South Korean drone display reminds watchers to wash hands and wear masks – The Verge

South Korea has done a remarkably good job of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. But as experts warn of a second wave of infections, the government has organized an unusual way to both thank its frontline medical staff for their hard work and remind citizens to abide by preventative measures: a drone light show over the Han River in the capital of Seoul.

As reported by France 24 and Al Jazeera, the show took place last Friday, July 6th, and featured 300 drones in a 10-minute show. The display was organized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and was intended to thank frontline health care workers.

It began with messages reminding citizens to wear masks, wash their hands, and observe social distancing rules, before sharing a message of gratitude for doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. At the end of the show, the drones formed an outline of the Korean Peninsula overlaid with the message: “Cheer up, Republic of Korea.”

You can watch a video of the light show below, with the English title “Thanks & Hope”:

It’s perhaps an unusual way to try to boost public morale, but reports suggest citizens in South Korea are struggling with aspects of coronavirus prevention, particularly the wearing of masks — a challenging task in the hot summers of the South Korean capital.

Although mask-wearing has not become a politicized issue in South Korea as it has in the US, reports of “mask-rage” incidents in the country are rising, with the police recording some 840 fights, mostly on public transport, triggered by individuals not wearing masks in June. A drone light show might not be able to calm these tempers, but at least it provides something of a distraction.