WKU Graduate in South Korea shares experience amid Coronavirus outbreak

Published: Mar. 1, 2020 at 1:52 PM CST
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South Korea has over a thousand confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, the first country to have that many outbreaks besides China.

A 2017 Western Kentucky University graduate has been in South Korea for a year teaching English. Her city Daegu, South Korea has been directly impacted by the virus.

"Last week, on Tuesday, the first reports I guess around 13 cases of coronavirus were in Daegu and then by the next day it had doubled or tripled it was like 100," said Bekah Napier, Teacher. "I don't even know, it was a lot of people. But we were really surprised especially the native English teachers because we don't really hear much."

According to Bekah, she has been receiving warnings from the Korean government every day. But her teaching group wasn't aware of the severity of the virus until the numbers started coming in.

"Almost every day we get an alert that says to use a mask, wash your hands, stay inside if you can, try not to go outside unless it is absolutely necessary," added Napier. "Recently we have been getting emails from the STEP program and it will tell us what level alert we're on and the Korean government, of course, will say we are on level 3 or 4 alerts."

Bekah has been staying indoors a lot, but when she does travel outside she said the city is almost like a ghost town.

"The train station was a ghost town there was not a single person there," added Napier. "When we were heading from her apartment to the train station I saw people spraying down bus stops with sanitizer and they were wearing huge masks. It is very different to how it usually is. Usually, there are tons of people out no matter how cold it is or what time of year and the city is basically a ghost town."

Bekah signed another contract with her company to stay in Korea another year, but is unsure if she will be sent home due to the virus.