Dear KDVA Members,
With the 11 March 2020 announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus COVID-19 is a global pandemic, I thought I would share with you some thoughts about COVID-19’s impact on KDVA.
KDVA has been following official guidelines from our respective ROK and U.S. governments about health and safety measures. In both Seoul and the Washington, DC where the current majority of KDVA’s involvement in area activities have been, we have seen a reduction in events by many organizations. Some activities have been postponed, a few others have been cancelled, and others have moved to virtual forums.
We echo what GEN Abrams, Commander of UNC/CFC/USFK, said on 11 March pointing to the “positive” development in which the number of fresh infections in South Korea has been on a decrease over the past several days, but he still reiterated a cautious approach. GEN Abrams stated, “We are going to be very deliberate and act out of an abundance of caution … We are not going to be premature, and that requires sacrifice and burden by everyone, but in the interest of the health of the force, we are gonna be very cautious … We always have our mission to perform here. That mission has not gone away just because we have COVID-19. Our mission here is to be ready to fight tonight in the defense of the Republic of Korea.” He noted that everyone is “living this lifestyle change” and asked his people to fully comply with related guidelines and exert patience. He also praised the South Korean health authorities’ handling of the issue and vowed continued close cooperation. “We have an amazing partnership with the KCDC. They’ve been incredibly transparent, cooperative, and collaborative,” GEN Abrams said.
I would encourage our members to follow this lead in getting reliable information from official sources like the CDC and KCDC, and to act not out of fear, but armed with sound knowledge that informs your actions to mitigate and/or prevent the further spread of this disease. For example, this chart from the CDC provides the difference between cold or allergies, the flu, and the coronavirus.
We will keep you updated on KDVA activities as we continue to support the ROK-U.S. Alliance – normal KDVA activities on all our social media platforms will continue.