Changde Students Studying Abroad: Thousands of Miles Away, We Care about You
China News Service, March 30th. Johns Hopkins University: The number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus epidemic in the world exceeded 720,000. According to real-time statistical data from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, as of 7:14 on the 30th Beijing time, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world has exceeded 720,000, reaching 720,117, including 33,925 deaths. Besides, the severely affected countries with over 50,000 confirmed cases each—Italy, Spain and Germany—have seen nearly 220,000 infections in total as of Sunday afternoon.In Europe, the world’s COVID-19 pandemic epicenter, over 20,000 patients have died, among whom 2,753 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours as of Sunday morning, according to WHO’s daily situation report.
The number of new confirmed cases per 24 hours in Europe has stood above 36,000 for three days in a row, the report said.The report also showed a total of 148 countries and regions have seen local transmission of COVID-19. As the pandemic sweeps across the world, WHO together with national authorities is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 on people’s mental health, as well as providing information and guidance to governments and the public in this regard. At the same time, Chinese Health officials and experts are calling for people to remain vigilant against the novel coronavirus and are tightening controls on inbound arrivals and asymptomatic cases as the country still faces the risk of imported infections and the threat of asymptomatic carriers.The Chinese mainland added 44 imported cases and one domestic case associated with an asymptomatic individual on Saturday, according to the National Health Commission. There were 54 new cases on Friday—all related to overseas travel—and 55 new cases on Thursday, one of which was transmitted locally. As of Saturday, the number of imported infections nationwide has risen to 693 from 42 countries as the virus continues to rage around the world. Meanwhile, domestic spread of the virus has been basically contained, according to health officials.
The COVID-19 pneumonia epidemic has become a public health crisis facing the world. The whole world now shares the same breath. How are overseas Changde students living today? A reporter from cdyee.com contacted a number of international students to listen to their anti-epidemic aspirations.
My epidemic prevention supplies and daily necessities
[Netherlands] All restaurants, entertainment venues, etc. in the country must be closed
International student: Wang Hang
Location: Overijssel, Netherlands
I originally attended school in London, and just came to the Netherlands for an internship. From January 13 this year, I went back to my hometown in Taoyuan to celebrate Chinese New Year. The epidemic broke out soon after. I stayed at home to pay attention to the epidemic and wait for it to improve in order to go to the Netherlands.
On February 16th, the epidemic development in Hunan was basically stable, and we started to return to work one after another. So, I transferred from Taohuayuan Airport to the Netherlands. When I arrived at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, there were no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia in the area, and no anti-epidemic measures and signs were seen at the airport. However, many Asians were found wearing masks upon entry. Of course, I also wore masks.
The day after I arrived in the Netherlands on February 17, I took a train to report to the province of Overijssel in the north of the Netherlands. I sat quietly aside and heard an uncle cough in the carriage. On the way back to my residence, I bought a lot of food and anti-epidemic materials, and after I got home, I was quarantined for 14 days. The official RIVM in the Netherlands told people not to panic until the German epidemic began to grow and the Italian epidemic broke out. The first confirmed case appeared in the Netherlands on February 26, and new confirmed cases appeared in the following days.
On February 27, my neighbor, the Dutch uncle, rushed to knock on the door early in the morning, saying that the severe epidemic might close the city and asking me to go to the supermarket to store food. My roommate rushed to the supermarket with the uncle to buy the food, and bought food which could hold out about two weeks. Fortunately, there was no looting in the supermarket, and the toilet paper was sufficient. My classmates and I still bought several bottles of alcohol, which was necessary to wash my hands at home.
On March 6, the first case of death occurred in the Netherlands, and everyone started to get a little nervous. People wearing masks gradually increased. The number of confirmed diagnoses in the Netherlands is rising rapidly, with more than 1,000 diagnosed in about 10 days. After careful consideration, I decided not to go out, and I could find ways to manage life at home.
At a press conference on March 15th, the Dutch government stated that starting at 6pm on March 15th, all restaurants, entertainment venues, etc. in the Netherlands must be closed at least until April 6th, but the basic material of life is still guaranteed. On March 24th, I was at home for almost a month. Although I really hope to go out, I hope that the epidemic will end soon. I have decided to continue my homestay.
Some commodity supermarkets have begun to run out of stock
[U.S.] Colleges start online classes, masks everywhere
International student: Hi Brother
Location: Texas, United States
I am now in the University City of Texas. Our school had a spring break last week. Originally, the spring break was only one week, but because of the epidemic, it was extended for another week. Later, the school directly issued a notice saying that all the next classes this semester were changed into online classes.
However, faculty and staff have started working this week. I provide teaching and technical support to teachers in the subordinate department of the Faculty of Arts. Fortunately, the school encourages working at home. Today is the first day of work after the spring break. Three sessions have been held in the afternoon. All teachers from different departments of the School of Arts and Sciences are studying online teaching. This conference is held in the school’s conference room, but can be attended online. Many people participated online, and some also came to the conference room.
I have already stocked up the material since two weeks ago, and though the supermarkets near the school are running out of stock, fortunately they provide new supplies every morning. Except for masks, other supplies are not too difficult to have access to. My parents ask me about my physical condition every day, telling me to pay attention to protection and study hard. My current idea is to improve self-protection, minimize contact with people, and work hard to complete my studies.
I bought a mask
International student: Yubo
Location: North Carolina, United States
I am a Ph.D. student at North Carolina University in the United States. Recently, the school has cancelled face-to-face courses and started teaching online. The school cafeteria, gym, and laboratory are still open, but lectures, meetings and the like have been changed to online.
Relatives and friends in our country remind me every day to protect myself, and now I am a little lucky to be in a small city. Although in a small city, masks and disinfectants were sold out in the first two weeks. Fortunately, I stocked up some masks and gave them to foreign students around me.
I usually go to the supermarket once a week. Most foods are available. Occasionally, rice and noodles are out of stock, but I will make up in time. I have been vigilant about the epidemic situation. I rarely talk to people or attend get-together. I just want to finish my studies and come back.
My epidemic prevention supplies
[Japan] Concerts and sports events are banned. Graduation and opening ceremonies are cancelled.
International student: Xiao Yu
Location: Osaka, Japan
I am studying in Osaka, Japan, and the local situation is still serious. Because we are studying at a graduate school (doctoral student) with a relatively early vacation, we have a vacation before classes are suspended across Japan. Now Japan happens to be in a spring break, and generally no school is in class. However, the graduation and opening ceremonies originally planned for the end of March have been cancelled. However, it seems that elementary and junior high schools have already started. Regarding epidemic prevention and control, Japan has banned concerts, performances, sports events and other activities, and some have turned into live broadcasts in the form of no audience.
After the spring break, I was isolated at home and hardly went out. I try to keep up with the latest development of the epidemic, and avoid contact with the surrounding people and taking public transportation. International students, including me, also attach great importance to it. But many Japanese still insist on going to work.
Domestic friends and family are very worried about me and hope that I can return to China, but there are more and more imported cases abroad. I still plan not to return to China for the time being, and decide to stay at my apartment in Japan and wait for changes. My anti-epidemic measures are to try not to go out, and wear a mask when I have to go out, and my personal belongings will be disinfected when I go home. It is difficult to buy masks and alcohol in current pharmacies and stores. Even if you can, you need to line up. Fortunately, I stocked up some anti-epidemic materials in January, and have bought masks, alcohol, and disinfectant.
All the pictures and stories from the overseas Changde students show us a picture of the battle against COVID-19 around the world. They must have confidence to win the battle. Meanwhile, they need to trust our motherland. Amid the mounting risks the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak has brought to the world, President Xi Jinping’s call for “an all-out global war” against the pandemic at the recent G20 Extraordinary Leader’s Summit on COVID-19 has great relevance to addressing the global public health crisis. The messages of solidarity and mutual assistance Xi sent at the videoconference for leaders of the Group of 20 countries on Thursday enlighten the way out for the world to prevail over the contagion and save the global economy from recession.
The virtual summit, the first of its kind in the history of the G20, is the first major multilateral event Xi participated in since the start of the outbreak. Xi has been using telephone conversations, correspondence and meetings with leaders of foreign countries and international organizations to strengthen coordination between China and the rest of the world on the fight against the virus. “At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response,” Xi said at the summit. “We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one can win the battle against such a major infectious disease.”
Xi’s remarks come as China’s epidemic control is continuously improving and the trend of restoring normal work and life is being consolidated. Globally, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries and regions. Over 616,700 people have been infected and the death toll is still rising rapidly, according to the World Health Organization. The economic toll is also climbing as more businesses and trade come to a halt amid massive lockdowns.
Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst, said the virus is a global challenge which requires a global response as it does not discriminate in terms of nationality or culture.
Although some nations have endeavored to pin it on one specific country and seen opportunities in doing so, in practice the outbreak has harmed the humanitarian, political, and economic interests of every nation, Fowdy said. China has always advocated international cooperation in the fight against the epidemic. It has been endeavoring to coordinate policies and share information and experiences with other countries and international organizations.