Week 6 of Coronavirus and Online Learning

Screenshot of John Hopkins Data Site

The Coronavirus

We are halfway through the 6th week of dealing with online learning due to Coronavirus. Technically, I think it would be the 7th week Hong Kong has been dealing with Coronavirus because that first week was the Chinese New Year holiday, and we weren’t in school. There was still that fear and uncertainty during that time though.

Last week was a good week for Hong Kong. Our numbers were very slow compared to over places such as Italy and South Korea. This week, we seem to be importing the virus again. At least that is the speculation with Hong Kongers being evacuated from various places.

Yesterday’s Numbers

We have recorded our 3rd death here in Hong Kong from the coronavirus. It still seems unreal given our proximity to ground zero that we are sitting where we are now. Quite a few countries have outpaced us very quickly, almost seemingly overnight.

Back in the beginning of February, I was considering sending my kids back to the US. Now it seems it was the proper choice to have them stay put. At least it seems that way right now. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow.

Today’s numbers as of this morning

The Virtual Learning

So we are in our 6th week of this. It has been an ongoing struggle for both kids and adults. I have had the hardest time working with my population remotely. They are kids who struggle with school as it is, and take away the structure and face to face assistance, and it just all falls to hell.

I will admit this whole situation has had me questioning my abilities as a teacher. How can I teach if I can’t even get the kids to answer a simple text message or email?

Then my own children. <sigh>

Yes, that just adds another dimension of hell to this whole situation. Bub has done really well to make himself look busy without actually doing anything. It has taken one of my colleagues in my department to get him to do anything. Apparently because I’m mom, it goes in one ear and out the other.

Then Monster… This has taken a toll on her. She was okay with it in the beginning, but over the last couple of weeks, it has slowly broken her down. There are days she just cries. She cries because she wants to go back to school. She cries because there is too much coming at her at one time. She cries because she is frustrated with the technology. She just cries.

Monkey has taken a different issue right now. I had promised her years ago a trip to Japan for her graduation. I promised this even before we lived overseas. She has since been to Japan, but she wants to go back still.

Over dinner, we were talking about the current travel restrictions as it would apply to the kids should they go back to the US. Japan is no longer open to us as Hong Kong residents. Travel restrictions have been imposed on us going there (with quite a few other places as well). Monkey looked like I had kicked her puppy. I had to make sure she understood that it shouldn’t interfere with our trip because that won’t happen until later anyway, but she still did her little pouty thing.

We have a little over 2 weeks until we are on Easter holiday. I am welcoming that break from this whole mess. We will still be stuck in our flat and in Hong Kong, but at least we will have a respite from the virtual learning.

I am holding my breath that they don’t extend this any further. There is talk about it going well into May, but there is no formal announcement. I know morale is decreasing exponentially as this drags on. Not only for the kids, but for the teachers. We are social creatures as well. In my department, there are 12 of us together in our office. We are an amazing team. I miss seeing my people everyday. I miss seeing my students. I want to go back to school so badly. I know I am far from the only one who feels that.

We will continue though. We will do our best. We will try to support our students in the best possible way.

One day, we will look back on this, and it will be a story that we can tell people who were not there. We are a witness to a piece of history, both with this and the protests. It is an experience. That is how I have to look at it. Everything is an experience, good and bad. It is is a part of our individual stories. Life, death, relationships, work, everything. We live and we learn.

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