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Photo courtesy of South China Morning Post (SCMP)

Since the first identified case of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in winter 2019,  the deadly virus has infected more than three million people, killing over 210,000 worldwide.

The pandemic has forced countries to put their citizens on various forms of lockdown. While medical experts across the globe are pulling every lever to contain the virus, members of the public practise social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease.

As human activities come to a standstill, the pandemic has weakened the global economy, resulting in the rise of unemployment rate and a severe hit to the world factory China. The Wall Street with the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 2997.10 points, or 12.9 per cent, to 20188.52 on 15 March 2020 – its third worst day ever since the Black Monday market crash in 1987. The oil price in the US  dived to an unprecedented  low  – minus USD$37.63 on 20 April 2020. Headlines of devastating events are frequently seen during the outbreak. The chain of events will have long-lasting impact on everyone in the world.  

Varsity examines how businesses in textile and garment industry in Jiangxu province are affected in terms of job and financial losses, as well as operation of local factories. Online classes are conducted following class suspension in Mainland China amid the pandemic. Varsity looks into how online classes affect teachers, parents and students who are preparing for their Gaokao, university entrance examination in China. Likewise, classes in Hong Kong are also held online after the Chinese New Year holiday. With the postponement of Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examination, university entrance exam in Hong Kong, Varsity explores how DSE candidates, secondary school teachers, parents feel about arrangement of the public examination.

Flights between Hong Kong and other countries have been cancelled amid the pandemic following travelling bans issued by other countries. Varsity looks at how travel plans are affected.

In the battle against a global health crisis, governments from different parts of the world have implemented measures to help citizens overcome this difficult time. Varsity explores how South Korean government introduces measures to help small businesses and the effectiveness of the measures.

Aside from coronavirus outbreak, Varsity also explores other social issues, such as the first anniversary of gay marriage legislation in Taiwan, electronic waste, veganism, ethnic minorities’ struggle in learning Chinese. In this period of upheaval, it is indeed challenging time for Varsity production, as people are unwilling to meet face-to-face for filming purpose. Varsity reporters still strive to report quality stories in the form of both text and multimedia that are shaping the recent global crisis.

We also would like to express our deepest gratitude to all medical workers who risk their lives on the front line to curb the spread of this deadly pathogen. May everyone be safe and healthy!  

Howard Li
Managerial Editor