Ruby Ramblings

The Saga Continues…..
May 25, 2009, 1:19 am
Filed under: South Korea Quarantine, Travel | Tags: , , ,

…. And starts over.

Every day a person comes down sick, our nine days of lockdown starts over again. If they keep brining in new people, a person who doesn’t get sick could be here indefinitely. If you have a natural immunity, or alread had a flu at some point and aren’t as suseptable, and they keep bringing new people in, we could be here forever. The best way to get out is to either get sick or fake getting sick, do your nine days of solitary confinement in a hospital, and be on your merry way.

Of course now all the rumors are flying about whether we are going to have jobs after this, whether parents are going to start pulling students out of schools, and the biggest one of all – a rumor that every American instructor coming over will be placed in quarantine before being allowed to continue to their posts.

One of the instructors here tried to get in touch with the embassy just to make sure they knew we were being held. The care is fine, they just thought that, in case the Korean government hadn’t told them, that they might want to be made aware. Here is the post of their conversaion.

Apparenlty they don’t care.

It’s only day two and things are getting pretty stinky around here. Our trash is considered bio-hazard and they haven’t found a company qualified to come take it away yet, so the usual efficient Korean recycling system has gone out of the window, and stinking bags of trash are in every corner (all the food they bring us comes in extensive packaging materials, so that is why the garbage is accumilating so quickly.)

So we are officially still nine days away from starting work, or getting deported. Oh, and they’ve declared that anyone who smokes is not allowed, which has caused a huge uproar amoung a bunch of people who are already stressed out. I’m not a huge fan of smoking, but now doesn’t seem to be the time to make a fuss about it.

Oh yea, and we ran out of coffee.

The thing that makes this all pointless, is that we are allowed to socialize, which is great for our mental well-being, but not really a quarantine. Plus they use the same thermometer to take our temps. twice a day, barely cleaning it with an alcohol swap and not giving it time to dry.

When we all had to get our blood drawn together at the hospital, none of the nurses wore gloves, and one was even caught wiping a blood drip of one guy’s arm with her bare hand.

Needless to say, this is making it really hard for all of us to take this seriously and follow what appears to be fairly arbitrary rules. We’ve been told we’re getting moved again, that they can’t hold us here because this isn’t what this building is intended for.

A couple of the people that tested positive for “a flu virus”, not necessarily swine flu, got sick and got over it within a twelve hour period. This hardly seems “deadly disease” some folks were accused of having two days ago. I can understand them not wanting even a regular flu virus to get out to the public, as it interferes with general life and is dangerous to people who are already sick, but it’s really hard not to view this whole situation as a huge overreaction.

Since I’m just making lists in my head of points I wanted to make to you now, I think I’ll just close for now and continue later when I’ve formulated a better story…..

8 Comments so far
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Oh no! Well, if for some reason the quarantine time keeps starting over, find out if you can get mail there. I can send you some books and/or goodies from the outside. Or would that be a violation of the quarantine?

Comment by Talya

Do you have access to a phone or have a microphone on one of the computers? If you’re bored, why not come onto the SeoulPodcast this weekend and vent?

– Joe

Comment by ZenKimchi


Have you and the others thought about creating your own rules for a quarantine? For example, new arrivals are not allowed within 2 meters of the others? Sounds nuts . . . but given the alternatives it might be something to consider.

Also, are the Korean staff cleaning the facilities properly? As in with CHEMICALS and at least once a day–though you’d think it’d need to be more often . . .

Lastly, have you contacted any American media outlets? It might be a good idea to try and get your story on a major network.

Take care, be well, and I hope you get out soon.

Comment by Jason

All of the hagwons of the quarantined people have been closed till June 2 and we have to send out temps to HQ twice a day if we want to keep our jobs.

Comment by t durden

Thanks for the update Durden. I’m really sorry to hear about that. We just got word that all the folks sent to the hospital this week tested negative, so hopefully this will clear up soon. Good luck and I hope you don’t get too down.

Comment by therubycanary

I was thinking the same [as Jason] about informing US media about your situation and about that conversation with the clerk in embassy.

Comment by Milan

The embassy’s reaction is not surprising. When we did the show with the relatives of people who died mysteriously here, the embassy acted very slowly–like it was pissed that someone made them get up and do something.

Comment by ZenKimchi

This is Kind of messed up….. I would like to know if there are any Koreans in quarantine.. … The Hagwan and Hotel staff from the Training …? And I don’t see how they could only quarantine new teachers and not any of the hundreds of other people who walk off of the plane…!

Comment by Trevor

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