KEY POINTS

  • Korean e-book startup is offering its subscription services for free to coronavirus patients
  • The service that normally costs $8 per month will be free for two months
  • The confirmed cases in South Korea is already more than 7,000 with an additional 131 cases reported on Monday

The coronavirus has confined people to their homes. It has closed down colleges and universities and forced them to move classes online. One example is Harvard that recently shifted to remote learning on Tuesday and was followed by several other colleges across the country.

But it's not just in the U.S. where schools have taken this preventive measure, other countries, especially those with large outbreaks, like Italy and Iran have done the same but mostly to contain the already high number of infections. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), there are 16 country-wide school closures and 16 countries with localized school closures.

South Korea is among those countries that implemented country-wide closures as the number of confirmed cases recorded was already more than 7,000, with an additional 131 cases on Monday and almost 20,000 people under quarantine.

And while in the broad topic of learning, startup Millie's Library found a way to uplift not the students who will be home-schooled but the number of South Koreans who are presently dealing with COVID-19. The e-book startup is opening up its services to the COVID-19 patients for free.

The startup offers a subscription service that launched in 2017. It has a library with over 50,000 titles, which include translated versions of German crime writer Nele Neuhaus, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, and Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, according to Quartz.

And the cost to subscribe is $8 a month, and it will be for free for those infected for at least two months.

"We hope that reading can be of some comfort for everyone who is struggling with COVID-19 until they get better and return to their daily life," Millie's Library CEO Seo Young-taek said in a statement.

"We started discussing this free service with the government last Friday. We rushed to provide the service," "a Millie's Library spokesperson told The Korea Herald. "We started providing the QR code for the free service for some of the confirmed patients today."

Also, those quarantined at home can access the code through the Interior Ministry's tracking app that users can install on their mobile devices.

The streets of Daegu are near empty as South Korea reported that the number of new coronavirus cases in the country had passed 2,000 The streets of Daegu are near empty as South Korea reported that the number of new coronavirus cases in the country had passed 2,000 Photo: AFPTV / Yelim LEE