JungWoo Jang By: JungWoo Jang
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12 May 2020 :

         Living in South Korea in 2020, feels very safe, and ordinary, but there are certainly changes in our daily lives such as wearing masks everywhere and working in home. Koreans have been unfortunate situations hearing hundreds of patients every day, but we soon settled it down with efforts of all citizens and hard-working government. Korea also made historical event, voting general election during the pandemic on April 15th. Numbers of patients got decrease and news were showing zero patients for a few days, until May 2nd.

         During the first quarantine, everything got cancelled, school postponed the opening date, building patients had visited were closed and hospitals were battlefields. But Koreans united to follow the orders from the country. The government tracked places that patients visited before they were confirmed as coronavirus patients by monitoring all security cameras recordings. Also, with quarantine object people, they have been watched to stay home with smartphone application.

         However, all those works that Koreans have done to root out the virus came to nothing. Korea had six days of holidays. On May 2nd, a man from Yongin went to three clubs in Itaewon and other places as well. He was coronavirus patient and more than 5,000 peoples had contacted with him. Among them, only 600 people were able to reach calls. Including the man and other club visitors did not wear masks. After having breaks, the club visitors went back to their hometowns and they spread the virous all around the nation. Korea is under a state of emergency again.

         The first mass infection happened among a religious group. An infected believer went to a church. In this case, the government was able to trace other believers with lists. Unfortunately, unlike previous mass infection, this time is more difficult. Three clubs, of course, did not have lists of visitors. Currently, on May 12th, there are 102 people infected because of visiting clubs in Itaewon and 2,000 people are not able to contact. Therefore, Korean government decided to trace mobile phone and credit card usage history. With this countermeasure, many Koreans thank the facts that South Korea is a powerful country of IT technology and has small population.

         Experiencing this pandemic, I felt like I was living in a disaster movie and also our daily lives have changed a lot. Everything seems so normal, but I realized people are wearing masks and alarms about new patients pop up. Many people have lost their jobs as well. Moreover, I have never experienced such hatred among people sharing same nationality. For example, the first week of selling mask, people were afraid and some of them raised their voice high and started fights. There was also hatred toward certain groups. Of course, it is not right to not following health rules and giving harms to innocent citizens. In this serious emergency situation, patients spread mass infections, they should consider as crime, however, I think it is not fair to criticize certain groups of all people.

         In this endless pandemic situation, all nations in the globe warry and frighten about coronavirus. I hope coronavirus soon ends. I believe Korean citizens will get over this situation as we are the people experienced several disasters that all world said they were impossible to overcome such as Mers 2012, 1997 economic crisis and Korean war and overcome them all. 

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