Be Ready for Everything
The COVID-19 pandemic had worsened since February. In order to minimize transmission of the pandemic on campus, the University announced that classes would be conducted online and resident students were to vacate hostels and return home. Mr. Clement Wu, warden of Lee Quo Wei Hall, recalled that the past months were tough but the team did their best to keep the home safe.
Students may find it inconvenient to leave hostels but Mr. Wu added, “We allowed students with genuine needs for campus residence to apply for staying at hostels. The applications were reviewed case by case. This was our primary task. There were other concerns too. For those who resided in hostels, their chance of getting infected and becoming close contacts was relatively high. We were also worried that workmen would be infected and would receive order for compulsory testing.” In view of this, the College implemented precautionary measures to improve the hygiene in the hostels. For example, rubbish bins from residential floors and pantries were taken away and students were encouraged to discard their garbage in the skip in the car park outside the hostel lobby. “At first, students were not used to this practice but they did quite well after a while,” said Mr. Wu.
“For a time, the city experienced a surge of confirmed cases. At hostels, when we received any confirmed cases and close contacts, we would immediately inform students on the same floor and from the same hostel of the news so that they could stay alert. We also distributed rapid antigen test kits to students on the same floor and urge them to report test results to us. This was useful to evaluate the risk level of the floors and the hostels,” Mr. Wu explained the contingency plan of the College. The infected students and their close contacts at hostels would be required to go through self-monitoring period in their own single rooms. During the period, resident tutors would place meal boxes and essential items outside their rooms. The toilets on each floor were also divided into “emergency” and “non-emergency”. The former ones were reserved for positive cases and close contacts. Mr. Wu said, “Students did an excellent job here. If they knew any floormate was infected or was a close contact, they would pay extra attention to environmental hygiene. Floormates would receive messages on social communication tools about who was going to use the toilets. They acted on their own initiative. I really appreciate their consideration.”
Later, the University designated Chiangs Building as an isolation facility. The College arranged to transfer the infected resident students to Chiangs Building, and sanitize the affected facilities. Many public facilities at the College were closed, including table tennis room, gym room, music room and TV room. Cleaning was reinforced to prevent the spread of germs. Dr. Victor Lau, warden of Ho Tim Hall, held a workshop for workmen about cleaning safety.
Mr. Wu described that everyone has a role to play in infection control. “Wardens and resident tutors need to remind students of good hygiene and protection in daily life and how to respond to emergency.” Prof. Wong Kam Bo, Dean of Students, and the two wardens also provided online talks for College students to enhance community awareness on the issue.
The pandemic teaches us an important lesson. Mr. Wu pointed out, “It is easy to be infected but there are ways to prevent infection. The key lies on our action.” As the pandemic changes the teaching and learning mode at the University, Mr. Wu is also adapting to the new normal as a teaching member at the Physical Education Unit. “I hope to meet students in person because I could see their facial expressions and learning progress. It is a delight to witness their improvements face to face. It is a pity that the teaching mode has been changed to online this semester. There is a big difference. I hope online classes could bring along good impact too.”
The city has been wrestling with the pandemic day and night. Do College students show any anti-pandemic fatigue? Mr. Wu replied, “I believe so but many students would go hiking or just go out on weekends or after class. Staying indoor all the time is not good for our physical or mental health.” In leisure time, Mr. Wu would exercise at home for 30 minutes by following online tutorials. He highly recommended home workouts for students.
Mr. Wu was affiliated to the College 10 years ago and took up the wardenship of Lee Quo Wei Hall since last June. “When I joined this family back then, I found it warm and harmonious. Both students and colleagues were helpful to people around. Now I am a warden and I treat students as my children. I will try my best to enhance their personal growth, support them to embrace challenges, and nurture them to be future leaders of society.”