WKU students from China raising awareness about Coronavirus
- WKU News
- Friday, February 28th, 2020
For WKU students from China, the past few months have been stressful as they worry about family and friends back home who are impacted by the COVID-19 virus, better known as the Coronavirus.
Concerns about their health and the restrictions they face are amplified now that much of the equipment needed to keep them safe, such as protective masks and goggles, is in short supply or unavailable.
For the past few weeks, members of the Chinese Students & Scholars Association have been looking for ways to raise awareness about the situation and provide assistance.
Lu Dai is a senior from Henan in Mainland China, near the center of the COVID-19 outbreak. She worries about her family, especially those who work for the government and cannot stay sheltered in their homes. “They have to go out every day and check if other citizens are OK,” she said.
Although Zishuo Li is from northern China, far from Hubei, his father also works for the government and has to travel. “He’s fighting the virus on the front line,” he said. “I actually worry about him.”
The students say people at WKU and in Bowling Green are kind and patient, asking about their families and offering support.
“I feel warm here,” Lu said. “This is a second home for us. Any time we travel, we miss Bowling Green.”
Because of that acceptance, the students say they feel comfortable asking for support for their families.
“What we can do is find money or find medical supplies to help them,” Zishuo said. “I know we are just a student union and we cannot do very much, but I think we can do whatever we can to help them.”
The students’ initial focus was on supplies—masks, goggles and protective clothing—but they have found those to be in short supply in the U.S. as well as China. Now, working with the Red Cross, they have a mechanism for monetary donations: https://donation.ifrc.org/?campaign=9fac8aab-0e48-ea11-80e3-0050560100a8
“If you can imagine, you stay home a month and don’t go outside, you just maybe choose one person from your family who is strong to go out,” Lu said.
Zishuo said what is happening in China is more than a lifestyle change: “It’s a war against the virus.”