Koreans take advantage of cosmetic surgery during Covid-19

Koreans take advantage of cosmetic surgery during Covid-19 2

Koreans take advantage of cosmetic surgery during Covid-19

`I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Now everyone wears masks so I feel more comfortable going in for surgery,` Lee said after injecting facial fillers.

While Covid-19 forces foreigners to come to Korea for cosmetic surgery to stop, Korean plastic surgeons are welcoming a large number of domestic customers at clinics located along flashy boulevards.

Poster advertising cosmetic services in Korea.

Working from home and other measures to reduce social interactions are reassuring to those worried about attracting the attention of others.

`People who want to have cosmetic surgery but can’t because of lack of time to recover are flocking to our clinic these days,` said Hwang Yong-seok, a cosmetic doctor in Gangnam.

In South Korea, one in three women in their 20s report having had cosmetic surgery.

`Facial and chest surgery` is the most common, Hwang says.

Willingness to spend money on cosmetic surgery is a sign that Korea has been somewhat successful in limiting economic damage caused by Covid-19.

After economic growth decreased by 1.3% in the first quarter and domestic consumption decreased by 6%, the Korean government opened an emergency disaster relief package worth 11.7 billion USD.

Cosmetic vouchers are one of the luxury items that Koreans are shopping for.

For many Koreans, the government’s consumption-boosting subsidies have made them shop more after months of anxiety and quarantine due to Covid-19.

`I feel like I’ve received a reward. My family spent most of the money eating barbecue at a restaurant we didn’t dare go to before because it was too expensive,` said Lee Hyun-jung, a fashion designer.

Kim Jong-ran, a 57-year-old supermarket clerk, last weekend boldly bought a set of high-end mountaineering clothes.

Domestic consumer demand is important to the Korean economy, which is largely dependent on exports.

`We hope the second quarter will see a significant recovery when Covid-19 is under control. Although the manufacturing sector is still in a difficult situation, increased consumer spending will boost the economy better,`

However, optimism only exists in a few.

`Everything is bleak now because finding a job is very difficult,` said Kim Jung-nam, a 58-year-old baggage handler for Asiana Airlines who lost his job last month.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced that he will create 500,000 more jobs in the public sector.

Park Chong-hoon, an economist at Standard Chartered, a multinational company specializing in banking and finance, warned that the manufacturing industry will face a big shock amid the global economic recession.

`The government can only give aid once. Because South Korea depends heavily on trade, the economy will only recover after other countries are better off,` he said.

However, for doctors and customers in Gangnam, very few people care about this.

`She just finished her regular Botox injection, but she took a month off to have chin and nose surgery,` said a woman in her 60s waiting for her daughter in a clinic in Gangnam.

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