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Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« on: May 28, 2021, 10:20:40 am »
I'm in a pretty sour mood right now since I'm at work, with the flu.

I got it 2 days ago, when it was still an itchy throat, got tested and stayed at home the following day while waiting for my results, negative. Still, the flu symptoms are strong, but we're only allotted 3 sick days a year before having to get a doctor's certificate, something I never do. I might leave after lunch.

I'm almost certain that I got it from using the school bathroom. The bathroom is NEVER cleaned with bleach. Best you can hope for is everything, including the basin, getting a wipe down with the same wet mop that was in the toilet. You know it's been "cleaned", after you've been hit with this nauseating damp urine smell when you enter. The window, generally, stays perpetually closed and the heating keeps the place nice and warm for bacteria.

Don't get me started on male teachers and staff who never wash their hands after exiting... boys at least have an excuse to be dirty, they're boys.


  • tylerthegloob
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 10:28:13 am »
damn feeling pretty lucky rn. the woman who cleans my main school does a fantastic job. ive definitely been at a few schools with subpar cleaning though. hope u feel better soon dude!
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  • VanIslander
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 11:37:11 am »
I have noticed over the years countless examples of cleaning without bleach or soap, just water.

And the same mop is used inside and outside the bathroom.

And one basic word even 4-year hagwon students have trouble pronouncing is "soap' ("soup" and "sup").

Since COVID19, there are 3 different kinds of hand sanitizing liquids at the front of the hagwon, and each were used consistently for about three months last year. Nowadays I seem to be the only one using them.


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 11:59:05 am »
Take it easy Aristocrat and get better soon. The flu truly sucks and it stuffs up so much time.
And yeah, cleaning methods are certainly something else at times.


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 02:41:24 pm »
I never understood the communal soap, the toilet trashcans (understand the reason but not the hygiene), biohazard disposal at hospitals and clinics etc....hey why don't we throw used needles and blood soaked tissues into this empty cardboard box on the floor so anyone can see ....then let's do urine tests in open paper cups and pour the unneeded liquid into an open bucket for everyone to see and smell.


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  • Waygook Lord

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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 02:46:17 pm »
I never understood the communal soap, the toilet trashcans (understand the reason but not the hygiene), biohazard disposal at hospitals and clinics etc....hey why don't we throw used needles and blood soaked tissues into this empty cardboard box on the floor so anyone can see ....then let's do urine tests in open paper cups and pour the unneeded liquid into an open bucket for everyone to see and smell.

Pee on the strip and then bring it to me with your bare hands in the lobby. OK?
ETA 2day 4hour 45min to next reboot.
DO NOT UNPLUG


  • tylerthegloob
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 02:50:17 pm »
wait whats wrong with the soap on a stick?
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 02:58:06 pm »
wait whats wrong with the soap on a stick?

don't know of its sanitary-ness but just don't like it


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 03:54:13 pm »
While all of that is true, and I certainly wish they'd use more than just sink water (at least soap purely for deodorizing purposes) this past year has shown how little that stuff really matters.

I mean, what is the explanation for why it didn't spread here to the extent it did in Europe and the USA (and uh, SA)? Maybe the USA and Europe are just dirty countries and dirty people? Or maybe they are TOO clean? Maybe the obsession with cleanliness there has somehow made it easier for the disease to spread.

Or maybe it's random. After all some places haven't had it bad at all, while others saw it explode.
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 04:01:30 pm »
While all of that is true, and I certainly wish they'd use more than just sink water (at least soap purely for deodorizing purposes) this past year has shown how little that stuff really matters.

I mean, what is the explanation for why it didn't spread here to the extent it did in Europe and the USA (and uh, SA)? Maybe the USA and Europe are just dirty countries and dirty people? Or maybe they are TOO clean? Maybe the obsession with cleanliness there has somehow made it easier for the disease to spread.

Or maybe it's random. After all some places haven't had it bad at all, while others saw it explode.
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there is some truth to having to be exposed to germs and bacteria to form antibodies, but I dunno how far I would go with not practicing hygiene.....we arent just talking corona....i don't want to shake hands with someone who just used the restroom and didn't wash their hands


  • VanIslander
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2021, 04:41:29 pm »
I mean, what is the explanation for why it didn't spread here to the extent it did in Europe and the USA (and uh, SA)?
It's primarily an airborne virus of the respiratory track, so Korea's QUICK WIDESPREAD use of masks, shutting down of schools, hagwons, bars, nightclubs and other businesses followed by limited reopenings (e.g., maximum number of people gathered) and rapid free testing helped...

whereas political leaders in America, England and Europe were denying the problem, refusing to comply with masks and social distancing, and themselves then got COVID19!!

In the name of freedom many in those countries got the virus and in the name of freedom many there have then taken the vaccine (to be free to get back to living as before).

Koreans were accustomed to wearing masks during spring yellow dust storms and they have been described as less individualistic in their thinking so once an idea had social traction, they followed along (or at least wanted to give the appearance they were when others were looking).

Hygiene was beside the point.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 04:49:46 pm by VanIslander »


  • Savant
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2021, 05:26:29 pm »
Korea has been the leading pioneer of cleanliness regarding Covid.

Cleaning Adjumma: Hold my mop


  • hangook77
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2021, 12:35:46 pm »
I'm in a pretty sour mood right now since I'm at work, with the flu.

I got it 2 days ago, when it was still an itchy throat, got tested and stayed at home the following day while waiting for my results, negative. Still, the flu symptoms are strong, but we're only allotted 3 sick days a year before having to get a doctor's certificate, something I never do. I might leave after lunch.

I'm almost certain that I got it from using the school bathroom. The bathroom is NEVER cleaned with bleach. Best you can hope for is everything, including the basin, getting a wipe down with the same wet mop that was in the toilet. You know it's been "cleaned", after you've been hit with this nauseating damp urine smell when you enter. The window, generally, stays perpetually closed and the heating keeps the place nice and warm for bacteria.

Don't get me started on male teachers and staff who never wash their hands after exiting... boys at least have an excuse to be dirty, they're boys.

I always keep anti bacterial soap in my room or take it with me to another teachers room where they have a sink.  I avoid the bathroom sink and bar soap there with a passion.  I also keep anti bacterial wipes at school in case I ever have to do a number 2 at school and wipe down the toilet seat and other facilities.  I occasionally wipe down the door knob to my room and my work spaces. 

I frequently also use hand sanitizer.  Korea was much dirtier and much less sanitary than it is today. 

As for sick days, if you went to the clinic, you should have gotten the doctor to write you a note.  If still sick go to 이빈후과 and get some meds.  Some give you this throat spray that relieves the symptoms for a time.  Also get the note from them.  Go this afternoon or Saturday morning.  Take the next 3 days off school and relax.  FIre your co teacher off a text message on the weekend.

You're welcome. 


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2021, 01:08:48 pm »
It's primarily an airborne virus of the respiratory track, so Korea's QUICK WIDESPREAD use of masks, shutting down of schools, hagwons, bars, nightclubs and other businesses followed by limited reopenings (e.g., maximum number of people gathered) and rapid free testing helped...

whereas political leaders in America, England and Europe were denying the problem, refusing to comply with masks and social distancing, and themselves then got COVID19!!

In the name of freedom many in those countries got the virus and in the name of freedom many there have then taken the vaccine (to be free to get back to living as before).

Koreans were accustomed to wearing masks during spring yellow dust storms and they have been described as less individualistic in their thinking so once an idea had social traction, they followed along (or at least wanted to give the appearance they were when others were looking).

Hygiene was beside the point.
Yeah, but it seems that hygiene is borderline totally irrelevant.

I think people's perception as to its significance vs. its actual effect are wildly off.

I mean, it's not like we even have a clear point of origin for OP's infection. For all we know it had nothing to do with his school. Also, getting sick as a teacher pretty much comes with the job in any country.


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2021, 02:23:01 pm »

I got it 2 days ago, when it was still an itchy throat, got tested


You may want to get tested again, just in case. Your viral load would be less in the beginning, which leads to a negative result. If you take a test a bit later, your viral load/count will be higher and could register as having a positive result. Hope you get better.


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2021, 02:28:36 pm »
I've been here a total of 14 years and Korean guys' restroom habits are enough to make me cringe.  After a number two, most (though not all) wash their hands.  After a number one, I'd say it's 60% at best, and I'm not just talking about old adjoshiis but affluent business types, handsome young chaps out on dates, university professors, the whole range.  How I'd wish they'd install more entrance doors you can push outwards with your foot as opposed to the inward swinging ones you have no choice but to reach for the handle on.


Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2021, 02:42:59 pm »
Thanks, I might do that this afternoon.

I've still got a runny nose, but otherwise I'm much better. My wife hasn't contracted a single symptom from me, nothing! It's bizarre how strong that woman's immune system is.

In response to Hangook, hand sanitiser is a necessity and I've been carrying them around since before the virus and never touch the bathroom faucets that some random ajjushi from the street will blow his nose over. I use my own hand sanitiser, preferably after I've washed my hands in staffroom's sink, at least that's cleaner.   

 Sadly, when you teach at multiple schools and come into contact with multiple students and environments nothing is going to prevent you from getting a virus now and then.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 02:47:17 pm by Aristocrat »


  • pkjh
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2021, 02:53:40 pm »
I've been here a total of 14 years and Korean guys' restroom habits are enough to make me cringe.  After a number two, most (though not all) wash their hands.  After a number one, I'd say it's 60% at best, and I'm not just talking about old adjoshiis but affluent business types, handsome young chaps out on dates, university professors, the whole range.  How I'd wish they'd install more entrance doors you can push outwards with your foot as opposed to the inward swinging ones you have no choice but to reach for the handle on.
North America...

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20030915/many-skip-bathroom-hand-washing

In high school, in Canada, about half my friends wouldn't wash their hands.


  • gogators!
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2021, 03:55:28 am »
If you're ever in the US, visit a Buc-ee's. They're known for, and boast of, how clean their restrooms are. https://buc-ees.com/


  • njarlson
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Re: Hygiene in Korea is still medieval
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2021, 09:32:03 am »
Working at multiple schools lets me see both ends of the cleaning spectrum in Korea. At one school, I want to applaud the cleaning lady every time I see her. She meticulously wipes everything down and somehow, smelling the bleach she uses to clean the bathroom with everyday feels like a treat. This school also has always had liquid soap, even before covid, and it seems like the teachers do a pretty good job teaching the students to always wash their hands after using the restroom.
Then at my second school, the cleaning lady is an ajhumma that I only ever see with one of those old style brooms with stick-like bristles. I've seen her mop the halls, but there's never a bucket or anything around her, so it seems like she just soaks the mop in the bathroom and goes for one long pass down the entire hall. I've not once seen her wipe anything down and I can never smell any cleaning products after she finishes in my hall. The school usually just had a communal bar of soap, but they installed liquid soap dispensers a few months after covid started (though last week they took them out again?). Even before covid though, the soap never looked used and, sharing a hall with the kindergarten/daycare classes, I have had to remind little kids to wash their hands on multiple occasions.

In general, it feels like some hygiene practices weren't properly taught and continue to not be properly taught. I know quite a few teachers that don't wash their hands after using the restroom and I just have to hope that they have some sanitizer they use instead. Of course kids aren't going to wash their hands either if the adults around them aren't. Then those dirty hands touch everything and those surfaces aren't properly cleaned so the germs spread even more. It's pretty known that a new teacher will get sick a few times their first year, but my first year in Korea I was sick basically every week with some kind of the cold, flu, or eye infection. Luckily because of covid, at least the classrooms/desks get wiped down with antibacterial wipes often.