Born in Taiwan, Tiffany Ren moved to the United States after middle school. She is a junior in a college in New York City, studying fashion business management.
She came back to Taiwan due to the severe situation in New York City and is currently under self-quarantine.
She kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions.
Have the recent clampdowns affected you?
I got back to Taiwan before the situation got too serious in NYC. However, I am currently under self-quarantine, and I am living in an apartment alone. It is not the best situation, but it is necessary to do so to protect myself, and more importantly, to protect others.
As a student studying abroad, what particular annoyances have you felt?
Since the supply of the masks is very low compared to demand in the United States, most people don’t wear masks when in public.
Moreover, the U.S. government even claimed that wearing masks has not been proven to protect people from the virus.
The situation was very frustrating since I was in NYC, and it can be very crowded on public transportation, which also means that it is easier and faster for the virus to spread.
Sadly, racism against Asians increased in the States too. Asians have been beaten up for wearing masks in public.
This happened not only because of racism, but also because of cultural differences. Americans seldom wear masks, and when they do, it’s because they are sick.
The conflict then occurs when Asians wear masks to protect themselves, and Americans assume people who are wearing masks are sick and don’t understand why they are not staying home.
As a student studying abroad, do you think Taiwan done a good job in its handling of the COVID 19 issue?
I think Taiwan has done an excellent job handling the COVID 19 issue, especially under the circumstances.
Due to political issues, we don’t have much support from other countries, and sadly, we are not even in WHO.
However, the government has done an excellent job in handling the situation, and most Taiwanese have followed the rules and are helping to prevent the virus from spreading.
What could Taiwan do better?
Taiwanese people should be more united and have more faith in the government since we are on our own to fight this virus.
Furthermore, I think we should judge the things that people do, not who’s doing it.
In this kind of situation, it is even more important for Taiwanese to be united and support the right things that the government is doing for us because we all have one common goal, which is protecting people and preventing the virus from spreading.
How are you spending your time of late – living as normal a life as possible or on edge because of the virus?
I am currently under self-quarantine; however, I am trying to live a normal life.
When I get bored or feel lonely, I call my family or friends, and often they cheer me up. Furthermore, since all my courses are now online and due to the time difference, I have to stay up for my class meetings. This is not an ideal situation but it is for the best.
I am super grateful that I am back in Taiwan, and I do feel a lot safer in Taiwan compared to NYC.
Do you have any long term concerns related to coronavirus?
The coronavirus is affecting numerous people’s lives, and sadly, a lot of people are unemployed or not getting paid due to the bad economy and lockdowns.
It will take time for the economy to recover and for people to get back on their feet.
Thus, it is important for people to be kind and considerate to each other, and more importantly, if possible, to help one another out.
Editor’s note: for another interview by Mindy, be on the lookout later today