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Coronavirus Impacts Students Abroad

By Deanna Garcia

New York University has more international students than any other college in the United States, according to College Factual, with about 15.6 percent coming from China and the  recent outbreak of novel coronavirus has caused some NYU students to express panic and worry on campus.

NYU announced that its Shanghai campus will have a delayed opening and will start the spring semester on Feb. 17. The school also urged students to contact the provost’s office about travelling to or from China for studies.

On Feb. 24, NYU President Andrew Hamilton sent out a statement that NYU Florence will be shut down until March 29 due to the virus reaching northern Italy. The New York Times reported that in Italy, there were roughly 888 confirmed cases and 21 deaths from the coronavirus.

This left students to pack up their belongings and return home immediately.

Artavia Taylor, a fashion business junior in NYU’s Gallatin School, was studying at NYU Florence for this semester. Even though it is not her first time studying abroad, she is “very sad” that her studies overseas had come to an abrupt end.

“Once NYU shut down, all of the students reacted in a panicked manner and left right away, so it kind of scared me,” she said. “I was just ready to be safe and home. If anything went wrong, at least I would be in the states with my healthcare.”

Students at NYU Florence may not be on campus, however they have online classes set up until further notice. Taylor said, “I really hope they reopen because I have so much to do, as do other students, and I was enjoying my classes.”

Taylor mentioned that NYU has paid for most students’ flights and plan on reimbursing other students. “I feel very fortunate to go to a school that actually has the money to make that decision so quickly and pay for everyone’s flights,” she said.

Meanwhile some of the students on the New York City campus displayed concern.

“You never know where it’s going to come from and it’s the flu season,” said Alex Ramos, 20, a political science sophomore.

His concern was about the close-knit lecture halls that he has to sit through. “It makes me not want to go on campus knowing that there’s a possibility that I could catch it,” Ramos said. “But I’m not going to let it hold me back from going on campus.”

“People are overreacting with this,” said Catherine Mitchel, 19, an undeclared freshman. “I’m pretty sure this will blow over in a few weeks and people will forget about it, just like the Eloba case.”

As of Feb. 29, The New York Times reported that there have been roughly 85,400 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, 79,000 of those cases were from China.

The Department of Health confirmed that there were seven people tested in the city, but all came back negative. Testing for the virus takes about 36 to 48 hours. However, according to the Washington Post, there have been 22 cases throughout the United States and the first death was in Washington on Feb. 29.

The Trump administration announced an additional travel restrictions in Iran, Italy and South Korea due to the rise of the outbreak. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are enhanced screenings in New York airports for passengers.

“It’s scary how no one really knows how this came up,” said Melissa Garcia, a hospitality and hotel management senior. “It makes you wonder if you’re actually ever safe from any virus at this point.”

 

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