“Oh, 鍶鍶, what a lucky girl you are,” my Dad said one evening, muffled with a mouth full of sweet and sour chicken, “You were born in 2003, right after SARS!” My mother nodded in wistful agreement as her eyes fell onto the bowl beneath her, pondering over events that almost seemed unreal.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel grateful either – the deadly mark of SARS still lingers in the minds of all Hong Kongers today – who wouldn’t be?
To those who aren’t clear about what SARS is, it is short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, a viral respiratory disease that began its spread in Southern China from November 2002 to July 2003. With Hong Kong at the bay of Guangdong province, it was severely hit by the virus – the economy collapsed, businesses closed, and restaurants were empty.
My parents continued to go to work – but with a two-year-old daughter to care for and a baby squirming in her mother’s stomach – they faced the perpetual fear of being infected as they commuted daily. This is only a slight glimpse into the story of most Hong Kongers, or residents in that region, for over half a year.
Fast forward to 2020.
It’s almost as if history repeated itself – the world is enduring another outbreak of a strand of the Coronavirus, officially named as COVID-19 – only this time its spreading at a much higher rate.
Though Hong Kong could be considered as the “lucky baby” this time with its experience with SARS, the insanely long cues of mask-hungry people, emptied racks of tissue-paper rolls, and the gradually deserted streets, seem all too familiar in the eyes of the Hong Kong population. I, myself, have also started to feel the effects of the mass panic, as my friends and I have been finding ourselves stumped at home with online lessons due to a school suspension until mid-April.
I could go on and on, complaining about the stuffiness of masks and mulling over how much has changed in a year. But with the numbers rising steadily in countries like Japan, South Korea, France, the United States and more, the only way we can resiliently face the threat of the Coronavirus is for us humans to support one another, and to be there for one another.
Share on your social media helpful and educational posts regarding the Coronavirus. If you have friends living in regions suffering from it, ask them if they’re doing alright. If you see a comment section bombarded with hate, respond with kindness (and valid information). The best thing about these suggestions is that all they take is a tap of a finger. Though you could argue this will do little in preventing the sickness itself, it is important to remember that permeating anger and hatred will not do so either.
“Though you could argue this will do little in preventing the sickness itself, it is important to remember that permeating anger and hatred will not do so either.“
A family friend who works as a nurse in the US, called my mother one night in frustration. She told of how people in the clinic were afraid of being near her, due to the colour of her skin. She understood why, and I would not blame them either – the fear that this virus has brought about is too intense for anyone to take risks. But hearing my mother’s friend, someone who has devoted herself to care for the health of others, have her life’s job turn against her is truly disheartening.
People of East-Asian appearance all around the world have been facing similar situations; there are stories of Asians being verbally attacked and denied entrance in shops and public transport. With this becoming all the more frequent, I beg you to question whether your actions are fuelled by a genuine concern for your health, or for xenophobic purposes.
If anything, Dr. Masuru Emoto would agree. Passed away just 6 years ago, Emoto was a Japanese pseudoscientist who revolutionised the idea that the human conscience plays a role in the physical realm.
By studying the molecular structure of water, he demonstrated how when water is exposed to beings with benevolent “energies”, whether that be expressed through thoughts, intentions or words, it results in the formation of visually “pleasing” molecular structures. He ultimately theorised that water pollution could be cleaned through human positivity.
I believe that the Coronavirus reflects the role of water here.
Imagine a world where we all treated each other with a little more compassion, a little more empathy, and a little more humanity.
Imagine a world where we all prioritise facts over fear.
Imagine a community that isn’t blinded by their differences, but enlightened by the strengths and beauties of each other.
I am only 16 years old, there’s not much I can do – but I know for a fact that if we set our differences aside and join hands, these imaginations would be our reality. Not only would our world become “visually pleasing” like the molecular structure of water, but it would flow into a world that’s “pleasing” for the hearts, minds, and souls of all.
Oh, and it would kick Corona in the ass.
Water is the mirror that has the ability to show us what we cannot see. It is the blueprint for our reality, which can change with a single positive, thought. All it takes is faith, if you’re open to it.Pseudoscientist, Masuru Emoto