Students proud to be part of fight against COVID-19

By Cao Chen | | Updated: 2022-03-17 15:08
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A student volunteer from Shanghai International Studies University helps in COVID testing management. [Photo provided to]

When Zhang Na kept a souvenir T-shirt from a stage play about the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it never occurred to the Fudan University nursing undergraduate that the shirt would one day come under the spotlight.

Last week, a photo of Zhang performing her anti-pandemic volunteer duties while clothed in a protective suit and that very same shirt -- it has the Chinese characters "wo zai chun tian deng ni", which means "waiting for you in spring" -- went viral online.

"I was touched by the words as they symbolize hope. The photo also demonstrates how students can take the lead in the fight against the pandemic," said Li Ling, the volunteer who took the photo.

As of Wednesday, the current COVID-19 outbreak in the city has seen more than 1,200 new locally transmitted infections, most being asymptomatic. Most universities in the city have been undergoing closed-loop management and conducting regular nucleic acid testing.

Zhang and Li are among the 200 medical students volunteering at the 12 testing stations in Fudan University.

"Chances are scarce for medical students to get firsthand experience. When we put on the protective suits and are thrown into a real-world situation, we naturally get to learn about our responsibilities," Li said.

"Although we are not licensed physicians yet, I'm proud to be able to contribute in some way."

Meanwhile, at Shanghai International Studies University, over 500 students have been assisting with COVID-19 testing and delivering meals to people on campus.

"When I put on the orange volunteer vest, I feel like I'm going into a battle. I'm just filled with energy," said student Ni Xiaoying.

Students have also been volunteering in the fight against the pandemic outside their school walls.

Qian Bingru, a senior at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, was one of those overseeing COVID-19 testing at the middle school affiliated with the education college in Putuo district. Besides managing the queues, she also had to verify health codes and answer queries.

"Back pain and a sore throat are an inevitable part of the job, but the effort is worth it," said Qian, who spent many hours on her feet while fully clad in protective gear.

Li Mengshiming, another undergraduate from Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, has been volunteering at her neighborhood since March 10. She has been tasked with verifying residents' identities.

When asked about her most memorable moment from volunteering, she recalled that one incident when emergency testing had to be conducted at midnight.

"The verification process was slowed down due to insufficient lighting equipment at the temporary testing site," she said.

"But instead of complaining, residents turned on the lights on their mobile phones to help. It was at moment that I was reminded about how the situation will improve as long as we stay united."

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