Just over 600 miles from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, Western Michigan student Dylan Tulett remains in a Village in southern China with no timeline for his return.
Tulett was studying Mandarin at Beijing Language and Culture University when the outbreak began. Currently, he is on a two-month break. He is waiting to hear back from WMU before his classes are set to begin on February 24.
"Just shortly after arriving here, I heard about the virus and after that they blocked off the road, so I’m stuck here for the month of February,” Tulett told WOOD-TV.
The road to the village where he is staying in southern China’s Guizhou Province has been blocked off to prevent the virus from spreading. Tulett has used this time to further immerse himself in Chinese culture.
“What a thrill to be living like the locals here in Guizhou province,” Tulett said on an Instagram post. “I couldn’t be in a better place here in China during the tragic time of the coronavirus. Come to China!”
According to WoodTV, none of the village’s 200 residents are infected.
As of now, up to 34,00 people are infected, while 723 individuals in China have died from the virus including one American. Most deaths have occurred in the Hubei province, an 11-hour drive from where Tulett is located.
WoodTV reported that Tulett has been in close contact with his study abroad adviser and hopes to continue his studies in Beijing.
A spokesperson for WMU confirmed there is a full-time WMU student enrolled in China.
“I can confirm that we do have a student who is in China, one student, and that we have been in regular contact with that individual,” Paula Davis, WMU director of communications, told Western Herald on Saturday. “There is no reason to believe that individual is in any immediate threat.”