K-pop superstars BTS urged people to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to improve the current situation.
During an interview with ABC News while they were in the US for the United Nations event, they were asked if they would feel comfortable to go on tour around the world again amid the ongoing pandemic.
“As eager as we are to perform, we also hope the situation gets better quickly, many people get vaccinated and it becomes possible for us to safely have a concert,” said J-Hope.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded last year, BTS have been unable to hold in-person, or offline, concerts with thousands of fans in attendance.
They were able to hold online concerts through live streaming. HYBE previously tried to allow a limited number of fans to attend BTS concerts in person in Seoul but it did not push through when the Korean government imposed a strict level of social distancing.
Like many millions of people around the world, BTS members were affected by the pandemic including their tours getting cancelled.
“When a person walks through a tunnel, he or she would think that there should be a slightest light at the end of the tunnel to lead the way out. In fact, when COVID started, there was quite a depressing feeling among us as well, as we watched all our schedules and tours being cancelled right in front of our eyes,” said Suga.
He added, “I think we need to cheer up together and work together to change in order to escape from such a situation. Not just us but if everyone around the world tries to rise over the hardship, we will be free of isolation and depression a bit faster.”
Korean President Moon Jae-in appointed BTS as Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture.
Their first duty was speaking at the second Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment of the Decade of Action meeting held in the UN General Assembly Hall last Sept. 20.
During their UN speech, J-Hope and RM revealed that they got vaccinated before coming to the US.
“Some of you heard the news that we were coming to the UN and a lot of you were wondering whether we have been vaccinated and I’ll take this opportunity to say yes, all seven of us,” said J-Hope.
RM said, “Of course we received vaccinations. The vaccination was a sort of ticket to meeting our fans waiting for us and to being able to stand here before you today.
When ABC News asked about some of their fans being hesitant to get vaccinated, Jin said, “We are all vaccinated and we sympathize with people who fear vaccines because it is something that did not exist before. But I believe that if we are afraid of the past, we won’t be able to make progress.”
A Gallup Korea survey conducted among 673 respondents in June in South Korea showed that 84 percent were willing to get vaccinated while 11 percent said they will not get vaccinated.
BTS said what they miss the most about going on the road are doing concerts and meeting their fans.
“As we watched all our events and tours being cancelled right in front of our eyes, we also felt quite depressed. If not only us, but everyone around the world comes together to overcome it, we can emerge from this isolation and depression a bit faster,” said Suga.
According to Jimin, “I hope that COVID ends quickly and we can get back to doing the performances we love.”
“Something I miss the most…it’s very sad not being able to see so many people who love me. Of course, it includes going on tours, but the most important of all it’s our fans who trust us and root for us, and embrace everything about us. It’s been almost a year and a half, two years, since I’ve had real eye contact with ARMY. Since I don’t see (them) in person, I question myself if they really exist,” said V.
President Moon praised the BTS’ song “Permission to Dance,” saying it is “beautiful and so is its choreography and it delivers a message of unity that overcomes our differences. Since BTS represents the younger generation, and many people relate to them, I believe they can spread awareness and empathy.”
Jungkook cannot believe that they were able to speak at the UN and be appointed as special envoy.
“It’s still hard to believe that we did a speech and performance. Being appointed special envoys, it felt like time had stopped,” he said.
BTS returned to South Korea from the US on Sept. 24.