Do COVID-19 Restrictions Actually Make Sense?
We’ve had to adjust to many new rules since school’s started, as part of the Shanghai municipality’s guidelines on schools to prevent another COVID-19 outbreak. Admittedly, they are probably better than catching COVID-19, or not having in-person learning altogether. These restrictions are still a bit of a mixed bag though. Some of them are more useful than others, but it’s hard to know which ones.
Just as a disclaimer: this article is not encouraging you to break these restrictions—whether we like them or not, these have been mandated by the Shanghai municipal government to keep a pandemic out of one of the largest cities in the world. More than anything else, this is a guide to whether or not your complaining about certain restrictions are validated. So read on, get annoyed about having to wear a mask to school for a few hours, and then let your anger go.
Cancelling and/or postponing large group activities
This one checks out. Banning mass gatherings is a WHO-approved guideline to reducing the risk of the coronavirus, one that almost all countries affected by COVID-19 have implemented in some form or another. The specific reason for this is because, mathematically, the more people are in a room, the more likely it is that they all carry germs and particles from all different places. It also means that it is harder to practice social distancing—if one person tests positive, then every single person in a large group, as well as the people they were in close proximity with, are all affected.
Maximum capacity limits in public gathering spaces
This one makes sense. Specifically at WISS, we have a maximum capacity limit of 50 people in the library and 20 people in the cafes. Again, the reasoning behind this is to keep some distance between people, lessening the chance of infection if, by chance somebody who has COVID-19 is in school. Not much else to say here, except please comply with this rule.
Face mask being mandatory to enter the campus
Doesn’t really make sense. To be fair, wearing a mask is understandable and is actually scientifically supported, but it only being mandatory when entering the school and not any other time is not. What is the point of wearing a mask at all if we are not going to wear it for the entire duration of being on campus? If anything, it would make more sense if we weren’t allowed to wear a mask when we entered, and then we're required to wear one in the classrooms, where we are in close contact with other people.
Only entering through front gate
Doesn’t make sense! This might be the worst one out of all of them.
As you probably already know, to get in and out of school we are now limited to WISS’s main entrance, the one that opens up onto Lianmin Road, with the side gate being completely closed off. This is a waste of time. The reasoning behind this seems to be for crowd control—this way, the school knows which students are coming in, and they can ensure that all of them head to the A building entrance, instead of the door near the library.
This is one that I actually get kind of mad about, which is such a weird hill to die on. What’s stopping me from using the library entrance anyway? A piece of paper that says “Don’t use this door”? If I wanted to, I could use that door tomorrow morning and there will be nothing in my way. What’s more, forcing every bus and every car to stop on Lianmin Road means that there’s always a huge traffic jam in front of the school at 8 AM and 3 PM every weekday, so it is actively detrimental to our learning experience.
Food delivery prohibited to students
In theory this makes sense. In practice? Not so much.
There is some logic in restricting the amount of outside contact that students can come into throughout the day—you can’t guarantee that all the food is safe, we don’t know what the deliveryman’s been exposed to throughout the day. Better safe than sorry, and safe means that it’s probably for the best that DP students aren’t allowed to order takeout during the day.
The problem is that while students are prohibited, strangely, teachers aren’t.
Fun fact: this isn’t even a requirement of the Shanghai government—they recommend a higher level of management, but food delivery to schools is still permitted. So if you take one thing away from this article, let it be that you have the municipal government’s blessing to order bubble tea during lunch.
Visitors and parents requiring permission to enter campus
This makes sense. Regardless of the virus, this was already an enforced policy. In order to ensure the safety and well-being of students and school staff, the guards can’t just let anyone in – and that includes your parents.
Written by: Oceania Chee and Lulu Shah