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Fri Feb 28, 2020, 04:26 AM

Cults and Conservatives Spread Coronavirus in South Korea

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/27/coronavirus-south-korea-cults-conservatives-china/

South Korea initially seemed to have the COVID-19 epidemic under control, armed with efficient bureaucracy and state-of-the-art technology. However, since Feb. 18, the number of coronavirus cases in South Korea has exploded to more than 1,700 as of Thursday. The battle plan against the epidemic was derailed by the oldest of problems: religion and politics.

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South Korea has been preparing for a potential new strain of coronavirus since as early as November 2019. Without knowing what virus would hit the country next, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) devised an ingenious method of testing for any type of coronavirus and eliminating known strains of coronavirus such as SARS or MERS to isolate the new variant of coronavirus.

For the first four weeks of the outbreak, South Korea marshaled high-tech resources to respond aggressively while promoting transparency. The government tracked the movements of travelers arriving from China, for example by tracking the use of credit cards, checking CCTV footage, or mandating they download an app to report their health status every day. For those infected, the government published an extremely detailed list of their whereabouts, down to which seat they sat in at a movie theater.

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Shincheonji’s bad theology makes for worse public health. Shincheonji teaches illness is a sin, encouraging its followers to suffer through diseases to attend services in which they sit closely together, breathing in spittle as they repeatedly amen in unison. If they were off on their own, that might be one thing—but according to Shin Hyeon-uk, a pastor who formerly belonged to the cult, Shincheonji believes in “deceptive proselytizing,” approaching potential converts without disclosing their denomination. Shincheonji convinces its members to cover their tracks, providing a prearranged set of answers to give when anyone asks if they belong to the cult. Often, even family members are in the dark about whether someone is a Shincheonji follower. The net effect is that Shincheonji followers infect each other easily, then go onto infect the community at large.

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Reply Cults and Conservatives Spread Coronavirus in South Korea (Original post)
rpannier Feb 2020 OP
ck4829 Feb 2020 #1
rpannier Feb 2020 #2
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2020 #4
Baitball Blogger Feb 2020 #3

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2020, 05:28 AM

1. K&R

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2020, 05:38 AM

2. from the article

The infected Shincheonji members then spread coronavirus by sharing closed-off spaces, refusing to be quarantined, and hiding their membership. Although Patient No. 31 ran a high fever, she attended two Shincheonji services which held more than a thousand worshippers each, in addition to attending a wedding and a conference for a pyramid scheme. She visited a clinic after being involved in a minor traffic accident, but ignored the repeated recommendations by the doctors to receive testing for COVID-19. In other cases, a self-identified Shincheonji follower who came to a hospital complaining of high fever ran off during examination when the doctors informed her she may be quarantined. One woman who donated her liver to her mother for transplant belatedly admitted she belonged to Shincheonji when her fever would not drop after the surgery. (Both cases led to a temporary shutdown of the hospitals involved, making the public health response to the coronavirus that much more difficult.) In a tragicomic instance, one of the Daegu city officials in charge of infectious disease control was revealed to be a Shincheonji follower only after a diagnosis confirmed he was infected with coronavirus.

Since the discovery of Patient No. 31, the number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea jumped from 30 to 977 in eight days. Nearly all of the new cases are Shincheonji followers, or traceable to them. Particularly tragic is the case of Cheongdo Daenam Hospital, where the funeral for Lee Man-hee’s brother was held. This hospital alone saw 114 cases, most of whom were long-term psychiatric patients. Because these patients never left the hospital, much less traveled abroad, they were not tested early for coronavirus, nor were they properly quarantined. This led to an advanced stage of the disease among many of the psychiatric patients, resulting in seven out of the 12 coronavirus deaths thus far.

The cult isn’t the only ideology helping push the virus forward. Conservatives, still recovering from Park Geun-hye’s impeachment and removal in 2017, have held large-scale rallies in the middle of Seoul each week for months. Even as large corporations are advising their employees to work remotely and people are canceling meetings, these conservative groups—largely made up of a high-risk older population—continue to hold rallies, cavalierly ignoring the Seoul government’s advisory to the contrary. Shouting down Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon’s plea to stop the rally, the conservative group leader and pastor Jeon Gwang-hun implausibly claimed it was impossible to contract coronavirus outdoors, while those attending claimed “God was making the wind blow to drive out the virus.”

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Response to rpannier (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 28, 2020, 07:26 AM

4. Not the case that all conservatives are stupid, but stupid people tend to become conservative. . .nt

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2020, 06:01 AM

3. Of all the end-times bad habits that a church can possibly spread, this has to

be the worst!

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