A hashtag uniting 100 + students & allies across 30+ countries to empower each other’s voices
USA, March 27, 2020 – It started with a simple tweet by fourth year University of Michigan Medical and Public Health student, Marina Haque. She called upon others worldwide to use the hashtag #Students_Against_COVID to share how they were fighting against the novel virus strain that dramatically continues to change the world around us. Within 10 days, use of the hashtag has brought 100+ students and allies together across 30+ countries.
Inspired by a drive to help address the challenges COVID-19 has introduced into our society, the students have contributed their unique voices, passions, and skill sets to exchange innovative ideas between countries, promote personal protective equipment (PPE) collection, help translate COVID-19 information flyers into 34 languages, and promote well-being with the goal of sending a clear message that we are all in this together.
Overall, #Students_Against_COVID strives to create a common platform for students & allies across the globe to share ideas, brainstorm together, and collaborate in an efficient and socially responsible manner during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
As COVID-19, a contagious respiratory illness, spreads across the globe and kills thousands in its wake, it endangers our global economy, general public, and healthcare workers. Students Against COVID (SAC) has formed in response to these challenges.
Although the virus may keep students at home, it cannot keep them from innovating, strategizing, and finding actionable ways to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
Only about 10 days into the movement, the group has formed multiple regional and project teams. “When one part of the team sleeps, the other half wakes up, and so someone is always working!”, says Adriana Viola Miranda, an Indonesian medical student spearheading the social media team.
Teams consist of students and allies from different disciplines across the globe working on various initiatives such as championing awareness about the collaboration platform, to a team dedicated to sharing clinical knowledge more effectively given the growing crisis. There’s also SAC members connecting independently via the platform already, sharing innovative methods they’ve used in one low-middle income country with students from another low-middle income country on how to address shortages in critical supplies, such as hand sanitizers.
As Haque’s hashtag circulated across twitter, she connected first with health care students worldwide. The initial team began with Christos Tsagkaris (medical student from Greece),Faisal Nawaz (medical student from UAE), Dr. Ahsan Ali (public health student originally from Pakistan), and Ana Sofia Mota (medical student from Portugal). By bringing volunteers in one by one across the globe, their volunteers exponentially grew within the first week to comprise of students and allies from various backgrounds. Their video design team, for example, is spearheaded by Arusa Ilyas, a British medical student; their translation team by Shanmin Sultana, an American undergraduate public health student; and their outreach efforts largely facilitated by Aman Tahir, an American high school student.
Their logo was further designed by Ashley John, an American undergraduate student, who used a group motto developed by Tsagkaris based on Greek mythology: when you want to make waves, you need to be willing to rock the boat.
Students Against COVID plans to launch their SafeHands Video soon, in which students tasked each other to send videos of themselves handwashing. They plan to consolidate the video, with each of the 9 steps of the proper hand washing guideline to be represented by 9 different countries.
Other initiatives include facilitating others’ existing efforts in organizing PPE donations in the US & UK and a mental-health campaign which focuses on raising awareness on well- being and sharing stories of those affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ultimately, the students are passionate about being part of the fight against COVID-19 and welcome all students and allies worldwide to join their campaign.
Students Against COVID
#Students_Against_COVID aims to bring students & allies together across the globe to create a common platform to share ideas, brainstorm together, & collaborate if possible during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The movement aims to promote efficient and professional communication all the while encouraging others to champion scientifically based facts & ideas, and building synergies if applicable.
Contact: Alina Haque, Studentsagainstcovid@gmail.com