File photo from Chuseok 2019 (Yonhap)
The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences are planning to conduct computational research to determine the scope of a potential COVID-19 spike if Koreans go ahead with their typical cross-country movements during the Chuseok holidays at the end of September.
“We are in the process of devising how to model the calculations. We anticipate to have the results of this research by Sept. 23,” a Science Ministry official told The Korea Herald.
The ministry hopes the results will discourage the usual Chuseok migrations a week after, from Sept. 30 through the weekend that ends Oct. 4.
Chuseok is Korea’s traditional celebration of the yearly harvest season according to the lunar calendar. It is the country’s biggest national holiday after the Lunar New Year, or Seollal, which generally falls in January or February.
Korea began feeling the effects of COVID-19 well after Seollal 2020, so Chuseok is the first major national holiday the country will celebrate amid the pandemic.
According to a survey conducted by JobKorea and Albamon targeting 855 workers here, 54 percent of the respondents said they would travel to visit their families, while 30 percent said they would try to stay at home as much as possible.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org