S. Koreans Growing Weary of Social Distancing | Be Korea-savvy

S. Koreans Growing Weary of Social Distancing


Employees of the Seongdong Ward office eat lunch at tables equipped with glass walls at the office's cafeteria in Seoul on March 23, 2020, as the nation ramped up social distancing rules to slow the new coronavirus outbreak. (Yonhap)

Employees of the Seongdong Ward office eat lunch at tables equipped with glass walls at the office’s cafeteria in Seoul on March 23, 2020, as the nation ramped up social distancing rules to slow the new coronavirus outbreak. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, April 1 (Korea Bizwire)South Koreans are now growing more and more tired of keeping distance other members of society, a means to prevent further spread of COVID-19, as the outbreak continues unabated.

The advice of infectious disease experts is that the government’s guidelines should be presented more clearly and in detail to help citizens carry out quarantine measures as part of their daily routines.

South Korea has strengthened social distancing through April 5 to contain the spread of the virus. But there is a widespread perception that it will be difficult to return to normal life even after this period ends.

Experts point out that guidelines for social distancing that incorporate “everyday life quarantine” should be prepared as soon as possible.

The government also agreed upon the need to do so and decided to form a social consensus body to clarify guidelines for social distancing measures, but critics say that the committee has been slow to come up with guidelines.

“The public is losing focus and patience with keeping distance from other members of society,” said Uhm Joong-shik, a doctor at Gachon University Gil Medical Center in Incheon, just west of Seoul.

“The time will come in one or two weeks when it will be difficult to maintain a meaningful level of social distance.”

Furthermore, experts have pointed out that guidelines for social distancing should be provided at a level that people can be reasonably expected to actually keep, not merely textbook guidelines.

For example, the guidelines need to be specific, such as describing in clear detail when to wear a mask and when to take it off, and how to distinguish between the flow of human traffic of business and school.

However, current guidelines outlined by the government are theoretical.

They only mention “Keeping one or two meters apart from each other at internet cafes and clubs,” or “Return home right away after work,” both of which are difficult to abide by in practice.

“If you go back to your daily life, you should be most wary of infections through your hands that take place while holding a handle on public transportation or paying at restaurants,” said Yun Young-ho, a professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine.

D. M. Park (dmpark@koreabizwire.com)

One thought on “S. Koreans Growing Weary of Social Distancing

  1. Pingback: South Korea’s Very Limited Re-Opening | Robert Kelly — Asian Security Blog

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