Recent developments relating to the swine flu (H1N1) and Korea have necessitated the email.
The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST) announced on May 25 that educational institutions are to be vigilant in safeguarding against the spread of influenza.
This includes monitoring personnel, especially foreign nationals and others who have entered from abroad recently. Symptoms of H1N1 are acute infectious respiratory conditions, including a fever of over 37 degrees Celsius accompanied by nasal mucous, congestion, sore throat, or cough.
Teaching personnel exhibiting the above conditions are to be prohibited from carrying out their teaching duties and must be reported to the district public health center for treatment.
Entrants into Korea from areas with a relatively high incidence of H1N1 (namely, Mexico, USA, Canada, UK, Spain, Japan) are prohibited from reporting to their workplace (in this case, _____________________) for seven days after entry, until the H1N1 incubation period has passed.
These MEST directives are in effect until further notice, and the list of affected countries is subject to change. This will effect those planning to travel outside of Korea during the summer vacation period.
Instructors are expected to be here to perform their scheduled teaching duties and attend the August 28 Teachers Workshop, so travel plans must be adjusted accordingly. Already approved vacation time will remain as originally approved.
We realize that these MEST directives may cause inconvenience, but these are not normal times. Special situations call for special measures. We hope you are understanding.
While I would love about a week to do nothing but eat take-out and blog right about now, I'm a little worried right now that the swine flu scare will interfere with my plans to visit Japan and the United States this summer before returning to Korea in September. Too bad there's no way to get the quarantine out of the way before traveling. That was a joke.