Jillian Zhou (year-2 student of Master in Physiotherapy programme) and Audrey Chow (year-3 student of BSc [Hons] in Occupational Therapy programme) responded to the University’s call earlier to participate in frontline anti-epidemic work during the 5th wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong. They are helping at a mobile specimen collection station to provide testing service for the public. Prof. Hector Tsang (Cally Kwong Mei Wan Professor in Psychosocial Health, Chair Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences and Head of RS) met with them on 23 March. He praised their spirit of service to the community despite the hardships and risks involved, and hoped other students would take them as role models and contribute to society through participating in the fight against the epidemic.
Jillian shared that she and Audrey were both assigned to work at MacPherson Playground in Mong Kok. The testing capacity at this station is the highest in Hong Kong. During the peak period, the station needed to provide testing service to 4,000 people every day, and each sampler needed to collect an average of 50 specimens each hour. She had to master sampling techniques while at the same time catching up with the daily quota. She is happy to have the chance to apply the healthcare knowledge she has learned to her work. Although her work is not directly related to her study, the spirit behind is the same: to help others and to keep them healthy, especially when society is in a state of crisis.
Audrey believes testing is very important in the fight against the epidemic since the identification of COVID-19 patients is critical to reducing the spread of the virus. Although at the beginning she worried about the risks of her work and the possibility of transmitting the virus to her family, she soon realised that the epidemic would subside only when people were willing to contribute to society. Therefore she no longer hesitated. She hopes to give back to society with her healthcare knowledge. She believes the intensive work and high-pressure environment can train her concentration skills, which will in turn benefit her future placements. She reflected that the need to handle emotions of the public, the long working hours (almost 12 hours per day) and the juggling of schoolwork with this job were physically exhausting, posing a great challenge to her. Fortunately, she can share her worries with Jillian and other colleagues and they support each other.
We are glad that the two students demonstrate commitment to society. We hope they will keep their sense of mission and make an impact on those around them.