The Coronavirus Pandemic And Its Big Impact On All Hallyu Wave Activities
We all know that in 2020, Covid-19, or more commonly known as Coronavirus, has been spreading around the world. Around the end of February 2020, South Korea was the country with the largest number of people infected with the virus. And because of this, many activities, including the entertainment industry, have been postponed or even canceled, activities such as concerts, fan meetings, etc.
After a while, people working in the entertainment industry somehow were infected with the virus. Many fans are worried about their idols’ health and safety out there, and that’s why some agencies started to test their idols’ health status.
And in today’s article, we are going to list eight idols that have been tested for Covid-19. Are you curious to find out who they are? Well then, without any further ado, let’s get into our topic!
Solo Artist Chung Ha
The female solo artist Chung Ha is well known for her amazing stage presence. Each of her solo songs has managed to get a lot of attention from the public. On March 1st, Chung Ha’s agency released a shocking statement where 2 staff members were positive with Covid-19 after being tested before. But luckily enough, Chung Ha test results were negative.
Here is the complete official statement from MNH Entertainment:
Hello. This is MNH Entertainment.
Our artist Chung Ha has returned home from a scheduled activity in Italy on February 24th. One of the staff members who accompanied her showed signs of fever and tested positive for COVID-19.
We immediately made Chung Ha and all accompanying personnel go into self-isolation and had them tested. One more staff member tested positive for the virus, and we are taking the appropriate action for it. All the other staff members tested negative, and Chung Ha also tested negative on March 1st.
Based on the results of the test, they will go into self-isolation as requested by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the sake of safety, all scheduled activities have been canceled for the time being, and we will continue to take the best possible measures and deal with the virus faithfully.
We thank everyone working hard to combat the virus, and we will do our best to protect our safety and health from COVID-19.
American social media account 88rising, announced via Twitter that Chung Ha, who was supposed to be part of the lineup of the Head In The Clouds Festival in Jakarta, will no longer be able to perform at the concert. Below is the tweet:
Because of unforseen circumstances, chungha will not be performing at head in the clouds Jakarta. 88rising family is with you and your team @CHUNGHA_MNHent
— 88rising (@88rising) March 1, 2020
A Clarification from Chung Ha that Her Manager is not Positive with Coronavirus
Two days later, on March 3rd, the solo artist clarified herself that her manager was not one of the two staff members who tested positive of the virus, during her 1000th debut anniversary on Vlive. Chung Ha said: “Wasn’t there a report that said two of my agency’s staff members tested positive? Even before that, they were safely in isolation. In fact, it’s been quite a while now. It’s not an exaggeration to say they went into isolation as soon as we returned to Korea. Just as other reports stated, the remainder of the staff all tested negative for the virus.”
The solo artist then continued, “One report stated that it was confirmed that my manager was included in those two staff members affected. That report is untrue. All of the managers tested negative for COVID-19. The three managers are all very healthy.”
Chung Ha also stated her distaste towards the article that named her manager as one of the staff members that got infected, “It feels wrong that such reports came out even after the agency released an official statement. I feel a little resentful and hurt because of that.” Chung Ha then ended the statement by assuring her fans that she and her manager are doing well. Here is what she says to the viewers:
“Even I’m staying in my room all day. There are of course staff members who are worrying about me, there’s no cause to worry about me with the affected staff members. Everyone, there’s nothing to worry about, so please don’t worry.”
NU’EST’s Min Hyun
One of the NU’EST members who has a unique visual, Hwang Min Hyun was rumored to be infected by the Coronavirus after attending the Milan Fashion Week on February 9th, while there were also many Korean artists that attended the show, like Chung Ha, IU, Han Ye Seul, Song Hye Kyo, Park Min Young, and including himself.
however, Pledis Entertainment quickly denied the rumors. One of the company’s sources released a statement, “The rumor that he was infected with COVID-19 is not true at all,” they also added, “All staff including Minhyun tested negative for COVID-19. Though no one was infected, the staff and Minhyun, have not scheduled any events since the Milan Fashion Week.”
On the 1st of April, JYJ member Kim Jaejoong uploaded information on his personal Instagram account, that he tested positive for Covid-19. Here’s what he said:
“I have been infected with COVID-19. It is a result of my negligence, ignoring the cautionary words shared by the government and those around me. A person’s individual actions can have such a big impact on society as a whole. I am so sorry to those who may have been infected because of me.
My foolish judgment to live as though it couldn’t happen to me is why I am like this today. I am currently hospitalized. I am reflecting on my past a lot and feeling both grateful and sorry.
There are many things I want to say. There are many people I want to see so much.”
CJeS Entertainment which is his agency released a statement that they were trying to confirm the news since he was in Japan at the time. Soon it was revealed that his action was meant to be an April Fool’s prank, after Jaejoong edited out the caption on the same post and clarified that he wasn’t infected by Corona.
“What if the people we love, someone precious to us, contracted the virus? It’s such a heart-wrenching thing to think about.
Despite this so many people walk the streets and live their lives without their guards up, ignoring it… and thinking it won’t happen to them, and it makes me so worried that my family and friends might get sick. Believing that we and the people around us will be safe will end up making us and everything around us sick.
Currently, a growing number of my acquaintances and industry representatives have tested positive. It is not something that is far away. When negligence turns a sad premonition into reality, it’s not something that we can simply end by wiping our tears away. Staying on alert right now… That is what I say to myself again and again.
Although this did go quite far for April Fool’s Day, so many people worried about me in a short span of time. Oh… and I don’t think of this as an April Fool’s joke. My family and my friends are getting sick and dying… It’s never!! just someone else’s problem. I wanted to tell you that protecting myself is protecting the precious people around us.
I will accept all the punishment I receive from this post. I hope all of you are healthy.”
JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong Posted His Apology
After getting a lot backlash for his foolish behavior on the internet, Jaejoong finally posted his apology right away. Unfortunately, the post has been taken down, but here’s what he said in the apology letter:
“I am also personally aware that it was something that shouldn’t be done.
First, over the social media post I wrote, I want to express my sincere apologies to the people who have suffered because of COVID-19 and to the people who were disrupted in their administrative work.
Bad judgment. I knew that’s what this was.
The current lack of awareness of response methods and the dangerousness of the virus outbreak. I wanted to convey that message because I hoped that people would be more aware and therefore we could minimize the number of people who suffer because of COVID-19.
It’s so scary to think that things like people spending time outside in the warm weather as spring arrives, or coming in contact with others in an enclosed space while making use of leisurely time as the start of the semester is postponed, could cause a secondary or tertiary resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
My father also recently had lung cancer surgery and he went to the hospital often. When I saw the medical staff and patients at the hospital, I felt a bit angry and I wished that people thought of the virus as not someone else’s problem, but their own problem.
Contrary to the people who actually are working hard to get us out of COVID-19, there are many people who enjoy their leisure time while dressing just as usual and not wearing a mask. When I heard that, I thought there needed to be more awareness.
In many different kinds of media and on the internet, there are both big and small requests for people to take caution, but there are people who do not listen to that, and I wanted to convey the dangerousness of the current situation to them one way or another. ‘Please, listen. Please. Don’t get sick.’
There are also confirmed cases among the people I know. This made me feel certain that this is not something that is happening far away, and it made me more scared. Self-reflecting after losing someone is no help at all.
It’s frustrating and hard but I want to try a bit harder than now and get through this difficult time together. My post today… it went very far, but I thought that if people paid a large amount of interest to it, then they might listen. This method has hurt a lot of people and I am receiving criticism for it.
For causing distress, I sincerely apologize to the government agencies and medical professionals who are working hard because of COVID-19, and to the many people who are following instructions to give up on their lifestyles and are doing all they can to overcome this.”
We hope that Jaejoong can learn his lesson from this scandal because this deadly pandemic is inappropriate to be made a joke.
BTS’ Jung Kook, ASTRO’s Eun Woo, NCT’s Jae Hyun, and SEVENTEEN’s Min Gyu
One of the biggest Korean news sources Dispatch has reported that BTS’ Jung Kook, NCT’s Jae Hyun, ASTRO’s Eun Woo, and Seventeen’s Min Gyu (or known as the 97-liners) were spotted visiting a restaurant and 2 bars at the neighborhood of Itaewon in Seoul from April 25th until the dawn of April 26th.
News about the idols who were spotted at Itaewon then surfaced a few days later, but the idols’ names were not revealed yet and their agencies stated that they couldn’t verify any facts yet. Since it pertained to the artists’ personal lives.
But following the Dispatch news at that time, each of the 97-liners agencies released an official statement. They said that the report was true, and all of them have tested negative to the Covid-19 virus. And now let us look at each of their agencies’ official statements for the public!
Jung Kook’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment:
This is Big Hit Entertainment. Here is our official statement regarding BTS member Jungkook’s visit to the neighborhood of Itaewon in Seoul.
Last week, several news outlets reached out to us to ask about whether Jungkook had visited the neighborhood of Itaewon, and we sincerely apologize for belatedly realizing that the agency’s response to the questions was problematic.
It is true that Jungkook went to the neighborhood of Itaewon. However, at the time, he did not go to the place that became a problem due to the confirmed case in early May, and Jungkook was in Itaewon a week prior to the first confirmed case (first case related to the chain of infections in the neighborhood of Itaewon). Moreover, to abide by the government’s guidelines, Jungkook took measures such as receiving a test for COVID-19, so we deemed it inappropriate to reveal our artist’s private life to the public.
However, there is no room for excuse regarding the fact that we, as the agency of the artist in question, had not properly recognized the heavy importance of social distancing and prioritized the protection of the artist’s private life over it. We bow our heads to everyone in apology.
On the evening of April 25th, Saturday, Jungkook visited a restaurant and bar in the neighborhood of Itaewon with his acquaintances. He showed no symptoms of COVID-19 such as coughing or fever following the visit. He voluntarily received a test for COVID-19 at a government-designated hospital and tested negative. The artist himself is currently feeling deeply regretful for not having faithfully contributed to the entire society’s social distancing efforts.
We at Big Hit are doing our best to follow social distancing protocols as well as other guidelines and prevention methods for COVID-19. We will follow [the guidelines] more thoroughly to ensure that such things do not happen again. We apologize for causing concern to many people including fans.”
Jae Hyun’s agency, SM Entertainment:
“Hello, this is SM Entertainment.
We apologize for causing concern during a time when many people are struggling due to COVID-19.
On April 25th, Jaehyun visited a restaurant and bar in the neighborhood of Itaewon, but he did not go to the specific club that became a problem, and [Jaehyun’s visit to the neighborhood] took place seven days prior to the confirmed case.
Jaehyun did not show symptoms, but when COVID-19 broke out in the club in Itaewon and started to spread, he voluntarily received a COVID-19 diagnosis test and tested negative.
Jaehyun is deeply reflecting on the fact that he was not careful during the period of social distancing when everyone should be refraining from everyday gatherings. We also deeply apologize for failing to guide and manage our artist to ensure that he carefully follows social distancing protocols during his personal time as well.
We will work harder on the management of our artists to prevent something like this from happening again. Once again, we apologize for causing concern to fans and many other people.”
Min Gyu’s agency, Pledis Entertainment:
“Hello, this is Pledis Entertainment.
First, we deeply apologize for causing concern to many with the report regarding Pledis Entertainment artist SEVENTEEN member Mingyu’s visit to the neighborhood of Itaewon. Mingyu is deeply reflecting on his inappropriate behavior of not abiding by the social guidelines during the government’s social distancing period.
Immediately after confirming that he had visited the area during the period specified by the CDSCHQ, he was voluntarily tested for COVID-19 at a government-designated hospital even though he did not show symptoms of COVID-19 such as coughing or fever. After he received negative results, he has been in self-isolation and has carefully followed the guidelines of personal hygiene.
We at the agency feel deeply responsible that a situation like this has arisen due to our careless management of the artist.
We sincerely apologize for causing concern and worry to fans who send love and attention [to our artists]. To prevent something like this from happening again, we will emphasize the importance of social distancing and personal hygiene to our artists and pay careful attention to ensure that our artists follow the guidelines.
We once again bow our heads in apology.”
Cha Eun Woo’s agency, Fantagio Entertainment:
“Hello, this is Fantagio,
We have confirmed that Cha Eun Woo went to the neighborhood of Itaewon on April 25th. We apologize that he didn’t follow social distancing guidelines and caused concern due to our careless management.
Cha Eun Woo did not go to the location that became a problem in early May with a confirmed case, and when we asked the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on if he is a subject for COVID-19 testing, we were told that it is not required if he does not have symptoms. However, he was tested for the health and safety of the artist and those around him, and he tested negative.
No matter the reason, it was a thoughtless action for our artist Cha Eun Woo to visit the Itaewon area when the entire nation is practicing social distancing, and the artist himself is deeply reflecting on not faithfully contributing to the social distancing efforts. We promise to put in our full effort for an incident like this to not happen again by having all of our artists strictly follow the preventative guidelines. We apologize for causing concern.”