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Covid-19 Archive, Y10 PBL: Family

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.

Lee (李): Cleaner

“I started working at CIS 5 months ago and my job is to clean the school, especially where the students eat. Ever since the pandemic started, my job hours have been cut short as my son is currently doing virtual learning, so I have to take care of him and help him academically while doing this job at the same time. It is quite stressful and overwhelming for me. I hope the situation gets better in Hong Kong as I have to wear a mask at all times and as of now, I don’t get to socialize with friends as often. I also haven’t seen my family for two years. I come from Mainland China, my brother, sister and mother are there. I haven’t celebrated my birthday, big events, and Chinese New Year with them. But, I love my job. I love interacting with students and children, they are so wholesome! I also love the environment here. Look! It’s so big and modern. I love how spacious it is and how I can finally breathe some fresh air. It’s a good place to work.”


「我在這裡工作了五個月,我的工作就是清潔周圍的環境。疫情開始,我的上班時間短了,因為疫 情關係我的兒子沒有辦法上學囉,所以在家裡上網課。我又要負責照顧他,給他生活上的照顧, 學習上的關照,又要上班。如果他去上學我會輕鬆很多。我希望疫情情況會好轉,因為我每天要 一直戴口罩,而且最近不能經常跟朋友聚會。我最近也不能回大陸,我已經兩年沒回去了。我的 弟弟,妹妹,媽媽,都在那裡。我生日,大節日,中國新年,都沒有跟他們一起慶祝。但是,我蠻喜 歡我的工作的。我喜歡接觸小朋友,接觸學生,他們很單純。我最喜歡這裡的環境。這裡的環境比 較好。空氣清晰,建築莫頓,是個挺好的工作環境。」

Mr Marc Marier: CIS University Counsellor

“I am a university counsellor and my favourite part of my job is working with kids. When I first heard of COVID-19 I remember that I was standing in my office and somebody said that there was a disease that broke out in Wu Han China. My first reactions were that it was extremely far away from me and that it wouldn’t affect us at all. However, online classes and meetings started to come into play, which had a huge impact on my bonds and relationships with students that I was counselling, as the students weren’t in the room with me when we met. To me, I saw a clear obstacle in how going online affected how effective my counselling sessions were in the sense that I wasn’t able to get to know the kids in the way that I would have liked to. 
The most profound effect that COVID has had upon my work is that we used to get about 100-200 universities that would come to our school from all over the world, however, we haven’t seen any in the past 2 years. I used to fly around the world and go visit universities so that I could get a sense of what each environment was like and so that I could provide my students with the most reliable resources, however, COVID has not given me the opportunity for that. Because of these obstacles, I started to have to organize more things online which was an extremely significant change. 
Covid has impacted my life especially for going home in the summer, my family are all in the states and my wife’s mother is in her 90’s and she hasn’t seen her in a couple of years. You start to feel quite trapped in Hong Kong for two years. Even going to Macau would be a huge change. 
It will make us more appreciative of when we can travel again, in that regard. I have a daughter in college right now and her college experience has been really profoundly affected by COVID. She is yet to have one in-person class at university, as all of her classes have been virtual and she spent most of her time here in Hong Kong whilst her university is in Canada. This meant that she was taking exams at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning because of the time difference. It definitely has a huge impact on her and on us in our family. For me as a parent in this situation, it has been the thing we have most regretted in this whole pandemic, especially the effect on her and her university. She came back from Canada in November and she is currently stuck with us. Her classes started last week and she has yet to have left us. I am of course happy that my wife and I get to spend time with her and that she is safe, however, it is having a major effect on her university experience.” 


“我是一名中學升大學的輔導員,我最喜歡與孩子們一起工作。當我第一次聽說新冠病毒時,我 記得我站在辦公室裡;有人說中國武漢爆發了一種疾病。我的第一反應是它離我很遠,根本影響 不了我們。然而,幾個月後線上課程和會議就開始了。這大大的影響了我與我在幫助的學生的關 係,並阻礙了我們的聯繫,因為我們和學生們無法面對面見面。一個明顯的障礙即是線上溝通如 何影響我的諮詢課程的有效性,因為我不能以我希望的方式了解孩子們。” 
“新冠肺炎疫情對我的工作最大的的影響是世界各個大學的代表人無法與我見面。我們曾經有來 自世界各地的大約 100-200 所大學來到我們學校,但是,在過去的 2 年裡我們沒有任何大學來我 們學校。我曾經走遍世界,去參觀大學,以便我們了解每個大學的環境是什麼樣的,這樣我就可 以為我的學生提供最可靠的資源。但是,新冠病毒奪走了這個機會。我不得不在網上組織更多的 東西。這是一個非常重大的變化。” 
“新冠病毒影響了我的生活,尤其是在夏天回故鄉的時候。我的家人都身居美國,我的妻子已經好 幾年沒見過她 90 多歲的母親了。兩年來,你開始覺得自己被困在了香港。即使去澳門也會是一個 天壤之別。”
“當我們可以再次旅行,我們會更加珍惜出國的機會。我現在有一個上大學的女兒,她的大學經歷 受到新冠病毒深深的影響。她還沒有在大學上過一節面對面的課,所有的課都是線上的。她身在 香港,而大學在加拿大。因為時差,她甚至要在凌晨兩三點起來考試。這肯定對她和我們家的我 們產生了巨大的影響。這一點,作為家長的我來說,這是整個疫情中我最遺憾的事情,就疫情對 她和她的大學的影響。她11月剛剛從加拿大回來,目前與我們在一起。她的課程上週開始了,而她 依然沒有離開我們。我很高興我和我的妻子能和她在一起,她很安全,但是,這依然對她的大學 生活產生了重大影響。 ”

Shakilla Prabhakar: CIS Primary School Librarian

“I am Shakilla Prabhakar and I work at CIS as a librarian. I am a South African, but I also have close family in the USA and India, we’re quite spread out. I’ve been working at CIS for 20 years and I’ve loved it, I get to see all the kids grow up.” 
“These past few years have separated families and isolated us in many ways. Schools, dynamics have changed, our lives have changed. It feels like it's a blur, like we’re in a dream. I haven't seen my mom or my whole family in all this time. I see my nieces and nephews on the screen and they all look so grown up now. I had a new grandson but I don’t know when I'll see him again. My mother in law passed away and I still haven't met my close family, so I had to watch the funeral on zoom. I think this is a situation that a lot of people around the world are going through, especially those who have families overseas. Emotionally and physically, we're stuck, so it's been a trying time.” 
“Online learning is so challenging, and I think secondary teachers would have had a very different experience to what primary school teachers are having. For me, I work with year one and two students, so a lot of times with Zoom sessions, it’s just not the same as real-life experiences. Of course, it’s difficult for all the kids, but for the little ones especially: they learn from socialisation, they learn from friendships, they learn from just being together in the same space. There's such a disconnect when we’re divided by a screen. They’re alone, isolated in their living rooms, even when I’m telling a story or talking to them about what’s happening here or how to do things in the library, there’s just no connection. But we do it, I think most of us are just pushing our way through and trying to figure things out as we go along.” 
“One positive thing that I’ve gotten out of the pandemic is becoming more in touch with nature. The best thing was being able to get out and away from everybody, into the hills or around Hong Kong, exploring the beauty of our natural environment. Reflecting back, this whole experience has made me more positive, calmer, and kinder - I think about my actions now as opposed to in the past when I just took everything for granted. Being in this situation has made me reevaluate a lot of my lifestyle choices, so I think it’s helped me grow emotionally, and though it’s broken me and my family in a lot of ways, like losing loved ones and not being able to be together, it has also brought us closer than ever.” 


「我的名字是 Shakilla Prabhakar,在漢基國際學校是一位小學圖書館管理員。我是南非人,有住在 印度與美國的親戚;我們各自居住在全球各地。我在漢基國際學校工作了二十年,過得十分幸福, 因為我可以親自目睹小孩子長大成人。」 
「這些年來,許多家庭在各種關係方面出現挫折、孤立。學校、動力、尤其是我們的生活都有了很 大的變化。感覺一切都是一片迷茫,似乎在做夢。在這期間,我很久沒見到我的母親與住在外地 的家庭。我只能通過屏幕看我的姪女、侄子,他們已經長得非常優秀、成熟。我的家庭最近添加了 個孫子,可我不知道什麼時候能能夠再次看到他。我的岳母去世了,可是因為疫情關係,只能用 網上視頻通話來參加喪禮。我認為這個是人人都在經歷的情況,尤其是有家庭的人。無論是心理 或身體上,大家似乎都在經歷艱難的時刻,因此這是個尤其困難的時期。」 
「網上學習是件非常艱難的事,而在這期間,中學老師與我們小學老師度過了非常不同的經歷。我 是個專門與幼稚園和一、二年級學生互動的老師,所以通常網上學習與面對面真的有很大差距。 當然,對孩子們來說;特別是幼稚園的孩子,網上學習是比較困難的。他們通常是從與別人的互動 中學習;從與別人之間的友誼學習;從與別人在共同空間學習。當我們被屏幕隔絕,就會感覺到無 形的距離。那些孩子自己在客廳;無論我在講故事、訴說這裏發生的事情、或者講解圖書館不同方 面的用法,也沒有任何彼此之間的聯繫。就算如此,我們大部分也在堅強地應對,在過程中嘗試 找出面對挫折的最良解決方式。」 
「疫情給我帶來的好處之一就是與大自然更加親密的接觸。最好的一方面就是我可以拉開與身邊 人的距離,欣賞山川與香港環境,探索周圍大自然的美麗。與過去相比,疫情使我成為了一個更 加積極、平靜 、善良的人—— 之前,我認為一切是理所當然的,可是現在我會經常回想起之前的 行為。疫情的特殊情況讓我重新考慮生活上的不同選擇,因此我認為疫情有協助我身心上的成長 ;雖然疫情拉開了我與我的家庭,比如失去家人和不能一起在一個地方;疫情也幫助拉近了我們 之間心靈的關係,使我們變得更加親近、緊密。」