Tips on protecting yourself from COVID-19
The beginning of the year 2020 was hopeful as a new decade awaited us. The crisp number 2020 almost seemed to shine in all its brilliant potential, as the world turned a new leaf in the timeline of history.
And yet, now that the year has begun, the world has been struck with unprecedented hardship on a global scale. No one could have guessed that a pandemic would hit a worldwide hub like China, and spread with the tendrils of globalization to some of the farthest reaches of human inhabitation. Indeed, history is being made at this very moment, as we sit in our living rooms and do our best for those around us by staying as far away from them as possible. It seems a paradox, but it is what we must do, wearing masks and social distancing, especially among our elders, in order to make sure that we are not unknowingly hurting those that we love.
The craziest thing is that, although those who have their immunity compromised, either by old-age or pre existing illness, are the most at risk, completely healthy, young people can catch COVID too. I was just emailing my pen pal who lives in England, and sure enough, he told me that he and his girlfriend both caught the virus. I was so shocked, having initially only pictured already-weakened people getting sick from the virus, but now realizing with horror that someone as young and healthy as myself could be susceptible to it as well.
Even if we donÊ»t worry too much about our own infection from the virus, what scares me most is being potentially asymptomatic and yet still being able to transfer the virus to more vulnerable people around me. Because of this, although I do not feel any symptoms myself, I try to be as careful as possible even around my most immediate family by washing my hands before cooking and portioning food and other items separately which we would normally all grab and share together. Although in my home in HawaiÊ»i, this new norm of social distancing seems at first glance to counter the idea of warm aloha spirit, I feel that now, with the threat of COVID-19 ever present around us, the best way to show aloha to those around you is to give them space and wear a mask to protect them as well as yourself during these new, unique times.
Copyright Intelligent One
My father’s nonprofit, Developing World Solar, has aimed at helping those in need in developing countries, specifically with clean energy devices. The peculiar-looking device in this picture depicts the solar oven that my father had designed himself, and which has been the moving force behind our altruistic efforts to both better the lives of the people as well as help the environment. Ideally, the solar oven would allow village people to cook their food without the need for firewood, which would either cost money that is hard to come by or required people to trek far distances to find wood for themselves, thereby increasing deforestation and carbon emissions. This perfect mix between environmental and social altruism led us to pursue the distribution and usage of the oven throughout many areas in Africa, and our most successful attempt has been in the hard-to-pronounce city of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Most haven’t heard of this country, and yet it is beautiful in all its stark, dry ruggedness. You can see the sun’s heat and the day-to-day labor etched in the faces of the people there, and yet that weathered look enhances their beauty in knowing how much they have persevered through in their lives of hardship.
Copyright Intelligent One
Being able to have taken part in altruistic efforts abroad from a young age is an opportunity I am extremely fortunate to have had, as I have grown up along with my parents’ nonprofit. Going to Bangladesh to do this sort of work was one of my most life-changing experiences, and I give credit to it playing an essential part in the development of the person I have become and continue becoming today. Visiting these people in their dilapidated homes in such underdeveloped, swampy villages really amazed me as I considered the vastness of wealth and development that simultaneously exist elsewhere like in my home of Hawai'i. Not only did this experience change my perspective by allowing me to see how fortunate and abundant we are in the developed world compared to these village people, but it also amazed me to see the contentment and love that was so apparent in these peoples’ features despite their lack of basic necessities. Knowing that happiness can still exist in such barren conditions made me chastise myself for ever being dissatisfied in my extremely fortunate circumstances, and calls to all of us to be appreciative for what we have.
Copyright Intelligent One
Homework sucks. That attitude is almost a given when asked of a student. And yeah, that's an understandable standpoint considering that, after a long day of toiling through at least six hours of schooling, we are free to go home, only to continue our brain workouts there. Us kids want a break, we want to "have a life," and not have piles of stressful assignments hanging in the back of our minds.
But there's one problem; we have to do the work anyways. No matter how much we dread doing our school work, it's still going to be there awaiting our attention, whether we get it out of the way immediately or put something resembling work together on the morning it's due. Regardless of your work ethic, it's got to be done.