[ StarBuck Coffee Shop Corona Virus infection Case Study ]
  • time-frame : August 8 2020 Saturday, 2.5 hours from 7pm to 10pm
  • location : Starbucks Coffee Shop Korea Paju YaDang Branch, second floor
  • patient-zero : two females in thirties age from neighboring Paju, affected Covid-19 to 27 people directly of about 150 customers who was there at this time, plus 29 more of they in-turn has contacted to spread (returning home or work) – as of days-end August 19 Wednesday .
  • main cause : air-conditioner fan-flow, no windows open and NOT wearing protective facial masks (once indoors although virtually every-one wears out-doors for the past six Months in South Korea)

Geographical Area : people gathered to the Capital of SEOUL where jobs were abundant to make a livelihood than to achieve their dreams as it was the one place developing faster by-far than any other region around the Korean Peninsula . when SEOUL boundaries set alarms the government built satellite cities around which are artificial towns comprised of mere rows-and-rows of apartment buildings with a huge shop-and-gathering building in the center . in 2020 there are about half a dozen such places and one on North-West is ilSan – about hours drive from SEOUL – just before the OutLet Malls of Paju, further an hours drive North would reach the dreaded North Korean border duh . these huge concrete towns are further divided into apartment sectors which the government grants different conglomerates the right to build-up and its North-most sector is at YaDang Train Station and across it a small block of clustered buildings with shops, restaurants and cafes . so it is a wide-open area in itself, where Starbucks rented partial (NOT whole) two-floor space in a huge shopping building . no problem out-side so inside is where it occurs .

indoors Lay-out : two-floor space of about 200m2, with no-opening windows and surrounded with large glass panels .

in-doors activity : two initial virus-holders stayed on the second floor directly underneath a ceiling-mounted air-conditioner vent (of total 5) for three hours .

  1. ALL infected were seated on, or have been to the second floor at one time .
  2. some virus-receivers were situated quite far from them, thus authorities suspect air-conditioner has spread it throughout the interior, than touching common items/surfaces .
  3. including a customer to had been on the second floor ONLY ten minutes
  4. and an elementary school child on the first ground-floor with parents, who briefly went-up to second-floor bathroom
  5. however four employees who went up and down the stairs while working did NOT get affected as they were wearing masks the whole time ! and while interviewed after-wards : they prided themselves in washing hands constantly and abiding KCDC/government-recommended precaution procedures .

( inside photos of StarBucks Coffee Shop in Paju from common visitors )
so avoid gathering even two persons in enclosed rooms and buildings, and if you must drink coffee or eat-out : go to a cafe or restaurant with open windows (this is easy for smaller outlets as they want to open-up and turn-on electric fans than spend electricity bills with air-conditioning). then if you just have-to be indoors : stay away from direction of air-conditioning fan-flow . keep the mask on even while you talk, only to take it off briefly while you drink and/or eat – as fast as you can . lastly if you have to go eat there : go to pick-up your take-out instead, wearing full-gear incuding masks and gloves //

– Nature Finds A-Way, Korea Tech BLog