Unfinished adventure due to corona virus 1

Unfinished adventure due to corona virus 1

Jaden Taylor breathed a sigh of relief when returning to the US after a 12-hour flight that took him out of Shanghai, ending his `adventure` in China.

Taylor took off his mask and smiled at the customs officer who was giving him a thumbs up at Los Angeles International Airport, California on the morning of February 2.

Jaden Taylor wearing a mask left Los Angeles International Airport, California on the morning of February 2.

Taylor was among the last group of Americans evacuated from China after the pneumonia epidemic caused by the new coronavirus (nCoV) broke out in the country.

`It was a bit strange that the airport staff didn’t ask me anything. I felt very lucky because before that I thought I would definitely be sent to quarantine,` Taylor happily shared.

This former high school student in Portland, Oregon is one of thousands of international students studying exchange programs in China.

The 17-year-old boy is the only American international student in Anhui province, located adjacent to Hubei, where the pneumonia epidemic started.

`I thought it was an exciting adventure to go to a place that was completely foreign to me. I didn’t know what lay ahead,` said Taylor, an exchange student in the American Field Service (AFS – organization) program.

The 17-year-old male student left for China last August and lived with a host family in Wuhu city.

He made some Chinese friends and tried new dishes like turtle meat and beef stomach.

Taylor first learned about the coronavirus in early January, when a Chinese teacher sent an email informing him about the disease spreading in Wuhan, the capital of neighboring Hubei province.

On January 20, the coronavirus spread to other countries, while China reported hundreds of people infected and the death toll increased from three to 17 in just a few days.

On January 23, Wuhan city was placed under a blockade and completely closed.

Karin Berardo, Taylor’s mother, also couldn’t help but feel worried but did not want to reveal it to her child.

Wuhu, located more than 480 km northeast of Wuhan, is not blocked but is still affected by the epidemic.

Taylor’s friends all contacted him via Snapchat and WhatsApp because they were worried that staying in China at this time was too risky.

Not knowing what to do, Taylor could only watch news on Reddit and wait for mail from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Unfinished adventure due to corona virus

Taylor sat and talked with her mother at Los Angleles International Airport, California on the morning of February 2.

Meanwhile in Washington, Taylor’s mother contacted the AFS organization to understand the situation.

On January 26, after learning that 56 million people were blocked in China, Karin immediately contacted AFS representatives in New York to request that her son be returned to the US as soon as possible.

She feared that Taylor could be trapped in one of the world’s largest cities, where many virus cases have been recorded.

Taylor booked an American Airline flight scheduled to take off on February 2, but on the afternoon of January 31, the airline announced the cancellation because of temporary service suspension in China.

Before leaving, Taylor snuck out of the apartment to say goodbye to her Chinese friends and take a few photos of the deserted Wuhu city.

People who picked up Taylor feared they would be delayed if more routes were closed.

`I was very stressed and worried,` Taylor wrote in the diary he wanted to use to record his final hours in China.

Near 0:30 a.m. on February 2, when they arrived at Nanjing airport, the police asked them to stop the car.

Taylor wasn’t sure what was going on, but he felt fine.

Four hours after departure, they completed the nearly 100 km journey and arrived at the empty airport at 2am.

The employee wanted to know if he still wanted to go to Shanghai, but Taylor understood he couldn’t turn back.

At Los Angeles airport, Taylor stood at the checkpoint for passengers entering the US, took off his mask and waited his turn.

`At other checkpoints, anyone wearing a mask or coming from China was asked about where they had gone and why, but not me,` Taylor recounted.

He quickly put his mask back on when leaving the airport, but then realized he was no longer in the middle of an epidemic area.

Unfinished adventure due to corona virus

Wuhu City, Anhui Province, China is empty in Taylor’s phone photo.

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