Hometown Story: How is your hometown handling the effects of Coronavirus?


Madison Hua

Emily Khym '23, Contributor

As the number of COVID-19 infections fluctuates in different areas of the world, each country, state, and province have taken varying approaches to handling the situation. There are areas where strict orders are being placed, and others that have implemented more lenient measures.

“In Seoul, South Korea, there are no official quarantine orders. Only people who have entered Korea from Europe or America have to stay in official quarantine for two weeks and fill out a symptom form online every day. Korea has utilized mass testing and offers drive-through COVID-19 tests. The majority of residents go to work, jog in the park, and live their normal life. Many residents are not as alarmed as during the peak of the outbreak in Korea. Teenagers are still meeting up with their friends and a big issue is that young adults are starting to go back to going to nightclubs and bars, which may prompt a second wave of infections. Adults continue to go to work, while older residents are mostly staying at home as a precaution. Unlike the scramble for toilet paper, sanitizer, mask, and hand soap present in other countries, Korea remains well-stocked and has designated days where certain people can buy masks,” said Emily Khym ’23 from Seoul, South Korea.

However, all around the world, there are unique situations where countries have to adapt according to their situation and healthcare availability.

“My home is handling this pretty well. Bangkok itself seems like there is no coronavirus because everyone is still going out and about, even though there was a government warning last month. People are still going out and the roads are kind of packed. Although malls are still closed and restaurants are only open for takeout, it’s not as bad here,” said Seth Sukboontip ’23 from Bangkok, Thailand.

“Hong Kong has been handling the coronavirus very well, as we have been encountering just 2-3 new cases of COVID for the past week. I think that the reason for the success that we’ve had is that everybody in our city understands the implications of the virus toward our citizens and in particular, the elderly. People feel obligated to stay home and wear masks at all times, and it’s a collective effort that allows my hometown to suppress the virus with the success that we’ve recently experienced. Additionally, the government has issued tracking bracelets for those who return home from dangerous COVID countries, which allows them to ensure the citizens’ quarantine,” said Justin Wu ’22 from Hong Kong.

“In the middle of March in Russia, there were orders to gradually close down shops and places because there was an increase in infected numbers… However, a week before April, we went on an official lockdown so only shops, grocery stores, and pharmacies were open. Right on April 5, the government implemented a policy to get permission to go outside, so unless you are an essential worker you have to have proof that you got permission to go work. If you are not going to work and going to for example to get your groceries or going to your other home, you just need to fill out an online form of where you are going and when you will come back. It’s quite a unique situation here because there are 13 million people in only Moscow so it’s really important to handle this crisis well. We have been told that we will be staying under lockdown until April 30, but I think it will definitely be prolonged. All airports, borders are closed down, and they are thinking about reopening the borders in August,”said Margarita Demnika ’20 from Russia.

Quarantine orders are not being followed everywhere, though.

“I believe our public high school will stop running in May, with no online classes or anything. Unfortunately, our area has done a poor job of respecting the quarantine. I just want to tell everyone to be safe and do everything in your power to help end the spreading of the virus.” said Braidon Fitzpatrick ’22 from Kenilworth, Illinois.

“At the moment, Los Angeles is in quarantine and the LA mayor has no end date to when the stay-at-home rule will be lifted. Everyone who walks outside must wear masks and lines for grocery stores are endless. All public areas are closed, but take-out or delivery is allowed for restaurants,” said Madison Hua ’23 from California.

“Everyone is doing their best to stay home and only go out for necessities, except if they are essential workers. Many younger people who have less of a risk of getting the virus are helping those more prone to it, like the elderly, get their groceries. When going outside, many people are now wearing masks and keeping social distance,” said Rebecca Fowler ’23 from South Windsor, Connecticut.