Corona Virus Now Spreading

Ceracera

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A lot of people not living in the epicenter here didn't take it seriously at first either. They didn't throw parties, but a lot did crowd tourist tourist spots. So the government had to shut all of them down and do the lock-down.

That's when everyone went into full-blown paranoia mode. Instant noodles, bottled water and canned fruit flew off shelves. They got easier to find once the panic-buying died down. Now, two months later, there are loads of people with 6 month's stock of cheap ramen noodles that they'll probably never eat

I remember getting into an elevator with a lady a week into the lockdown. She had a hat, gloves and a mask on, and she was carrying some sort of spray. There was this fear in her eyes when she realised she was going to have to share the elevator with another person. She pushed the button for her floor with a toothpick. And she dropped the toothpick right after. When the doors opened, even though there wasn't anyone else in the corridor, she sprayed whatever it was she carried, waited a couple of seconds, and then darted out.

Building management had to put up a sign in the elevator telling people to stop spraying the buttons with alcohol.

Worst part of it was that my Chines isn't that great, so I hard trouble finding updates until friends showed me how to check local reports on social media.

Some of the videos were heart-wrenching. There was one of a group of nurses from a hospital in Wuhan, the city where it all started, and one of them was saying they'd been reusing PPEs, but that they were still going to run out of them in a few days time anyway. And I remember there was this other one taken by a patient sitting in a hospital bed- all the doctors and nurses around him were wearing what looked like full-blown hazmat gear. There was an interview where a nurse even explained that she was getting dehydrated cause she didn't want to drink water in case she might have to pee- that would mean she'd have to waste a suit. (That's also how I knew it was going to get ugly in Italy when I saw pictures of doctors there handling patients wearing just scrubs.)

Then there were the viral spitter videos. One woman was filmed spitting on drug store clerks after they told her the medication she wanted was out of stock. Another spat on every door handle she came across in her apartment building. Weird thing was, they later tested negative for the virus.

I had to limit going out to once a day cause I only had 5 masks at home and you're not supposed to go out without one. I only managed to buy more masks at the end of Feb.

The atmosphere around here improved last week, when the news reported no new local cases for 7 consecutive days. I'm starting to see kids playing and people taking walks when I go downstairs to pick up packages. People actually smile at each other. And I now share the elevator with people who push buttons with their fingers instead of toothpicks. It's amazing how everyone can do a 360 based on one news report.

The government just announced they're going to re-open a section of the great wall, and life is slowly getting back to normal. But I'm apprehensive. The city I live started reporting imported cases a couple of days ago. There are a few new ones almost every day.

So far it seems like South Korea's the only country that didn't get caught with their pants down.
 
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DreamerRose

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There is. But people are hoarding so much stuff that the essentials are never available for pick up or delivery. First come first served. They need to find a way to control this better.
I agree. I haven't gotten involved in the hoarding, but now I'm beginning to panic that I won't be able to get what I need when I run out. (FORO - fear of running out) I bought some extra kleenex to use if I run out of toilet paper, and I just ordered some of what Chewy still has, but they said it would be 7-10 days before they ship. So later in the week, I will have to start a search, in the car, for cat food.
 

Ceracera

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It can be tempting to buy whatever other people are buying, but stuff will be back in stock once the initial panic dies down.
 

pearl99

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One of our volunteers at the Dumb Friends League has died from Covid-19. So sad. The vast majority of our volunteers are seniors.
Impossible to know where he picked it up, since he came down with symptoms a couple of weeks ago. He left a wife.
 

EmersonandEvie

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The Georgia DPH updated their website to show percentage of hospitalizations of COVID patients and not just deaths...they have an estimated 32% that have been hospitalized as a result of the virus. Now, that number is just general hospitalization (i.e., It doesn't break down who needed a full-on ventilator vs just supplemental oxygen, etc.), but that was still sobering to see...

I think everyone just needs to be under the assumption that they have been exposed (which, honestly, is probably the case for a majority of people). It's just a really sucky time of year to have sinus/allergy issues coincide with what could be mistaken for COVID symptoms.
 

KittyFriday

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It is, and an awful time for my health anxiety. Shortness of breath, fatigue, and just general malaise are all anxiety symptoms for me, but thankfully they go away for a bit before returning. I may have to dip into my clonazepam at some point and I haven’t had to take that for at least two years...
 

susanm9006

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The Georgia DPH updated their website to show percentage of hospitalizations of COVID patients and not just deaths...they have an estimated 32% that have been hospitalized as a result of the virus. Now, that number is just general hospitalization (i.e., It doesn't break down who needed a full-on ventilator vs just supplemental oxygen, etc.), but that was still sobering to see...

I think everyone just needs to be under the assumption that they have been exposed (which, honestly, is probably the case for a majority of people). It's just a really sucky time of year to have sinus/allergy issues coincide with what could be mistaken for COVID symptoms.
Yeah, I have have three or four days in the last couple weeks when I was sure I was coming down with it. Headache, sore throat, congestion etc. I have to keep reminding myself that I always have days like that in the springtime.
 

Xraystyle

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So far it seems like South Korea's the only country that didn't get caught with their pants down.
We got very lucky that our biggest sudden outbreak was from a single religious organization/cult that had lists of their members (albeit the government had to forcibly obtain the lists) in a secondary city (if it had occurred in Seoul, the situation might be different). Because of how badly MERS was handled here (patients not put in quarantine so the disease mostly spread through hospitals), and, tangentially, how they failed during the sinking of the SEWOL ferry, the current government took extra steps to speed up bureaucratic procedures and gave themselves extrajudicial powers to monitor suspected cases. ie EVERYONE in the cult that they could find-using credit/cell records, etc) got tested, whether or not they were even present at the service with the first super spreader.

I am more worried now though, than at the beginning, because of how relaxed people have become despite the government warnings and pushing back school openings again and again. I've been at work like normal this whole time, but the longer schools are closed, the longer academies are pressured to stay closed too. We could handle a month, and we're doing online classes now, but the longer this goes on, the less secure I feel. My visa depends on my job. My housing is paid for by my employer. If we had another sudden outbreak...I could imagine cutting jobs for foreigners would happen sooner rather than later...
 

Lari

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I agree. I haven't gotten involved in the hoarding, but now I'm beginning to panic that I won't be able to get what I need when I run out. (FORO - fear of running out) I bought some extra kleenex to use if I run out of toilet paper, and I just ordered some of what Chewy still has, but they said it would be 7-10 days before they ship. So later in the week, I will have to start a search, in the car, for cat food.
Yeah, I took a big roll of toilet paper from the school office when I went in to pick up the turtle earlier. 🙄 I will happily buy more for them once this is all over (or bring it back if I'm able to find some to buy the next time I need the grocery store), but I do feel better knowing I have it.
 

Xraystyle

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Almost all the new cases in Seoul yesterday were from Korean people returning from abroad. Judging by their ages, many were probably studying abroad and had to return once dorms were closed...The good news about this is that they're monitoring arrivals closely and most are being responsible and self-isolating as soon as they get home, whether they have symptoms or not.
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pearl99

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I checked on the website of a hospital near me about making homemade masks and they are not accepting them, but found a list of things to do to help.
One was bring takeout restaurant food for the staff (they can't accept homemade food) and another is a care package of food and home staples like shelf-stable basics. TP/paper towels, home cleaning supplies etc. since medical staff may not have time to shop with working long hours.
So check nearby hospital websites if able to do something!
I'm going with the care package. I saw a fair amount of TP at a Target near me today.
 

DreamerRose

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Ceracera

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We got very lucky that our biggest sudden outbreak was from a single religious organization/cult that had lists of their members (albeit the government had to forcibly obtain the lists) in a secondary city (if it had occurred in Seoul, the situation might be different). Because of how badly MERS was handled here (patients not put in quarantine so the disease mostly spread through hospitals), and, tangentially, how they failed during the sinking of the SEWOL ferry, the current government took extra steps to speed up bureaucratic procedures and gave themselves extrajudicial powers to monitor suspected cases. ie EVERYONE in the cult that they could find-using credit/cell records, etc) got tested, whether or not they were even present at the service with the first super spreader.

I am more worried now though, than at the beginning, because of how relaxed people have become despite the government warnings and pushing back school openings again and again. I've been at work like normal this whole time, but the longer schools are closed, the longer academies are pressured to stay closed too. We could handle a month, and we're doing online classes now, but the longer this goes on, the less secure I feel. My visa depends on my job. My housing is paid for by my employer. If we had another sudden outbreak...I could imagine cutting jobs for foreigners would happen sooner rather than later...
Are you a teacher as well?

I'm kind of worried how this is going to affect the entire english-teaching industry. Right now, a lot of students here want to learn English so they can study abroad or immigrate, because they see western countries as having better healthcare and education. There's this thought that hospitals in the west are free, and everyone has access to top-notch hospitals. Wonder how many of the students here are going to reconsider when they see healthcare elsewhere fall apart, and realise their own country is not as backwatered as they think.
 

Xraystyle

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I work in an English academy teaching occasionally but mostly writing and designing the tests and textbooks.

English will still be necessary even if the world falls apart. Until another language emerges as the Lingua Franca for both business and popular culture, we're stuck with good ol' English. Korean schools even had to create new textbooks that taught kids the native Korean words for things because they had started using the Konglish words for everything.

My understanding of the motivations of my Korean friends for wanting to move abroad has nothing to do with money or healthcare, but simply personal freedom. Whether they're LGBTQ or just "free-thinking", they see the sameness and the pressure to "succeed" in Korean society as a prison (just look at the suicide rates). I imagine there are many Chinese youths that feel that burden even more, especially as they are getting more and more exposed to other philosophies and lifestyles. Those people will still want to move abroad regardless of economic or health situations. I do have a few Korean friends trying to get flights to return now as they feel safer being at home than in France, Belgium, or Australia...even if it means giving up their alternative lifestyles for a little while.
 
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