Pandemic, what now? International student’s perspective

In light of recent developments, I thought it’d be good to share some thoughts as an International Student here. The situation at home (Malaysia for me) and here in the UK seems to be developing at a similar pace, with numbers rising day after day. There are a lot of uncertainties at this moment, especially regarding borders; the possibility of a lock down both here and back home.

From all I can see, the expansive coverage by social media and traditional media in general, fear mongering is real and it’s undoubtedly spreading panic to the general public. What I’ve decided to do, is to limit the COVID-19 information that I am exposed to, on all my social media. In my opinion, I think that constantly being updated with every single information down to the 3rd decimal point really won’t change anything. There’s nothing I can do to bring the numbers down. It’s not to say that I completely stop reading about the development of the disease. I choose selectively, the sources I get the information on and limit checking it to just one or twice a day.

There’s nothing I can directly do to help bring the numbers down, but the decisions that I make can make a difference. So, I’m choosing to socially distance myself and self quarantine at home to limit the possibility of spreading the virus. On the bright side, this is the perfect time for us students together what we always crave for; sleep. I’m also able to spend so much more time in the kitchen, cooking up dishes and desserts worthy of Michelin Stars! What’s growing out of this is not only my ego but my waistline too.

Now that Imperial has opted for remote teaching, all the departments are in the midst of transitioning. We’re using Microsoft Teams, Skype, Blackboard and more to facilitate this. We’ve yet to know how exams are going to be run but we are patiently waiting for our department to update us on this. The staff have been working tirelessly and many if not all have worked through the weekends, trying their best to keep the students updated with the latest developments. Major kudos to all the staff at Imperial in keeping the institution running and to everyone out there helping fight this pandemic!

What am I going to do now? I’ve decided to return home to Malaysia. As of now, our borders are still open for overseas citizens to return so I thought it’d be wise of me to go back home. I have been imposing self-quarantine here in London before I return. My intention is to limit myself to risks as much as possible as I will be returning back to my family at the end of the week. When I arrive home, I will impose self-quarantine again for two more weeks. Sounds horrible, and why is there be a need to go home if I can’t go out and see my loved ones anyway? I figured that this was the most responsible decision I could have made. Knowing how my parents are, they would go through sleepless nights knowing that we are far away from them, exposed to all these risks and that they aren’t by our side to care for us.

I really don’t know where I am going about with this but I thought that it would be beneficial to some, to learn that they aren’t alone in going through this. There are a lot of uncertainties and we’ve just got to be patient and resilient. Best way to go about with it is to “Be alert but not anxious!” as Dr Mike says it. I wish that all of you and your loved ones are healthy and well. To those going home, please I know how hard it is to not be able to meet your loved ones but take the wiser decision to self-isolate for 2 weeks. This will make all the difference. I am no expert on this but I know we can get through this together (in isolation of course)!

2 comments for “Pandemic, what now? International student’s perspective

  1. Really helpful – our son is now home and wants to return to hall to pick up belongings and books – should we return or is that inadvisable? Please Imperial help parents with some information. Thank you

    1. Hi Joe,

      I would recommend that your son contact the hall supervisors/wardens to clarify this! They probably are the best people to be giving any suggestions. Stay safe and healthy 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.