Coronavirus outbreak cancels visit from sister school

From Issue 7


Graphic by Alex Roberson

The infamous coronavirus as rendered by graphics editor Alex Roberson

With over 70,000 people infected and no definitive cure, the coronavirus is becoming more and more dangerous. Every day, thousands of people are diagnosed with the virus. Although there are currently no confirmed cases in Mississippi, the virus has certainly impacted us. 

Prep’s sister school from Taizhou, Zhejiang province was originally scheduled to visit us from January 27 to February 1. Nine students and two chaperones were scheduled for this visit, and this would be the second consecutive year for them to visit.

The decision to cancel was made a week prior to the visit.  When the decision was made, there had not been that many confirmed coronavirus cases, and people in China did not think it was that big of a deal. One day after the visit was cancelled, the city of Wuhan, where the virus originally came from, officially shut down. But now looking back, cancelling the visit was definitely the right decision to make. 

Ms. Jane Zhu, who is in charge of the international program at Prep, said, “It was a tough decision to make, but I think it’s the best for both sides because everyone in Prep stays safe, and our sister school don’t have to take the risk of travelling and being quarantined for 14 days after returning to China.” 

Senior Kaylin Wong was able to talk to us about what life is like back in China now.  Her family lives in Macau, a special administrative region of China where there have been ten confirmed cases of the coronavirus.  One of the confirmed cases was near her house, which scared her family.  Her family and friends all wear face masks when they have to go outside. Because of the disease, the schools and casinos have all been temporarily shut down.  Universities have also switched to “online class” so that their students don’t need to be traveling to and from classes.

Like people worldwide, the Chinese students at Prep are watching the situation closely and hoping for the best.