I didn’t sleep well at night, and I never felt that death was so close to everyone. I started to care more about my family. Although they are in Shanghai, a place that is not a severely affected area, I still told them not to go out. They must wear masks and wash their hands frequently when they go out. Gradually, the country began to stop transportation, schools began to suspend classes, and shops began to close doors, so that everyone stayed at home … to reduce the spread of the virus. It was the Spring Festival for China at that time.

I can foresee that this virus will spread quickly in the United States due to information released by the country and differences in mask culture. I started to remind my American classmates to remember to wear masks to protect themselves, and that this is a very serious thing. I started hoarding toilet paper, kitchen paper, hand sanitizer, alcohol cotton pads and spray. The war that belongs to me is about to begin. The epidemic in China has finally started to decrease, and the epidemic in other countries has indeed begun. As a lonely foreign student, even if I feel helpless currently, I must insist on living my own life. I started to pay attention to various local news, hoard food, and reduce going out. With the passage of time, now there are more cases in New York State than the whole of China. The cases in the United States are really developing faster than I thought. I am very worried about my plane ticket back to China in May because the United States is now considering blocking the airline transportation . . .

I will still have anxiety in the remaining month, but I hope I can enrich my life with homework, games and cooking. In fact, when I was writing this essay, I couldn’t stop crying. I can’t imagine how sad every family must be who lost their loved ones in this crisis. Some of the doctors and nurses who fought on the front line also devoted themselves heroically. The flowers outside are opening, the leaves are growing, everything is still recovering, but some people will never see those beautiful flowers again.

Xinyu Chen is a sophomore majoring in Illustration at SVA.