School News

Foreign Teachers at Hainan University Offer Helping Hand in Fight Against Virus

2020. Feb. 21st

Foreign teachers from Hainan University have actively participated in epidemic prevention and control efforts since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to Hainan University authorities.

Efforts have been made in several areas, including purchasing urgently needed medical supplies overseas that, as well as spreading information regarding epidemic prevention and control to international students on campus.

A HNU teacher from Italy, who is now on a holiday visit to Indonesia, has sent a batch of medical supplies consisting of 3,000 surgical masks to China from overseas. He and his friends have also purchased other supplies, such as a large amount of medical alcohol, which will be transported to China in the near future.

“If there are some supplies that need to be purchased overseas, just tell me. I will try my best to find more,” said the Italian teacher. He declined to give his name.

Waykole Rupali, an Indian teacher at the computer and network security college of Hainan University, has volunteered to purchase disinfectant, medical alcohol and surgical masks from India.

“HNU is like a big family and all family members should stand together when facing difficulties,” Rupali said. “I hope I can make contributions to Hainan and the university.”

HNU has set up a special working group for foreign teachers’ epidemic prevention and control work, distributing free medical alcohol and surgical masks as well as monitoring their condition every day.

(Credit: China Daily: Foreign teachers in Hainan offer helping hand in fight against virus)

Letter from the Italian teacher who decides to go anonymous: (Source: Hainan University)

Dear China,

In the time of darkness, courage is under fire. Fear then replaces the space once occupied by reason. If not love. The original question stands as a reminder of what we really are: is human nature good or evil? If since childhood, we are taught by parents and educators how to behave, what is ethical and what is not, then the answer is self-evident. We are educated to goodness, otherwise we tend towards our instincts being man’s primary need that of surviving. So the drowning man glimpses the sky searching for the last breath just before dying.

But if morality does not come as a pre-ordered structure of our nature, intensity and courage become daily bread for those struggling to survive. It was an astonishing act of bravery that made it possible for China to build a 25 thousand square meters hospital in one week. To the entire world example of organization, efficacy, and strength. To singular individuals the beauty of human intelligence when facing tragedy. Because this is what we are all dealing with, tragedy. Life always has a lesson for us, it is when we stop learning that life becomes routine and we inexorably flow toward the end of it. Due to the exceptionality of the circumstances we are compelled to face, I am wondering what is that I have learned.

Our friends have not done much: flights are banned, goods are not shipped, post offices do not deliver, masks and gloves are “temporarily out of stock.” Is that so? In France, England, and Italy the shelves are empty of masks and gloves but the stocks are full. The “window of prevention,” they named it, in case the virus reaches Europe. The sense of the statement is an existential nonsense: we sacrifice the present for a dark future that might never arrive. In time we will understand, time might not change us, but time might explain. I have a friend, a market economy Ph.D., I would like him to explain to me the reason why when the demand is high, higher is the price, the reason why when the virus boosts the demand, the system of production acts as a drawback for many and solution to only a few. My friend has a very clear-cut explanation for this phenomenon. But, I do not believe in economists, they are technicians after all and not intellectuals, in fact the curve of demand and offer does not explain the tragedy. My friend, the economist, ignores what is that happened when life pushes men to the limit, but I do. We are so reminded of how fragile life can be when we see it taken away from those we remember rebellious and brave. Like our neighbor or our brother. And, as the death toll enlarges its numbers, we finally discover that belief, race or nationality are insignificant details of a shortsighted mind. Instead, while we fight back the invisible enemy, whether we pray or write, whether we produce masks or buy them, in the aseptic space of a hospital room or in the silence of our living room, we are reminded, we must remember that we are one and the same. We stand together sharing the same sense of belonging, the same inevitable fate, the same fight, and the same possibility of victory. And because today we are all Chinese, the empty shelves and the full stocks stand not as prevention, but as a clear evidence of guilt. I like to believe that when all this is over, we, as the nation of human beings, will have well clear in mind that every single step we take bears a universal responsibility. The sound of our voices, the waves of our decisions echoes beyond our time, chaining singular existences to the lives of all. And in this awareness lies our future and our salvation.

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