So H1N1 is alive and in FULL EFFECT in South Korea. It is spreading like a California wild forest fire. Seriously! Fellow bups teaching in South Korea have told me how their schools have been closed due to the frenzy of several kids having it. Teachers and principals are getting it. MAN! It is also on Korean news how it is spreading like crazy. Therefore many kids have been coming to the academy which I work at in masks such as these:
Now on any given day it is not uncommon to see Koreans in these masks, especially during the yellow dust season. However, recently the abundance of children coming to school with masks on has been ridiculous. Then a few things made me decide that it was time I got with the program and equipped myself with a mask.
1) The news has reported that in each city per day there are at least 700 possible new cases of swine flu. Now South Korea is VERY small and over populated. Everywhere you go there is a chance there will be a crowd of people in close proximity to one another. Therefore the virus is spreading at a much more rapid pace here. Not to mention Koreans share EVERY damn thing! For instance there is bar soap in PUBLIC bathrooms here. Ummm yeah I don't even have bar soap out for people to use in my home! Strictly liquid soap here. So hundreds of people a day touch this cesspool of germs. I can go on and on about the unsanitary things I see in Korea but I digress....
2) The other day a little bastard at my school thought it would be funny to call me over to his desk for help and then cough in my face ON PURPOSE! I smacked the SHIT out of this child. (It was reflexes. I was reprimanded later by my boss after his mother complained. I honestly aint give a flying F*CK. I bet he won't cough in anyone else's face.) I then went on to have a 15 minute tutorial in each of my classes about hand washing and how to properly cover your mouth. In addition everyone gets a squirt of hand sanitizer upon entry to my class and I Lysol the place down after their dirty asses leave!
3) One of my co-teachers got really sick this week. She aint saying but I think it's definitely the swine!
4) I spoke with my boss today about my concern of the increase of swine flu cases in South Korea, particularly in schools, and she told me that there have been 12 possible cases in our little ass academy. Our academy has approximately 85 students. It has four classrooms and a communal area. And you are telling me that close to 15% of these children may have the GOTDAMN swine flu?! That is MORE than 1 out of every 10 children! And you didn't feel the need to share this shit with me sooner because?.... Am I crazy or is my boss crazy?! Soooo why aren't we closed for quarantine?! That was the final straw. This woman is teaching in a mask!
So today I went to school in a mask. I taught with this mask on. During the second hour of classes my boss asked me if I could remove the mask because the parents think that I am sick. (Koreans believe that swine flu comes from foreigners.) I politely responded that I would not remove my mask. Do they think all these children running around here with masks on are sick? They can protect themselves so why can't I? I told her she can explain to the parents that I am taking precaution because I just found out that there were POSSIBLY 12 cases of swine flu in this academy. I aint taking off SHIT! She looked a bit troubled but knew not to argue with me about this any further because my mind was made up.
I will be teaching with a mask on until I feel people are taking the appropriate precautions to keep their employees from getting sick! I aint trying to be a swine flu statistic!