Korean doctor says those who haven’t contracted COVID-19 have no friends

korean doctor
Image: KAIST Mommyson
  • A physician in Korea wrote a now-deleted Facebook post suggesting that those who have not contracted COVID-19 have “interpersonal problems.”
  • Ma Sang-hyuk, the vice president of the Korean Vaccine Society, uploaded the post to his Facebook page on March 16.
  • Ma’s post quickly garnered criticism from Korean internet users, prompting him to delete the post.
  • The physician explained to local media outlets that the “interpersonal problems” comment was intended to stress to others that contracting COVID-19 would be inevitable.

A Korean physician suggested in a now-deleted Facebook post that those who have yet to contract COVID-19 do not have friends.

Vice President of the Korean Vaccine Society Ma Sang-hyuk wrote in a social media post on March 16 that, “The adults who have not yet been infected with COVID-19 are those who have interpersonal problems.” 

After receiving backlash from Korean internet users, Ma deleted the post; however, it had already been screenshotted and widely shared across the internet.

Ma has previously advocated for “living with” the virus and focusing on COVID-19 treatments rather than social distancing regulations.

The physician told local news outlets that his reference to “interpersonal problems” was intended to emphasize that contracting COVID-19 would be inevitable for those with relationships. 

On Feb. 6, the Wall Street Journal reported on a tweet by Infectious Disease specialist Brenda Crabtree from Mexico, who made a similar comment to Ma’s, saying “If you don’t have friends infected right now, you don’t have friends.”

South Korea is currently experiencing daily COVID-19 case number increases that exceed 400,000 as deaths are reaching record highs.

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