Although the coronavirus pandemic has forced students into online-only learning in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries, Taipei Wego Private Senior High School has remained open for its students and teachers. Cooperating with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy to extend winter break, the school has taken several safety precautions against the pandemic this past semester.

“Every student and teacher is required to wear a mask at all times”

From taking temperature checks to wearing a mask at all times (even during P.E class), the school has been highly diligent with its safety measures.

“如果說有任何班級有發燒的同學,或是任何疾病產生,我們一定馬上進行教室消毒 (If any student is running a fever or showing signs of illness, the school sterilizes the entire classroom immediately),” said Ruo Lei Dai, a teacher from the student affairs office.

“我覺得我們學校很強的地方就是不管是老師,學生或者是行政人員配合度都很高,大家都有一致的看法, (I think our strong suit is that everyone is highly cooperative, whether it’s the teachers, students or the administrative staff, everyone here is on the same page) Dai said.

As the pandemic continued to worsen, night study and Saturday classes were canceled mid-semester. However, daily life at Wego has very much been unaffected. Students still participate in group projects, clubs and sports competitions such as basketball tournaments.

“從上學期一直到現在我們都在做非常多防疫相關措施,包含家長說明會一樣啟動入校測量體溫,實名制等等的措施 (We have taken many safety procedures since last semester, including procedures such as temperature checks and the real-name system at events such as the Parent-Teacher Conference),” Dai said. “學校一直都是持續在做很緊密的防疫措施,因為疫情不知道會到什麼時候,你只能跟他試著共存。如同疾管局所說的,現在就是防疫新生活 (The school always has and will continue to take tight preventive measures, because you don’t know how long the pandemic is going to last. You can only try to live with it. As the Center for Disease Control says, it’s a post-COVID lifestyle now).”

Student responds to the mask policy

Anya Lo, 15, said that the school’s mask-wearing policy can be annoying and unbearable at times. 

“Especially during P.E class, sometimes it gets so hot and stuffy that it feels like I’m about to get a heatstroke,” said Lo. “But I get why the school is enforcing these measures, it’s something all of us have to do together.”

Students at Wego get their temperature checked before going into school. Photo: Anya Lo

School reopening in foreign countries

Schools in other countries such as the United States have had entirely different reopening policies. For example, McNeil High School, which is located in Austin, Texas, has been entirely online since last semester. It is planning on opening its doors for people who are willing to attend school on campus starting from Sept. 8. 

“I will definitely continue going to school online, I do not feel safe going back,” said Phoebe Lo, a student from McNeil High School.

No light ahead?

With continued rising numbers of confirmed cases, it seems that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon.

However, Anya Lo, who attends Wego, said, “I have felt very safe coming to school during this time, the school has devised many measures and has done a perfect job carrying them out.”