North alumn Jesse Appell raises awareness about coronavirus

Comedian Jesse Appell 08 cracks a joke to audience members Wednesday, Feb. 12. (Photo by Jacob Zalis)

Comedian Jesse Appell ’08 cracks a joke to audience members Wednesday, Feb. 12. (Photo by Jacob Zalis)

Jacob Zalis

Comedian Jesse Appell, ‘08, performed along with students, professional violinist Julia Glenn, and other speakers in Comedy for a Cause, a fundraiser for the fight against coronavirus Wednesday, Feb. 12 in the auditorium.

In response to the virus which put Wuhan, China in lockdown and has affected many globally, North’s Chinese teachers coordinated Comedy for a Cause to buy medical supplies such as masks for those in Wuhan.

Freshman Harold Purcell, who performed in the event with his Chinese class, said he admired the resilience of people from Wuhan.

“Jesse Appell has changed my view on how people are trying to find ways to stay happy and find the humor, which is what I really admire about them,” he said. 

In his performance, Appell discussed the cultural gap between China and America and his early days in China, including his first show. He then moved on to how people in Wuhan have responded to their quarantine.

Appell also presented a slideshow of various videos from Wuhan showing how the people on lockdown have responded to the crisis. Apart from Appell’s parody to Gangnam Style titled Laowai Style, the videos shown mainly focused on how people reacted to the disease, such as photos of people using fruit, ramen cups, and even bras as alternates to masks.

Chinese language students performed a song in Chinese with their class while dressed in red and black for a total of eight pieces among other acts.

Following the students, Glenn spoke about having to connect with violin students still in Wuhan over video call, and how she felt stranded in America.