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SARS: A Personal Story
By: XingYue, Age 19 Posted: 6.03.03
A Chinese medical student tells how SARS has kept her from her family and inspired her with a hope to someday use her skills as a medical volunteer in Beijing.
[Editor's note: this essay was submitted prior to the recent drop
in reported SARS cases in China.]
I am a medical student from Southwest Medical University in Chengdu, China. Though I am studying in the southwest province of Sichuan, I am from the capital of China-Beijing, where my family and friends are.
This disease happened so quickly and spread so widely that many people in Beijing were infected. Because SARS is so very contagious, nearly 90 people were getting the disease each day at one point. Fortunately, neither my parents nor any my friends are infected. But when I first heard about this illness, I was very frightened and worried about them.
Unable to travel home
I miss my family and friends very much. I was unable to go home like many of my friends, who returned home for holiday visits only to be told that they must stay at home and away from school for two weeks. So, instead we communicate with each other using the Internet and telephone. It is comforting to me to hear their voices and to know they are in good health and spirits.
So far, even though there are no people infected with SARS here in Chengdu, my family is worried. No one knows how long this epidemic of illness will last. Though the number of the patients is increasing every day, everyone is finding the courage to face SARS and fight it, especially the medical staff.
Medical personnel in Beijing are facing rough challenges. As a medical student they are an inspiration to me. They devote their whole hearts and souls to the difficult task of fighting SARS. They are willing to help patients, in spite of the severe threat of becoming sick with SARS themselves. Everyone regards them as heroes worthy of the deepest respect.
Hoping that modern science is the answer
At first, some of my friends and relatives were so frightened and were afraid of being infected. They stayed at home and put on masks when walking along the streets. But now more than ever, they all believe that advancements in modern science can pull them through with the help of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the support and cooperation of other international groups.
Right now, I think my main task is to study and to remain calm about the SARS situation. My first impulse is to go back home, but I must keep my head about me and not do so. After my graduation, maybe I will have a chance to go to Beijing as a volunteer and help the medical staff in the struggle against SARS. I would like to help very much. I would tell everyone not to be afraid of SARS and hopefully teach them about how to maintain a healthy respiratory system.
I miss my Beijing community and hope that my hometown can beat SARS. I believe that it will not be long before we will find more useful and efficient methods to cure patients.
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