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ORU responds to coronavirus outbreak

On Jan. 30, ORU’s Chinese Arts and Culture Society held its annual Chinese New Year’s Dinner. Although the dinner is meant to be a celebration, its facilitators dedicated this year’s dinner to prayer in light of China’s coronavirus outbreak.

Attendees included Chinese class students, alumni and honored guests. They enjoyed a variety of Chinese dishes, including chicken stir fried noodles, fried pork and vegetable dumplings, teriyaki chicken stir fry, fried rice and tofu.

The night consisted of dinner and socializing, followed by worship in the Chinese language, testimonies, speakers, prayer, music performances and giveaways. Speakers and musicians included ORU students and two alumnae. Dr. Wonsuk Ma, dean of the college of theology, led the group in its prayer for China.

Countries have experienced the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a specific type of coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China and has now spread across borders to numerous other nations. As of Feb.17, the Chinese government reported 1,868 deaths and over 72,000 confirmed cases. The people of Wuhan have been under quarantine for three weeks, according to Business Insider.

Revealed at the dinner was that an ORU student, who recently returned from China, was put under off-campus voluntary quarantine for two weeks.

According to NewsOn6, “the student [was] not showing symptoms of coronavirus. [ORU] said the quarantine [was] only a precaution.”

In a statement made by ORU, the student is “in a quiet place where she has food, is comfortable and is able to take her classes online.”

In light of the virus outbreak, ORU’s study abroad trip to China has been canceled. The study abroad office and Jenny Fang, Director of Global Chinese Relations, are organizing a trip to Taiwan this summer in its place. In addition, the ORU missions team to China merged with the Taiwan team, a similar ministry.

Jane, one of the student testimony speakers at the Chinese Dinner, is currently an international student from China in her first semester at ORU, and she is also the first Christian in her family.

“Every day I experience miracles,” Jane said. “Teachers encourage me, and the students helped me in many aspects.”

According to the CDC, the virus is spread from person to person. It can be caught by physically touching infected persons or touching an object that contains the virus or through an infected person’s cough or sneeze. It can also be spread between people who are in close proximity, about a six feet distance, affecting the upper respiratory system.

The symptoms, ranging from mild to as severe as death, may not show until two to 14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, initial symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

There is currently no vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. The World Health Organization (WHO), however, has listed certain tips to prevent a coronavirus infection:

1.     Wash your hands frequently.

2.     Practice respiratory hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes.

3.     Give yourself at least three feet of personal space to prevent breathing the virus.

4.     Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and consuming raw or undercooked animal products.