If You Are Chinese, You Should Not Attend School

Yes, it does sound not just silly but profoundly offensive, but a university in the Philippines has just made an announcement asking all its students who are Chinese nationals to self-quarantine from January 31 to February 14. I am also seeing posts on social media that there is a shortage of face masks in the country. And social media Rappler shares concerns of some celebrities regarding the inaction of the government, adding volume to the statement, "It's the government that will kill us." Misinformation spreads faster and people are quick to draw policies based on misinformation. This is what happens when the educational system of a country is failing.

Above copied from Rappler

First, the correct policy for any school is to tell its students that if they are feeling ill, they should not attend school. A self-quarantine measure based on nationality does not make sense since those who are infected do not necessarily belong to one race. Second, face masks are not generally intended to protect an individual from an infection. Here is an excerpt from NPR regarding who should wear face masks:

"As for wearing a mask outdoors in public? Marybeth Sexton, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Emory University, says there's no need if you're in the U.S. or another country where the risk of catching the Wuhan coronavirus is considered low.

Sexton says wearing a surgical mask is a good idea if you have a respiratory illness and need to see the doctor. But that's really so you won't infect other people. Otherwise, she says, don't rush out and buy a mask. Leave them for the people who need them — like health care workers and ill people — so as not to contribute to mask shortages, she says."

Above copied from

What works is practicing good hygiene. What should countries do? Help China. Here is an example:

Above copied from
The Tribune

After all, China has the largest number of infections. And "wearing a surgical mask is a good idea if you have a respiratory illness".