Alumni Voice


“Lessons from the pandemic”

Kitsanay Phommavongsa

Student (International School)

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for everyone in the world this year from start to finish, and its thanks to our buddy – the Covid-19 pandemic. Although its origin is contested, everyone can agree that it is one of the most destructive virus humans have ever encountered with over a million deaths and over 70 million confirmed cases as of 12th December 2020. It has also devastated the economy of the world; Business big and small all suffered from the pandemic- forcing them to go bankrupt or layoff workers. People around the world suffer from the virus; they are forced into lockdown, laid off from their jobs and loss of loved ones as result of the virus itself. All of these consequences can be prevented albeit the task would be monumental, and we can only blame ourselves for this preventable disaster.

First and foremost, let’s assess on what has happened so far in handling this pandemic. The coronavirus 2019 or Covid-19 saw its first case in Wuhan, China; the likely cause behind the creation of this virus may be from the wet market, which stores many local and exotic wild animals together in tight cage – resulting in a perfect breeding ground for various deadly diseases -including the Covid-19. The virus spreads from person to person; although this kind of features can be found in any other viruses, the sheer amount the virus has infected, how easily people can catch on and the duration of which the symptoms will show are it’s deadliest weapon. Combining all these three factors, the virus has the power to overwhelm every country’s healthcare systems. Though initially slow to react and acknowledge the virus, the government of China quickly tried to quell the virus by implementing lockdowns and building more health facilities, but it was too little too late as the virus had already been spreading abroad. From Papua New Guinea to Brazil, the virus has wrecked every country in the world. Following the spread of the virus, countries begin to implement lockdowns – only to easing it up again after a slight decrease in Covid-19 case growth, and as a result, more people get infected as our greed in making more money overshadowed common sense, instead of waiting for the virus to died out completely, we opened the country early; the prime example is the USA. Meanwhile, there’s been a race to develop a vaccine to combat against Covid-19, instead of cooperating with each other in developing the vaccine as fast as possible. In addition with the political blame game of China and USA, which it has caused a strain in international cooperation. To summarize, we could have done better.

After assessing the situation we were in, let us take a look on why it happened and how we can prevent it as a new generation. Firstly, there is a noticeable lack of sufficient coordination internationally as the first country to brace the pandemic took too much time to acknowledge that there is indeed a new virus spreading inside its countries, and by then, it is too late to contain the virus effectively; moreover, the other countries’ seemingly complacent stance on handling virus, many ongoing protests and overall negligence of its citizens on taking the virus seriously have all contributed to the virus’ success. The transfer of information is crucial on combating Covid-19. Every bit of details on the virus must be gathered and shared among nations, not kept among themselves – as it hinders a fast progression towards a successful vaccination. Our way of thinking must also be changed. As much as I support freedom of expression and human rights, it is not an excuse for people to protest against its government when they are imposing lockdowns; arguing, “the government is encroaching on our rights”. In my humble opinion, it is pure non-sense and very childish. It is a very necessary and painful decision to go into lockdown, as the economy will virtually be on a standstill, but it will at least slow down and eradicate the virus completely if implemented correctly that is. Despite knowing the virtues behind implementing lockdowns, some people in countries such as Germany have decided to do it otherwise. Everyone has, in some way or another, suffered from this pandemic, so let’s stop thinking only about ourselves and have a bigger picture of things. We must all take part in battling the virus together.

These two elements are what are lacking from my personal observation- a strong international cooperation and our commitment to the common cause. If we were able to effectively indoctrinate these two elements unto our lives, handling pandemics such as the Covid-19 would be a piece of cake, no less tackling Climate change. As having these two strong traits ingrained into our (new) generation would mean that we would be able to do what our previous generations cannot do; which is to cooperate with each other and defeat humanity’s greatest nemesis – the Climate change. But in order to realize such dream, we must take small necessary steps. It is what I’m currently try to do, which is to go on to many exchange programs and interact with as many foreigners as much as possible in order to be on a friendly term with them. It is crucial for our generation to strike up an intimate relationship towards each other, as we would be working very closely in the very future on various problems caused by our descendants. Although, these are one of the small steps we as the next generation made, it is towards our common goal, which is to create a bright future for the generations after us.

In conclusion, although the Covid-19 pandemic is reaching its last stage, the damage it has caused had already caused plenty of headaches all around the world. In order to not repeat those kind of mistakes, we, as a future the generation, must cooperate with each other and work hard towards a common either to face another pandemic or a more ambitious plan which is to create a green and sustainable world.






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