YeonJu Chung By: YeonJu Chung
View profile and Diary

15 May 2020 : Pandemic Reflective Essay

YeonJu Chung

Reflective Essay

POLS 2100


Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic as a friend, student, and a volunteer worker


Prelude: Friend


As the corona virus began to spread more and more around the world, I heard about it from a friend who was studying in New York, USA. As a confirmatory occurred in New York, my friend said the roads near her home as well as the school she was attending were closed by police. Fortunately, she added that a few days ago, she recognized the dangers of the corona virus and went to the grocery store to purchase enough water and food. At the time, the seriousness of the corona virus was known throughout the world, but the drastic closure of New York, which is different from that of Korea, felt even more fear. For me, who was only informed by the news, the situation there was handed down by a close friend was enough to awaken the seriousness once more.


A few days later, with the news that her friend's school eventually decided to replace the remaining classes with online classes, she said she would return to Korea within a week. It was my plan to meet her to the airport, which was supposed to return to Korea in May, but she already got the ticket to Korea much earlier than expected. I was very glad that she returned to Korea, but I just waited to her arrive safely. I gave up picking her up to the airport and I was relieved after receiving her call that she arrived safely in Korea, although she was pretty frustrated because she had to keep wearing my mask and gloves on the plane.


Two weeks after she arrived in Korea, I couldn't meet my friend. This is because she must self-contain for two weeks following the state's command. For her grumbled at home all day, I often took pictures of the outside scenery and sent them. It was a time when cherry blossoms were in full bloom at the time, so it was all pictures taken while walking through a nearby park, but she liked them very much. As a friend, I fully understand her heartless feelings, but conveying the outside scenery indirectly was the best way I could comfort her.


After two-week self-containment period, we could face each other. Even after returning to Korea in one year, I could meet even two weeks later, but since we confirmed each other's safety, we were able to have peace of mind and chat with each other enough.



Act I: Student


As the corona virus spread, the biggest change in my daily life was college life in spring 2020. After a long winter break, I prepared for the new semester as usual, but I was notified to replace the class with an online lecture for a week. I thought it was a good thing because I thought I could sleep a little more in the morning until then…


The first online class environment was unfamiliar, but I thought it had its own convenience. However, at the end of the week, I heard from the school that they would postpone the start of school once again. Thanks to the corona virus, I was happy that the winter vacation seemed to be longer. But this was a silly idea.


As my first online class environment continued, I felt a little uncomfortable. Occasionally, the instability of online access caused disruptions in the class, and I realized that the transmission power was lower than listening to a professor's lecture in the classroom. It was also uncomfortable to not be able to immediately ask questions if I don't understand something while I was in class or doing homework. In a class that required discussion with colleagues, everyone hid their faces and lowered their voices over the screen. I tried to communicate with my professor and colleagues through the screen, but I felt much less intimate. Since then, there have been several postpone, and eventually we have to accept the school's decision to replace all of the 2020 spring semesters with online classes. It was a reasonable decision for the peace of the world, but I was fed up with this situation, which never knew when it would end.


All lectures are still conducted online, and assignments and feedback are also exchanged online. Professors and students are doing their best in their respective positions, but the regret that they cannot face them is still exist. Sometimes some classes come to school to take an exam. Of course, it leaves up to the individual's choice, but I take the exam as an opportunity to face the professor and colleagues and ask for their regards. I wish we can face each other in campus as soon as possible. Since then, for the remainder of this semester, I'm still relying on my laptop and doing my best to finish the lectures and assignments given to me.


Act II: Volunteer Worker


Before starting a new semester, I was planning a new activity. I have been volunteering steadily since high school. There are many forms of volunteer work, but I was rewarded when I met people who wanted to help, communicated with them, and gave a good influence. That's why I hope to visit low-income children and give them educational help in the spring semester of 2020. At the UAC, there was a club called U-Teach, which is fit with my purpose of volunteering, and I decided to do something that I felt rewarding through this opportunity.


Before starting the Spring Semester 2020 in earnest, I had to go through the steps to join the club. I submitted papers about my motivation and purpose to serve, and the values ​​I valued. Next, I met in person and conducted an interview. Because it was a service to teach children in marginalized classes, it was mainly about attitudes that I should have. After going through these steps, I was able to become a member of the club. However, even for a while, I was informed that the volunteer service could not be carried out for a while due to the corona virus. It was a decision for both the institution's children and volunteers, but everything that I had prepared felt empty.


But we are still going on. When the corona virus is over, volunteers are communicating and preparing for it online, so that they can do it as soon as possible. Once a week, we continually asked each other's regards through non-face-to-face contact and thought about what we could do. Happily, I received a call a few days ago that I would be able to resume my volunteer work, but again, I cannot know what the future will be due to the corona virus spread from Itaewon. But we are still in the process.





It is a pity and tragedy that all of us are out of schedule due to the unprecedented event of the spread of the corona virus worldwide. Not only is it out of daily life, but even at this time, many citizens from around the world are fighting the virus. Fortunately, even in this tragic situation, I, my family, and my friends are living safely without being a direct victim of the virus. I am very grateful for this and hope that the corona virus will end as soon as possible. To do that, as we all have done so far, we will have to do our best in each place. These days, I feel the importance of everyday life, and I focus on what I can do for the happiness in the near future.

© 2020, All rights reserved. Views expressed are those of individual contributors. Privacy Policy