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“打小报告” roughly translates to "tattletale"

I found the initial news of the Coronavirus outbreak really hard to believe. When I first started reading news articles, the issue seemed so far removed because everything was initially happening in Wuhan, and I live in Shanghai. But once the death toll increased, the virus became incredibly serious. I was definitely sad but I wasn’t afraid.

In China, there’s now much more respect for nurses and doctors, who have formed a bond with their patients. I remember when temporary hospitals were shut down and so many people were all crying because the nurses and the patients had been together for the past 2 months…

At first, I didn’t feel much towards being quarantined. But pretty quickly, it brought out a lot of frustration because of the lack of socialization. It just feels weird because you begin to miss interactions with people in general.

For the first month, quarantine wasn’t that bad, especially because I finally got some time to relax. Starting from the second month, I started to feel the pressure of needing to be productive but I simply had no motivation to do anything because of the environment that I am in. What helped the most was talking to people and texting my friends. I also get to do a lot of stuff that I always wanted to do but never had the time for. I’ve been watching more movies and writing a lot more too.

Because of this virus, I don’t know how to do a lot of things that I was supposed to do to prepare for college as a junior. I worry the most about my education because I’m a junior. My peers and I are all worried about IB and having to stay home for so long. Everything we do right now in school is essential towards graduating.

At the end of the day, the biggest pressure for IB students is still finals. Even after I go back to school, we only have a few weeks of classes until we go straight into finals week. We won't have time to review everything we’ve learned in the past few months and learn the new material required for finals. There’s just a lot for the student community to worry for. But I believe that if we put our minds to it, there will still be enough time for us to catch up.

I still don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m still trying to be relatively optimistic.

Being in China right now has certainly posed as a dilemma for me. I felt conflicted when I first heard it being called the “Chinese virus”; because on one hand, it’s really not justifiable, but on the other, I could understand why some people would believe that. Once I started seeing more of the racist and xenophobic attacks that were happening, I realized that this was truly a global issue that needed to be taken seriously.

During this pandemic, everyone is suffering. People should be more sensitive with their words.

[The following comment was in reaction to an online blogger, who posted a video on March 25th from a wet market criticizing Chinese culture in her narration.]

I don’t think the majority of people make the distinction between comments directed towards the Chinese government and comments directed towards its people— but there’s a distinction there. I can speak for myself and many others when I say that I have certainly been ashamed of my nationality in the past due to this lack of distinction. The overwhelming majority of Chinese people agree that there should be stricter regulations imposed upon the exotic wildlife trade in China. The problem isn’t the people, the problem is that these industries often don’t have sufficient governmental regulation. It is possible to address an issue without addressing everyone in that country.

Furthermore, it has been frustrating to witness how people refused to accept the fact that this is a global pandemic. Instead of focusing on being hateful and racist, focus on preventing the spread of the virus. Online comments such as “it’s just the flu”, or “the mortality rate is only less than 2%” were so frustrating to deal with because every time I responded, as an Asian person, the immediate response would be, “you don’t get to talk because your country started it and China is lying about everything.” It was simply annoying having to deal with online comments such as these. But now that all the celebrities and the government is telling people to stay home, everyone is suddenly preaching #flattenthecurve.

On the bright side, the pandemic has brought everyone within cities, countries or even international communities, together— despite being physically separated. I’ve seen that when there are reports of xenophobic attacks or anything of that nature, articles will make sure to talk about it and people of all races will defend the victims. It shows that when things get as bad as they are now, people are able to come together as one.


Written by: Tony He

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