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  • 작성자 사진Kim Min-ji

[Issue] Changing Social Institutions from 2023

No.162 / Mar 6, 2023


There are various systems that have changed in 2023. Among them, two systems that can confuse daily life are selected and introduced below.


Indoor-mask mandate lifted

From January 30, people do not have to wear a mask indoors except for inside public transportation and in medical facilities such as hospitals, pharmacies, and other infectious facilities such as nursing hospitals. Since last year, most countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have already suspended the indoor mask regulation. This means that Korea has taken a conservative attitude compared with other countries in relieving mask mandates. One of the measures of judging the danger of the disease is its fatality rate, which is calculated by counting the number of deaths among infected people. The fatality rate of COVID-19 in Korea is one of the lowest in the world. Therefore, the decision to relieve the wearing of a mask, one of the measures that contributed to maintaining a low fatality rate, was not an easy decision for the government. In December 2020, the fatality rate began to decrease as some countries began to vaccinate and treatments were developed. As of July 2022, the global COVID-19 fatality rate has decreased to 1.1% and Korea’s rate was less than 0.1%. Compared with SARS, which had a fatality rate of 11%, or MERS, which had a fatality rate of 35%, COVID-19 is now becoming an endemic disease (a periodic infectious disease). As the last step toward endemicity means a common disease, the government is considering shifting COVID-19 to the general medical system at the end of this year. If this happens, the government will no longer provide a separate budget for COVID-19. Those infected must visit hospitals and clinics based on their personal judgment of their symptoms. The transition to endemicity means greater liberty of economic and social activities, but policy supplementation is also needed, as the public must bear high treatment costs.


Expiration date vs Use by Date

The expiration date that was displayed on food will be changed to the use by date from January 1 this year. The expiration date refers to the final deadline for selling food to consumers. It was first introduced in 1985 and has continued for 37 years until this year. Despite the recent development of food manufacturing technology, distribution system, and food industry, economic losses alone amounted to 530.8 billion won a year owing to the disposal of expired food. Considering these economic and environmental losses, the use by date, which means the maximum period to eat food, was introduced. However, milk was excluded from the use by date list. First, Korea’s legal dairy refrigeration temperature is higher than other countries, so milk is not safe to introduce a consumption deadline. Second, if dairy market circulation decreases due to the introduction of the use by date, the domestic dairy industry will be severely damaged. Please check The Ajou Globe (The AG) Instagram card news for detailed use by date information for each product.


 

By Kim Min-ji, AG Senior Editor

mmoboo77@ajou.ac.kr




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