My Experience During the Covid-19 Pandemic in China
I am a master’s degree student at NanjingNormal University. January 24, 2020 has been stamped indelibly on my memory,for it was on that day that I first heard about a new virus called Covid-19, that had just been discovered in Wuhan. Atfirst, I thought to myself ‘this will be contained soon; it should be nothing’.After all, the WHO had declared that the new virus was not fatal. Reassured bywhat the WHO said, I left the campus to visit a couple of friends living offcampus. I did not envisage that the campus would be placed on lockdown becauseof the virus.
It was only after I left the campus thatthe virus was declared a pandemic. Believing that things would get better aftera few weeks, I stayed in an Airbnb room in the same city. The sad feeling thatI was spending lots of money on that apartment was, however, cancelled out bythe indescribable friendliness and kindness of my new'landlord '. Aware that, per force, I would be staying in his apartment fora long time, he had, out of an abundance of sympathy, reduced the rent for me.Many a time he would give me things (food, fruits, etc.) for free. He was sokind and strained himself to help me hold up well during my 'confinement'. Istayed in his apartment for about three months.
During those months, he became my bestfriend, since I could not go out to mingle with other foreign students.Everyone was 'marooned' in their place, in an effort to curb the spread of thevirus. We forged an indissoluble friendship during my 'confinement'. Those threemonths also gave us a chance to learn each other's culture first-hand.
The 'landlord ', now my best friend
When the situation improved and my schoolasked its foreign students in China to start returning to school, I hurriedlypacked up my luggage and returned to school. If truth be told, I wasn'tentirely happy I was returning to school. Why? Because I felt I was leaving astranger who had now become like a brother. After I arrived my school, myfriend phoned to say hi and to know how I was adjusting to life on the campus.
We now have most of our classes in personas against during the past three months when we had all of them virtually. NowI long for the world to return to normal as soon as possible so I can reunitewith my other friends.
Mr. Anthony Ekwensi (丁家明), from the Confucius Institute at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,Anambra, Nigeria, was the African Champion in Chinese Proficiency Competitionfor Foreign College Students (Chinese Bridge) for 2018. He is currentlypursuing his master's degree at Nanjing Normal University.