China, Japan, South Korea have all responded very forcefully to the spread of coronavirus. Western societies, more concerned with protecting individual freedom, look strikingly less prepared. South Korea has done 3,500 tests per million of its population. The US has done five tests per million of its population. Individualism's brand will suffer. The argument for a collective approach to well-being will be bolstered. In the UK and US, there is an overwhelming concern expressed towards protecting individuals' businesses and livelihoods as opposed to confronting the direct health threat of COVID-19. This is precisely why many states within America even refused to go on lockdown and rather just encouraged individual self-containment. While the ethics of such decisions are not the primary focus of this argument, on a global scale, this does have the potential to damage the philosophy of individualism. People might likely conclude that in the context of unprecedented times or catastrophic events, the government should more so focus on what is beneficial for society as a whole.
Individualism will not have a negative association following COVID-19. While facing such unprecedented times, most governments failed to make effective decisions. Due to a lack of data and uncertainty, governments, all around the world, acted too late or in an insufficient manner. However, society's abilities to continue battling the virus were mostly empowered by individualistic efforts. Doctors, nurses, and all medical staff made a personal and individualistic commitment to work extra hours and provide care and treatment for patients. People began sewing masks and donating food and water to homeless shelters. Countless individuals and private organizations began to provide mental health support and created jobs unique to the pandemic atmosphere. These individualistic commitments and efforts were driving the fight against the pandemic. No statewide law or governmental effort or society-mandated movement could have accomplished this.