Mongolia and China are neighbors, so it’s natural to wonder if the recent Wuhan coronavirus (henceforth COVID-19) outbreak has spread north. Well, so far, there’s no evidence that COVID-19 has reached Mongolia at all. As soon as the outbreak began hitting news cycles, the Mongolian government shut down everything they could to keep the virus from spreading.
This is what’s happened so far:
- Schools were already shut down/in quarantine mode in January due to pre-existing winter illnesses. (Hospitals were filling up with children and the elderly, so keeping people at home helps cut back on spreading illness.)
- All land borders were shut down, preventing both people and goods from coming or going through China.
- Flights into the country are heavily monitored before travelers disembark to ensure that those entering the country through air travel aren’t bringing anything in with them.
- Schools were then shut down until March.
- Religious activities and other types of gatherings were forbidden.
- Schools were then shut down until April.
- Once COVID-19 showed up in South Korea, flights from SK were canceled. (Or heavily monitored as well?)*
So how does this effect society? Well, a lot of people are still teaching via the internet, and I think folks are going a little stir crazy. We are not currently in Asia, so we aren’t experiencing any of the above restrictions; however, we are in one of the US states where there have been several deaths from the virus, so it will be interesting to see how or if things start changing here to reflect Mongolia’s approach. Noteworthy: so far there are still zero cases of COVID-19 in Mongolia that I know of.*
Now I’m going to go wash my hands thoroughly.
*I get a lot of my news through second or third-hand reporting as I am not fluent enough in Mongolian to read Mongolian news sources myself.