On the evening of September 24, the Lecture Hall of the Yifu Building at the Siping Road Campus, Tongji University, resounded with bursts of applause and laughter. The lecturer, whom had received such applaud during the first lecture of the Advanced Lecture for the Fall Semester 2020 at Tongji University was Professor ZHANG Wenhong. Known as the Head of Group of Experts on COVID-19 Clinical Treatment in Shanghai, ZHANG is also Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, and Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Huashan Hospital which is affiliated with Fudan University. Vice President of Tongji University and Chinese Academy of Sciences Academician CHEN Yihan delivered his welcome speech. The lecture was co-sponsored by Tongji University School of Medicine and the Graduate School.
The scene of the lecture
Professor ZHANG presented his lecture on "Infectious Disease, Humans, and Healers," starting with a general introduction on COVID-19. He began by describing the characteristics of COVID-19 and the strategies China had implemented to prevent and control the pandemic. He said COVID-19 was highly transmittable, while being rarely fatal. The immune system of human bodies is strong enough to almost clear up the virus within four weeks. After the outbreak of the pandemic, we found all sources of infection and enforced strict quarantine measures to interrupt the chain of transmission. Our strategy turned out to be correct and effective.
Professor ZHANG Wenhong
Within only a few months, China achieved significantly strategic results in fighting the epidemic, of which the prevention and control have been normalized, in turn. "Normalization of pandemic prevention and control can't be regarded as overall normalization," Professor ZHANG pointed out. Presently, COVID-19 is still spreading around the world and several European countries are experiencing their second wave. Although currently, the pandemic prevention and control is pushing forward steadily in China and a strong public health emergency management system has been established in Shanghai, we must remain vigilant about the situation. He emphasized it is especially necessary to implement regular prevention and control initiatives on campuses where large numbers of students are gathered and that we must not allow the panddemic to reoccur there. He also reminded students they must still wear masks when riding on buses and subways these days.
When will our daily lives return to normal? In response to this common concern, Professor ZHANG said only when the vaccine appears on the market successfully can the world be freed from quarantine. When the vaccine is developed, it will be prioritized for several key groups such as the elderly, who are most vulnerable to the virus. He also encourages students to get vaccinated voluntarily. If more than 60% of the campus population is vaccinated, the risk of another outbreak will be greatly reduced.
Professor ZHANG also shared his heartfelt feelings of being a doctor to encourage the students to choose medicine as a lifelong career: to be a good doctor, one must first be a good person, with sympathy and compassion for people; and secondly, one must have an interest in medicine, a spirit of study in medicine, and practice exquisite medical skills in order to treat the sick and save people better.
Students attending the lecture
After the lecture, Professor ZHANG interacted with graduate students of Tongji University and answered their questions on related topics such as the possibility of holding large-scale sports events, vaccine development and vaccination, and the future development of medicine. The vibe of the lecture became relaxed and pleasant because of his witty remarks.
The news of Professor ZHANG Wenhong's visit to Tongji’s Advanced Lecture attracted great attention from both inside and outside our University. That evening, a total of 270,000 people watched the live broadcast through Tongji's official account on the Bilibili website, leaving comments and Likes.
Photo of Professor ZHANG Wenhong with students and teachers
From 2018, Tongji University added the Advanced Lecture of Tongji to the list of courses and put forward requirements for graduate students to receive credit for attending it. The Lecture invites elites from the political and education sectors, entrepreneurs, and scholars, including Nobel Prize winners and academicians to give on-site lectures and share their experience on academics and education. Tongji University hopes to improve postgraduate research and academic competence with the aims of enhancing the research, academic ability, and comprehensive quality. The Lecture consists of three modules: ideological and political literacy, academic literacy and professional literacy. The ideological and political literacy module covers political systems, ideals and beliefs, current affairs and politics, the legal system and moral principles, and etc. The academic literacy module covers thesis writing, academic norms and ethics, scientific thinking and research logic, academic frontiers, and etc. The professional literacy module covers innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership and management, professionalism, international perspectives, psychological literacy and humanism, and etc. Each year, the Graduate School holds 100 Tongji Advanced Lectures for graduate students, including 60 lectures at the Siping Road Campus and 40 lectures at the Jiading Campus.
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