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For this meeting I thought I'd pick a more provocative and timely topic than my usual "fun and games English" selection—but we'll still try all kinds of formats to make the discussion as lively and engaging as we can!
The Covid-19 Pandemic has arguably become the biggest challenge we're facing today. A pandemic of this size may not be new, but every generation and era must deal with new issues with its own sense of ethics and moral values.
How do we make decisions on:
1. When faced with bed shortage in a Covid treatment center, do we give a bed to an elderly patient with higher death risk but lower survival or recovery rate, or a younger one with lower death risk but higher survival or recovery rate?
2. Should a government have power to implement lockdowns, social distancing, mask-wearing, contact-tracing and data collecting, testing, or vaccination in anyway it sees fit?
3. Is it right to engage in public-shaming or shunning people, or to deny service to those who do not observe Covid measures by the established standard?
4. Is it ethical to set priorities when providing vaccinations to different groups? (e.g., age, profession, class, nationality, etc.) Should the Covid testings, treatments, and vaccinations all be free?
5. Should the international community find a way to enforce equal distribution of vaccines among nations? Is vaccine nationalism justifiable?
6. Should we limit the freedom of speech or the press on pandemic-related misinformation and disinformation?
7. Should UBI (universal basic income), unemployment benefits, universal health care, housing protection and other social safety nets instruments proven needed and widely provided by governments around the world during the pandemic be continued after the pandemic?
8. The pandemic has exacerbated the economic inequality. "Between March 18, 2020, and April 12, 2021, the collective wealth of American billionaires leapt by $1.62 trillion, or 55 percent." (Inequality.org) If the general progressive taxation—a practice of income redistribution—now implemented in every democratic country is considered fair, should there be a "pandemic tax" to respond to the drastically widened income gap resulted from this pandemic?
9. The pandemic has also severely worsened the gender inequality. Women are disproportionately impacted by work (women account for 70% of frontline workers) and home ("Home-working through the pandemic is thought to have landed women with a disproportionate workload in childcare and home schooling, while disparities in housework persist." (BBC)) Should women be compensated for the greater demands and sacrifices imposed on them?
10. Should prejudice and crimes perpetrated during the pandemic against Asian-descent citizens in the West, travelers from high-case countries, or religious groups associated with those countries (such as Muslims in Taiwan), be spotlighted and pursued as hate crimes? Or should it be taken as part of the pandemic response, therefore justifiable in their treatment, such as barring them from certain activities, or dismissing verbal and other forms of assaults (such as online speech) targeted at them?
And the list goes on! In a democratic country, every citizen is inevitably responsible for considering these moral questions, as our decisions pick our leaders and shape our own fate. Let's talk!
We'll explore some of the ideas from the links below. The views expressed are solely those of the respective authors.
➤ Harvard Live Pandemic Ethics with Michael Sandel
➤ Opinion: Why have we failed women so badly during COVID? (DW)
https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-why-have- ... a-57116761
➤ Covid: Pub vaccine passports 'risk social division' (BBC)
➤ The world's richest countries are hoarding vaccines. This is morally indefensible (The Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -eu-africa
We won't skip our usual Idiom Blast no matter the topic. Did you spot one in the opening comic? Here are some very useful common expressions for crisis, debates, or decision-making:
• Cut corners
• Get a taste of one's own medicine
• Miss the boat
• Running on fumes
• Show promise
• Bone of contention
• A moot point
• Learn the hard way
• Take hold
• Do the math
• One for the books
So what's your take?
3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements
Meeting Date: As shown on the Subject Line
Meeting Time: 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Meeting Venue: 丹堤咖啡 Dante Coffee (Minimum Order $80)
1. We advise participants to print out the discussion questions and bring them to the meeting for reference. As for the supporting articles, feel free to print them out, as well, according to your preference.
2. We suggest that participants read the articles and think about the questions in advance.
3. Newcomers should prepare a two-to-three minute self-introduction in English to deliver when called upon by the host before the start of the discussion. The host may also ask you to give brief feedback about the meeting at the conclusion of the meeting.
4. We conduct the entire meeting in English. All participants should have at least moderate English-conversation skills and be able to articulate your ideas for each discussion question.
5. We welcome newcomers and other guests to attend the meetings and join the discussion freely for three times. After that, we hope you will consider becoming a YoYo English Club member. We charge a NT$1000 lifetime membership fee.
最後由 Kat C 於 週四 5月 13, 2021 10:47 am 編輯，總共編輯了 1 次。