by Michael Cleverley
Cedarville University student Annie Yimiao won’t be going home to spend the summer with her family as she originally planned. China, where the coronavirus began, is her home.
“If I want to go back, I can still go back, but because of the situation I don’t want to go back, because I might get infected,” Yimiao said.
However, she said she’s glad that she, as well as her sister, who attends the University of Cincinnati, are in the U.S. and not with their family right now.
“I feel sad not being with them, but also I feel really blessed that I wasn’t there,” Yimiao said. “My dad was telling me, ‘I’m happy you’re both there.’”
Yimiao also said she isn’t too worried about her family because they are staying at home like most everyone else. The only problem she mentioned about staying home is that you’re basically trapped.
Tim Marvin, who is from Cedarville and is a recent CU graduate, isn’t able to return to China where he is an English teacher. He came to America a couple months ago to participate in a friend’s wedding.
During the time he was here travel to China was banned. However, although he wishes to be able to return to China soon, Marvin realizes that, because everyone is staying home, he can’t do anymore for his students than what he’s doing now. He connects with his students online, giving them assignments and answering questions they might have.
“I can do everything that I can do over here as I can there and more,” he said. “As well as I can bring back supplies that are needed for people over there.”
He isn’t the only teacher who has returned to the U.S. who is affected by the travel ban. Several teachers who were part of a team working at that school, including Marvin, came to the U.S. before or during the ban. The school wanted them to return by Feb. 14 when they planned to reopen.
“Our team already decided that regardless of whether the school wants us back or not, if the travel ban is still there, we’re not going back,” Marvin said.
The ban doesn’t prevent people from going to China, but it is highly recommended that people don’t. So, it just didn’t make sense for them to put themselves at risk by going back. It was hard for Marvin to make this decision because he loves people both here and in China.
Another Cedarville University student from China is taking a different approach to the situation. Rainbow Yuqing hasn’t decided whether she will be going home for summer break, but she originally planned to and that plan has not entirely changed.
The virus itself does play a small role, but the ban is the factor that is a problem for her. Flights to mainland China have been restricted, but even if they weren’t there is still the virus.
“So, even if I go back, I will be flying from Ohio to California and from California to Guangzhou, which is my city,” Yuqing said. “California is a state affected by the coronavirus so I might be quarantined for like 14 days.”
She also pointed out that no one knows how well China will recover from the virus, and she could get quarantined again upon returning to the U.S. Another factor of consideration was the possibility of not being able to return to America.
“I don’t know if the American government would let me in the states again because I came from China, and now they are not giving away student visas because they’re shutting down the visa system,” Yuqing said.
Yuqing, like Yimiao, is not worried about her family because they stay inside except for when they need something from the store. She also said that 70% of patients who had the virus have recovered. Although things are getting better in China, the inverse is occurring here in America.
More cases appear in the U.S. daily. But Yuqing keeps a positive perspective as she looks toward summer.
“I think it will be fine after one or two months,” she said. “So if there is not an outbreak here in the U.S. in one or two months I will still go back to China.”