Thoughts on Covid-19

Is it really still 2020?

Never could I (nor anyone, unless you’re Bill Gates) could have known in December 2019, when I published my last post, that we would be socially distancing and hoarding more toilet paper than actual food, during a global pandemic that most developed countries have been not only failing to take seriously, but also struggling to suppress.

For cancer patients and survivors like myself, the precautions we all now must take sound familiar.

Three years ago, I—like most healthy people—had never heard of N95 masks or even the term “immunocompromised.” I had not yet known that this latter term described those who had to take precautionary measures just to be safe and healthy. These include avoiding raw food (including sushi) and handshakes; wearing masks in public; regularly sanitizing hands and surfaces; and generally staying extra vigilant to potential sources of infections. Now such measures apply to us all.

Georgetown, like most schools, have switched to “virtual learning” for the remainder of the semester. This being my last, commencement has also been postponed—but as long as I will still graduate on time, I’m okay with being socially distant. My research job has also implemented company-wide teleworking.

It’s interesting to see how countries like Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan, have all managed to control Covid-19 much better than the United States (let’s not get into Europe). Is it surprising? I’m not so sure.

It’s also both heartbreaking and infuriating to see anti-Asian racism spreading like a virus itself.

What’s even more infuriating is hearing both undergraduate and graduate students, who are otherwise incredibly intelligent, have no disregard for the virus. Upon returning from their spring break trips, they shared how they still traveled to Europe, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Orlando, and elsewhere. The student who went to Hawaii now says she hasn’t been feeling that well.

Even the week or two leading up to spring break, these classmates would downplay the virus, proclaiming it “only affects the weak and elderly,” implying that they, brimming with their invincible fountain of youth, had no role to play and would thus not be affected. Do they not have parents? Better question, where is their empathy and sense of responsibility?

Yesterday, Georgetown even had to send an email on new directives and enhanced sanctions, after receiving reports on “students continuing to host social gatherings during this time.”

Thankfully, my family members seem to have more sense than Georgetown students and are practicing social distancing. Perhaps part of why they have felt more of an impact is because business has basically come to a halt, given their line of work. Small businesses are struggling, and I strongly urge anyone who can to continue supporting them, whether it’s by buying gift cards to be used later, or ordering carryout from your favorite restaurants.

After nearly a year of preparation, my sister had planned to launch her athleisure line this month, and with everything going on, she is rethinking her strategy. Nonetheless, please follow her for updates on Instagram and/or by email. I am so proud of her.

How is life for you? Where are you staying? Another update to come soon regarding my own health (good news). Until then, stay responsible, stay healthy, and stay sane. This, too, shall pass.