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My 2020

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By Tursynzhan Pariza | | Updated: Feb 21, 2022

[Kazakhstan] Tursynzhan Pariza, East China Normal University

Tursynzhan Pariza serves as a volunteers at graduation ceremony. [Photo provided to]

Everyone lives a unique life in the world, but all of us have suffered same epidemic, worry, memory, gratitude and expectation since January 2020.

On the eve of the year of 2020, my friends and I had mapped out various plans for the upcoming new year. Meanwhile, it turns out the year of 2020 has its own plan that differs from ours.

In January, my parents urged me to return home after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration, I decided to stay in China. On the one hand, I thought it was too dangerous to travel at that time.

On the other hand, I have learned all the measures taken by the Chinese government and the university authorities, which made me believe that China has the determination, ability, medical resources to control the epidemic. I decided to stay in China to fight against the pandemic.

After the lockdown of the university, teachers in the international student office have kept a close contact with everyone of us. Although the campus is kind of deserted, but the WeChat groups are bustling with life every day.

To help solve the problems caused by closure of the university, the university established an "online supermarket." We can choose what we want through WeChat program, then the supermarket delivers the commodities to our campus.

Tursynzhan Pariza (R1) is one of the hosts at the International Cultural Festival of East China Normal University. [Photo provided to]

It turns out the initiative decision we have made is correct. At first, we worried a lot and surfed daily news to check out the latest data of confirmed cases, the actual situation in Wuhan, the recent medical teams that have arrived to help and the countries who have made donations to China.

It's untrue to say that I did not feel worried when seeing the rising data every day. It's untrue to say that I was not distressed when seeing people are going through life and death struggles. It’s untrue to say that I was not happy when seeing recovered patients were discharged from hospital.

It's untrue to say that I was not moved by the doctors who risked their lives to save people. During that period of time, my face was always covered with tears caused by worries, gratitude and torment.

After entering June, the epidemic situation in China has been controlled. In early May, the campus began to revive. At the same time, there remained strict anti-epidemic measures; We had to attend online lessons and were permitted to leave the campus once in a week.

Social distancing should be maintained when visiting to the library. Students are asked to sit seperate from each other while having dinner. Body temperatures were measured every day and we were asked to report twice a day. All of us have followed the strict measures simultaneously, which we believe were good for us and others.

The campus view of East China Normal University [Photo provided to]

The pandemic is still rampant around the world and many countries are fighting arduously with the virus. I have not returned my home country for a year. I miss my parents and hometown very much and I pray that they can be safe and sound.

I also hope the people suffering from the epidemic on earth will recover as soon as possible. The COVID-19 virus is a disaster for mankind in the 21st century. No matter what countries we come from, what colors we are, what languages we speak,in the face of such a havoc of human history, all these differences no longer matter.

To solve the problems, the most valuable and most needed is the unity of all of us through cooperation and mutual support. For younger generations like us, we should be brave in facing the challenges in such a great era of change in human history and exploring new opportunities and development.

The year 2020 is unprecedented for the mankind. We are all siblings of the Earth and heroes for each other. Let us pray for human kind’s peace and unity. Wish you and I be brave and strong.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).