Governments from different countries have achieved varying degrees of successes and failures in dealing with the current pandemic.
South Korea’s COVID-19 response is hailed by many as among the most effective. Learning its lessons from previous outbreaks, the government has set in place an efficient response system that addresses the detection, containment and treatment of the disease.
But in addition to massive information campaigns, widespread testing and contact tracing as soon as the first set of cases hit, the government also made sure to attend to its citizens’ basic needs.
To ensure that those who are not infected stay in their homes instead of shopping for essentials, the government provided supplies for its citizens.
Photos of such “care packages” supplied by the South Korean government emerged online, generating both awe and envy from foreigners, according to Bored Panda.
On Imgur, user Uvzxkwq shared a package containing face masks, hand sanitizer and fresh produce on his second day of quarantine.
The package also included quarantine garbage disposal instructions to avoid potentially spreading the virus.
The user translated the instructions as follows: “Garbage disposal instructions for people without COVID-19 symptoms: After filling up the garbage disposal bag provided, please keep it and use the anti-virus spray to disinfect the bag (at least once a day). Only fill up 75% of the bag, tie it tightly and use the spray to disinfect it. You should keep the bag until the end of quarantine and call the number provided and they will dispose of it for you.
Instructions for when you’re showing symptoms of the virus: do the same as #1 and after filling up the bag, please contact the number provided.
Instructions for people who were diagnosed with COVID-19: do the same as #1 and call the number provided.”
To top it off, there’s a letter to inspire the recipients.
“For people who are currently suffering from the Corona-19 virus, we send our regards and sympathy. We (the food ministry?) are sending this ‘environment-friendly health package’ constructed with environment-friendly crops. We hope this helps you get energy for your daily routine. Furthermore, we hope you get well soon to return to your daily life. You can do it! Fight it! Go South Korea!”
On Reddit, American user TheMemeChurch explained how COVID-19 cases is handled in South Korea:
“Currently in Korea and had some limited contact with a confirmed case. I was immediately notified by my local government office and tested the next day. Thank God it came back negative, but they still advised that I self-quarantine for 14 days.”
Based on TheMemeChurch’s post, a person exposed to the virus even gets a dedicated case officer who will check twice a day, daily during quarantine.
“I got a call from a dedicated case officer today that will check in on me twice a day every day during my quarantine. Mentioned they would drop off some supplies later that day which I thought would be some hand sanitizer and a box of tissues. Boy, was I wrong! There was also a lot of included literature about best practices and emergency government income for those that can’t work and aren’t getting paid. It scaled up to about 1500USD for a family of five which as a supplement is pretty helpful.”
Similar to what Uvzxkwq received, TheMemeChurch’s package also contained hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, masks and some fresh produce.
“Honestly, the way this whole situation was handled was so efficient, professional and actually a bit calming. It gives me hope that Korea can somewhat cope with this virus (as well as one can hope) with their aggressive testing compared to most other countries,” the user added.