COLUMBIA, S.C. — Ziang Zhang is a PhD Hospitality Management student at the University of South Carolina. He came to Columbia from China on a one year J-1 student vista. His wife, Jing Wang, joined him for new experiences in America.
In early January, Wang traveled back to her home in Shanghai for some scheduled doctors appointments and to visit. Her returning flight was booked for February 26th.
Since the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, travel bans are preventing her from getting back to the states.
"This is a very tough time for me, and I worry about her and also my family. I call her and call my family every day," Zhang says.
Wang is now quarantined with her family in her Shanghai home. Thankfully she is healthy and doing well, but Zhang fears he might have to wait until April to see his wife again.
"We encourage each other every day and we believe we need to be stronger in this difficult time."
That daily encouragement is what keeps them going in a time where the virus is taking over their country.
Zhang says they are both upset, worrying about each other, but holding out hope that the outbreak will be under control.
"It's difficult to see. It's like other disasters all over the world," he said. "I am not very scared of it. I want to try our best to fix it positively."
Zhang says all he can do at this point is pray. He will continue holding onto that hopefulness until his wife is back with him, safe in his arms.
More than 100 students from China are currently studying at The University of South Carolina. School officials say they are doing all they can to support those students while informing everyone to not worry about the outbreak beyond reason.