Recently, COVID-19 not only made people self-isolate by their wills but also forced people to quarantine themselves. The fact that you can’t get out of the place you are in for two weeks might make you emotionally unstable. Especially students, who have higher activity rates, might feel suffocated.
If there is a confirmed case within a school in Korea, the school closes for several days. The government asks the students who had close contact with the patients to quarantine for two weeks.
Recently, my school had a confirmed case. In the process, many students were asked to self-isolate for two weeks. So I took a closer look at what kind of experience self-isolation is to the students.
Minyoung Park, a student who had to quarantine from November 20th to December 3rd, had sent a photo of the foods and daily necessities that the city hall sent. There were a variety of foods in the package so that the students could deal with the depressing quarantine weeks. These supplies were the government’s consideration for the self-isolating members. Park answered that he realized how good the Korean quarantine system is, after receiving ample supplies from the government.
|[Supplied Provided by the Government. Photo Credit: Minyoung Park]|
At the same time, Park was required to download a quarantine application on his phone so that the government can see if he was staying in his home. His supervisor gives him a call every night to see how his self-isolation is going. Park explained that he was scared at first because he was uncomfortable with someone supervising his life.
I interviewed other students--Chang Joon Cho, Haejoon Kim, Juhyuk Park--who were also self-isolating. The day I interviewed three students was their last day of quarantine, so I first asked what they did mostly during their quarantine.
|[Interview with Park, Kim, and Cho Using Discord. Photo Credit: Shinyong Park]|
All three students asked that they mostly spent time playing video games. Kim said that his sleeping time increased, which made him less productive than before. Cho said that his relationship with his parents became worse due to his increased screen time. Surprisingly, all three students answered that the quarantine was not as suffocating as they expected.
I also asked what they earned and what they lost from this experience. Though they found the quarantine not suffocating, they felt that they lost more than they earned. Specifically, their productivity significantly decreased due to their increased gaming time. Park said that he realized the importance of taking a walk, meaning that they missed hanging out with friends. They all agreed to take a walk together after their quarantine period.
The biggest reason they didn’t feel suffocated is that they could easily communicate with each other through social media platforms. It was because they were able to chat with their friends just like they talk with each other face-to-face.
While many students did not have a hard time during their quarantines, their increased gaming time and decreased productivity impacted their life patterns somewhat negatively. This is the downside of their quarantine experience. Some students started to play games more than they study because they sit in front of their computers for a whole day. It seems that people would need to take time and try hard to go back to their everyday life patterns after the quarantine, so that they can live healthier lives.
Korea International School Jeju Campus
Shinyong Park firstname.lastname@example.org
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