A story Stars written during the pandemic: thoughts and feelings of Shi Shuxiao

March 22, 2022 Share:

Shi Shuxiao, the first year student of doctoral candidate majoring in public health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has joined the epidemiological survey volunteer team built by public health department since 20 March and began her first work. The main force that will service for work health and public health development in the future now personally participate in the practice of front-line epidemiological survey that will manifests their mission in the special period at new era. 

Shi Shuxiao also writes a story Stars for the interactions between her and the case of epidemiological survey. The story indicates the eternal hope of life like the stars navigating the direction. With the telling of the story, it also mirrors the volunteer’s care and responsibility.

Her story is as follows:

I didn’t expect that some cases of epidemiological survey should call back and my heart were deeply moved by some of them.

Among them, there was a mother aged over 30 with two children aged about four. I finished the epidemiological survey on her in the morning. She was very cooperated with my work without other questions. But in the end, I heard she had choked with sobs. I guessed she may aware of the infection of the “devil” virus, and I just replied her with simple words for finishing my tasks.

In the afternoon that day, there are over four missed calls of a familiar number. After all, I have received many calls like this for requiring the transferring time and why no one came to retest and the result of recheck. I cannot answer these questions. Thus I hesitate whether to call back or not. However, maybe the last asking in the morning: “please transfer me in a hurry and I am scared of infecting my children.”

“Hello, what happened?” I asked. The other end of the call just like seized a life-saving straw to answer, “Hello, I’m sorry to disturb you and I just want to know the time of transferring and I’m worried about my children.” The voice sounded intermittently with sobbing.

I just replied without care, “I really don’t know and I am just responsible to epidemiological survey on your basic condition and not clear about other things.” My house is small and I have separately slept with children, but I’m still worried about my children.” I heard the sound of crying.

I just replied with my working words: “the transfer team will manage it as soon as possible and you just keep your phone unblocked.” But suddenly, a girl’s clear voice came from the call, “Mom, why are you crying.” There was a confused sound like the mother pushing the child out in a hurry.

I was silent. The bitterness in my deep heart was like roused by the voice. “Don’t worry and you must be transferred at tomorrow at the latest.” I gave her an uncertain answer. I knew it will cause some troubles but I did. She was so helpless and just wanted a certain answer.

After the dinner, I received her call again. I told myself I just answered her for the last time. “Sorry..., I know it disturbs you.” I was very surprised to hear her apology and unconsciously, held tightly my phone with gentle tone. “You can try to pay attention to other things.”I was confident to comfort others.

“I can’t.” The other end of the call replied with sobbing. I fell silent again. I always held I was very skilled in debate to deal with all situations. But I didn’t know what to reply. As I was silent for a long time, she became careful: “I’m not supposed to disturb you, and I just…”. In the end, she felt a little embarrassed.

I sighed and answered her: “It doesn’t matter. Only you take the mask well and your children will not be infected. And you are so young and have taken the vaccine. The bad thing will not happen.” I spoke a lot to manage to comfort her and dispel her uneasiness.

“X Chen, get away from Mom.” It is the last voice from the phone with the girl’s name. There were too names of close contact of confirmed cases that I was unable to remember. But I remember the girl’s name with a clear voice. Though we had not met each other, I still wished they would be in safety condition and quickly returned to their quiet and warm life like before.

I have always reflected on the meaning of the epidemiological survey. It seems that I touch another soul through the practice. I image the warm situation of the other end of the call. When the night falls, under the orange lights, the mother is preparing a meal and the children are playing at a small but sweet home. Occasionally, standing on the balcony can have a look of the orange lights that integrating into the lights of thousands of homes, which will bring you infinite comfort. The spark finally gathers into light.

In the past two months, I also experienced the more specified and better work of epidemic prevention and control in the process of epidemiological survey practice and was very pleasure to contribute a little to that. I firmly believe “the efforts paid off” learned the book and the devil must be fallen in the end and the kindness must keep us moving all the time. Thus, everyone, don’t let the epidemic destroy our longing and pursuit for the future.