Global Check-in with the CSSW Community on the Coronavirus Crisis
As the novel coronavirus spread around the globe and became a pandemic, the Columbia School of Social Work checked in with alumni and friends in various parts of the world to see how they were coping. We also asked whether they had any words of wisdom on the situation or advice for their colleagues back here in hard-hit New York City.
Maria Enderle, MSW’87, describes pandemic life in Chigasaki, Japan, a town on the beach about an hour outside Tokyo. While sharing several inspirational tips for self-care, she also admits: “I feel like crying sometimes; we are going through rough times.” Enderle teaches English as a foreign language at a local school, a job she says is enriched by her social work background.
WATCH: Maria Enderle (Chigasaki, Japan)
Leshi Wang, MSW’19, who lives in Shanghai, shares that during the pandemic, her musical father has had to practice his erhu (Chinese violin) on his own, with only the cat to listen. “I think my temper has changed to be more gentle with my family…in this special time,” she says. Wang is a full-time mental health counselor at Tongji University’s Psychological Education and Counseling Center.
WATCH: Leshi Wang (Shanghai, China)
During the pandemic, Ye Wang, MSW’17, has been self-isolating in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is doing her PhD. “I am very worried about hatred and discrimination related to COVID-19…towards my community,” she confesses. “It’s a time for human beings to stand together and help each other,” she says. “If there is an enemy, it must be the virus, not other people.” Wang is currently pursuing a PhD in social work at The University of Edinburgh.
WATCH: Ye Wang (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Laurie Marsden, MSW’99, moved to Brisbane, Australia, just before the pandemic struck. One of her responses has been to offer her Web-based therapy program, 8 Steps to Becoming You, for free. “It’s easy to care for others, but being able to focus yourself right now, it’s almost like the one gift to come out of this,” she says. Marsden has an established psychotherapy practice.
WATCH: Laurie Marsden (Brisbane, Australia)
The Communications Office would like to thank the above alumni for sharing their stories and offering their insights on the coronavirus crisis. We hope to add to this series in the coming months. If you are an alumni or member of the Columbia School of Social Work’s extended community and have a story to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.