It has already been 7 months that we live in the world with CoronaVirus. It started in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to other countries since last winter. South Korea experienced an early outbreak in Daegu, but the increasing rate of patients is going down to under 100 per day for a few months. Since then many European countries like Italy, Spain, German, and England have been hit by this virus very hard. Total death per patient rate in Italy was the highest in the world before the US started to catch up with the deadly race. The US locked down early this year and seemed like one of the safest countries until the middle of March. However, viruses hit the US faster than any other country and New York City became COVID-19 ground zero. As a result, the US became number one in total confirmed cases and death rates.
Experts predicted we might have to live with this horrible virus for a while since there is no cure or there is no vaccine. While the virus was spreading faster, the economy of the entire world collapsed faster than the spreading speed of the virus. Stores closed and travel has been stopped. The entire world stopped. Despite all efforts to prevent the virus, this virus was ruthless. After a long quarantine from the COVID-19, people started to realize we can’t lock ourselves inside the house anymore. The government started its services and markets started to open. People are accepting the fact that we can’t avoid the problem and have to learn how to live with the virus.
As I started this writing, we are living with CoronaVirus right now. Some countries are doing better, but there is no safe zone from the virus anymore. South Korea is one of the safest counties from COVID-19. Although there was an outbreak during February in Daegu, it was limited to a certain cult organization. All South Korean citizens became one and tried to wear masks all the time and tried to keep a social distance. Therefore, confirmed cases went down to under 10 for a while and the average case per day is 30-50 these days.
The fact is that no matter where we go, we have to live with the virus. However, you are here in the Osan Airbase where it belongs to one of the safest countries in the world. Then, let’s see how South Korean kept the country safe from COVID-19.
South Korean DO NOT Refuse to Wear Masks
The most common complaint from the maintenance office around the Osan AB off base housing is that people from the US do not wear a mask. South Koreans are used to wearing masks because of fine dust and yellow sand from China. Therefore, wearing a mask from harm is not hard for us. However, people from the US do not like to wear a mask because of cultural reasons. If you walk around SED in front of the Osan AB, you will see 90% of Korean wear a mask. On the contrary, it is hard to find a foreigner with a mask.
In fact, the WHO(World Health Organization) didn’t recommend wearing a mask from the moment they declare COVID-19 as a pandemic. However, they started to admit a wearing mask can keep you safe from the virus. Please wear your mask and protect yourself from viruses and protect other people from you as well.
South Korean Maintain Social Distancing Campaign
Even though there was an incident like the Itaewon club and customer service center, most Korean locked down in order to prevent further spreading. The reason this was possible is that fast delivery system for food & grocery. Most of the Korean big markets offer an online delivery service, so you can receive your groceries in front of a door without exposing yourself to the public. Since there is no reason to go outside, the confirmed case was able to decrease faster. All spring events like cherry blossom festivals have been canceled and some cities decided to cut down flowers in order to prevent visitors.
On 4th July, a few people from the US caused trouble in Busan. They didn’t keep social distance and didn’t even wear a mask. This caused an increased rate of anxiety to Busan citizens. Therefore, my second advice is to keep social distance and avoid crowded areas at all costs.
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We Choose to Give Up A Small Part of our Privacy for Safety
This might be a little bit controversial. When confirmed cases admitted to the hospital, we research patients' routes from the moment he/or she starts symptoms. Our government’s website provides all information about locations where patients might have been passed. All locations that confirmed cases occurred have to be sanitized and close down for a certain amount of days.
Despite the success of preventing viruses, this policy caused controversial problems as well. Reporting all routes to the government disturbs major privacy problems for a certain group of people. This policy became a double-edged sword. However, majorities of South Korean agree to this policy and they write down their information when they visit bars, clubs, and even churches.
Nowadays, our government is mandated to scan the QR code that contains your information wherever you visit crowded areas. Your saved information will be only held for 14days and will be erased from the government data. Therefore, make sure you do not resist reporting in order to save your privacy. If you want to save yours, please just stay home.
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If you have any symptoms, please report to 063-470-0911 or 0505-784-9111. Korean emergency number is 1339. Also, let us know if you need any assistance. We can help you if you are in quarantine. Kim’s HSO Realty is not only here as your realtor, but here to assist you until the day you are leaving the country.