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Hello America, from the land of novelty socks, and XXX-sized surplus “A Prairie Home Companion” t-shirts. I’m Andrew, long-time listener, first-time caller. I finally decided to join Ricochet today, partly because I wanted to clear up some things I am hearing in the US media, even on Ricochet.
I have been living in Seongnam, South Korea, on and off for the last six years, give or take. It’s a “satellite city” south of Seoul, part of the metro, but still with a million people living close together. It’s always hopping, there’s rarely a seat on the subway, and jostling is the national pastime.
In Oklahoma, I was a classical music public radio announcer, but in Korea, I am an English teacher in corporate offices and private institutes. In Korea, I suppose teaching English may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, but there’s not much use for me here in radio, as my Korean skills are semi-pro. A woman led me here, so for now, let’s place the blame squarely on her shoulders.
Having seen the beginning of this Wuhan Virus™️ in Korea, I want to tell you what it looked like here. First of all, the perception that Korea was ever “shut down” is wrong. The third-largest city, Daegu, was the site of an outbreak inadvertently spread by Shincheonji cult members. Even during that time, lines for protective masks stretched around the block, and life, to some extent, went on. Here in Seongnam, Seoul, Busan, and Incheon, public school and university starting dates were delayed, but other institutes and businesses opened or closed as they saw fit. In my six-day work week, I lost two days in January and four days in February. Two of those lost days were due to a client canceling. Four were because of an institute closing.
My friend, a female boss of an electronics company with over 100 employees in two cities has not closed for one day during this outbreak. Other associates who work for SK Telecom, Samsung and LG all telecommuted at times, but otherwise went to work on schedule.
In this country of 51 million people, there has been no mass curfew, release of prisoners, overrun hospitals, or mandated self-quarantine. The stores have remained open, there have been no empty shelves, no panic buying, and no people pummeling each other over peanut butter. Plenty of toilet paper available too!
So, it makes me wonder what’s going on in the Home of the Brave™️. Just wondering.
Sorry for the long post. Nice to meet y’all.Published in