Living in Korea / News / Photos

Swaaan…as Maryanne Calls it



I have been debating for a few days whether to write about the Swan, otherwise known as Swine, or H1N1 or SI here, but after further deliberation in my head I think it is right for me to tell you all about Korea and right now it is an issue, just like it is all over the world.

The government has raised the warning to Red which is the highest level of awareness on the chart. 42 people have died from Swine and an estimated 8,000 people are newly diagnosed daily. 80% of sick people are school aged children, so within the next two weeks, supposedly all of them will be vaccinated.

We are doing everything we can to prevent disease here… taking massive amounts of airborne, washing our hands like mad and kicking sneezing kids out of our rooms.

Here it is interesting, if a kid is sick, they don’t go to public school and sometimes stay home from academy. To prevent illness from stepping in the doors of the school of our academies, one of our front desk staff is manned with a thermometer and sticking it in all the kids ears before sending them to the bathroom to wash their hands. Also, most kids walk around with masks as preventative measures, not because they are sick.

There has been talk about closing the public schools down for a few reasons, but mainly because on Nov. 12 there is a huge country wide SAT type test the kids take and they don’t want them sick so they have to miss it (ridiculous right!) but they are also a little worried about shutting down the schools because chances are the kids will run straight to a PC room and just end up infecting everyone there.

Please do not fear, it is no different here than anywhere else in the world. I promise. I just feel that since we are keeping you updated on our life here…this is a part of it right now.

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