Self-discipline, effective measures, and testing
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Success down to self-discipline, effective measures and testing.
“Just a few weeks ago after the outbreak, my family members and friends back home were afraid about me because of the Covid outbreak. In the second half of February and early March, when the number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases peaked, South Korea seemed to be a real global hot spot. This impression has changed fundamentally: now, rather than being seen as an epicentre, South Korea seems to be an outstanding example of how to manage the crisis!
What is interesting to highlight is the fact that South Korea never experienced the kind of lockdown which is being implemented in many European and Northern American countries: shops stayed open, but also restaurants and many leisure facilities, such as saunas. It’s true that a lot of people have been working from home, but many companies and institutions never changed the fundamental structure of their working arrangements in the office.
At the same time many people are self-disciplined, staying at home, even if this is based on a voluntary basis and wearing masks all the time.
And the Korean approach is highly efficient and effective. When I returned from home at the end of March, there was a well-functioning protocol in place. Before I left the Airport, I was asked to download an app from the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, and a second, from the Ministry of Interior and Safety, once I landed.
Upon arrival, we were escorted outside the building for COVID-19 testing, and boarded a chartered bus to a facility, to wait for the test results overnight. Food and other amenities were provided, and I received my results the following morning.
After my negative test result, the chartered bus took all the foreign passengers back to the airport, where we were asked not to use any form of public transport to return home (taxis are checked to make sure there are no arrival passengers using them). When I got home, I had to report back on my health status every day. I was also given a grocery box and a basic set of masks and hand sanitizer!”
We all knew very clearly, thanks to the daily government news briefings, emergency alerts, web and mobile-based apps, and GPS trackers, what symptoms to be cautious of, what to do and where to go for testing, which neighbourhood pharmacy carried masks that day, and which “infection locations” to avoid visiting.
This inundation of real-time public information is what has really helped South Korea throughout this crisis. The Covid-19 outbreak is giving us an opportunity to look into how we need to better support our vulnerable populations, in terms of food and educational resources.
People inside the community start to be more aware of how much their behaviour can affect the world. Toward a more sustainable mentality to appreciate what really matters in life: health and family. Self-isolation can be a difficult time. However, many young people worldwide decided to tackle this with productivity and positivity.
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