Let’s face it. Quarantine sucks, but in these COVID times – even with a vaccine becoming more readily available – it’s a part of life if you move overseas or, in many cases, if you’re traveling. We’re currently on day six of our 14-day quarantine at Camp Humphreys, and I can honestly say that we’ve learned a lot in just these first few days. We were prepared for parts of this process, but there was a lot of it that we weren’t properly prepared for. While everything is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to sit down and write out what it’s like to quarantine to Camp Humphreys, if only to help others who are PCSing this way soon of in the near future.
Quarantine at Camp Humphreys, South Korea
About a month ago, the Republic of Korea announced it was lifting its quarantine restrictions for vaccinated individuals (with approved vaccines), and USFK’s changes weren’t quite as robust, shall we say. Vaccinated individuals who have an approved/signed quarantine action plan (QAP) will still have to quarantine, but they’ll be allowed to move about on post. We are on day six, and we finallyThe have a signed QAP today, which means we can effectively move about post – except for the kids.
I can only speak for family quarantine at Camp Humphreys, but our quarantine barracks are about 350 square feet, give or take. It’s confined. We have two bedrooms with two beds apiece, one bathroom (shower + tub), a small bathroom sink area, and a dual kitchenette/dining space. It’s cramped. We like small, but this is small, so quarantine is definitely confined.
What Our Quarantine Looks Like
Even vaccinated with a QAP in place, we have to quarantine for 14 days. Immediately upon arrival, we received our second COVID PCR test. Yesterday, we had our day six COVID PCR test – this one is only for adults – and the whole family has one more PCR test on day 12, prior to our release from quarantine on day 14.
For the first few days until our PCR results came back, we were completely confined to our room. After that, we were allowed 60 minutes of yard time a day outside. Yesterday, however, we were surprised when the CQ guards told us we could go outside for yard time as long as we wanted, as long as we remained in our designated yard area. You don’t need to ask us twice! Basically, our days look something like this, now that our QAP is in place:
- Ryan works out/Missy works out – either yoga or running, or a Peloton strength workout
- Breakfast (check out the meals I’ve been sharing on my instagram)
- Movie time with the kids
- Yard time for 60-90 minutes
- Nap time
- Yard time
- Playtime in the hall
Top Resources for Quarantine at Camp Humphreys
We did a lot of research prior to our PCS to South Korea, but we still messed up in some regards. I’ll get into that next, but I wanted to share the resources we’ve found and utilized for our quarantine here at Camp Humphreys that have saved us on more than one occasion now that we’re one week in.
- Camp Humphreys Quarantine Support Group on Facebook – find tips, advice, resources, and answers to common questions
- Quarantine personal shoppers – email firstname.lastname@example.org with your barracks and room number, name, list, and WhatsApp contact number
- Simcard delivery – Sunny Mobile is just outside the walk-in gate and will deliver your simcards, as well as ramen & treats, then activate your number remotely
- Your servicemember’s sponsor – this is 100% your first line of defense; Ryan’s sponsor ensured we had all the necessities in our barracks by the time we arrived
- Food delivery – honestly, the DFAC food here sucks; if you want basic American food, AAFES food delivers to the barracks – check this link to order
Our biggest tips though? Bring the essentials. There are no towels. Blankets and sheets are basic military-issue gear. If you need your creature comforts, pack them in your carry-on. Also, there are no TVs. We brought our own projector and use VPN to watch our kids’ favorites.
How We’re Getting Through Quarantine
The first few days of jetlag definitely kicked our butts, but one of the biggest things we did was try to lay low – even whilst stuck here – adjusting to the new timezone. We didn’t take extra naps, but rather just pushed bedtime forward a bit and, now that we’re on day seven, I can honestly say we’re pretty well transitioned to Korea time. We’ve also had to lower our expectations. Until we had our QAP and until yard time happened, screens were a lifesaver, and we relied on whatever was easy…and that’s okay.
We’ve made some great friends here now with other families in the same position (literally) as us. It’s been fun to connect, commiserate, and support one another as we all navigate this quarantine together. I highly recommend relying on friends and neighbors in the quarantine barracks because it’s been a lifesaver. That being said, seven days down, seven to go! We’re beyond ready to escape!