It’s a Psycho Swine Flu Freakout!

Wow, that was a really poor pun of a Reverend Horton Heat song.

An American brought the dirty H1N1 pig virus from Mexico over to Korea a little less than 2 weeks ago.  Along with suicidal presidents (sounds like a cool band name) and the nuclear North, it’s all I’ve heard about for the last 3 days since hitting the news.  This poor person was also an English Instructor, and attended a training session for their new job that first week in Korea, much like my experience 4 weeks ago.  Consequently, a little over 50 foreigners have been quarantined for 4 days now.  I stumbled across a blog that one of the banished Americans has been writing from inside the “Hot Zone” and can’t stop reading it.  Very insightful info including a full description of what life is like inside the quarantine, the response from the American Embassy, how they found out they were going to be taken away, what they are thinking, what they are eating, what they are doing with so much downtime…all kinds of stuff.

Check it out:

What does this all mean for me you might ask?  H1N1 takes 5-7 to show up after you have made contact with it, so I am off for 7 days, Wednesday to Wednesday.  Sounds great right?  Wrong, it sucks.  The whole point of not being at work is to limit your contact with the outside, thus reducing your chances of catching the bacon disease.    So I will not be going to the Hae Bang Chon music festival on Saturday, or the LG Twins baseball game at Jamsil Stadium, or even the people’s funeral for President Roh on Friday at Gyeongbok Palace with tens of thousands of other people (call me a nerd, but I think it would be totally fascinating to attend the funeral of a President).  At all of these events, I could come in contact with filthy Westerners that may be carrying pork pollutants, thus contracting the virus myself and bringing it back to my wonderful little children at work.

Snipets from the memo I received at work:

  • In conjunction with the Korean Center for Disease Control and the Korean Ministry of Health, (my institution) will not be conducting classes until June 2 in order to prevent a possible Swine Influenza epidemic and spread to our students.  Classes will resume June 3.
  • All instructors stay at their home and limit social interaction to a minimum until June 2. Even if you do not demonstrate any flu like symptoms, its is imperative that you stay home and limit social interaction to a bare minimum.
  • All instructors measure their body temperature twice per day (10am and 5pm) and report the results.
  • If any teacher suspects symptoms of SI, do NOT travel to a hospital or the CDC.  Instead, be sure to report the temperature to your school.  The CDC will contact you within the next 24 hours.
  • (my institution) thanks all instructors in advance for their cooperation in order to prevent our students from infection and a potential national epidemic.

So I will be taking my temperature, watching CNN and Arirang, maybe some OCN and anything else in Korean that looks interesting, and probably only leaving to get food at the store.  If I do leave I may even try out the face mask thing.  What a crime to cover up this pretty grill.   I have no books because they take up way to much space in the luggage.  I only brought a few DVD’s.  So…feel free to email me, message me, whatever, because I will be spending A LOT of time on the computer.  Anyone have Skype?  I need to try it out and test my web cam.

Learn Korean with


~ by ripcitytoseoul on May 27, 2009.

3 Responses to “It’s a Psycho Swine Flu Freakout!”


    ive never used it. i barely have any down time buuuuuuuutttt, maybe the time difference is enough and we could chat!

    miss you and love you and i have a shit ton of great news!


  2. Dude, that blog the teacher is writing is freaking awesome. It’s crazy to see that story unfold. Keep up with your blogging, I’m going to watch that dude’s blog too. He’s a crackup, and I want to see if anyone actually snaps over there.


  3. OK, so let me get this straight. You take your own temperature every 12 hours like clock-work, call it in but if dying due to high temperature, do not seek (the treasure) medical assistance directly. Hell of a way to run a healthcare system. And the Republicans call Obama a Socialist? (“Limit your social interactions” – means no drinking with the Dude. Lo ciento…) On the other hand, Beavers versus Texas A&M Noon PDT in 1st round of small-ball regionals; may be the middle of the night for you but hey? Where else are you going to be? Not out “interacting” with any socialites/socialists/social studies teachers….whatever. ;>{

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