Hi everyone! My name is Anna, I am 16 years old, I’m from Colombia but I live in China! So, I’m studying French ab initio through Pamoja, which I love, but I never really thought I would have to use the skills I have been learning so fast.

Anna here again! At this point, most international students in the province in which I live, Jiangsu, are already excited and hopeful to go back to school.

We have already heard rumours that we may be going back to school sooner rather than later. As always throughout our two-month quarantine, mixed feelings are experienced.

Online learning caught us all by surprise, including teachers and students. I would say it was somehow impressive how our lives and routines changed, and they kind of keep changing, drastically from the night to the morning.

The day before the quarantine started, I remember I was in a modern dance class, at the end the teachers told us to buy masks if we found them, because for the morning of the next day, none would be left.

Indeed, she was right, we all fell asleep with the warning of a ‘very dangerous flu’ and woke up to a virus which was threatening all our lives. We woke up to being stuck at home, but actually not wanting to go out because of fear of getting infected, we woke up to see all the supermarkets almost empty, we woke up in another world, and that was impressive.

I was even more impressed when I saw the way Chinese people handled the situation. There was everything but panic.

Everyone was calmed down and was sure that their government would do the right thing and keep them safe. Everyone stayed at home, no body protested, they did what they were told to do. Stay at home, wash your hands, avoid leaving home, leave only if it is strictly necessary.

Still, the impact was big, many people died and were affected by the virus, but luckily, most of us are now safe, and hopefully, everything will slowly go back to normality soon enough.

I must say I am very grateful for being in China for the epidemic because even when it seemed the worst place to be in, right now, it is the safest.

One question that all of us keep asking ourselves is; does going back to school mean everything will go back to normal?

Well, most probably, the answer is NO. In this moment China is actually improving its security regarding the virus. Everyone who arrives at the airport must be quarantined for 14 days, each time you move from one province to another you must be quarantined for 14 days.

Some public schools already opened, and students must wear masks all the time and can only take them off to eat. This moment of the day is the most dangerous, and each person must be seated one meter away from the other to eat.

Lunch is not served as before, it will come as packed lunch we will have to eat with disposable plates and cutlery, those, and probably many other things will change in our school too.

Again, we will have to go through adapting to the new way of studying after the pandemic hit China to prevent any further contamination.

Restaurants are slowly opening up again, shopping malls are slowly opening up as well, but as commerce keeps trying to go back to normal, prevention regulations increase.

The government is making sure all the inhabitants of China are safe and we are all looking forward to contributing to their efforts.

I believe here in China we are all aware that if being quarantined for two months was not easy, going back to our routines, which won’t be as we remember them, will be even harder.

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