One Spirit One Soul
Speech on the War against Covid-19
This is a war without gun smoke. Our enemy is a deadly disease, Covid-19. It is not SARS; it is not influenza; it is a new virus. Its hosts remain unknown. It is very cunning and tricky, and our current knowledge of it is not sufficient. No one, old or young, has special immunity to it; all are susceptible to this new pathogen, with almost no drug that is thought to have real efficacy. It is currently more highly transmissible than SARS, and has already claimed more lives than the latter.
It is now spreading, silently and invisibly, with scant signs of stopping its steps! It is coming to countries on every continent permanently inhabited by humans! It is breaking the breath of populous and prosperous cities one after another!
It is curtailing flights, canceling trains, and suspending bus service. It is emptying streets, closing hotels, clearing restaurants, and shutting down shopping malls. It is idling factories, delaying the opening of schools, and shuttering the doors of government offices. Faces are being masked, families are being separated, relatives are being isolated, and friends are being parted. Social distancing policies are being issued, decreasing human contact and increasing physical distance between those infected and those who are not. Protective measures are being proposed, encouraging home quarantine and discouraging mass gathering. Cities of vitality and viability are being sealed off, with millions of people staying put! Bustling and hustling places are being turned into empty towns with no essential energy of their own, wailing and weeping!
There are worries and sorrows. There are grievances and sadnesses. There are devastations and deaths. It is a severe crisis; it is a serious disaster.
To be or not to be, that is not a question. Globalization has swept away the barriers to the fast spread of a virus; it has also swept away the barriers to the free movement of ideas, men and merchandise. Faced with a traveling pandemic threat, whose control depends on spatial distance, we need to narrow social distance and difference between us. Challenged by a global catastrophe with no precedent, we need to do a great job orchestrating joint campaigns and strengthening close cooperation.
Now, the tough question facing us is what we choose: action or inaction, to stand or to fall. United, we stand and survive; divided, we fall and suffer.
As different individuals, different in capacity and capability, let us strive like flowers in the same garden to reflect our perfume and color, give it our beauty and charm, and contribute fragrance to the same breeze which blows through it! Let us “be as one spirit, one soul, leaves of one tree, flowers of one garden, waves of one ocean”! Then, rays of light to win the war will penetrate the dense fog that has been overshadowing this planet for months! Then, what seems unconquerable will be controlled, contained and conquered in the end!