Together, we fight the coronavirus: A Canadian English teacher’s story

Lorin Ledger
Editor’s note: Lorin Ledger, the narrator, is a Canadian teacher at Houhai English, an English training school in Beijing. Ledger told his experience fighting COVID-19 in China to the People’s Daily in an interview.
I’m a writer and English teacher. While I teach children English, I love to tell them stories. I have been in China for three and a half years and I now live in Xiangmiwan Community, Shunyi District, Beijing. During the prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic, the neighbors cared for each other like a big warm family.
I was in China when the COVID-19 epidemic broke out here. My daily life has been largely affected by the pandemic, especially my work. I had to teach my students online from my home.
I wanted to help the parents in my community to give their children something to do during the epidemic. I have three children, and I cannot imagine what it would be like to stay with them during the quarantine. I hoped to give people a happy time staying with their families in this special time.
So I decided to read kids some books as a volunteer. I helped the students understand the books and fortunately the general reception was pretty good and the kids were entertained. A neighbor left a message that I sat too far away from the camera. I took this feedback seriously and adjusted my camera.
I think in the future, it would be nice to provide a proper English lesson, and teach a subject related to the story. For example, a lesson on colors for the story of Little Blue and Little Yellow. My goal was to entertain the students. I would like to do more, and hopefully I can in the future.
The epidemic prevention work done by the community workers is outstanding. They have been diligent yet friendly. I am impressed how thorough they are. I also hope I can help the community workers take a break from manning the gate and other activities.
All over China, people were helping each other. I saw the spirit of unity and encouragement. I saw Chinese people doing what was best for the community by staying quarantined. But most of all, I saw doctors and nurses working until they dropped because they were so tired.
China has helped other countries, and it helped the most by shutting Wuhan down. I think this is very commendable. Also, I see other countries blaming China for the virus, and this is not helpful. To blame China for the virus is just wrong. We should stop the blame and simply work together to figure out how to get a vaccine out quickly, how to show compassion, and how to become less fearful of people from other countries.
A virus does not care where you are from, what religion you are, and what genetic structure you have. This is a human problem experienced by countries all over the world. We are not out of the woods yet. In the rest of the world, there are still problems. There is no vaccine yet, and until we find a vaccine or until there are no more cases, we have to be diligent to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I hope all of us could get back to normal in a short period.
(Compiled by Bai Ziwei)

Mr. Ledger together with his friends working as community volunteers. Photo courtesy of the interviewee.

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