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Covid-19 Archive, Y10 PBL: Quarantine

This LibGuide is a Year 10 Project Based Learning effort to capture the experiences of members of the CIS community from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and forward. It is a living document, initiated during the 2021-2022 school year.

Dr. Ann Mok: CIS Secondary Counsellor

"I have been at CIS for over ten years. As a counselor, I provide social-emotional counseling to students, consultations to parents, and support teachers as needed. Students see me for school issues, friends, parents, teachers, self-identity, and other adolescent development matters. I help them problem solve and find strategies that work for them. However, Covid brought a lot of inconveniences, one of them was the change to using Zoom, and instead of meeting with kids in person, I met them online. It isn't easy to counsel online since you cannot read kids' body language, unlike real life, which is crucial in understanding their feelings. 
During the early pandemic, maybe around February 2020, my family of 5 and I just returned from a vacation in Tokyo. My children have already moved out to downtown Hong Kong, and they felt unsafe to live in such a crowded area, so I agreed to let them temporarily move into my apartment. I didn't mind at first, thinking, "This is wonderful! I get to spend more time with my family", but soon after, we felt this "crowding effect." My apartment isn't big, and there were 6 of us: me, my family, and my helper. We shared the Wi-Fi, the food, and the limited space. I had little privacy and personal space, making it even harder for online meetings; the Wi-Fi kept
glitching with so many of us using it. We were constantly moody and on each other's nerves. It was a traumatic experience; I didn't expect to feel negatively around my loved ones! 
In the beginning, everyone was scared. Some people said that fear got a hold of them, and some became very emotional. People have asked me, "Are you afraid of contracting covid?", "Has it been hard for you?" I am not very fearful of Covid; I am just careful not to catch it and spread it to my family. What if I do get Covid? Then it's just my fate. I have to acknowledge that I don't know what might happen tomorrow, and my only choice is to believe that tomorrow will be peaceful. 
Some students were at risk of being sent to Penny Bay for quarantine. If someone is tested positive in your building, the whole building must be tested, which is hugely frustrating and nerve-wracking. The conditions in Penny Bay are terrible and unfun. You have to stay there for weeks on your own in uncomfortable situations. I have experienced mandatory quarantine, but I won't complain because many people had it worse. 
The initially crowded, bustling street is empty whenever I go out, with a few scattered people. Restaurants used to have people lining up at their door, but they now only accept take-out. Nobody ate at the tables. It felt very bleak and tragic. I can't imagine the restaurant owners' hardships, and they still have rent and salaries to pay. 
I'd like to think that we've also gained some positive learning experiences from Covid. For example, when Covid hit Hong Kong, kids were forced into online learning. I was amazed by their resilience and flexibility. At first, they skipped classes and watched Youtube during class, but soon, it was no longer a huge deal, and we've become more versatile. I believe that the pandemic has tested our adaptability, and the kids turned out to be the most adaptable. 
I've encountered students who think 'everything's in my control,' and if things aren't, they freak out. Though people want to keep everything under control, situations change rapidly, so people have to adapt to stay calm during Covid times." 

「 我已經在漢基做輔導員十年了。我的工作是為學生,家長和老師們提供輔導和精神支援。學 生們經常會因為學校問題、朋友、父母、老師、自我認識及其他的問題而找我幫忙,我便會幫 他們找到適合他們的解決辦法。不過,在新冠肺炎到來後,我的工作面臨著許多的不便。我開 始用一個視訊應用『Zoom』進行心理諮詢,我發現,在網上諮詢比面對面諮詢困難多了,因為 我沒法去看懂對方的肢體語言,一個對我來說很重要的理解對方的方法。 
一開始,大約是二零二零年二月份吧,我和我的五個家人剛從東京度完假回來。原先我的孩子 們已經搬出來自己住了,但是因為他們住的地區很擁擠,使他們覺得不安全,所以我便同意讓 他們暫時搬到我的公寓裡住一會兒。一開始我是很開心的,覺得可以借此機會多陪陪我的家 人。我們六個人一起擠在一個只有三個房間的小公寓裡,我很快的就感受到了過於擁擠造成 的負面影響。我們用同一個網絡,三頓餐都一起吃,被關在一個有限的空間裡,使我幾乎沒有 隱私和個人空間。上班時,我只能坐在廚房裡和學生們視訊。六個人通用一個網路,導致網路
很慢,這使得每個人都心情不穩,緊張易怒。我完全沒想到,原本在度假時我還很喜歡對方的 陪伴,但是後來竟然會這麼討厭他們! 
起初,恐懼成功地控制了很多人。有人曾經問我:『你害怕被冠狀病毒感染嗎?』、『在疫情期間 ,你的生活難過嗎?』其實,我並不怎麼怕這個病毒,儘管保護好自己,不傳染給我的親屬就行 了。如果我中招了呢?那這就是我的命運。不得不承認,我並不知道明天到底會發生什麼,所 以我唯一的選擇是:相信明天會是平安的、安全的。 
有一些學生有被送到竹篙灣去隔離的風險。聽說那裡的狀況很差,人們被獨自關在一個陌生 的環境裡,一關就是幾個星期。如果一個人被檢測出陽性了,那他住的整棟樓都要被篩查一 邊。我也被強制隔離過,但是我真的沒有什麼資格去抱怨,因為有很多人比我還慘呢。 
疫情來襲前,大街上人來人往,超級熱鬧的。而現在,街道一直都空蕩蕩的,只有幾個零散的 行人,再也看不到以前的勃勃生機了。疫情前,餐館前都排著很多人,而現在,如果要從餐館 點餐的話,只能點外賣。儘管如此,前去買外賣的人寥寥無幾。我當時覺得十分的淒涼和悲慘 
,簡直無法想像餐館老闆的生活會有多麼的困難。人們都不去買他們的東西,而他們還是得照 樣付房租和交工資。 
我認為我們也新冠中學到了一些不錯的東西。比如說,當病毒襲擊香港時,學生們被迫上網 課。起初,有的學生翹課,在課堂上打遊戲或看視頻。但很快,這些事件越來越少了,學生們也 熟悉了網課了,我也被他們的彈性給震撼到了。我覺得這場疫情考驗了人們的適應力,而從中 可看得出,孩子們的適應力是最強的。 
我曾經遇到過一些認為『一切都必須在我的掌控之中』的學生們,如果事情並不如預期般發展 的話,他們就要發瘋了。雖然人們經常會希望能夠控制一切,但是在疫情期間,事態的發展不 是普通人所能夠控制的,所以人們需要有很強的適應能力,才能夠在不穩定的環境下保持良 好的心態。」