Good morning! On behalf of the AFA China community, I wish all of you a happy New Year of the Rat. For all of us, this has been an unprecedented Spring Festival. Our country is fighting a pneumonia epidemic caused by a novel coronavirus. Our nation is doing everything we can to control this outbreak, to cure people who have been infected, and also protect each other from this horrible disease, especially our young generation. As a school community, our top priority is to keep our students healthy and safe. That is why we have postponed the official opening of the Spring Semester. Instead, we launched our online learning platform since last week to ensure that you continue to study while we suspend our regular classes.?
When the outbreak started, I was hoping that I can see you, our dear students back on campus soon. However, the continuous development of the epidemic seems to be pushing that day more far away. With that, we are holding a very special opening ceremony today ONLINE. First of all, I just want to say hi to everyone and ask how are you? I hope you and your family are healthy and safe, and I hope you are enjoying the long deserved extended holiday. Even though we are all “quarantined” at home, please know that you are doing your part to help our country put this epidemic to an end. Also, think on the bright side, you don’t need to worry about coming to school during rush hours, you can wake up precisely at 7:59 in the morning and get into your classroom by the click of a button. But I should remind you, it is probably not a good idea to sneak into bed again during an online class because your teacher might ask you to turn on your camera at any time.?
In fact, I hope all of you can make good use of the extra time you have now. Read a novel, watch a documentary, or simply learn how to cook your favorite dish from your parents. And please tell your parents how much you love them, it is difficult time like this that will make us realize how much we cherish our loved ones. For some of our students, your parents or family members might be medical professionals, doctors, nurses or anyone who is battling frontline with the disease. Please send our warmest regards and respect to them. We all owe them a big thank you for what they are doing for our country.
Our community is also showing incredible unity and compassion during this epidemic. On February 9th, our student union launched a campaign to raise money for our local hospitals. So far, we have raised more than 52,000RMB, all have been used to purchase most-needed supplies such as protection suits and masks. We praise the leadership and courage of our student union for making this campaign successful and we are so grateful to everyone who have contributed to the campaign.
We have had a rough start with 2020, and we might not see other on campus for another few weeks, the number of infected cases might continue to rise for a while. But none of this will stop us from thinking of each other, helping each other, supporting each other, and show solidarity as a community. Be optimistic and never lose hope. The epidemic will end and the Spring will finally come. When that day comes, I will see everyone of you in your classroom. Thank you!