[Morocco] Hanane Thamik, Wuhan University
At the end of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly hit China and severely challenged the country and its people. In this “war without smoke”, the 1.4 billion Chinese people united and contributed at their best to their country. It fully demonstrated the Chinese wisdom of “forging new paths whenever and wherever facing obstacles”. As the result, the epidemic in China was effectively tamed.
At the beginning of the outbreak, as an international student from Morocco at Wuhan University, I made my decision to remain in Wuhan without hesitation. What I would like to show to those with negative perception of China was that it was my choice to stay in China even when facing the pandemic, and I was not afraid to stay with Chinese people. I believed that I would be cared for in the same way as Chinese citizens.
Looking back on those special days, I have in my heart the gratitude to Wuhan University, as well as the trust in and the praise of the organizational capability of the Chinese government. During the 78-day lockdown, every international student remaining in the university was provided with daily meals and various necessities by the university. Miraculously, there was “zero infection” among the international students in Wuhan University.
As a witness of the pandemic, the China’s anti-pandemic spirit as I see it can be mainly illustrated from the following three aspects.
Shouldering responsibilities bravely and being committed to duties
The pandemic is merciless but there is great love among people. I have seen many doctors, police officers, community workers, volunteers... all serving meticulously and thoughtfully day and night, in order to protect the health of more people. The applications for battle assignments, the heroes in harm’s way, the builders contributed to the construction of Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals, the grassroot workers committed to their duties and protected the masses… all, regardless of the danger and difficulties, stepped forward, igniting the passions in the fight and lightening the road to victory in the fight against the pandemic.
These brave heroes all had their own families to take care of but still, for others’ health, they came forward selflessly to the frontline in need, stood fast at their posts and treated the masses as their relatives.
One in trouble, all to help
History has showed us the Chinese people’s national spirit of unity, solidarity and cooperation. Wuhan, as the core area of the pandemic, was greatly concerned by the whole nation. As the old Chinese saying goes, “one in trouble, all to help.” To assist the fight against pandemic in Wuhan, medical teams and soldiers gathered from across the nation rapidly and marched straight to the city.
Medical protective equipment and daily necessities were continuously transported to Wuhan. Great amount of overseas donations was raised actively and timely by the overseas Chinese, Chinese students and Chinese companies. The supportive and inspiring message “Stay strong, Wuhan!” was everywhere on the internet platforms. Facing the pandemic, the over 1.4 billion Chinese people were united, building the Chinese power of solidarity by mutual assistance and pushing the fight against pandemic towards the victory.
During the cherry blossom season in Wuhan University this year, I was delighted to see the visit of many medical staffs who have assisted Hubei during the pandemic last year. Walking on the campus, you could feel the special courtesy for them. Isn’t it the simplest love and gratitude?
Everyone is responsible for the fight against the pandemic
In China, no one is an “outsider” and nothing is “beyond one’s duty” in the fight against the pandemic. The government officials used the grid-based responsibility system and the “carpet” screening for potential infections. People in manufacturing worked overtime and produced, at full speed, medical protective supplies. There is an ancient Chinese poetic line “Fear not the want of armor, for mine is also yours to wear”. It shows the original aspiration and mission of solidarity of the 1.4 billion Chinese people.
“The Party, the armed force and all the people of China are standing with you as your strong backing.” These words have greatly inspired Chinese people and strengthened their confidence. I have seen many teachers and students donating money and supplies during the most difficult time of the pandemic, and I have gradually realized that I am not an “outsider”. So, I decided to donate my scholarship provided by Chinese government to support this great fight.
I am fortunate to be a witness and participant of the China’s fight against this pandemic. For all I have seen and experienced, China’s “anti-pandemic” spirit has greatly inspired me. This experience has been internalized as a mission to love and be friendly to China, deep in my heart.
The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).