Sage (Zeyu) Liu '20 raised $751 for coronavirus victims and medical personnel in her hometown of Wuhan, China.
Sage was helped by Lucy Bamford '22, Tessa Schut '22, Jimmy Zhao '20, Suah Choi '21, Lily Benson '21, Erika Lee '21, Daniel Dang '22, Jennie LaTorre '23, Hazel Kwon '23, Jenny Chaeeun '23, Samantha LeCrone '22, Isabella De Leon '22, Brook McAdory '22, Liz Li '20, Kayla Qu '22, and Lily Zhang '21.
Every donation, big or small, makes a difference! Thanks to the generous, united and warm Gunston Community in helping fight the virus!
Watch Sage's speech here.
Or read a transcript below.
I believe all of you have heard of the coronavirus in China right now. It started in my hometown of Wuhan. And my parents, cousins, friends, my whole family are all there. While many of you may not have heard of Wuhan before this crisis, I want to give you some information about my home. Over 11 million people live in Wuhan, making it a city larger than New York City. It is a major transportation hub with trains, airplanes, and highways to all parts of China. It is called the “Chicago of China.”
We know that the disease came from Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a market that sells seafood and some wild animals like bats and snakes. I want to make clear to you that while this market does exist in Wuhan, we do not all eat these kinds of animals. Even though I’ve lived in Wuhan my entire life, I have never even been to this market. In a city as large as Wuhan that has people coming and going from all over China, it is not surprising to find some unusual items like this at the market, but I hope you will not see this as something we all do. The majority of us like the same food you do—we eat fish, chicken, pork, beef, and of course crabs.
Wuhan has already been shut down for almost 1 month. 11 million people there have to stay home, go nowhere and wait for the government’s instruction. We don’t know how long the shutdown will be. Not just the airport and train station are closed, but the bus, subways, all the highways, and even the bridges are closed as well. Just grocery stores and hospitals are still open.
Experts said the stunning scale of the shutdown, isolating a major urban transit hub larger than New York City, was without precedent. We don’t know whether this old public health strategy to prevent the spread of infectious diseases will work or not. But it seems like a balancing act with social, political and ethical concerns. I am mad, sad, worried, and depressed about this situation.
Many people are frustrated with our government’s response. Some people feel the government did not share information about the virus quickly enough. I hope as a country, we will learn things from this event that will help us to prevent future situations. I appreciate how effectively and quickly the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases responded when the Ebola virus (from cynomolgus monkeys) was found in the United States 30 years ago in 1989. Even though China is a competitive country, when we are facing natural disasters, we still need to learn how to prevent it and how to respond to it as quickly as possible. Our system needs to be amended, improved and changed.
As humans on this earth, we are all weak in the face of this virus. I really want people to understand that our enemy is the Coronavirus, not Wuhan, or the Chinese people.
Today, I am standing here sharing my concerns with you. As Mr. Lewis mentioned before in his letter, the Novel Coronavirus is dangerous, and we need to be aware of that. Wash your hands and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of disease. These measures are just as important as keeping yourselves informed and so that you can avoid hoaxes and misinformation about the coronavirus.
My hometown is desperately in need. I’ve seen videos from my father that show unimaginably crowded hospitals and deserted streets. The true situation is if you want to see the doctor, you need to wait in line for about 12 hours. Medical equipment and supplies in the hospitals of Wuhan are extremely scarce. Doctors and nurses are not only overworked but also lack the supplies they need to treat the sick. They even are using cloth to make face masks and large garbage bags to make isolation suits.
I coordinated with Mr. Wiening to have a $3 dress down day next Monday to raise money for a donation to the Red Cross Society of China, Hubei Branch. They will use our donations to deliver masks and hazmat suits to the frontline warriors, doctors, and nurses. We appreciate those workers. Please participate in the dress down day.
If you want to help to organize the dress down day, come see me after the morning meeting. If you are willing to donate more money, we will have a box in the atrium for your donation. Thank you for any contribution you can share. I believe if we are united, we can overcome this new virus! I appreciate all of you for listening to my story.
Thank you again,
Sage (Zeyu) Liu '20
- student story