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Senior centers in S. Korea reopening to the joy of the elderly
Updated: 2021-06-17 09:57:04 KST

"Yes I love it "

Back to a game of cards at the senior center.
No longer are South Korea's elderly stuck at home, watching TV all day.
Senior centers in several districts of Seoul now welcome the vaccinated to return to their daily lives: playing chess, exercising, and chatting with their friends.

"It was so depressing for us being trapped at home for so long. I'm so thankful now that I can see my friends' faces here. Even if it's just for half a day "

"After having to stay closed for nearly a year and a half, this senior center in Guro-gu District is now open in the afternoons and it's expected to fully open from 9 in the morning in the coming weeks."

With a quarter of South Koreans now inoculated with at least one dose and vaccination rates rising by the day, the country is moving quickly to open up services, starting with those for senior citizens.

"Till now, it was basically life in prison without bars for the elderly. Just imagine how happy they were when the authorities finally allowed us to open our doors on June 1. It almost made me cry."

Certain restrictions apply though.
The elderly have access only after two weeks have passed following inoculation with their first vaccine dose.
And for now, visitors at most centers aren't allowed to eat together or take singing classes due to droplet concerns.

Seongdong-gu District reopened their 160 centers this Monday and at one spot, all fifty members have been fully vaccinated with badges on their chest as proof.

"I waited and waited for the 14th like a little child. What a joy it was to see so many people here on Monday."

Even beyond the capital, senior centers are steadily reopening across the country, bringing joy to the elderly who can finally get their lives back to normal.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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