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The Voice of Youths During the Pandemic
Written by Angela Kim | Published. 2020.04.14 21:59 | Count : 7740

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China, the largest city in Central China with a population of over 11 million people, circumstances have been aggravating worldwide. According to the data  provided by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html), there are currently 1,098,848 confirmed cases and 58,871 deaths in 181 countries. Alongside the rising numbers, more and more people, having difficulties in finding peace and balance, are experiencing stigmatization and fear. In this emotional turbulence, however, numerous people, particularly the youths, have started to come together as one after finding connection among themselves in social media. With a singular purpose, they are raising their voices to better the current situation in the world. Acts of courage, cooperation, and compassion are thus increasing day by day, emphasizing the power of people.  

One of many explicit examples of youth collaborations is the CORONAMOOD® (https://thecoronamood.org). The CORONAMOOD® is a non-profit organization established by Louai Allani, a junior in Lycée Français International de Dubai, to raise public awareness and to survey the psychological state of the visitors. 

[The Top Page of the CORONAMOOD® website / Screenshot By the Writer]

During the interview with Louai, he said that he has been thinking about creating the website “since January 23rd, when the World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee convened a meeting regarding the new coronavirus.” He expressed his passion on how he “wanted to help people during the time of panic” by educating people of what COVID-19 really is and surveying “their mental and social well-beings,” hence naming the website the “CORONAMOOD.” Louai later explained that he decided to focus on psychological aspects and education because the survey “allows researchers, health officials, and academic institutions to further understand COVID-19,” and “education is the first step of ensuring that everything will go well.”  

[Interview with Louai via zoom meeting / Screenshot By the Writer]

“Health authorities in Dubai are really serious about what’s going on, thus taking all the measures to ensure the safety of residents and local population. They have taken quite substantial measures including the shutting down of all academic institutions. The Department of Economic Development (DED) in the United Arab Emirates has also recently asked the private sectors to enable 80% of their employees to remote work at their homes,” mentioned Louai. 

Another example is the “Covid-19 Photos for Teens,” a way to express oneself through their photographs and stay creative during special times. Their Instagram posts encourage youths to support and inspire one another, regardless of who they are, or where they live. Both the CORONAMOOD® and the “Covid-19 Photos for Teens” demonstrate examples of youths attempting to help others who feel anxious and are oftentimes challenged. 

"Being of Asian descent, it's no secret that [I may face] racism during these unprecedented times. But the good news is that kids my age have been able to seek comfort through having discussions with people who understand them," says Sophia, a 16-year old social media user who lives in Seattle. 

As Sophia reminds us, COVID-19 is not just a health issue; it also provokes xenophobia and stigmatization. However, the youths are coming together to acknowledge and accept each other’s differences through discussing similarities in online platforms like the CORONAMOOD® and the “Covid-19 Photos for Teens.”

[Norman Rockwell’s Golden Rule Rededicated at the United Nations /
Taken By the Writer]

The novel coronavirus doesn’t care about the victim’s nationality, gender, religion, or political affiliation; it is totally indiscriminate. However, people are coming together in response to this dreaded pandemic. More and more people are joining together online to cooperate and to comfort one another, and among them are the youths. Though deadly and fearful is the virus, the community is starting to move forward and fight back, as it always has.  


  








Angela Kim
Freshman (Grade 9)
Yantai American School

Angela Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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