I live in Japan... in Fukuoka. And I try to not to pay too much attention to the news since it's mostly bad news, but sometimes it shows up in ads in my email inbox and it's hard to ignore.

So how are things in Asia?

I'll start with where I am - Japan.

They closed public schools down until April 17th. My Japanese classes by the city were closed and about 50-60% of people are wearing masks.

I heard they don't really prevent catching it, but they could help spreading it.

I heard that from Michael Osterholm ("internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology").

 

That's a good video to watch if you are concerned about the coronavirus.

It will put things in perspective.

IS THIS THE APOCALYPSE?

Or...

IS THIS JUST HYPE?

He said neither one was correct. It's about 10X the flu he said.

I was thinking it's probably great business for these news sites. Scaring the sh*t out of people so they stay glued to your site seems like a decent business model.

Are you at risk?

He said the people who:

  • smoke
  • are overweight
  • or have a weakened immune system

...are the most in danger.

Is it an old person's disease?

No, not necessarily. Usually people with a weakened immune system and sometimes those are older people. But he surprisingly said that kids are in less danger than adults even though many schools are closed.

And that was also stated in Taiwan.

Good news! The pediatric cases have been insanely low, which have lead doctors to believe that kids aren’t really prone to getting too many symptoms! Yey for this here girl.

So if you are still teaching kids that might make you feel a little better. 

Anyways stay strong, practice good health and hygiene.

How long will this last?

He said probably not a month...

I'd say in 2 months things will have improved considerably and in 6 months you might have forgotten about it. Remember sars?

So what can you do?

If schools in Korea and Japan are closed till April then you can wait. But they are not all closed down. Here in Japan most eikaiwa seem to be operating. Although the public schools are closed until the 17th. 

And in Korea some hagwons are closed while others are not.

You can use this time to PREPARE.

This is not likely to last forever. If where you want to teach is nearly shut down you can still prepare your documents to teach there. Like in Korea, China and Taiwan you need a CBC and some other documents.

You can LEVEL UP your teaching game.

Take your teaching to the next level if you are currently on "vacation".

Start teaching ONLINE.

A lot of the private institutes that have closed in China, Korea and Japan have moved their teaching online (which is the emerging market for teaching English). It's safer to hide out from the world and teach from home. It's not quite as exciting as teaching abroad, but it might be safer.

Here's how to get a job teaching English to kids (online).

Things are improving...

Maybe not where you are, but they are in some places like where it started a few months ago...

In China.

Alibaba shut down for like a month+ but they have since resumed shipping. Here's an email I got from a supplier.

alibaba

Alibaba supplier in China 

So if China is representative of how things are playing out then in a couple of months things will have chilled out where you are.

So now is your chance to maximize your free time.

My thoughts...

Stop paying attention to the media. It's not the end of the world. You already know enough. You don't need to be any more scared than you are. The news makes money by scaring you.They want you to pay attention to them, but it's a waste.

In a few months things will have improved.

Fear not and continue to move forward.

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