Hyeonjo Kim By: Hyeonjo Kim
Student of University of Utah
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08 May 2020 : Living with COVID-19 these days

The first time when the COVID-19 came out was around in February. I was planning to go to the beach, Sokcho in South Korea, which was 2 hours away from the city where I lived. Back then, I was excitedly planning for a short trip with my college friends, such as which bus to book, what to take, what restaurant to go to after arriving in Sokcho, and how many days to stay. At that time, there was a rumor that the coronavirus had emerged, but I thought I could go on a trip because it was not as serious as it is now. Two days before the trip, I got a call from my father. It was a call to cancel the trip. My father suffers from diabetes and is usually very afraid of complications, so I could fully understand his situation. But I couldn't agree with my dad's recommendation because I planned this trip with my friends throughout the whole summer vacation, and was angry at him when he asked me to cancel the plan.

 At that time, I came down from my family, Songdo, and was working for a part-time job in Suwon. Suwon was also known for having several confirmed cases of the virus. But at the time of February, I couldn't agree with my father, who forced me to cancel the trip because nothing was in a clear state with groundless rumors. And here was what he said: 

 

Hyeonjo, I understand how much you are looking forward to this trip. But this Corona incident seems unusual. I watched YouTube and collected information from various places, and they said the virus may not have occurred naturally. If this is a virus intentionally caused by someone, it may spread out of control. It is happening only in China right now, but soon will be huge in Korea either. I'm very worried about this situation and I'm scared that I could get this virus, but I'm more afraid that if you're going to get infected. If you don't agree with me, I'm not asking you not to go on a trip, but I will force you to stop planning this trip. I’m not going to give you the money for this trip. I’m sure of what I am doing this to you because I am your parent.

 

           Now I'm glad that I didn't go on the trip, but at that time I was so upset about what dad did. I couldn't help it because I was going to get part of my travel expenses from my parents. Because there was no other way, I and my friends' plans came to nothing. After staying in Suwon for another week and coming up to Songdo, Coronavirus quickly became in a serious situation. On February 5, there were six confirmed patients in Suwon, and the number of confirmed patients exceeded 30 after I came up to Songdo. With the virus spreading at an alarming rate, I dropped my plan to get a part-time job in Songdo and started learning how to live at home. 

           Since I started living only at home, a college that I’m attending to have conducted online classes and continued with assignments and exams online. At first, I felt uncomfortable and awkward about not being able to have face-to-face classes, but I learned how to adapt. I also felt comfortable because I didn't have to go to college building every time. My school is still conducting online classes. This system will continue throughout this whole semester. I don't know what will happen next semester, but I hope the online class doesn't repeat. Currently, I have taken two tests, and the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Korea is 1,0822 as of May 8. I just heard that 11 new patients for Corona 19 have been confirmed in Seoul in the morning today. All 11 new confirmed cases were visited Itaewon clubs. 114 people who have visited the club have been voluntarily diagnosed as the 66th confirmed patient in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do has been found to have visited the club in Itaewon over the past holiday. The Korean government has changed the guidelines from social distance to living distance since May 6, but the news has made the situation uncertain again. If middle and high school students start school like this, I am worried about how they will process it.

            My sister is in the second grade in high school, and she is having a hard time due to the test stress. I wonder what kind of guidelines schools will implement in this situation. By this concern, I should finish this reflection by saying that I'm worried about my sister. I'm worried about Korean middle and high school students who have to take more complicated tests and evaluations and worried about people who are vulnerable to diseases all over the country. I'm worried about many things. I hope we can all get through this together, being in a safe and better situation.

 

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