There are just different philosophies between the two countries about seeing a doctor. Americans love to call people who think they are sick hypochondriacs. Americans have a tendency just to barrel through a sickness and not even bother going home to get well unless they just have to. My dad raised me to be tough, and probably most other Americans were encouraged to be tough too. I always hear “suck it up!” Unfortunately, I was not like most people, and when I “sucked it up,” I ended up getting even sicker. Americans take pride in being tough. It is part of our culture. No one wants to be called a pansy. We all want respect!! We have been taught to stand on our two feet! We are a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” culture. It causes us to do some silly things with our health sometimes. We also don’t want to pay the prices that the doctors, hospitals, and insurance are dishing out now a days, so many people have skipped seeing a doctor. Those prices are, in the end, the fault of the American people, and I will explain why I say that.
The South Koreans have a very different philosophy about health than Americans. In South Korea, if you get the slightest sniffle, you run right away to see a doctor and put a face mask on. You make sure that you don’t get any sicker, and you try to make sure you don’t give it away to anyone else. At times, I was really surprised by how quickly they would run to see a doctor. It got old teaching students with face masks. I felt like some of them were trying to hide from me. My dad would have called the Korean population a bunch of weaklings for running to the doctor so much, but in some ways, they are very smart because they do. The doctors and nurses were prepared for the coronavirus because they handle that many patients all the time. Less people got as sick in S. Korea because the minute they sniffle, they head for the doctor’s office. It keeps them overall a healthier population. The health insurance in S. Korea is mandatory for anyone who has a job, and it is cheap. Even if you don’t have health insurance in S. Korea, it is still cheaper to see a doctor in S. Korea without health insurance than it is to see a doctor with health insurance in America.
If America feels ill prepared for the coronavirus, it is because our health system needs work. We all know our health insurance continues to be a plague on many Americans. There are ways to get free medical, but even that is frowned on by many Americans. Any time someone got something for free from the U. S. government, my dad felt like it was a dishonor, and I understand. He felt like they had no self respect, and I understand, but there are times some people need it, however, I also know people who are taking government help who really shouldn’t. That is the dishonour. Too many Americans have taken advantage of the American government. Too many have sued too many doctors and caused the cost of the insurance to rise because the doctors have to charge big bills to offset what the American public does to them. S. Korea just doesn’t have those kinds of problems.
When I was in Romania, there was an American professor who came for some special lectures at our university about a Democratic government. The Romanians were trying to change from Communism to a Democracy. I went to those lectures, and he traced Democracy from its early beginnings in Greece until now, and he also included Moses and the code of Hammurabi. He told them to have freedom, we must be good. He was right. If you want freedom, every man must put a check on himself and not be so selfish because it is selfishness that has caused the problems we have in America. If people are taking advantage of whoever they can take advantage of whether it be their neighbor, the government, or the doctors through law suits, only problems will ensue.
If America doesn’t have what it needs, it is for two reasons. One, we are a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” society at the basics, but through time, there have been too many selfish people only out for themselves that have messed our systems up. If we want freedom, we have to learn to be basically good again. If we police ourselves, then we don’t cause problems like ones that have come with the coronavirus: hoarding, lack of nurses, people not seeing a doctor, people not staying home when they should, lack of good medical tests, etc.