Over this past weekend, seniors Keren (Lily) Chen ’20 and Chenxi (Steven) Song ’20 shared their accounts of the global COVID-19 situation with ABC News, since they both have the unique insight of facing the crisis from both China and the United States.
The news piece also featured Director of Admissions, Andrew Garlinski ’98 who was able to explain how SSM has shifted to online learning along with the rest of the country. SSM was uniquely set up to transition to online learning since the School had already placed a large focus on the blended learning model, which contains both online and in-person components. While this was good news for all of us at SSM, it didn’t make the separation any easier.
“When I left Shattuck, I was never prepared for it – like leaving this fast,” said Steven. “So I cried, actually, along with my friends and teachers as well. So it was pretty sad.” Lily also spoke about being unused to spending such a long period of time at home, after living at SSM for the past several years.
However, Lily and Steven’s experiences once they arrived home contain messages of hope for all of us in the United States. While there are new procedures still in place, such as checkpoints and temperature checks, they’ve been able to leave the house and grab Starbucks with friends as long as they wear masks. Steven shared about life in China, “You still have the risks…but there is no panic about it. Just wear a mask and just go back to normal life, instead of staying in quarantine at home.”
Lily agreed with this sentiment. “We’re seeing a bright side here in China right now. So, I bet there’s going to be a bright side in the States.”