Reported by:
Ng Yan Wen Sr1ScF 17188

After having attended nearly four months of Online Lessons, Junior 1 to Senior 1 students finally returned to School from 24 July 2020 onwards. In the midst of the hustle and bustle and procedures involved with the occasion, the Counselling Department has a solemn lesson to bring to everyone.

The topic of the first counselling lesson Junior 1 to Senior 1 students receive after their return is regarding COVID-19. Students were first given an update on the official statistics, and a brief review of the changes the pandemic has brought to everyone’s lives. As of 11:45 am on 31st of July 2020, there have been 17.2 million confirmed cases, 10.1 million confirmed recoveries, and 671 thousand deaths. Due to this crisis, cleanliness, personal hygiene in particular has become much more prominent in our daily lives, online culture continues to take root, public consciousness about the importance of social distancing and practicing healthy habits is on the rise, and now more than ever, everyone is aware of their civic responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus.

The next part of the lesson addresses the severity of the infectiousness of COVID-19. In a video of an experiment carried out by NHK, a Japanese broadcasting show, to replicate the infectious conditions of a cruise ship buffet, a participant had his hand smeared with a liquid that was only visible under backlight, to represent a person who had coughed into their hand. The person then gathered food and ate at the buffet alongside other guests. Thirty minutes later, the liquid had gotten onto the hands of most of the participants, and there was even liquid on three of the participants’ faces. The experiment was then carried out again, with the participants carrying out basic hygiene, such as washing their hands before and after eating, and having the utensils at the buffet table regularly been changed. Thirty minutes later, the liquid had not gotten onto a single one of the participants. This clip was shown to students as a reminder and proof of just how much basic hygiene can protect one from infection.

The lesson then carried on with the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia. Students were reminded that they live and study in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, the area with the highest case count and risk of infection. The pandemic is far from over, even though they have returned to school. The numbers of cases continue to rise, and according to a statement made by Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Minister of Defence, warning that should the number of infected increase by over triple digit a day, the country will have no choice but to return to lockdown. That is why it is absolutely vital for everyone to take care of hygiene, wear masks and practice social distancing.

The lesson ended with practical information on how to protect oneself and others, such as the correct way to equip a face mask, tips for hand washing and the proper distance to maintain when in public.

It is crucial that all students take heed of the messages brought by this lesson. We must all remain wary and cautious until the danger has cleared.