It has been a dramatic reversal of political fortunes for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, with the coronavirus to thank.
When the number of daily new infections surged to a high of 909 on Feb 29, calls for Mr Moon's impeachment were rising as opposition voices blamed the outbreak on his failure to close the door on Chinese visitors early.
A petition calling for his impeachment had drawn a worrying 1.4 million signatures by early last month.
Fears were also growing that the ruling Democratic Party would lose the April 15 general election and render Mr Moon a lame duck in the last two years of his single, five-year term. The election was widely viewed as a referendum on Mr Moon's performance.
Then the winds changed.
By the time the coronavirus, which originated in China, hit Europe and America, the situation was already subsiding in South Korea after weeks of aggressive measures that included wide-range testing, strict quarantines and enforced social distancing.
The international media spotlight focused on how South Korea managed to contain the virus without resorting to extreme measures such as a lockdown and praise poured in for the country's innovative use of technology to fight the virus, such as drive-through testing to minimise human contact. Global leaders also turned to Mr Moon for advice and cooperation, such as importing South Korea's abundant test kits.
Mr Moon's approval ratings rebounded, rising above the 50 per cent mark for the first time in months to reach 52.5 per cent in a Realmeter poll out on March 26. The Democratic Party rode on his renewed popularity to win a landslide victory at the April 15 polls, snagging 180 out of 300 seats in Parliament.
Voter turnout was the highest in 28 years and people dutifully wore face masks, sanitised their hands, wore disposable gloves and stood 1m apart at polling stations to minimise risk of infection.
National pride surged as South Korea again drew praise for exemplary voting behaviour and Mr Moon basked in the glory of pulling off an election win amid a health crisis - while other governments postponed elections out of concerns over the coronavirus.
France postponed its second round of municipal elections while Sri Lanka pushed elections from April 25 to June 20.
Some states in America, including Louisiana and Maryland, have postponed presidential primaries.
A Realmeter poll out on April 23 pinned Mr Moon's approval rating at 64.3 per cent - the highest in 19 months.
South Korea has managed to flatten the infection curve in just two months, with only 10 new cases yesterday. The total tally stood at 10,718 cases, with 240 deaths.
Dr Lee Jae-hyon of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies noted that the Moon administration was criticised initially for not closing the doors on Chinese tourists early enough, but the attacks stopped after it became evident that it was South Koreans - not Chinese foreigners - spreading the virus in the country.
Criticism of Mr Moon's controversial income-led growth policy, which was widely blamed for dragging down the economy, also abated amid a global slowdown due to the pandemic, Dr Lee added. "Most people, whether they support Moon or not, say that the government has done a good job against the coronavirus," he told The Sunday Times.
Law professor Lee Jae-min of Seoul National University said South Korea's success in containing the virus was a collective effort by the government, medical professionals, companies and the population, but it all worked to Mr Moon's favour.
"All of a sudden the coronavirus pandemic just swallowed all the other issues - economy, North Korea, Japan, China, United States," Prof Lee told ST. "At the same time, people realised this is an emergency situation and they need to support their leader."