At GoEast we’re deeply worried about the coronavirus (新型肺炎xīnxíng fèiyán) outbreak. Here’s a message that was sent to our WeChat students a few days ago.
Dear GoEast students,
Here’s us writing to you since a lot of you contacted us concerning the coronavirus, about what to think and what to do. As a Chinese school, we care about our students beyond the classes, so we’d like to point you to some sources here, so that you can stay up-to-date and know what to do.
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1) What should I know?
At this time of writing, there have been 53 confirmed cases in Shanghai. According to the World Health Organisation, coughs and sneezes are the most likely ways of transmission (this may be updated later). It’s also likely to spread through contaminated surfaces.
2) Should I travel or not?
We do not recommend you to be in crowded places, so this involves travel places such as airports and train stations. If you must travel, you may consider renting a car or taxi. But if you have books to read, Chinese homework to make, or games to play, you may want to just cozy up and stay indoors for a while. At least to avoid the crowded hotspots.
3) What should I do?
- (It seems that) wearing face masks in public helps to a certain extent.
- But washing your hands is much more important, either with soap or hand sanitizer — especially after you’ve touched objects in public spaces.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and nose (unless you’ve recently washed your hands).
- If you have a fever, go to a hospital and get yourself checked. Here’s a list of over one hundred clinics if you don’t feel well: http://wsjkw.sh.gov.cn/ggl1/20200121/a8ac104ddf9b4b929a761982f2f07c42.html
4) What should I read?
- This page from the World Health Organisation (no VPN required) is the most reliable source of information:
- If you’re on Reddit (VPN needed), you can follow:
https://www.reddit.com/r/China_Flu/ but make sure you check verified sources. There’s some scaremongering and fake videos around.
- The BBC (VPN needed) is another good source to read. Especially this page gives a lot more detail: https://www.bbc.com/news/world/asia/china
- Shine by Shanghai Daily provides regular updates too, more focussed on Shanghai: https://www.shine.cn/
5) What should I say?
In Chinese, the coronavirus is called 新型肺炎xīnxíng fèiyán, which literally means “new pneumonia”. Here are some relevant sentences we hope you won’t need, but may want to know regardless:
- I seem to have a fever, can you check it for me?
Wǒ hǎoxiàng yǒudiǎn fāshāo, kěyǐ bāng wǒ jiǎnchá yīxià ma?
- Where is the clinic to get tested for fevers?
Nǎ li yǒu fārè ménzhěn?
- Please wash your hands
- Cover your mouth when sneezing
Dǎ pēntì de shíhòu qǐng wǔ zhù zuǐ
We’re preparing different scenario’s for classes after the holidays, but obviously we’re hoping everything has returned to usual by then. We will keep you updated. Stay safe and keep calm. We’ll see this one through, 好吗？