A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Swine Flu Mania

Swine flu has long faded from World headlines, but the hysteria is alive and well in Korea. The day after returning home from my two week vacation, I sat in bed expecting to begin work the next morning, a Friday. I received a call from my co teacher, however, informing me that because I had left the country my vice-principal was afraid I'd caught swine flu. I needed to stay home for the next week because "symptoms take seven days" to appear. An extra week's paid vacation?? Okay! See you next Friday...

Upon returning to school I discovered that all the students were having their temperatures checked daily. In addition, all field trips and festivals had been postponed or canceled. I was advised by my school to "just stay in your apartment" all weekend (Ha!) and to avoid Emart. I just smiled and nodded, as I find this the easiest response to anything ridiculous my school asks of me.

Face masks are back out in full force and today I noticed the addition of large machines in the hallways labeled "Hand Washing" in English. They are the size of small refrigerators but I'm pretty sure all they do is spray hand sanitizer. I didn't test them because I am fervently against hand sanitizer as a means of hygiene. I really resent how this epidemic is going to make people overdoes on anti-bacterials, leading to the evolution of antibody resistant super germs that are going to make me sick in the future.

And, no, that's not paranoia... that's just science.
UPDATE: I have also learned that there are in fact 6 steps to properly washing your hands. Who knew it could be so complicated? My hands have never actually been clean before today...
Also, the government has decided to abandon the quarantine policy. They finally realized its completely ineffectual. It was great while it lasted, but some of us worried it would make our schools try to prevent us from traveling so I'm glad they've reconsidered.

1 comment:

  1. drug resistance is valid, scientific, unfortunate,human-abuse induced truth....someday, when one really needs an antibiotic for a cure to an infection (ie, staph infection,, which is on rise )nothing will allay it,, secondary to the pathogens mutating to survive the intended onslaught with antibiotics..... ...must distinguish infection pathogens vs.. VIRAL virons that do not respond to antibiotics ever, anyways.....so the influenza is virus and different, yet similar..... Jodie, registered nurse and researcher......A funnie to your "eewwww" sister...that bug , or another, may someday save one's life!!!!