Successful COVID-19 Countermeasures in Korea Have Downsides

by Won Lee

After COVID started, Korea was judged one of the countries most successfully protected from COVID. I interviewed Korean students and teachers about what was the hardest part.

At the moment, Korean students go to school biweekly, to limit the students in the school to 2/3rds. 

A Korean high-school student wearing mask and social distancing.

“It is hard to do some long term activities because of the problem of hybrid classes,” said Ms.Choi, Korean language teacher of Shinsung highschool. “It is hard to compel students who are not in online classes or don’t get teacher’s calls.”

“We asked the health department to check body temperature and sanitize hands every day,” she said. If one of the students or their parents gets COVID positive, the class stops and the students go home.

Civa Joo, a Korean highschool student, said “It’s hard to find people without a mask, and you can usually see the empty spots even when it’s crowded.” We asked him about his school life. “It’s hard to go to crowded places like restaurants and academies, and I have lots of trouble in the skin on my face because of the mask.”

On December 12, 2020  daily infections reached over 1,000 people in Korea. This is the all-time maximum number since the start of COVID. 

The current situation is level 2.5. Over 50 people can’t gather, not the sports audience, only ⅓ of normal people can be in one place. 

“Students and teachers know the importance of school education, and that it cannot be replaced by online classes,”  said Junseong Jang, another Korean highschool student. “I want to go to school, singing room, PC room. This hard situation makes things so stressful.”

Korea is successfully implementing countermeasures against COVID-19. But in the background lots of people are having trouble and wanting to live normal lives again. 

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