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Real stories: face behind the number

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By Cho Kyung-jin

The first COVID-19 case was reported in Korea, Jan. 20, so it has now been more than two months since the novel coronavirus officially began to spread throughout the nation.

If I had to use a metaphor for our country's experience with COVID-19, I would call it a rollercoaster ride: anxieties mounting with expectations of an uncontrollable national outbreak, followed by a brief period of relief with hopes that the virus might be contained after all, only to have such expectations crushed with news of community transmission.

And just when these smaller outbreaks seemed to be under control, we are now bracing ourselves for a second wave of infections from incoming travelers from the U.S. and Europe.

Also, the fear now goes beyond physical preoccupations of health. The virus has also infiltrated our economy. Despite the uncertainties that we are facing, one thing is clear: It will take a long time for our society, and the world, to recover from this highly contagious virus.

It is very easy to fall into a helpless, if not cynical, state, given these circumstances. There is too much information, and the relentless news cycle, for one, is exhausting.

Nevertheless, there is a bright side: Imagine what it would have been like not to have the internet (or Netflix!) at the tip of your fingers during this scare! Several times, every day, I visit the Korean government's official coronavirus information site (http://ncov.mohw.go.kr/) for the........

© The Korea Times