract by 8.3%.