The COVID-19, more commonly referred by the public as the Coronavirus, is a respiratory disease that was first detected in Wuhan, China during late January. This disease is contagious. China has reported tens of thousands of cases and there has been a rise in cases globally, especially in South Korea and Italy. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”.  

Concord Academy is very fortunate to be in a very low-risk area for the disease. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the virus has not affected CA students. Among the most notable impacts is the strong advisory against traveling back home for international students, especially those who live in China. Several students were asked about what they thought the impact of the Coronavirus on CA was. 

Wendi Wang ’22 stated, “On one hand, the Coronavirus has a significant impact on Chinese students’ agendas for spring break, [because] we cannot go back to China and see our families. On the other hand, it has created a severe atmosphere of terror at CA in this winter flu season, leading to people’s panic and their potentially deliberate avoidance of sick students.” 

Another student, Isabella Ginsburg ’23 stated, “I don’t think the Coronavirus has affected the CA community other than restricting some international students from returning home during spring break. However, we did have an announcement that asked other students to stop making Corona jokes. ”. When inquired if she found the announcement helpful, she said: “I don’t know if I qualified to answer that question because I didn’t hear anyone making Corona jokes, but that is a result of the people that I hang out with.”

One of the students interviewed, who preferred to remain anonymous stated, “Personally, I am a little disappointed in some people’s reactions to the Coronavirus. I have a class where there are two students who joke about having the Coronavirus and I feel like the teachers aren’t doing an adequate job in stepping in. However, I don’t feel comfortable speaking out my opinion regarding the Coronavirus at school.”   

The details of the Coronavirus have become very controversial and many CA students have noticed an increase in “Anti-Chinese” sentiment across social media. 

Regarding this topic, Lisa Liu ’22 stated, “I think that [there] is a lot of facts and myths floating around the Coronavirus. As a result, it is difficult to find accurate sources within Western media so some students aren’t aware of what is actually happening in China.” 

On the other hand, Coco Huang ’21 stated “I’m really glad that a lot of CA students, no matter if they’re Chinese of not, have posted things on their Instagram stories that a really supportive, such as ‘Fight Coronavirus, not Chinese’ or ‘This is not a chance to discriminate”, etc. It makes me feel really included and that people are with me, that China is not in this alone.”.