Tuesday, November 10, 2009

swine flu, skirmishes with North Korea, etc...

So, my school has closed its doors until Friday. 3 days off mid week. I'm certainly not complaining.
I wonder though how affective this is. A couple of students got the flu and the result is the school closing. So what happens if a couple more students end up with the flu next week or the following week or such? Do we close the school again? Korea has free flu shots for school children (grade 1 and up, but not kindergarten age because it is not part of mandatory education) that will be given in public schools across the country. The parents can opt out of having their child immunized if they want. Any children younger than that can be taken to family doctors for their shots. Public school teachers are next on the list (or at the same time?) for the shots. Foreigners have to wait, or so I've been told. I figure all of the hagwons should provide shots for the teachers. Why not? We see just as many kids as the regular teachers!
In an attempt to make kids remember to wash their hands and be careful, I think some parents are telling their children that if you get the flu, you will definitely die. I've been told that by several students. Interesting. I then explain to the kids that no, getting the flu doesn't mean you will die. Some will just not understand my explanations, though, or accept them if they do, since it's all in English, a foreign language to them, and of course, if it contradicts what their mommy tells them, what are they to believe? I suppose they will learn soon enough since all of them will at some point encounter someone who has had it, or will catch it themselves.
Today there was a bit of a fight between North and South Korean ships to the west. Sounds almost the same as the one that happened my first year in Korea, in 2002. A North Korean ship crossed the Northern Limit Line, that is the internationally agreed upon demarcation line in the Yellow Sea. North Korea doesn't agree with NLL and so every now and then crosses it. The incident in 2002 was a bit more serious, though, as it involved 2 North Korean ships, one of which was on fire on its way back up, and a South Korean ship sank as it was being towed back to shore. Several South Koreans died during the skirmish. I didn't really hear much about it, though, other than the first couple of reports.
There have been other incidents as well.
I wonder how much attention this newest fight will get with all of the attention being put on the swine flu.

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