I'll collect earlier comments and blog posts in a bit. Anything off-topic will be deleted, so kindly put it in a different thread.
So far there's:* Joy * Stuart * Desiree * David of Staypuff.net * Matt from Gusts of Popular Feeling
I was sitting alone in my office when I noticed a couple of people getting out of their car in front of my school,walk into the reception office.. I heard my name being spoken. The next thing I know is I have two nurses,my principle,schoolboard representitive and my co-teacher asking for me to give a blood sample,they wanted to swab my ears ,eyes,nose and mouth and I'm surprised the didn't want a stool sample.The nurse, through my co-teacher asked me if I had been outside Korea in the last 6 months.They should have known this as the had every bit of my personal information with them.. I answered" No, I have not"..They asked me if I had a fever..I sugested that as health care professionals they should take my temperature.. They did just that.Next , they asked me if I was hanging around with any "infected" foreigners..I asked them, "infected with what.? ".in Korean.. myself.. this made them uncomfortable.. and they didnt know what to say.. They then produced a piece of paper and a pen and asked me to write the names down with telephone numbers of my foreign friends in the area..I told them that they were out of their minds and they could get the hell out of my office..After all of this they told me this was aa routine.. random health check to which I replied" you're a bunch of fucking liars" and proceeded to explain why I thought this.. They packed their shit and left my office... and they didn't check another person in the school.Random..? I think not.. This country doesnt know how to handle problems in an objective ,personable manner so they do what they do best..make excuses..I would like to see what would happen,under the same circumstances if a health care worker walked off the street into a public school in Cleveland or Toronto or Sydney or London to test a visable minority.. people would end up losing their jobs because of discrimination.. but hey.. " my house .. My rules".. right..?
As I mentioned on another one of your posts, I was waiting for the elevator when a new student approached me and asked me if I was a "newcomer" to Korea. I told him I wasn't and he then decided it was "safe to ride the elevator with me".When I returned to school later, there was a message on the office board written by Korean teachers (without the knowledge of management) accusing the native instructors of having swime flu. It read: "Will the native teachers please go to the doctor and be tested for SI. Students are becoming concerned since all of you are Americans."Later on, management called us in one at a time and asked us if we had any contact with people "from abroad". After saying 'no', they demanded that we get a check-up to make sure. I said that I didn't have time to deal with this garbage and walked out. I have talked to most of my students about it and, aside from the elevator guy, none of them seem too concerned. It appears that Korean teachers and management are making most of the fuss, but my school might be different. I'm expecting my badge tomorrow. I hope it's a nice fleshy swine pink color.
My school didn't really question me. In fact, I was on my way into work and called my director, who told me to go home and stay inside. I was extremely confused, since I came back from vacation today. I went home for a few days, home being NY.Turns out my hagwon is following a new policy:-All teachers are to wash their hands 3 times a day with 'special soap.'-Temperatures will be taken twice a day.-No going out in the public or traveling abroad.Since I went abroad to NY, I am under house arrest for a week. I have to update my director about my temperature everyday. I understand the precautions, especially after all that's happened this weekend, but now all the kids think I really am sick. I wish the teacher in charge of telling them the reason for why I wasn't at work would have been more specific...
Many parents are calling our school concerned about the health of the foreigners. Of course, they don't bother asking about the health of the Korean teachers.They tried to have us go get tested for the swine flu, but they took us to the wrong clinic. So, that's been delayed until we have more time.They don't want us to be hang around other foreigners outside of the school. They also don't want us to leave the country even during our one-week holiday in July. The manager also wants us to use a special hand-sanitizing machine that she just bought today.
Thanks for all the comments and updates, everyone. If you know anyone else going through this, please invite them to share.I screwed up the link to Gusts of Popular Feeling the first time, so here it is again: http://populargusts.blogspot.com/2009/05/lessons-for-swinish-multitude_27.html
I was planning on visiting home in July-August and wonder if doing this will mean I will be quarantined for a week upon arrival in Korea.
Me too, Zach. But let's keep this thread only for accounts of people and their schools. Anything else please put in one of the other swine flu threads.
We were sent for a medical check at a clinic around the corner from our work. You saw my initial post, here's the follow up;http://staypuff.net/?p=3109
I was asked by my school if I had swine flu. Though, I teach in Bundang in Gyeonggido, where some of the people who came over with the swing flu are living.So it was a little random, but I guess there are foreigner cases in the city, so its reasonable enough.My co-teacher told me, the Gyeonggido Officer of Education is asking all schools to ask if their English teachers have swine flu.Though, I haven't heard many other people up here be asked that question. So perhaps it is just a suggestion?
The director of my hagwon told me he was contacted by the immigration department, asking if myself or my coworker had travelled recently. He also asked us not to spent time with any English teachers for a month.... which basically means we can't go out and spend time with any of our friends, since all the people I know here (foreign and Korean) are English teachers.
One wonders how Koreans in North America might feel if a health official asked them to turn in other Koreans in their area. "Say, nurse, if you could ask me that question about turning in associates for harassment while wearing the uniform of a Japanese Imperial army officer, the irony might be more apparent to all. No?"
To go along with the comment from holden-wake -- Last night I stayed after work to chat with my academy director and heard that the Gyeonggi-do Office of Education called earlier in the day to ask how long it had been since our academy's (foreign?) teachers entered the country. He told them our arrival dates and that was, apparently, the end of things.Nothing about further questions, nor about parents being concerned. My one foreign coworker has gotten pretty sick recently, but she eats out at fast food restaurants every other night so that's not so surprising. I'll let you know if her illness generates any 'extra attention' though.
Apparently some of the parents at my hagwon have been phoning up enquiring about us and swine flu even though we have been in the country for 11 months.Then my really nice former workmate joked something about my love of Kimchi being the reason why I haven't got the flu yet.It's like they think Korean people are naturally immune to it or something.
Myself and two other NETeachers from our smallish city in Gyeongsangbuk-do went for a day-trip to Daegue a few weeks ago. This was the day after the swine flu story first hit the headlines, and as we go off the bus in Daegu we were pulled aside by some policemen and women. They spoke very little English but we eventually figured out that they were worried about swine flu. We were made to wait for about 30minutes - not really knowing what was going on - while they took our alien cards and made some phone calls. They also took details from us on our travel movements in the last year and our travel plans for the future. They then let us go after telling us we should return directly home and should not stay in Daegu longer than our planned shopping trip for the day.At the time I wasn't too annoyed as they were quite curteous and polite, and I was happy to help them as I saw their ultra-protective measures as a good thing for myself as well.Now that I have read some of the less friendly storeis the whole thing of targetting foreigners for swime flu inspections does seem a bit wrong.
I just wanted to toss out the other side of the story.My school hasn't so much as mentioned the words "swine flu" in my presence. They haven't asked me any personal questions about what countries I have recently visited or what my temperature is. They have not even hinted that they may want me to stay in Korea on my vacation.The most they have done is hand me a fact sheet in English about swine flu. It didn't say anything unreasonable. It described the symptoms and what to do if you have them. And that's fair. In most Western countries, the governments made this information widely available. And in a foreign land, it's nice to have important health information distributed to you in your own language.
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