With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation changing rapidly, we asked friends of Global English - our trainees, graduates and partners living in various Asian countries for a brief look at how their daily life has been affected. Here is what they told us:
The official guidance is to go about your business, be aware of symptoms and avoid public places if you show any. They have hygiene awareness posters in public places so people are encouraged to take this seriously. At the same time, they are not advocating wearing masks. They are also scanning entrants to Singapore from mainland China for symptoms.
However, Silvia feels the public are very tense, with a mild undercurrent of panic/over-concern. They usually wear masks when out and about. When her baby coughed a little in a lift, the other person in the lift quickly left before the doors closed. Security guards in shops are on the lookout for those who may cough or sneeze. A WhatsApp message from a friend throwing her birthday party for her son urged anyone to keep away if they showed any cough or cold symptoms.
Kimberly and Chaebin, S. Korea
We live in Bucheon, Seoul, the capital city of Korea. It's a very busy city. New Schools terms are delayed and all kinds of gatherings tend to be avoided. People hesitate to go outside.
Most people are very worried and almost everyone wears masks. The authorities advise us to wear masks, wash hands very often and not to go crowded places. I advise foreigners in Korea to do as we do, above, and that any foreigners planning to come to Korea delay their plans.
I came to India for vacation and couldn't return due to the virus outbreak. My school asked me not to return yet. My school is closed right now, but I don't know about other schools.
There is no big change in life around me. But there are so many reports about Coronavirus every day. At first, many Japanese people overreacted because of the unknown virus, but now we are behaving more calmly little by little. There are not enough masks and disinfectants in Japan, but there is no major confusion. Many Japanese have standard protection against infectious diseases.
By taking care of hygiene such as hand washing and gargling, the occurrence of influenza has been reduced to one third of the average year
Scrutiny is made to determine if the infection is present, and the infected people are immediately transported to medical institutions.
Toby White, Elton Education Services, Hong Kong
Schools are closed and there are no jobs going spare. I would not advise coming out to Hong Kong at least until the quarantine has lifted and centres are open again.
Toby has written more on the Coronavirus and Hong Kong.
Eureka Language Services, Hong Kong
We will continue to recruit teachers as usual, gearing up for the potential surge in demand for teachers once school resumes. Eureka have written more on TEFL life in Hong Kong.
Thank you all for sharing a little about what is going on in your respective countries at the moment.
We strongly recommend seeking advice from the government in your home countries before considering travelling to any country in Asia.
The situation is likely to change going forward so it is vital that you keep informed before accepting any job offers or embarking on travel to the region.
All schools are closed in China and lots of, if not most, schools are coordinating online lessons and the department of education is giving extensions to any students that needs it in the summer. I believe opening dates are postponed to April right now but official announcements have not been made.
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