China reaching out to many countries in need

Tan Thian Seng
 I could not agree more that such a state of mind is relevant, especially in dealing with life-threatening issues like the COVID-19.
Tan Thian Seng

On February 13, Singapore had the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases.

One month later, on March 13, the situation in Singapore much improved, after it had vigorously tracked infected patients and traced their contacts, with stiff penalties for those who disobey quarantine or mislead authorities about where they have traveled. Of course, this is no cause for celebration, as many countries are still reeling from the epidemic.

After reading Wang Yong’s article entitled “Stillness key to a well-lived life” in Shanghai Daily (March 13), I could not agree more that such a state of mind is relevant, especially in dealing with life-threatening issues like the COVID-19.

I tend to interpret “stillness” as a state of calmness or tranquility, free from distracting noises (selective perception or biases) that prevent one from making a rational decision based on facts.

When the epidemic broke out in Wuhan, there were some political figures in the West seeking to capitalize on China’s suffering, some with the intent to score points amongst their own followers and constituents. At times, they would even resort to racist innuendoes to substantiate their distorted views and beliefs.

Share the same burden

Unfortunately, some of those countries are now caught unprepared when confronted with rising number of confirmed cases, as they had been lulled into a state of complacency prior to this. Some are now scrambling to shore up their inadequate medical resources.

Meanwhile, China is reaching out to many countries in need. For instance, it is reported that China is sending medical experts to Italy, in a spirit that “across the four seas all are brothers,” as a Chinese saying goes.

China is also sending medical aids to Italy. On the cartons of those gifts are printed verses from Roman philosopher Seneca, in Italian and English:

“We are waves in the same sea,

leaves of the same tree,

flowers of the same garden.

It is indeed a universal message for all mankind and I have added three sentences to the wise saying:

Together we share the same burden,

together we shall overcome,

together we shall see the sun.

The author is a freelancer in Singapore.

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