This year started out with a bang: I finished my feature film; screened it at Sony; and everything was going well until corona happened. The whole world went into suspension.
While the world remains unstable, I learned from my Korean girlfriend that her country never went into a lock down. Not even for a single day. This was so fascinating for me that I used my $1,200 stimulus check and decided to fly over to South Korea and document what’s happening there.
Flying was unusual as there were only about 30 people onboard on a plane that fits 300. Every seat was like a first-class seat with plenty of room. You could eat as much as you wanted.
Going there, I was aware of the strict containment facilities that are mandatory to all who come, especially for foreigners (Korea has a mandatory 2-week quarantine for everyone coming into the country. After 2 weeks we are free to go out and do whatever we want). When we arrived at customs in Korea, my girlfriend and I tried to get ourselves in a quarantine together. However, that was not possible. I was sent to a place about a 40 minute car ride from Seoul. My girlfriend, being a Korean citizen, was allowed to quarantine herself from home. I was put in a facility where I have to stay for two weeks at a cost of $100 per day, which I had to pay in advance. The rules in quarantine are very strict and are enforced by the Korean army.
Before entering the quarantine, I had to download two applications: one was for the containment facility the other for the Korean government. Every day at 9am and at 5pm I have to measure my body temperature and fill out a questionnaire and submit it in the app. The usual questions were: “Do you have a headache, do I feel weak, do I cough, sore throat etc,?”…Besides, I did my first coronavirus test in quarantine, and tested negative.
Each day I am given three meals: 7:30 – 12:30 and 6pm. They put the meal in a plastic bag and place it in front of my door. A knock on the door is letting me know the meal is here. I’m given a hazard bag where I dispose of wastes like plastic, water bottles and leftover food. I tie up and place this hazard bag right in front of my door. It is strictly forbidden to leave the room.
At first, I was shaken since I have to spend two weeks in a super small confined space: a very, very small space. I convinced myself that this is a great opportunity to explore, from a deeper perspective, what makes this country so organized and immune to chaos. There was never a lockdown in a sense that gyms, restaurants, bars, and other public spaces were never closed!
This is my 6th day in quarantine and so far I’m surviving. I don’t want to give away too much details because every three days I’m posting videos on YouTube.
Check out my first video; please sub&like for more 🙂
Words, Photos, and Video: Attila Korosi, Filmmaker/Adventurist/Samurai