South Korea has been praised all around the world for the way it tackled coronavirus. It was able to stop the transmission of the virus better than any other wealthy country.

If we compare the U.S. and U.K. with South Korea, the methods it chose to prevent infected individuals from spreading the disease to others were twice as effective.

South Korea has now eased social distancing restrictions, but it still gets a few hundred COVID-19 cases daily. Last year, the country saw an outbreak in COVID cases because of churches and other religious events.

Prayer Pods

Since the pandemic started, most of the events like concerts and religious gatherings were restricted in South Korea to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

One Buddhist temple named Daegyeonsa Temple, which is in the southeastern city of Daegu got a creative idea for the gatherings. Members of this temple now attend weekly ceremonies outdoors in individual prayer pods. On that, each person has their transparent tent labeled with their name.

The temple is about 1000 meters above sea level. The temple’s chief monk Buphee Sunim said he made these arrangements to hold weekly ceremonies safely and without flouting any COVID-19 protocols. 

The Daegyeonsa Temple at Mt. Biseul

The temple has a reservation system, and through that, they control the number of people visiting the temple. On weekends, 50 to 100 people visit the temple. 

In an interview with VICE World News, he said, “We have a very small space inside the temple so we usually do the weekend events outside. But I thought attendees could still get infected because we chant a Buddhist prayer aloud, so we bought tents in March last year.”

The temple now has at least 100 tents. Initially, they had about 30 tents to hold the gathering. The windproof tents not only protect the people from COVID but also the cold wind. The pods are disinfected after every ceremony.

It is surprising to know that Buphee Sunim was inspired by temples in India. He got the idea from small spaces in the stupas where the Buddha sits. He said, “I got the idea from these spaces at the beginning of the pandemic when it was difficult to make people follow COVID-19 measures and face masks were not very common.”

Visitors praying in individual tents

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Visitors praying

South Korea was able to prevent a disaster that could have happened due to coronavirus. They were able to do so through extensive testing and rigorous quarantine measures that no one could avoid.

This strategy is common among countries that contained COVID-19 successfully. Citizens get text alerts when nearby infections emerge or even when potential ones are still under investigation.

South Korea has faced numerous epidemics that prepared their government even more. They developed a highly efficient and well-coordinated disaster response system using highly advanced technology. 

This wouldn’t have been possible if the citizens did not cooperate. They followed all the guidelines provided by the government and maintained social distance. Even the celebrities were intelligent enough not to go on vacations and flout the COVID protocols (something that we did not see in our country). 

Here is a lesson we all can take from South Koreans, something that our government and citizens should have learned earlier. By wearing a mask and following proper social distancing, we can prevent the virus from spreading and creating havoc.

Image Credits: Google Images, Daegyeonsa Temple

Sources: Vice, The Wall Street Journal, Social Science Research Council, Vox

Find The Blogger: @PrernaMagan

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