I live in Taiwan and I am seventeen years old. In my school, we have to wear masks everyday. It can be uncomfortable sometimes because it can be so hard to breathe in them. Otherwise, I don’t think that there’s a large impact on Taiwan. I can’t go outside, but it’s not a big problem for me. I don’t go out normally, but when I went out this weekend to buy food, I saw that there are many people still going out. Even though the government has encouraged social distancing, people don’t actually stand 1.5 meters away from one another. The only big difference is that restaurants have signs telling you to wear a mask and to use the hand sanitizer that they’ve provided.
In the beginning of this year, Taiwan started recording people from Wuhan and asked visitors who came to Taiwan to check the healthcare of the people and made sure they were not getting fevers. Quarantine was the first step and since then, they have started banning people coming in from China. Since the US and UK and western countries began getting more cases, students studying abroad are coming back to Taiwan to get their healthcare. Taiwan has made sure to track their gps and where they go just in case.
I think there’s no right or wrong opinion about dealing with the virus, though there is certainly controversy around many different decisions being made right now. For example, I think the purpose in Taiwan joining the WHO is to provide higher quality medical service to our people, but because the WHO has said that Taiwan is part of China, that means we cannot directly support them. Every action we take regarding the Coronavirus— for example, that Taiwan will donate masks to the US and other countries— will be argued. I personally believe that we all need to join the WHO for not only Taiwan, but every single country to have access to more medical supplies. I know this opinion will be argued too.
Overall, most people are beginning to think that the situation is getting better. Today, the government said that there are zero new cases in Taiwan, but I still hope that everywhere else in the world can be better. I was worried about getting the virus myself, but I think I am safe now. Even so, I still worry that more people are getting sick and that there’s not enough medical support around the world.
We really need to pull all of our efforts together at a time like this. The whole world depends on it.
Written by: Ellia Chiang