Shelly Chang is a senior student from the department of political science, and the Chinese-English Translation and Interpretation Program at National Taiwan University.
She kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions.
Have the recent clampdowns affected you?
To stop further outbreak, a range of measures are in place at my school, including distance learning, receiving temperature checks upon entering buildings, and the cancellation of all gatherings including club activities.
However, so far, public transportation, shops and schools in Taipei are still running as they normally would, so I don’t really feel any great impact from clampdowns in the city.
On the other hand, I guess, the news on the outbreak in other countries and the increasing number of reported cases covered by local TV stations somehow fuels anxiety in Taiwan’s society, which affects us to a greater extent.
Most Taiwanese people feel a sense of fear while seeing such terrible things emerging around the world.
What particular annoyances have you felt?
Compared with other countries, especially those in the western world, I feel blessed and glad that I am in Taiwan because there seems to be no cluster infections, and the government is trying their best to curb the spread.
Particular annoyances I feel would be in online learning and lining up to get medical masks.
Online learning relies on a range of elements, including equipment, stable (Internet) connections, and suitable locations.
Apart from that, some lectures need intense discussion and in-person interaction, and the learning effect of those might not meet our expectations when compared against online learning.
But all in all, I think we all have to give up something for the good of our home, so I believe these annoyances are quite acceptable and people are getting used to them as they become part of our daily lives during this period.
Has Taiwan done a good job in its handling of the COVID-19 issue?
Although there is still room for improvement, people do see the efforts made by the government, such as travel alerts in real time, two press conferences each day on COVID-19, and controls on price rises of necessities.
I really appreciate what I have now. With little inconvenience, our lives are still moving on without any extreme problems.
This is also a golden chance to let the world know that Taiwan can help by sharing our practical experience with our neighbors in the global community.
Nonetheless, to distribute resources to those in desperate need is difficult as there’s a quota limit on masks for citizens.
People have to line up in front of pharmacies for masks, which can be quite time-consuming.
Fortunately, the government has come up with a new plan, which is to distribute masks using an online ordering system.
Residents with no time to line up outside pharmacies can get their masks by way of just a few clicks.
While this measure is still ‘on-trial’, we can see the endeavors and rapid response of our officials.
How are you spending your time of late? – living as normal a life as possible or on edge because of the virus?
As I mentioned above, I try to live as normal a life as possible since the situation here doesn’t seem that hard compared with other nation states.
People here have confidence in our public sector and believe that one day it will eventually come to an end, so all we have to do is follow the right instructions delivered by officials and experts.