Tuesday, June 2, 2009
It seems that in North America H1S1 flu was just a flash in the pan, a potential epidemic that fell short of its scare tactic. While Asia still has no reported deaths that doesn't stop them from treating H1S1 like a major threat. When my plane landed in Japan all of the passengers had to remain seated while state workers in respirator suits walked down the plane with large machinery. This was repeated in Korea and then I had to wait in a long line to been screened for quarantine. By the time I reached the end of the line I had been traveling for 14 hours and was without sleep for much longer than that. The inspector read over my health form and then my temperature was taken with a neck sensor.
“Relax” He commanded me as broke out into a nervous sweat. “Looks like you have a fever. What state are you from?”. I told him Oregon and then he looked over a chart which told him that Oregon did have confirmed Swine Flu cases. “We may have to put you in quarantine”, this only helped to raise my body temperature “unless you can promise me to try to stay indoors the next ten days.” At this point I would have promised him my first born child to get out of his scary SARs mask o' vision.
After I was picked up at the airport with another new teacher from Ohio, we were driven to Deagu a two hour drive from Busan. Once there we meet with our future supervisor. The first thing he did was hand us a printed out spreadsheet of flu cases and deaths. He then gave us a few numbers of staff members who would drive us to the hospital anytime of day or night. This great news if my allergy symptoms didn't line up so perfectly with swine flu. Whatever I do I thought, I mustn't sneeze!
All this before I have even went to bed! Today is my first day of training so wish me luck, I'm glad the wireless has held out this long so I can share this with everyone. Check back later for a picture tour of my apartment.