Yage Wang — Staff Writer
On March 25, Howard Wilson, the Chief of Administrative Office of Dordt University, announced that students will not resume in–person classes for the rest of the spring semester. Students will have online classes with the corresponding professors. While making this determination, Dordt has shown its priority considerations are student’s health and education. Though the coronavirus has changed many people’s 2020 plans, it also a good time for us to reflect on our lives through this outbreak.
As of March 30, the number of people who are infected with coronavirus is 766,336; the total death toll worldwide is 36,873. Behind those horrendous numbers, many families have lost their loved ones. Then we ask ourselves: how did it get to this point so fast?
According to the existing data, coronavirus was discovered in December in Wuhan, China. While the provincial government was trying to uncover the truth, two million civilians left Wuhan for the Chinese Spring Festival. Soon after the coronavirus outbreak in China, large numbers of confirmed cases started popping up in Italy and France. On March 17, the French government publicly announced the lockdown of the country. But in the US, Trump still encouraged enterprises to reopen by Easter after a short time of people working remotely. Now, at the end of March, New York stands out as the worst-hit area in the United States. In Japan, the confirmed cases were under 100. But after the decision of postponing the Olympic, the number quickly shot up to the thousands.
Interestingly, although the countries most affected by corona virus are all very different, they have all faced criticism for being ineffective and having a slow reaction to the virus.. Many people are frustrated that the many countries have underestimated the destructivity of coronavirus and prioritized maintaining daily life over the health of the nation. It seems that the immediate actions of responding to the coronavirus are ridiculous. Some countries want to appear composed and don’t take any precautions for a minor “flu.”
Another frustration is that many people are ignoring advice to social distance and stay home. Though governments have at various levels required social-distancing or locked down areas, many people still ignore the risk of getting the virus. It is often written off as “the flu” or a “bad cold.”
People who are taking precautions seriously are sometimes branded cowards or overly dramatic. Through the coronavirus period, maybe it is time for us to reflect on the ultimate purpose and goal for socializing. Author and social activist Gloria Jean Watkins once interpreted solitary in a way I found quite applicable for our current situation, “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” So, is quarantine really a joy-killer or we are just too immature and easily lonely that we desperately need other’s presence?