Due to the rise of coronavirus, a wave of paranoia spread across Korea. Many Korean schools delayed their matriculation by two weeks due to the number of Korean coronavirus cases tripling. SIS has also considered shutting down large events where many students may become vulnerable to the disease. Due to a notice from the Korean government some international schools, such as Chadwick International School and Seoul Foreign School, were cancelled for a week. At SIS, events that were canceled or delayed included KAIAC, Snowball, chess tournament, National Honor Festival, and BEIMUN.
“I don’t know how long school events will continue to be canceled,” said Jonathan Ames, SIS’ activities director. “But for now, all school events in February have been canceled and we are still waiting for decisions from the highschool office about events further along in the school year.”
The spread of the coronavirus started a week before the winter sports KAIAC tournament. Once news of the coronavirus spread, many schools were quick to shut down major events. KIS made the first move and announced they would not attend any sports tournaments for the indefinite future. Furthermore, SFS, which was scheduled to host the KAIAC girls basketball tournament, decided to cancel the competition. Similarly, the KAIAC boys basketball was supposed to be held at SIS, but it too was canceled. Many of the senior athletes were disappointed to end their season without a tournament and a chance to win first place.
“I was really looking forward to playing other teams in the blue division because I believed our team was one of the strongest I have ever seen play,” said Timothy Munro, varsity boys basketball coach. “I was truly disappointed when I learned we would not get a chance to win first place in the cup tournament.”
The SIS leadership team has also decided to postpone the annual Snowball dance. Although it had been traditionally held on campus, the 2020 Snowball dance was planned to be held at an external venue, the JBK Convention Hall, for the first time in recent memory. HSSC had been organizing this event for months and were preparing to collaborate with other clubs such as DSQ, BPM, and Aperture. Holding the school dance off campus caused concerns of possible exposure to the virus, causing the school leadership team to announce their decision to postpone the event.
“The delay was a total setback due to the months of work preparing for the snowball,” said Ryan Chen (10). “Although we organized with the venue, DJ, and clubs, all we could do was wait for a decision from the highschool office on when we could host it. But before then, all we can do is wait.”
Many of the MUN students have been preparing throughout the school year for three main model United Nations conferences: SEOMUN, BEIMUN, and THIMUN. Although THIMUN, which took place from Jan. 25 to Feb. 2 during the virus’ initial outbreak, was not attended as normal. BEIMUN was immediately canceled due to its proximity to the initial outbreak of the virus at Wuhan. Many of senior MUN delegates were disappointed to hear that the BEIMUN trip was canceled since many of them held back on attending the THIMUN trip to attend BEIMUN.
“I remember last year’s BEIMUN trip was very fun since there were many fun places to visit near the hotel,” said Emma Lee (12). “I’m disappointed that my last year ended without being able to attend a lot of international trips.”
The school events continue to be canceled and delayed without much idea on when these events will be able to start again.