Month: May 2020

COVID-19 and the Precarity of South Korean Working Class

Coupang is a Korean e-commerce platform. I used to joke that Coupang is an Amazon wannabe. This time it did follow Amazon's footsteps. One of Coupang's warehouses had an COVID-19 outbreak with 63 confirmed cases and counting, just like Amazon had an outbreak at their fulfillment center. They did not follow the infection prevention guidelines. They hid the outbreak to keep people working in close vicinity. They eventually closed the warehouse two days later, but the damage was already done. Coupang distinguished itself from other e-commerce platforms by offering free next-day delivery, called "Rocket Shipping." They claimed they are ensuring…
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South Korea Has COVID-19 Under Control Despite Homophobia

About a week ago, I woke up to a number of messages from my foreign acquaintances in both my personal and professional inboxes. Are Korean gays okay? Am I, being a queer person in Korea, okay? I instantly knew what that was about, but I was still puzzled. Why are they more concerned than I? When I opened the messages, I found links from Western news outlets. UK news outlet The Guardian wrote about "high level of deeply entrenched homophobic attitudes in the conservative society" of South Korea. I found that interesting because nowhere did I see anything about high…
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