No man is an island

Date: Mar 23, 2020
By: Brian Hioe 

In Taiwan so far there have been no nationwide lockdowns, life continues as normal, and as of writing, there are only around two hundred cases in the island as a whole. This may be due to the quick response of the Taiwanese government,with interventions by the state into private industry. Taiwan also has universal healthcare, and a functioning government.

Still, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has quadrupled in Taiwan in the last week. That’s life. Sometimes you’ll be watching a disaster unfold from afar and then suddenly it’s upon you.

A friend, a Chinese student currently doing a Ph.D. in Taiwan, hasn’t left home at all for over a month. She’s from Wenzhou, one of the most heavily affected areas in China. She’s been attending class through video-conferencing software.

After it started getting bad, I tried contacting an ex from Hubei—the province where the virus originated—whom I hadn’t spoken to in a while, but no response on email or text. I’m no longer on WeChat because of security concerns, so I couldn’t get in contact. But I managed eventually to make contact through a mutual friend—they were alright and in Beijing. That was a relief.

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