Home > Highlights > Our Stories > 2021 Term 4 > Delaine Tan Clinches Silver Award of Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

Delaine Tan Clinches Silver Award of Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

Every year, Fairfield’s student journalists take part in The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC). It provides a platform for all youths from Commonwealth countries to share their writing skills and convey vital messages. This year’s theme was ‘Community in the Commonwealth’. Fairfield is proud to announce that Delaine Tan from Secondary 1E clinched the Silver Award in 2021. Here is her essay!

Humanity faced a major global crisis, perhaps the greatest of our generation. On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. This global emergency had caused a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave their homes. This affected governments, businesses, institutions, and individuals around the world. How would this pandemic change the world for days, months, years, or even decades to come?

First of all, what is coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). In 2019, a new strain of this virus called COVID -19 was introduced. This was all thought to happen due to an accidental animal-to-human transmission that took place in China in late 2019. Looking at the number of lives that have been wiped out by the coronavirus, it was already clear that this pandemic was here to stay.

In order to cope with this catastrophe, the citizens of each country had to endure several strict restrictions. These included social distancing, which meant that a physical distance should be kept between people and that there should be no physical interactions. Another of these restrictions included wearing a mask. These may have seemed like fashionable accessories before the pandemic, but now it was a necessity to wear them when leaving the house. These and many other restrictions had become a part of people's daily lives.

While the number of people infected increased every day, many countries began to take decisive action. The two most unique ones that shocked many were that adults did not have to go to their offices and students did not have to go to school either. Conferences and meetings were held from the comfort of home, and classes were conducted through a screen. This was all done through various video communication apps. Not every country had to go through these measures. The measures and restrictions were decided by the government of each country. Were these measures effective? Yes, it was effective, but still, there would always be a few citizens who did not follow these rules. Some preferred not to put on a mask, while others chose to go out in large groups. These actions were, as some would say, selfish, because they put others at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

Next came the vaccines. Everyone was overjoyed when they heard news of the vaccine. However, not everyone was lucky enough to receive it. People living in overpopulated countries had a harder time getting the vaccine. India is a case in point. India has over a billion people. Therefore, there was a vaccine shortage, which meant that many people could not get vaccinated. The vaccine was not as successful as hoped. It did reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus, but the number of daily infections and deaths did not decrease as much as expected.

Businesses closed, schools shut and families were separated by borders. This pandemic may not have done the world any good, but it certainly showed us how united the world can be in times of crisis. In 2020, countries stepped forward to help others. France had donated masks and Germany had shipped medical equipment to Italy. Luxembourg took in intensive care patients from France, and the Czech Republic donated protective suits to Italy and Spain. These heartwarming actions were just one of the many things that would change history forever.

In 2050, we won the battle against coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic no longer existed. Masks were not needed, businesses reopened, schools resumed, and families were together again. While we rejoice and celebrate, let us not forget the lives of the innocent souls who fell victim to this pandemic. Who knows what the future may hold? Will this cause another global crisis?