‘Why I still decided to leave for South Korea during the coronavirus outbreak’

Judy Philander (Photo: Supplied by Judy Philander)
Judy Philander (Photo: Supplied by Judy Philander)

YOU magazine spoke to Judy Philander, a South African teacher, about her experience so far after leaving for South Korea.

“I’d already made the necessary preparations. Not only had I spent money but so much effort and time had gone into organising this trip,” Judy explained.

In the course of 2019 the 25-year-old, who’s originally from Cape Town, had started undergoing going the necessary tests, interviews and gathered the required documentation to move forward with her relocation which was on March 4.

“The pros really outweighed the cons and even though South Africa was safer at the time because no cases were confirmed, I still wanted to leave even after my agency gave me the choice of staying.”

As of 18 March, South Korea had confirmed 93 more cases of infections taking its current number of cases to 8 413, Statisa.com reported.

Despite the increase in number of infections Judy, who’s currently residing in the city of Busan which is two hours away from Wuhan where the original case was first reported, says strict measures have been put in place by the government.

“The government this side is on top of things. They’ve tested the most people to date. There are random drive-by testing stations set up and you temperature gets taken at the entrance of any building you enter, for example a mall,” she added.

“Life here is continuing as normal, people aren’t stockpiling on food simply because there’s no reason to. The government has reassured its people that strict measures are in place and there’s no need to panic.”

Judy not only has access to free testing for the virus but is also provided with two free masks once a week at the local pharmacy. “You simply show your work permit and depending on your age, you’re given x amount of masks. In my case it’s two,” she explains.

“In the event that you’ve tested positive the treatment is also free. We also constantly receive updates on our phones about cases.”

The Capetonian revealed that even though her agency gave her the option to go back home since school opening dates have been pushed back to 6 April, she’s taken the decision not to.

“It’s honestly far safer this side,” she says.

Sources: Statisa.com
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