Writer: Keitaro H.
Visual: Kiana H.
Editor: Gisele F.
As the reach of the Coronavirus continues to extend throughout Asia and the world, people are becoming more and more cautious of the potentially disastrous effects. As such, the spread of this unprecedented virus has had numerous repercussions to school activities and the effects are becoming all too real for students.
Recently, it was announced that IASAS Cultural Convention (Culcon), and all travelling involved, would be cancelled for all schools. This was in light of a collective decision made by the IASAS activities directors. They concluded that the risks of travelling were too great to continue on with the planned events. Additionally, Taipei American School (TAS) announced that the school couldn’t host IASAS Forensics and Debate because of travel restrictions set by the government. In Singapore, the situation is similar. The Singaporean government raised their disease outbreak level to code orange meaning that the Coronavirus in Singapore is severe and spreads easily from person to person. As a result, SAS can’t host IASAS Dance, Drama, and Tech.
The response from the ISM community has been one of disappointment. Jaewon C., an IASAS band delegate, said “I feel stressed about the situation. So much effort seems to be wasted.” This was the general consensus among delegates. Sophomore Damian M., had conflicting feelings about his trip to Bangkok as it would have been his first IASAS experience. During band class, he said, “I was really looking forward to travelling. I practiced every day starting October.”
Despite this unfortunate cancellation of events, there are still silver linings to the situation. Although delegates will not meet face-to-face, they will still have a chance to showcase the individual skills they worked so hard to refine over the past few months. All events will be videoed and shared among all the IASAS schools, while debate will be held in real time over a video call. The changes were met with mixed feelings. Yejin J., a strings delegate said, “the whole team felt like the videos would be less effective than the live adjudications.” Though she lamented about the prospects of “virtual IASAS”, she was glad that she could still showcase her hard work through the video recordings and that Culcon had not been cancelled completely.
“Virtual Culcon” will never be able to replace the authenticity and festivities of the live event. However, this reality is much better than no Culcon at all. Though delegates,as they should be, are disappointed, they will perform to their heart’s content even if the event was not what they envisioned. As such, the ISM community should continue to encourage our very own talented musicians, dancers, actors and speakers by tuning in to live events or videos. This new change should not be viewed as a disaster or a reason to stop supporting our delegates; it’s an opportunity for our Bearcat to spirit to shine, a chance for us to show our united Bearcat spirit to all.