I am an international student currently in Boston. To be honest, I wasn't that surprised when the coronavirus was first declared a pandemic, because a lot of people weren't protecting themselves or being careful despite the numerous warnings about the virus. Since the coronavirus outbreak first appeared in China and because my family lives there, when the virus reached the United States, it wasn't scary for me at all, as I already understood what the situation was like from my relatives.
I don't have a choice but to stay here in Boston— I can't go back home to China because all of my flights have been cancelled. At first, I booked five flights, but all of them were cancelled. Since then, I have booked two more, but I think that they will also be cancelled. I tried booking from several different companies and have tried looking at several different countries to do transfer flights, ranging from Germany to Japan to Switzerland to Turkey— basically everywhere, but I still can't find a way home. I almost got tickets to transfer in CasaBlanca. I would have to wait in the CasaBlanca airport for 32 hours for a layover, but at least I would be headed home. I was trying to purchase the tickets, and then they eventually got cancelled.
I feel a bit frustrated and abandoned by my government. Even though I hold a Chinese passport, I still can't get back home. The Chinese government is trying to reduce the amount of international flights going to China, because they are worried about a potential second wave. Because of this same reason, a lot of people in China don't want international students to go back. It's been 9 months since I’ve been back home and I probably won't go back until next summer. I miss my family and the food in China so much.
Now that school is over, I don't have to wake up early in the mornings anymore, but otherwise it's pretty boring. I almost feel like an old person in retirement. I have mostly been sleeping, staring at the walls, and going crazy. I also started watching a lot of movies and TV shows, but I get bored pretty quickly. I really enjoy photography and I have still been taking a lot of photos which has been really nice.
When I go outside, I'm still a bit nervous about coming into contact with the virus, but I still go out anyway. I believe that in general, everyone is becoming more relaxed and less afraid of the coronavirus, but I fear that there might be a second wave.
Written by: Ellia Chiang