ISJ Spring 2022: International Schools And The Impact Of COVID-19: Personal Observations Amidst The Pandemic / Robert Harrison
In January 2020, I was scheduled to visit Nanjing for a conference on global education. When word began to spread of a then-mysterious pneumonia afflicting the people of Wuhan (two and one-half hours away from Nanjing by train, 30 times a day each way, on the way to and from Shanghai), our health and safety team sceptically dredged out its bio-security plan from the Ebola scare of 2014. As we watched field hospitals being built at a breakneck pace in Hubei Province, we decided that it was probably all right for me to go ahead. Less than a week before the event, organisers cancelled “just to be on the safe side.” In the two months that followed, we watched the world slow down, then grind largely to a halt as the novel coronavirus became a driving force in human affairs—and the most important topic in practically every field of endeavour.