Stay at home during coronavirus

A contributed perspectives piece by Zhenqi Zheng

When everyone is cheering the beginning of a new decade, the coronavirus is breaking into our lives. At the beginning, the coronavirus appeared in China, and it was the Chinese New Year at that time, so the population was very mobile and the infection was very strong. In order to avoid causing more people to be infected, the Chinese government has closed management of Hubei Province, which is the worst-affected province.

During the period from the end of January to the beginning of February, the number of confirmed diagnoses in China has increased rapidly, and hospitals cannot serve so many patients, so the Chinese government has built temporary hospitals to treat patients.

I come from Sichuan Province in China. Although the damage here is much lesser than in Hubei, the government has very strict regulations. The shops are closed. Residents are not allowed to go out, and each family can only send one person with a mask for daily purchases. The Spring Festival changed because of the coronavirus, and the streets were empty. Everyone stayed at home except those who were going shopping. During home isolation, my friends and family followed the rules carefully. Although they were bored at home, they learned to find happiness by themselves, such as by cooking. I also heard from my family that for those who come back from Hubei, they must isolate themselves. Community workers will take their temperature every day, and the government will track their daily situation.

Now, China’s epidemic situation has gradually improved. In some less serious provinces, some schools have allowed students to return to school, but schools will also take students’ temperature to ensure that they are healthy. I can feel that they are still moving forward in their troubles at that time. This spirit is what I want to learn now. 

Since the end of February, the coronavirus outbreak in the United States has become more and more serious. A few days after the spring break, EMU decided to conduct online teaching. The campus has gradually become empty because most students have gone home. Although we take online classes at home, our work is not less than when we were on campus. I received many emails which are from IEP and campus staff. This action let me get a lot of warmth as an international student. In my opinion, online classes at home are testing our self-control because we are not attending class in person class and teachers cannot monitor everyone. Actually, it is a real challenge for me, because in my subconscious, online classes are not real classes. Although this feeling is strange, I will try to overcome it. 

When I am isolated at home, I can feel what my friends and family were feeling one month ago. It is boring, especially, because I am alone here, and I have to overcome many things. For example, I have to study by myself and reduce my loneliness, and I also need to solve my eating problem. For loneliness, I connect with friends and parents every day. For daily necessities, I buy food for two weeks every time I go to the grocery store. People’s views of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States are not optimistic now, and the number of diagnoses every day has soared. The United States now has the largest number of diagnoses in the world, surpassing China and Italy, and more than 7,100 people with COVID-19 have died in the US.  I think this signal is enough for the U.S. government to take the pandemic seriously, which is terrible. I hope that the US government can take some effective measures to curb the epidemic, instead of just saving the economy. 

Finally, through this epidemic, I realized the power of technology. We are trapped at home by the epidemic, but we still have a chance to take online classes. It means we have not lost learning. We can get the news from the internet for the first time, and people can diagnose themselves based on the symptoms of coronavirus provided by the CDC.  This is good for human beings because we are constantly improving. I also learned from this epidemic that we should pay attention to physical problems and keep exercising. I also learned that there is a positive thing in the world because of this experience. Venice is free of tourists and cruise ships, and the canals are at rest. The normally muddy canal becomes clear, and you can even see a variety of fish swimming happily underwater.  Therefore, humans cannot just think about themselves. Only by living in harmony with nature, humans can survive longer on the earth. 

Zhenqi Zheng is a student in the Intensive English Program at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg.

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