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All for one and one for all: My anti-pandemic story

By Pritam Saha | | Updated: 2022-04-24 16:46
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Pritam Saha (left), an international student at East China Normal University, distributes a packaged meal to a student in East China's Shanghai. [Photo provided to]

In recent days, a trending phrase on the internet has been gongtongshou hu or "Let's protect Shanghai together". Since the recent outbreak of COVID-19, doctors, nurses and volunteers, have come to Shanghai from around the country to protect one of the world's most beautiful cities. In accordance with the requirements of the Shanghai government, the Minhang Campus of East China Normal University has entered into closed-loop management since mid-March.

As an international student, I have been living in China for almost five years. During the first COVID-19 outbreak in China at the beginning of 2020, I closely observed the Chinese government's epidemic prevention and control policy and witnessed how China overcame the virus. But in 2022, the COVID-19 virus has changed its nature and appeared again in the form of the highly contagious Omicron variant. To protect Shanghai as well as the motherland, everyone must fight together, some as front fighters and some as volunteers.

In this critical period, I can't sit quietly. As a dormitory assistant, my main duty is to ensure all international students complete their nucleic acid tests, share all information in Chinese and English in a timely manner and distributing meals to students.

In my free time, I'm reading because I believe it can divert our minds from stress. I would like to share a little story that happened during the closed-loop management period. A student was bored after continuously staying in their room and humorously posted in our WeChat group, "I'm finished." After seeing that post, I remembered a quote from Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi and replied "Our life has a limit but knowledge has no limit. Try to pursue knowledge, you will never be finished." After seeing my reply, people said they felt better and asked for more inspiring words.

During the closed-loop period, the school has supported the students in many ways, like providing free meals for everyone, protective equipment such as masks and gloves. Our department counselor, teachers and staff from Global Education Center keep in contact with me and ask about students' daily living conditions.

Everyone has worked hard. I am grateful to them, and to the teachers, volunteers and other workers on the front line of epidemic prevention keeping everyone safe from this invisible enemy. I hope we will overcome the difficulties together, and the pandemic will be over soon.

The author is a student at East China Normal University.

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