2020.03.13562

Head of School's Column: Harsh Reality and Resilient Character

What happened in the last two days in the world is a game-changer for the COVID-19 global pandemic. COVID-19 is now a third major crisis in the 21st century, along with the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, and the financial collapse of 2008. The COVID-19 easily eclipses the 2003 SARS epidemic, as globally infected patients have now topped 120,000, compared to only 8000 SARS patients over a three-month outbreak. Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist, called COVID-19, the once-in-a-century public health challenge. Billions after billions of people are now affected.

Words from the Head of School: Harsh Reality and Resilient Character

 
What happened in the last two days in the world is a game-changer for the COVID-19 global pandemic. COVID-19 is now a third major crisis in the 21st century,along with the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, and the financial collapse of 2008. The COVID-19 easily eclipses the 2003 SARS epidemic, as globally infected patients have now topped 120,000, compared to only 8000 SARS patients over a three-month outbreak. Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist, called COVID-19, the once-in-a-century public health challenge.Billions after billions of people are now affected.
 
Against the onslaught of harsh reality, there is hope and optimism. The first ray of hope is from China. The number of newly reported cases in China for the last few days have dwindled to tens, and 63000 patients or 77% of the infected and treated have recovered. The death rate is 4% among those treated. Most importantly, China’s experience of successful containment effort is now shared with the world, to help mobilize the effort to battle this virus around the globe.
 
The second ray of hope is that this virus has largely spared children. Globally, less than 1% of infected patients are children below the age of 19. The fatality ratio of children aged 10-19 is 0.02%. While this good news shall not lower our guard and ignore the preventive procedure, it does allow the government, schools, parents, and students to rest a little bit better.
 
The third ray of hope is that this virus, like every other known virus, does seem to mutate in the less lethal trend. This fact will be of interest to our students to investigate. Why? After all, if a virus kills the host, it kills itself!
 
We have hope, just like we have witnessed spring in Beijing! The virus pandemic is a test of character for you and me. Some students will pass with flying colors, and some will discover that you are stronger than thought, some will identify your soft spots against the unexpected. But amidst the compassion that we feel about the victims and people affected, we have all found our resilient character within ourselves. This resilient character is looking up to the hundreds of thousands of medical professionals in the front line!