Yes! You heard it right. MERS. The “word” that has captivated and enslaved the media all around the globe…How it all started?? To find out, you don’t have to go to South Korea. You can just sit back and relax, because I am here in Korea to tell you the real story about MERS.
(The illustration here is mine. I upload all my illustrations on instagram. If you are interested, here is the link: https://instagram.com/razesywe/)
In this blog, I am not going to give you a report on MERS. What I want to do is give you my thoughts on living in a country where an epidemic is on the rise. Let’s get started with facts (because facts are what people want, otherwise nobody is going to read this blog). Here you go. (Thank me later)
MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. When it says respiratory, you have to understand that it is about breathing. [there might be someone who does not know what respiratory is…if you already knew, please don’t get offended.] It is reported that more than 15 people have died and around 150 are infected in South Korea (I did not write the exact number, because I am afraid it will increase tomorrow). It all started when an old Korean man showed up in a hospital, feeling sick. He was diagnosed with MERS. He had been to Middle East where the disease was first reported. He died but succeeded in transferring the disease to other patients in the hospital. That was when the media all the over world shifted their attention to South Korea.
They report that Koreans are freaking out because of MERS. Yes, that would be partially true. More than 2000 schools have been closed. However, not everyone is freaking out. The universities are still open and I do not see any extreme changes here in Seoul. Most of the patients who died, were already sick. So, the medical officials concluded that the disease only kills those who already have one foot in the grave. However, the latest deaths have proved the conclusion wrong. They did not have any other diseases. That means anyone can get infected if they had contact with the MERS patients. All we can do is be careful and take precautions.
I wear masks when I am taking subway. I have seen very few people wearing masks. Everything looks fine here. I am just telling you what I see. The number of victims is increasing day by day, but it is confined within the hospital complex. I am pretty sure that they will be able to control it. If not, then we all are doomed. The disease will cross the borders and the oceans. Too much to handle, eh?
Let’s be optimistic and hope it will be over soon. If MERS were really a threat here, they would have cancelled the exams, but they did not. You see, exams are more important than MERS here. Just kidding. Things are fine here. You will be okay unless you catch a cold and visit a hospital.
Don’t get overwhelmed when you read on internet that Koreans are getting married with their masks on. Just to be on the safe side, wear masks when you go out if you are in Korea. If you are coming to Korea, do not worry too much and do bring masks and hand-sanitizers.
Take care of yourself. GOOD LUCK.