The whole world is in some disarray right now, because of Covid-19. Many of you will be feeling some measure of anxiety and unease in the back of your minds, wondering about the future, if there will be one to begin with. A few days ago, I had the same thoughts too. It’s hard not to, when all you hear on the news are about people dying, more people falling sick, and messy leadership overseas making things worse.
I wanted to write a few lines of comfort and encouragement, as someone who has lived through the SARS outbreak (Secondary 1 to Secondary 2) as well as the H1N1 (‘A’ levels). It was scary back then, too. Right now, we have the problem of too much information, a lot of which is false. Back then, we had the problem of insufficient information, and made do with gossip and guesswork.
It will pass.
It did with the SARS outbreak, it did with H1N1.
It will with CoViD-19 too.
Full home-base learning (HBL) commences tomorrow. We had that during the SARS outbreak, for a short period of time because SARS wasn’t as contagious as CoViD-19. Not during the H1N1 period, though. Not for me, at least. In fact, we were going to school everyday until the last day of school, right before our ‘A’ levels. We were all nervous, students and teachers alike. Everyday felt like a ticking time bomb – if it exploded, it would mean the cancellation of lessons and the moving of classes online. We didn’t have the same technology back then as we do today. Online lessons would have been far more difficult to conduct, and self-studying would have been far more difficult. Furthermore, there was no news about what would happen to us, with the ‘A’ levels examinations coming up. Would they be cancelled? Would they be postponed? Either option was unfeasible to us, not with our futures at stake.
We sat for our ‘A’ levels, as per normal, and the rest is history.
In the time leading up to the ‘A’ levels, there was little we could do to change our situation. There was nothing we could do to chase the virus away. There was little we could reasonably do to protect ourselves. The economy wasn’t great, and the meals we had were simple affairs. I ate a lot of white rice with pickled vegetables. The anxiety was real, just as much as it is today.
But, you aren’t completely helpless. Your future is not gone, not yet. Your government is working to help all of us, and for that we are blessed. Not every country is as fortunate. All you have to do is your best. Be dilligent in your learning, ask questions. Whatever you’ve been given to read or study, dissect and digest them. Read more. There’s a trove of information on the internet, so many resources to help you learn. Yes, HBL isn’t the easiest. Your teachers are trying their best, but this is as much a bomb-drop for them as it is for you. So, as they are doing their part, you can do yours.
In fact, I’ll help you too. If you are struggling with a certain topic, drop me an email or connect with me via Facebook or Instagram. I’ll do my best to send you all the available resources online to help you to understand the topic better. With this, I hope to help you understand – you are not alone. You do not have to survive this on your own. Likewise with your friends – if you have any friends who are struggling during this period, connect with them, find out what they need, and help them to the best of your ability.
What helped me through during the period before ‘A’ levels was realising just how hard my teachers were struggling, teaching us in the day, preparing e-classes and self-study packages for us at night in the event of school closure. My friends and classmates, we were all in the same boat and, having realised that, it drew us together to support and help each other in whatever way we could. We cannot do this alone, but we can thrive together.
I hope this gives you some measure of hope. Again, if you need to talk to someone, or you need help with your studies, contact me, and I will do what I can to help you, or connect you with the right person.
Good luck everyone! Remember, you are not alone!
Teacher Jo ❤