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Couple returns from S. Korea surprised U.S. not more cautious about coronavirus

South Korea Level 3 hot zone for virus

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have flagged several countries with travel warnings, including South Korea.

A local couple just came back from Seoul, where they said almost everyone is wearing a face mask and their temperatures were checked at every building they walked into. They were disappointed when they came back to the United States and didn’t see the same thing.

The CDC has issued a Level 3 warning on South Korea, meaning that all non-essential travel to the Asian country should be avoided because there is a widespread, ongoing outbreak. It’s a hot zone for the coronavirus and Eric and Lynn Loring saw it first-hand.

“I’d say at least 95 percent of the people in Seoul were wearing face masks,” said Eric. Temperature sensors were in every building they went into. “They gave us two or three temperature tests. They are not doing that here. They were playing videos on the streets to tell you how to take care of yourself and how to sneeze,” said Lynn.

Eric said everyone’s hands were sprayed with sanitizer before they could pick up food from a street cart.

“We were very impressed with how they have managed the situation, not to be alarmist, but to give us information,” said Eric.

They also have items they were given by their hotel in South Korea so they could be extra cautious.

“I frankly did expect some sort of medical or governmental presence to meet the plane at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and say. ‘Is anybody sick? Are you experiencing symptoms?’ At least, ‘Here is some hand sanitizer.' Nothing.”

It’s important to note that South Korea has one of the highest rates of infection throughout the world. At last check, more than 2,300 patients with symptoms in South Korea, 16 have died.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.