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The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Daegu International School's student news site
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • KISAC MS Girls Volleyball @KISJ on February 29th - March 2nd.
  • SKAC HS Basketball Finals @GIFS/Samcheonpo Gym on February 28th.
  • Registration for Season 3 ASA from February 28th - March 4th.
  • GIDAS Dress Down Day on February 27th.
  • SKAC MS Girls Volleyball Tournament @BFS on February 26th.
  • SKAC MS Boys Volleyball Tournament @DIS on February 26th.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Pesky plague invades Korean public transport

Bed bugs fuel irrational fear of outsiders
Graphic by Christine Park.

Bed bugs (parasitic insects that feed on blood) recently invaded South Korea and immediately wreaked havoc in public places and households alike. The bites, described as itchy enough to drive one crazy, triggered bedbugphobia, a newly coined term to describe the fear around the blood-sucking vermin. This, in turn, brought about excessive aversion to foreigners, the supposed source of this epidemic. 

Under such circumstances, the government normally sprays the affected location with pesticides. However, new mutations rendered this treatment ineffective. “I think complete eradication may be impossible because of the resistance to pesticides, so effective pest management strategies will be needed,” said Dr. Hae-Jeong Kang, a researcher at the Daegu Research Center. 

With such a call for a new solution, the government now utilizes heat for eradication. After disinfection, a heater steams down the area and kills both bed bugs and their eggs. “If there are already bed bugs present, then heat treatment is the most effective solution because the bed bugs are very sensitive to high temperatures,” said Dr. Kang. 

The threat of these itchy bites veils a more covert issue – xenophobia. Already widespread in Korea, many locals believe that foreigners “carried” the pests into the country – in multiple news articles and videos, prejudiced netizens spammed hurtful comments such as, “Disgusting. These dirty foreign laborers should go back to where they belong. Do they even wash themselves?”

Some students expressed similar sentiments as well. “We don’t have bed bugs often in Korea, so it’s definitely the foreigners’ fault for bringing them into our country,” said a DIS student who wished to remain anonymous.

We don’t have bed bugs often in Korea, so it’s definitely the foreigners’ fault for bringing them into our country.”

— Anonymous DIS student

This baseless fear-mongering extended its reach to tangible impacts. The hotel industry took a blow because some citizens started to avoid lodging altogether to keep away from the pest-bringers. However, according to a representative from the Marriott Hotel Daegu Branch, “There has never been an incident or report of these bed bug breakouts in our hotel.” Furthermore, most accommodations wash their sheets thoroughly before reusing them. 

As Korea progresses from the bedbug epidemic, it must address the intolerance that the whole fiasco brought about. Zooming out, this crisis relates to the entire world. According to Kang, professionals must understand the movement patterns and transmission methods of bed bugs to prevent further outbreaks. As Kang said, “Now is the time for collective action, not the blame game.”

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About the Contributors
Elisa Triolo, Writer and Illustrator
Elisa Triolo, a new writer for Flyover, brings a whimsical vibe to the team. Supported by compliments from teachers and experienced people alike, Elisa immerses herself into the abyss of words, where she can bask in her ability to write. With a spirited style to bring her imagery to life, Elisa employs her dreams and manages to weave them into her stories. She also wears Motorsports, history, and art on her sleeve, and loves to share her opinions.

Leanne Yoon, Managing Editor
Leanne Yoon, dubbed as “Lenny” by her close friends, rises into her sophomore year bursting with ambition. As a leader of clubs such as Menstruation Station, SOAR, Debate Club and String Orchestra, Leanne often ponders on what else she could bring to her fellow Jets. In her leisure time, she vibes to music and immerses herself in all things K-culture. This year, Leanne hopes to bring the Flyover to the next level as the co-managing editor of the publication. 

Christine Park, Illustrator
After years of persuasion from her peers that sparked intrinsic motivation, Christine Park finally enters Journalism as a senior. Chris’s greatest passion revolves around the field of art and anime. Her role as the president of the National Art Honors Society and Visual Arts Club proves the enthusiasm she bears for artistry. As the new illustrator for the Jets Flyover, Chris is eager to dive into journalism and share her artwork and comics with a wider audience.
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    MaryJan 25, 2024 at 6:24 pm

    I think I should be careful to prevent bed bugs.

    Reply