Coronavirus beyond American borders: how students in China are coping with the outbreak
BY Managing Mosaic Editor
Thinking back to last week, it’s hard to imagine the coronavirus situation becoming so terrifying. Panic and fear have been clearing out campuses, restaurants and movie theaters, not to mention an astonishing number of toilet paper rolls. However, with all the attention and coverage almost ent
irely focused on America’s situation, what’s happening with university students who are still stuck overseas in China?
Yuhan Li, an international Chinese student unable to return to America because of the travel bans has been forced to remain indoors, as coronavirus continues to spread in China.
“I have stayed in my house for about one month, and even no one step[s] out of my place,” Li says. “Fortunately, we have consistent food supplement[s] from e-stores and community service systems.”
The situation is worse for students who live closer to Wuhan, such as Hong Jiang, an international Chinese student from Hubei.
“My hometown is near Wuhan, it needs two hours by train from Wuhan, Hubei Province,” Jiang says. “So the restriction is serious. For my community, we can’t go out and in. The staff will buy everything for you. They will count things on WeChat groups and then buy it on the next day.”
Jiang says that while the situation is improving in China, there are still numerous restrictions placed on citizens.
“If you have an emergency, you need to show your certification and call the department of government,” Jiang says. “Cars can’t go into the community once they are outside. For now, the situation is better. I have three sisters. Two of them go back to work now. Everyone who [is] back to work needs to stay at home for 14 days to make sure you are good”
Chinese students who were able to enter America also face significant struggles as the continued spread of coronavirus causes confusion and fear to spread globally. As coronavirus first originated in China, Americans are more prone to racism against Asians living in America due to misinformation and false beliefs about the disease. Ruoxi Jin, a sophomore engineering major, found this out the hard way with a recent ugly encounter at a restaurant.
“When we entered the restaurant, there were like four people staring at us,” Jin says. “I know they were staring at us because they stopped talking as soon as they saw us, and I saw one man just directly staring at my friend. They were quiet like almost five minutes. I feel really uncomfortable.”
Jin continued to experience racism due to coronavirus, as individuals continued to react differently toward her.
“Then the same day, after we eat, we went to Costco,” Jin says. “There was a lady who covered her nose when she saw me and my friend.”
With the chaos and fear surrounding coronavirus at the moment, it can be easy to forget that others are suffering as well. Instead of giving into the panic, it is best to remember that you’re not alone, and we’re all in this together.
“Doctors are trying their best to save people’s lives, even if it is not easy for them,” Guoqing Zou, an international student from Wuhan, says. “It is a really tough situation right now, and everyone is struggling, but we believe it will get better in the end.”