Day 8: Settling in Further
When I entered the quarantine facility that I am currently staying in seven days ago, one of the things that I commented on previously was how apparent it was that the health department workers appeared to not feel comfortable managing this quarantine facility. A couple of days ago I surmised that the health department had only just taken over managing this facility and began using it for quarantine shortly before my arrival. This was attributed to the fact that over the few days before that time the health department workers had begun playing more messages in different languages and distributing more paperwork to everyone in quarantine explaining the quarantine rules. Just today, even more evidence has appeared to support this hypothesis.
There seems to be an additional language that has been added to the messages that are played over the speakers in my room throughout the day. Now, whenever a message is played over the speakers, it takes a few minutes to complete due to the fact that each message needs to be played in so many different languages. The languages that all messages are played in now are English, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, Tagalog, Thai, and two other languages that I cannot definitely determine. Those other languages may be Vietnamese and either Bahasa Indonesian or Malay, but I am not as familiar with those languages so I cannot say for sure. Clearly, this quarantine facility is now holding people from a lot of different countries.
In addition to the messages in new languages, I also received some more papers with one of my meals today. When I first arrived at the quarantine facility one of the things that I was given was a bunch of paperwork to sign and keep receipts for, but this paperwork was all legal stuff that the government needed to have on record. None of this paperwork had any information about rules for the quarantine facility or anything like that. A couple of days ago I received some papers that outlined the rules for the quarantine facility as well as instructions on how I would be able to leave the facility once my quarantine period has ended. Those papers were only written in English and Korean. The papers that I received with my meal today added additional languages to those that were previously given to everyone. Now, the four languages that the quarantine rules and exit instructions are written in are English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. I am wondering now if they will add the other languages that the messages are played in to this list of languages in which the rules are written.
Seeing all of these changes at this quarantine facility over the past week really makes me wonder if the other quarantine facilities operated by the health department do not have all of these messages and paperwork already prepared. There have been plenty of people that have been entering quarantine in South Korea since the government set up this whole process back in March. I have to assume that a lot of those people were not just Koreans coming back to South Korea from other countries. It surprises me that all of the messages and paperwork produced for the quarantine facilities that those people were quarantined in were not able to be shared with the health department workers at this facility. I feel bad for the health department workers managing this quarantine facility and I hope that they are not struggling too much to keep everything proceeding smoothly here. I really appreciate all of the work that they do to make this entire quarantine process as smooth and easy as possible.