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May 21, 2020

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Student’s prompt testing exemplifies self-discipline

A young college student has shown us how self-discipline can make a big difference in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, evidenced by taking medical tests in a timely manner over the weekend soon after returning to Shanghai from Qianjiang, Hubei Province, to resume his internship.

According to media reports, the 21-year-old student surnamed Ren arrived in Shanghai on the evening of May 14. He stopped at Hongqiao Railway Station and then checked into a local hotel in the Pudong New Area. The next day, he lost no time in seeking medical testing in a local hospital, where he was asked to stay for further observation in isolation. Later, nucleic acid tests proved that he was infected with the novel coronavirus.

Shanghai has tracked those who had been in close contact with him and arranged proper isolation for them, too. Places visited by the student have also been sanitized. Meanwhile, in Qianjiang, where the student came from, officials said local close contacts had been found and placed under medical isolation. Notices have been issued to passengers who boarded the same train to Shanghai with the student.

Imagine if the student did not opt for coronavirus testing in time.

Even if he eventually did, say, two days later, there would likely be more close contacts, hence a greater risk of contagion among crowds.

In a concerted global effort to jointly fight the coronavirus, an individual’s neglect — not to say intentional cover-up — might translate into significant harm to the general public.

Yes, many cities in China have gradually resumed business. Students are going back to school and shops are reopening. But under no circumstances shall we be less vigilant against the virus.

If you have a fever, make sure you go to a clinic on day one and refrain from going to crowded places.

Wear a mask where necessary, as usual. The virus may have been retreating here and there, but by no means should we give up those habits that have proved to be effective for containment, such as social distancing and readiness to wear a mask at crowded places.

Not all people are self-disciplined, though.

The other day, I went to a district administration center in west Shanghai to handle my wife’s social insurance, where everyone is required to wear a mask.

An old man and a young woman without masks were stopped at the entrance. The two lost their temper and tried to force their way into the hall.

In the ongoing battle against the common threat of COVID-19, a bit of self-discipline and self-control will go a long way toward protecting ourselves.


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