Phillipian Commentary: Response to COVID-19

Who would’ve thought that COVID-19, a virus that originated in China, would spread all over the world in the span of a few months? As of now, this global pandemic has forced everyone to self-quarantine, and several countries have already gone into lockdown. Medical personnel are hard at work on a vaccine, while the rest of the world patiently waits for updates and further instructions.

It has not been easy for my family. I know I cannot speak for everyone, and I think it is fair to assume that COVID-19 has been a burden for everyone. I had just finished my Nepsac championship swim meet at Hotchkiss when I received an email from school regarding the extension of Spring Break due to the virus outbreak. At that moment, I knew that this was only the beginning.

Initially, my family, just like everyone else, believed that it was safer to remain in the U.S. for Spring Break, since the majority of coronavirus cases were in Asia. Slowly and gradually, we witnessed the virus spread from East to West. Eventually, the U.S. was no longer the safer option. My family was fortunate enough to catch a flight back to Hong Kong, but even back home, where it’s supposedly safer, our family really stays home most of the day.

Whenever we go out, we are required to wear facemasks and sanitize our hands regularly. We refrain from touching our faces, or anything that is generally “dirty.” It’s also difficult to see some of our friends who are stuck in the U.S. as plane tickets are indeed very expensive. In addition, there are still countless people in Hong Kong without proper housing who are forced to roam the streets every day. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for them in face of this crisis.

My dad works in business and investment, and since the stock market has taken a huge hit, his job hasn’t exactly been the nicest to him. He’s always on conference calls and putting out fires everywhere. The rest of us are doing our best to alleviate some of his pressure. I cannot swim back home, or anywhere for a fact, since pools are all shut down. My family and I do go on the occasional jog, but nothing too elaborate. We try to stay away from large crowds, especially when everyone is hot and sweaty.

On the bright side, staying at home has granted me more time to do some self-maintenance. I’ve been catching up on reading and sleep. However, days have definitely been much better, and we’re all here at home, hoping for some better news in the future.