[전주대 신문 제899호 14면, 발행일 : 2020년 5월 13일(수)]
According to the KCDC, the number of patients infected with Corona 19 virus has recently decreased to around 10 a day. However, it’s too early to feel at ease. We heard that a teenager who visited a nightclub in Busan on April 18 was confirmed infected. A similar but more serious case broke out in Itaewon, Seoul during the holidays in early May. Disease control activists and doctors are worried that people keep visiting crowded places. While asking “Why now?” the fear of, or the interest in, Corona 19 disease is defi- nitely decreasing. More people are paying less attention to the virus, and some are even indifferent to it. You can meet with pedestrians and drivers who do not wear masks on the streets.
Countries like Germany and Israel impose fines for not wearing masks in public places. In some states of the U.S. and Tunisia, going out is prohibited. Now the number of confirmed COVID- 19 cases worldwide has exceeded 3 million in 118 days, with the death toll over 210,000. We watch people wait- ing in line on television. They want to buy masks that they desperately need to fight against the virus. In other countries, it is said that they some- times make masks out of a scrape of cloth from T-shirts for it is impossible for them to get a decent face-mask.
The whole world is in a state of emergency! When I look around, how- ever, I think young people don’t agree with the world. They hang out in a cafe, take pictures in a place crowded with people, and go out to clubs. The golden holidays in early May was not an exception. Kwon Joon-wook, vice- director of South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Head- quarters, warned that the holidays from April 30 to May 5 would be a major turning point. He pointed out that the Corona 19 virus could spread more widely as more people were going to be outdoors. Hotels and resorts in coastal areas of the East Sea reported a higher ratio of reservation compared to the previous month. The number of people who booked flights to Jeju Is- land increased as well. Even though the Corona 19 virus is unsparing and unobstructed while moving around, they think they will be out of the reach of the virus.
The government’s social distancing policy was extended to May 5 and it has been softened to a policy of dis- tancing in everyday life since then. It is not over yet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. announced that there is a possi- bility of a second outbreak of the COVID-19 disease this winter. In par- ticular, we need to be more careful at a time when the number of confirmed cases is gradually decreasing as is now witnessed. “The Corona 19 contamina- tion is still in progress,” said Jeong Eun-kyung, director of South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Pre- vention Headquarters on April 27. I think this is true to the fact and the chances are high that the spread of Corona 19 virus will not end until late in May.
The Corona 19 virus mutates from type A to type B, and from type B to type C, and it spreads around the world en masse, according to a Cam- bridge University research team. The spread of the Corona 19 virus is sev- eral times faster than SARS and other cases. Even some patients infected with the virus is asymptomatic for quite a while. Wearing a mask can protect both me and my neighbors from viruses. Currently, there is no country where it is as easy to get a mask as in Korea. You can buy three masks per week, instead of two. Let’s make sure to wear a mask when we go out. With each person’s efforts, everyone will be safe from the Corona 19 virus. Let’s make it a little longer to overcome the Corona 19 crisis even if it feels a little stuffy.
Meanwhile, foreign students are coming back to JJU campus. They are having difficult times returning to their places. Because of the new coro- navirus, students who move into the dormitory must take several checkups before entering the dorm room. They have to check their temperature twice a week after moving into the dormi- tory. Students living in a studio apart- ment must call up the school twice a day. They say they cannot go out for fourteen days to follow the regulation of self-isolation. If they try to go out, the app gives warning. I think we can still keep our friendship alive though we are separated for a while. We have our cell phones. The virus does not care for nationality. Neither do we. There is a big difference, though. The virus separates people, but we con- nects them.
Let’s wear a mask, wash our hands, keep distance, and stay healthy.
by Yim Jeong Hun, Reporter
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