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An Interview About Thoughts on COVID-19

For today’s podcast, I am interviewing Mellisa, my Indonesian friend to ask her about her Covid-19 experience here in Korea. Mellisa came to Korea twice to study the Korean Language. First in November 2019 and next in February 2021. She shares us her thoughts on the following questions: 

  • What helped you cope with the stress that you experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic here in Korea?
  • As a foreigner, were you satisfied with the way Korea handled Covid-19?
  • What were the rules to follow when leaving Korea and going back to Indonesia? What were that things that you had to prepare?

Hope you learn a thing or two! Have a good day!

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Dana: Hello everyone! How are you? I read in the news that this year marked the coldest mid-October temperature in the last 67 years! Wow! So, I hope everyone is keeping warm!


Dana: For today’s podcast, I am interviewing Mellisa, my Indonesian friend to ask her about her Covid-19 experience here in Korea. 


Mellisa: Hello my name is Mellisa Putriaji and I am from Indonesia. I came to Korea on February 21st, 2021 for studying Korean Language at Ewha Womans University. I stayed in Korea until July 31st, 2021. 


Dana: Welcome, Mellisa. So, my first question is, what helped you cope with the stress that you experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic here in Korea?


Mellisa: For me, living in Korea during a pandemic situation sometimes makes me stressed and bored at the same time. One time I went to Myeongdong, one of the crowded places in Seoul, and I was shocked because many stores were closed and there were almost no people there. I was confused about where should I go to enjoy Korea until I found out that other tourist sites such as Gyeongbokgung and Hanok Village are still open. Me and my friends, we were annoyed at first with the time limit so we found other outside activities that we could enjoy. We like traveling so we went to many places outside Seoul, like mountains, beaches and also the parks. By doing those things, we can still enjoy our time in Korea and we didn’t get stressed by the rules. 


Dana: You’re right! Here in Korea there are many outdoor activities that we can do. But, it is also true that many places, where tourists usually go seem “dead” at the moment, like Myeongdong. Hopefully soon we can see and meet many tourists again. So, Mellisa, as a foreigner, were you satisfied with the way Korea handled Covid-19?


Mellisa: As a foreigner I am really satisfied with how Koreans handle the spread of the virus. Wherever we go and with whom we go, everything is recorded in the system. Also, when the spread was about getting higher, there was a limited number of people to eat at the restaurant which in my opinion is a good action in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. And, we can get the PCR test for free if we got contacted by someone who is infected with the coronavirus. We can also get the result the next day after the test. 


Dana: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Mellisa. And now, I think the vaccination rollout here in Korea is doing well. As of yesterday, October 23, 70% of the population have already completed vaccination. That’s definitely good news! Finally, I believe there were many rules to follow when leaving Korea and going back to Indonesia? What were that things that you had to prepare?


Mellisa: I think it depends on the places that we want to go and which airplane that we take. For me, days before I went back to Indonesia, I just need to prepare the PCR test within 72 hours. Choosing a hospital for the testing was not that hard because we got the hospitals list through the website and chose the one which is close to our place. Before I went back, I need also to book my quarantine Hotel in Indonesia. Everything just went perfectly, and I didn’t find any problems while going back. 


Mellisa: But the thing that confused me the most was when I came to Korea from Indonesia. There were so many rules to follow at the airport and the quarantine place. I got confused a lot because some things were unclear like I didn’t get my PCR test result on the last day and I had to ask my Korean friend to call the hospital because they couldn’t speak English. I also had to keep the health checking application on which was making my phone error. But other things were okay for me.  


Dana: So there you go, as foreigners, we should take time to really know the covid-19 travel restrictions in our countries. Coming into Korea is also a different story. There are rules that apply for certain countries and things you have to follow when you arrive here. Thank you so much, Mellisa!!



Recorded by Dana Picazo

2020 October 24

Script

Dana: Hello everyone! How are you? I read in the news that this year marked the coldest mid-October temperature in the last 67 years! Wow! So, I hope everyone is keeping warm! Dana: For today’s podcast, I am interviewing Mellisa, my Indonesian friend to ask her about her Covid-19 experience here in Korea. Mellisa: Hello my name is Mellisa Putriaji and I am from Indonesia. I came to Korea on February 21st, 2021 for studying Korean Language at Ewha Womans University. I stayed in Korea until July 31st, 2021. Dana: Welcome, Mellisa. So, my first question is, what helped you cope with the stress that you experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic here in Korea? Mellisa: For me, living in Korea during a pandemic situation sometimes makes me stressed and bored at the same time. One time I went to Myeongdong, one of the crowded places in Seoul, and I was shocked because many stores were closed and there were almost no people there. I was confused about where should I go to enjoy Korea until I found out that other tourist sites such as Gyeongbokgung and Hanok Village are still open. Me and my friends, we were annoyed at first with the time limit so we found other outside activities that we could enjoy. We like traveling so we went to many places outside Seoul, like mountains, beaches and also the parks. By doing those things, we can still enjoy our time in Korea and we didn’t get stressed by the rules. Dana: You’re right! Here in Korea there are many outdoor activities that we can do. But, it is also true that many places, where tourists usually go seem “dead” at the moment, like Myeongdong. Hopefully soon we can see and meet many tourists again. So, Mellisa, as a foreigner, were you satisfied with the way Korea handled Covid-19? Mellisa: As a foreigner I am really satisfied with how Koreans handle the spread of the virus. Wherever we go and with whom we go, everything is recorded in the system. Also, when the spread was about getting higher, there was a limited number of people to eat at the restaurant which in my opinion is a good action in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. And, we can get the PCR test for free if we got contacted by someone who is infected with the coronavirus. We can also get the result the next day after the test. Dana: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Mellisa. And now, I think the vaccination rollout here in Korea is doing well. As of yesterday, October 23, 70% of the population have already completed vaccination. That’s definitely good news! Finally, I believe there were many rules to follow when leaving Korea and going back to Indonesia? What were that things that you had to prepare? Mellisa: I think it depends on the places that we want to go and which airplane that we take. For me, days before I went back to Indonesia, I just need to prepare the PCR test within 72 hours. Choosing a hospital for the testing was not that hard because we got the hospitals list through the website and chose the one which is close to our place. Before I went back, I need also to book my quarantine Hotel in Indonesia. Everything just went perfectly, and I didn’t find any problems while going back. Mellisa: But the thing that confused me the most was when I came to Korea from Indonesia. There were so many rules to follow at the airport and the quarantine place. I got confused a lot because some things were unclear like I didn’t get my PCR test result on the last day and I had to ask my Korean friend to call the hospital because they couldn’t speak English. I also had to keep the health checking application on which was making my phone error. But other things were okay for me. Dana: So there you go, as foreigners, we should take time to really know the covid-19 travel restrictions in our countries. Coming into Korea is also a different story. There are rules that apply for certain countries and things you have to follow when you arrive here. Thank you so much, Mellisa!!

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