These will not be as carefree as they sound
In contrast to most of Europe and America, still buffeted by covid-19, swathes of East Asia and the Pacific have climbed through the worst of the turbulence and can glimpse blue skies again. Testing and tracing, prompt social distancing and swiftly mobilised health-care systems have brought impressive results: Vietnam claims no deaths, Hong Kong only four and Taiwan just seven. Japan has brought new daily infections down below 40 and has lifted a state of emergency. Local transmission is close to or at zero in Hong Kong, where offices and schools have reopened, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and, of course, China. Down Under, Australia and New Zealand are also blinking in the sunlight.