swine flu

Amateur Language Study Adventures

Yesterday I came down with what was probably Swine Flu and shortly began thinking and speaking almost entirely in Korean, which did not help me a great deal when I happened to find myself listening to the pronouncements of a Korean doctor late that afternoon, hiding my gaping mouth (through which I was gasping, slack-jawed, like an inbred country boy) behind a hospital-provided medical mask; lucky for me this doctor spoke flawless English, which she revealed by translating my high temperature from Celsius to Fahrenheit without being asked. I was running a fever of about a hundred and one.


H1N1 one year on

It’s almost a year since the H1N1 virus, widely known as swine flu, was the feared pandemic that swept across the world. In North Korea the estimated death rate per infection is estimated as hundreds of times greater than those for South Korea. This glaring example of two extremes owes much to the medical advantage that the south has over the north. What is perhaps even more interesting is that South Korea has been able to gain a measure of infection control better than the UK. (information extrapolated from http://www.flucount.org/ ).


Question from a reader: your rights and the swine flu

A reader writes in with a question many teachers have been wondering about: the swine flu and our rights.

Do you have any idea about what are our rights when it comes to swine flu? Like for example, my friend got sick, and her school made her go to the hospital, where they injected her with multiple things--she has no idea what--and then gave her several unknown drugs to take. A week or so later, she still had a cough, so they made her go back to the hospital, where they gave her Tamiflu, and her school ordered her to take it. I'm not sure how much you know about influenza or Tamiflu.....but that was the most illogical move imaginable. She even got tested for swine flu, and the test says she doesn't have it!

Daily dose of Korean news

From across the K-blogosphere comes news, views, and other information you might wish to intake.

The Joongang Daily (HT to ROKDrop for first post) tells us about how much police time is spent on drunk people:

According to the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency, officers at the city’s
58 police precincts handled 54,925 cases of drunk pedestrians between January
and May, or some 364 cases per day. Handling drunks can take up a third of the
task of an average officer. Police precincts that handle Busan’s most crowded
and busy areas - Seomyeon, Yeonil, Jeonpo - complain that there are so many
drunks that they completely clog up their daily tasks.

The Busan police department estimates that the nation’s police spends at


Kimchi's not working - 10,000 plus Koreans have the swine flu

Out of the estimated 50,000,000, at least 10,000 Koreans have the swine flu, according to one recent estimate (HT to gangwonnotes for beating me to the story on the Chosun Ilbo):
With the eighth death linked to H1N1 flu reported on Tuesday, the number of
patients infected with the H1N1 virus exceeded 10,000 in Korea about four months
after the first case of the infection occurred here.

The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs on Tuesday said a
64-year-old woman in Gangwon Province was hospitalized with pneumonia on Aug.
27. She tested positive for the H1N1 flu virus and died early Tuesday morning.

As of Sunday, the number of patients infected with the H1N1 virus was
9,968, with 3,765 new cases of infection confirmed over the last week, the

French kisses out?

It's one thing to cancel a festival - even a kimchi festival! - but it's not nearly as drastic-sounding as this move from France:

Hands get shaken; hands get kissed. And the light cheek-to-cheek peck, known as "la bise," is a social greeting, woven in at the very youngest age.

Some observes joke that before the French could ever give up such social graces, pigs would fly.

But then ... swine flu.

With official publicity campaigns about the H1N1 virus, to directives on avoiding practically any close encounter of the corporal kind, the country has been put on alert as the flu season gets under way.


Korean government issues new swine flu rules

Earlier today, the Korean government issued a number of new directives aimed at making people aware of the swine flu. Despite many recent stories in the Korean media about the swine flu outbreak, some people are apparently still unaware of what to do. Now translated into English, the first few regulations for Koreans have been summarized as such:
  • Avoid foreigners as much as possible, since they don't eat kimchi, and all Koreans know kimchi cures the swine flu.
  • Be sure to read the 'washing hands' chart - just before you check your hair and leave the bathroom. If you do wash your hands, be sure to use as little water as possible - and never use soap. Most bathrooms don't have soap anyway.
  • If your employer requests it, submit to a health check. Have your temperature taken by the same thermometer as everyone else in your office.
  • Be sure to cover your cough. Cover your mouth with your hands, then shake the hands of your boss.

Teacher fired after getting the swine flu

Now here's a story that makes us scratch our heads. Brian in Jeollanam-do broke the story, and the Midnight Runner has done an excellent podcast with the teacher supposedly affected.

The Canadian teacher, only identified as 'Mark' had been on vacation in Thailand, then returned to Korea. He began feeling sick about 4-5 days after returning to Korea (though 'Mark' never mentions having a week of quarantine, which has quickly become standard procedure for most schools too worried about foreign teachers getting sick). From the podcast, his hagwon asked him to come into work even though they knew he was sick.

"Seoul to Vaccinate 10 Mil. Against Influenza A"

So says the Korea Times:
South Korea plans to vaccinate 10 million people against influenza A by the end of this year to stem the rapid spread of the disease that has so far claimed three lives in the country.

Health and Welfare Minister Jeon Jae-hee said of the 13.3 million people, including young children and pregnant women, who are most at risk, about 75 percent will be vaccinated by December.

She said Seoul has contacted Britain's GlaxoSmithKline and secured an order for 10 million doses of an anti-viral vaccine, with more to be bought next year.

Jeon said full-scale vaccinations will begin in November with 27 percent of the country's 48 million population to receive protection by February 2010.

I don't have the Swine Flu. Leave me alone

I don't have the Swine Flu. Leave me alone

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