Corona in Korea - This is how Koreans handle COVID-19

The general situation

Today it's not about K-Beauty. Since our heart beats not only for the beauty products from South Korea, but also for the culture, the country and the people themselves, we actively follow the situation there. This is particularly important to us at the present time. But we are not the only ones watching the events in South Korea. Many countries are currently looking to Korea to be inspired and motivated by the exemplary measures in the fight against the coronavirus. What has Korea achieved compared to other countries?

Despite its proximity to China, the country of origin of the coronavirus, South Korea has got the spread of the virus under control much faster. Around 10,000 cases have been reported in South Korea today (as of April 2020). That is significantly less than we find in many European countries. In Germany for instance, we currently have around 138,000 cases. How is that possible? On the one hand, Koreans owe this to the extensive tests. Significantly more residents are tested for the virus, so that even mild cases or cases without symptoms are detected. Affected people are isolated in a targeted and effective manner. Koreans also consistently practice social distancing.

The everyday life

How are the Koreans doing now? Since the situation could be brought under control quickly through the solidarity of the people in Korea and the consequent, swift actions by the government, the Korean residents feel less constricted and scared than in many other countries. This is how our friends and family from Seoul described it. Sure, social distancing is already changing the daily life there. As much as it is changing ours. And of course, now almost everyone is wearing protective masks. And that also leads to a shortage of protective mask supplies. But unlike here, masks are the only scarce commodity there. In Korea there is no shortage of soaps, disinfectants or toilet paper. Panic buying is not a phenomenon there.

When it comes to disinfectants, Koreans are much better equipped than we are in Germany at the moment. Friends from Seoul tell us that you can find a disinfection station in every shop, at every train station and in every elevator. There you can always disinfect your hands free of charge.

The protective masks

We also believe that one of the Koreans' habits has been greatly beneficial for controlling the coronavirus: Koreans have always worn protective masks. They did that long before the crisis. And in times of this pandemic, that can only have helped. The topic of protective masks in Korea is very interesting and extensive and, in our opinion, deserves its own blog post. So come back soon and we will inform you about everything worth knowing about protective masks in Korea.

We also have interesting facts for you regarding the protective masks. For instance, many shops prohibit you from entering without wearing a mask. Where can you buy masks in Korea? Before the crisis, they were almost everywhere - at petrol stations, in pharmacies, in department stores, in supermarkets etc. However, because of the scarcity, there are now only masks to be bought in selected shops and pharmacies. But be careful, you should always have your ID with you when you buy them! Why that? Each person can only buy two masks per week. And you only get these two masks on certain days. If your year of birth ends with a 1 or a 6 (e.g. 1991 or 1996), you can go buy your masks on Mondays. So the following applies: final digits 2 and 7 on Tuesdays, final digits 3 and 8 on Wednesdays, final digits 4 and 9 on Thursdays and final digits 5 and 0 on Fridays. Anyone who missed their weekday can make their mask purchases on weekend days. That's why you need your passport to buy masks. Pretty clever, isn't it? But above all, very efficient!

These were just a few facts about the corona crisis in South Korea. In the following blog posts we go into further insights. So check out the GLIMBLOG at least every 2 weeks!

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