The Process of Re-opening for Students Around the World

With 2.73 out of the 6.16 million confirmed to have the virus recovered (as of May 30), private businesses and public areas are beginning to reopen as the worst of the pandemic passes and the number of new cases declines around the world. I have asked a few MacDuffie students to share some details concerning the reopening process in their home countries.

Senior Xuan Yi said that after he returned home to Shanghai, China at the beginning of March, he found that the situation had already calmed down and that “only the malls were closed.” China was the first to shut down and the process of reopening has already gone well underway.

“Everything is mostly normal now, but people wear masks and are checked for their temperature everywhere they go,” Yi said. He is relieved to see the people in his hometown begin to “go back to their pre-virus routine.”

1656 miles southwest of Shanghai lies Senior Andrew Cao’s hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. After Cao’s ski trip was cut short due to the closure of Killington Mountain Resort, he booked a flight to return home. At arrival, he was taken into quarantine.

Recounting his experience, he said, “There were thousands in quarantine because they just entered the country from somewhere with coronavirus or were in contact with someone with the virus.” However, Cao said that strict guidelines such as the quarantine, as well as early lockdown, has made it so that there is “no community spread.”

“The situation in Vietnam is much better now. Schools, cinemas, and businesses are reopening gradually and everything is pretty much back to normal except everyone is wearing masks,” Cao said.

The situation is also getting better in parts of Europe. Junior Emilie Schmidt-Lund returned to Denmark at the beginning of March.

“Everything was closed until May 10th and gatherings must be of less than 10 people,” Schmidt-Lund said. Recently, she added, “schools, shopping malls, and restaurants have started to reopen.” There are some restrictions, however. Similar to other countries, a “two-week quarantine” is mandatory for “anyone entering Denmark.” Additionally, people who have been in recent contact with someone with COVID-19 are prohibited to leave their homes, Schmidt-Lund said.

In the United States, with the number of new cases declining, all 50 states have initiated their own process of reopening with varying degrees of restrictions.

On May 20, the number of new cases in the United States (13,227 new cases) was the lowest since March 20. However, it does seem that this number is still fluctuating.