Coronavirus Outbreak

You’re probably living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the Coronavirus. If in case you do live under a rock and haven’t heard of the trending Coronavirus, it is a type of virus that causes diseases in birds and mammals. This virus attacks the respiratory system, therefore making it hard to breathe and can cause severe pneumonia. Symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath and will start to appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. This virus has killed at least 426 people and infected more than 20,000 globally. So how and why did this coronavirus suddenly became to centre of attention of many?

Well, it all started in Wuhan, China at a market selling live poultry, seafood and wild animals. The virus have most likely spread from the animals to the locals, and now have already spread to other countries such as Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and even Malaysia. It has already caused its first death outside of China in the Philippines on Sunday, 2nd of February which caused panic to arise among many.

“This is the first known death of someone with 2019-nCoV outside of China,” the World Health Organization’s office in the Philippines said in a statement, using the technical shorthand for the coronavirus.

In response to all this, China has already built a hospital, the Huoshenhan Hospital, dedicated to treating the coronavirus within 10 days. The citizens in Wuhan who have close contact with confirmed carriers of the virus have been sent to centralized isolation and quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading any further.

Will this outbreak ever end? Brian Resnick, a science reporter working at Vox reported,

“Disease outbreaks are a bit like fires. The virus is the flame. Susceptible people are the fuel. Eventually a fire burns itself out if it runs out of kindling. A virus outbreak will end when it stops finding susceptible people to infect,”

So should I be worried about this virus, you ask? Well, as of today, no vaccines have been made to cure this disease but the risk of even getting the virus is as close to zero in Brunei, as there aren’t any cases with people getting infected by the virus yet, but just to stay safe, stay healthy and try to maintain good hygiene. If you are sick, wear a surgical mask to minimize the risk of infections.


Kindness Day: PRR Letter Boards?

A time honored tradition of appreciation or the steps of social status? Held on the ninth to the eleventh of April, kindness day once more made it possible for students throughout PTEM to express themselves to one another in various forms, ranging from care packages, roses and… letters to the PPR?

This wonder of penmanship is sometimes argued by some that the system of letters itself is hardly useful. Opening an envelope may sometimes be nerve wracking, especially in this aspect, where the amount you receive may just define others’ opinion on you, never mind the quality of content itself. Peer pressure of such caliber may also result in the tedious construction of strained or simple missves, devoid of actual emotion. A lot can be judged based on a person’s letter to you, but whether it be good or bad, shouldn’t the freedom writing heartfelt letters be for everyone?

This question raises the fact that this practice should be not just be confined to the student body and peer counselors, but shared to all members of PTEM as well! The time for change should be now, where freedom to care should be shared. Caring is sharing! The suggestion of an old-school postal service sounds inciting, with missives being sent and received through a mailbox that could are then redirected out to the students, where thoughts and care are received without any obvious indication of who got more or less, which may feel more personal and heartfelt, leaving no one out!

Here’s a crazy idea: A permanent postal service! Or better yet, just hand the letters personally! After all, what’s Kindness Day as an event? It’s a theme that should be appreciated every day! Given Kindness Day’s recent end, this article may just be a little too late to raise questions of change, yet you could still do something out of the kindness of you own heart!

In the spirit of letters, go write a note to someone and let them know that they’re not just appreciated for one event, but for their whole existence of being a friend!

Sports: Found your fire yet?

Given the current ongoing holidays, you may very well be spending a huge chunk of your time catching up with your favorite sports on your preferred device. Football, basketball, boxing… Whether it’s watching a late night match projected on a screen at a restaurant, or huddled around a television set at home, we can’t help but fixate our attention on the thrilling action being displayed on our screens.

Yet, even with sports acting as our loyal slice of entertainment, the question would always beg to ask; How much more of an impact could it be to our lives than just entertainment? I’m not talking about cliche health benefits, either. I’m talking about fighting depression, finding passion and living life. I’m talking about giving yourself another reason smile.

Let’s stick to the basics, for example running! Imagine yourself, out there on the track or road, where there isn’t any drama or social demand, save for the next breath you take, the next step you take, the strength to keep moving, where the only benefits you gain are for you and yourself and the only limits and expectations you have are for the betterment of yourself.

After a while, you decidedly kind of like running. The fire starts to flicker in your heart, so you take up another sport. Even through failure you find the strength to keep pushing, the fire burns brighter than ever, and so begins the journey. Not as an athlete, but as a human being who had just found one more reason to take another breath.

If you’re reading this right now, I challenge you. Change your shoes, get out that door. Stop texting, and get out the door right now. Don’t waste any time, don’t do it tomorrow. Put yourself in another life for a minute. Start small and see where you go. Stop reading, just go!

International Women’s Day: Mighty Matriarchs

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Being a school that is largely reliant on the patriarchal system, it was no surprise that International Women’s Day wasn’t even acknowledged. And it could be argued that women and young girls are still under scrutiny in this school alone, especially during Raya celebrations where dress codes are always heavily enforced towards girls.

But as it is nothing new to us, the silver linings always manage to shine through. Even having our clubs own advisors be three wonderworking women, we may be moving forward after all. And if female teachers can be heads of clubs, why can’t the student organisations strive to have female presidents?

The Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports are in process of improving women’s development, with increasing the country’s awareness on women’s rights, as well as encouraging women to be competitive in entrepreneurship and education.

Truth is, slowly but surely, women are steadily evolving from the gender roles enforced on to them, more female role models are showing up in media and representation does matter, especially considering the fact that our generation grew up with Disney and as heartwarming and nostalgic the princesses may be, we grew up watching women be damsels in distress. But we now have Moana and Elsa to show us that we can stand on our own afterall. So let’s all be Moanas and Elsas, and be the ones to rescue ourselves!

Pulling a Scar on Mufasa: Issues of Power

Humankind has been no stranger to the superiority-complex since the dawn of man (and woman). We began with the cavemen, the chieftains, the emperors, patriarchs, kings and presidents alike, we’ve always been beings who depend on being told what and how to do things by people of power and we’re able to see it in our education system alone, where young adults are expected to have their lives together, expected to know exactly just where the wind will blow them, yet still have to ask for permission to go the bathroom.

But what happens when power gets in the wrong hands? Or what happens when those “in power” let their authority get to their heads and take things kind of, sort of, just a little bit, too far sedikit? Or let’s maybe throw in a Lion King reference here, what happens when someone tries to pull a Scar (without the murder, of course)? The number one event showing this would be the Trump-ordered 35 day United States federal government shutdown.

If we were to apply this to our own home country, which is being ranked 63 on graft watchdog Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and with the most recent case of corruption being two highly-ranked judicial officers, themselves being respected people of the law, facing trial on the 4th of March for embezzling millions of dollars, just how far will the 2035 vision go?

If we were to apply this to our daily lives, just how many times in a week are we treated unfairly by those we expect more from? How often is the respect that we give to others not reciprocated? How frequently are we disregarded by the people who matter?

We all need to keep in mind that wherever we are, and whatever we do, we do not live alone, we are all members of one body and we are all responsible for ourselves and each other.

“Oppression in all forms, especially from those entrusted with power and authority, cannot be tolerated and must be rooted out of the country.”

                                – His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

The Equinox: A rebirth or a reincarnation?

By JH Shadoon

Originally a school magazine, The Equinox, released its first publication in 2006 back when the school’s home was still in Berakas. Going through a major re-branding back in 2013, the magazine was renamed ‘Meraxcellence’ and released its latest issue in 2014, and has not been heard of since. Until today.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, The Equinox, now an e-newspaper, renewed and refurbished, with a group of new writers, new photographers, new advisors, and most importantly, a new audience coming from diverse backgrounds and personalities, is here and dedicated to bringing you the latest news with a simple click of a button.

Now without further ado, we give you, The Equinox.