Learn about the hidden strength of Taiwan that had powered through the global pandemic of COVID-19
Compare the past experience of SARS and the present situation in Taiwan: what lesson do we have for the future?
Listen to unique and personal stories shared by the homeless community who had experienced the pandemic firsthand
November 7th~January 31st
English Tour: Every Sunday 10:00AM
The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 has affected everyone around the world, causing global distress from economic recessions and political disputes to social separations and cultural changes. During this unprecedented time, Taiwan seems to have emerged as an unlikely case of success through our own form of resilience and strength when fighting the spread of the virus. Many might wonder, how has Taiwan done it - despite all the geopolitical difficulties and predictions that had stated otherwise?
The answer to this success story is no secret, and is all laid out in this new route of Like It Formosa: Pandemic Tour. Through this collaborative project between Gilead Sciences and Homeless Taiwan, we will take you through time and space to tell the stories of the unsung heroes of Taiwan who had made this unimaginable victory possible.
Make sure you sign up today for this tour and join us in person - one of the few places in the world that you can still do this during the pandemic!
10:00AM Meet up with guide
Meeting point: Exit 1, MRT Xiaonanmen Station
Our guides are recognized with a green and white paper fan saying "Like It Formosa" and "Taipei Free Walking Tour".
1. Heping Hospital
Back in 2003, Taiwan took a hit from the SARS outbreak and Heping Hospital was the ground zero of the global epidemic. Out of the 346 confirmed cases in Taiwan, 73 died from the disease and 31 of them died in this hospital, including 1 who committed suicide. The authorities’ decision to force the hospital into isolation had led to criticisms about its violation of human rights and our compassion as a modern society. Globally, Taiwan had the 3rd highest number of confirmed cases and highest fatality rate from SARS.
2. Armed Forces Museum
Throughout the pandemic of COVID-19, many in Taiwan play an important role in keeping the virus at bay without much recognition. The Armed Forces Museum on this tour symbolizes the nation-wide face mask production that was implemented in the early months of the pandemic. Thanks to the cooperation between the government, private-owned industries, and labor provided by the armed forces, daily productions of surgical face masks went from 1.8 million to 20 million in 4 months!
3. Chunghwa Telecom, Bo'ai Service Center
The successful case of Taiwan in controlling the spread of COVID-19 would not be possible without the high level of telecommunication that is available to all citizens. In many ways, the technology of telecommunication has been a key component to allow the flow and exchange of information between the government and the people. Through examples such as real time map of face mask stock levels, quarantine tracking, and 24/7 hotline service, Taiwan was able to prevent a total panic among the local population whose individual collaboration has ensured the stability of our physical as well as mental health!
4. Academia Historica Post Office
The post service of Taiwan plays another crucial part in our fight against the pandemic. Already known for its low-cost and efficient service, the post service in Taiwan was entrusted with the mission of transporting face masks and sanitizing alcohol across the nation, especially during the early months of the pandemic. From the production factories to pharmacies, convenient stores, and health centers, post delivery was often in operation without break to avoid regional shortage of the important supplies - this is why when most countries were out of stock for medical masks and hand sanitizers, people in Taiwan were still seen with our nation-made products!
5. Presidential Office
Tourists and foreign visitors to Taipei must be familiar with the sight of the Presidential Office, yet many might forget about the actual function behind its beautiful colonial style walls. The office is where the commander-in-chief of our national team, President Tsai Ing-wen works day and night to safeguard our country. Elected to her second term just days before the outbreak, President Tsai has shown the world that it is more than possible to prevail in a global pandemic as a transparent democracy. Under Tsai’s leadership, more than 100 measures were taken to maintain the safety of all Taiwanese citizens - including live press conferences and daily briefings from the health minister.
6. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Like all the other topics in Taiwan, discussion of the pandemic situation is also a political one. Due to our contested political status in the international community, Taiwan has been excluded from the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1972 and was largely ignored throughout the global outbreak of SARS. For this reason, health officials in Taiwan had since learned to rely on our own sources and control strategies in anticipation of another possible pandemic. Many concluded that it is therefore this sense of forced independence that had allowed us to act quickly and proactively, avoiding further disastrous spread of the COVID-19 in our country.
7. 228 Peace Memorial Park
In addition to being the first European styled park in Taiwan, 228 Peace Memorial Park also holds some of the most vital collective memories to locals - from architecture that dates back to colonial times to the early years of R.O.C. rule that led to the Martial Law order. Most importantly, the park is a shelter to a local homeless community that was left without a social and medical safety net during the worst time of the pandemic. Here we will invite members of the community to share their personal stories and experiences with our guests.
8. NTU Hospital
The start of public health structures and official medical education in Taiwan, National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital was built with the vision of imperial Japan to be the best medical school and hospital in East Asia. Since its establishment, NTU Hospital has been regarded as the best medical institution in Taiwan - a resource that is accessible to all citizens thanks to our national healthcare system, and a case in point in presentation of how a success story against the pandemic is only possible through the welfare of everyone of our society - as a team!
12:00PM Tour ends
1. This tour is operated in 2 different languages: Saturday 10:00AM Mandarin / Sunday 10:00AM English.
2. On-site registration is welcomed. Please meet the guide directly at the meeting point: Exit 1 of MRT Xiaonanmen Station.
3. The guide is recognized with a green and white paper fan saying "Like It Formosa" and "Taipei Free Walking Tour".
4. Please wear a face mask and comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water or an umbrella if needed.
5. This tour is wheelchair, stroller and kid-friendly.
6. This tour will take place rain or shine. However, if Taipei City Government announces a day off because of natural disasters, the tour will be canceled and you will be notified via email one day in advance.
7. In the event of emergency situations, please call the guide or message our Facebook Fanpage.
8. Anything not covered hereunder, the Organizer reserves the right of final modification.