CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A couple of Hampton Roads students are stuck overseas in China due to the coronavirus.
They attend a private school in Chesapeake, but there’s no telling when they’ll be able to return.
The students go to Veritas Collegiate Academy and both are currently under quarantine.
The school is stepping in to help. Students and staff are raising money to send medical supplies to the region.
“We thought it would probably be a delay, but nothing like this,” said Poncho McGhee, head basketball coach at the school.
Staff members told 10 On Your Side they’re anxiously waiting for the arrival of two students: Jeremy, who was visiting his family for the Chinese New Year, and Kristin, a transfer student from one of their campuses in China.
Kristin is in Wuhan, where the virus outbreak was first identified.
“She’s obviously not allowed out,” said Maria Elgut, co-founder of Veritas. “From what she’s saying, one member of her family is allowed to leave the apartment once a week.”
In a video message, Kristin asked her school for help in getting much-needed protective gear and medical supplies — so the Veritas community started fundraising.
So far, the campuses have raised an estimated $20,000 through pledged donations.
For Jeremy and Kristin’s classmates, the health crisis that seemed so far away has hit home.
“The situation is pretty bad and there are doctors and nurses working at hospitals fighting against the virus,” said student Frank Kai Yang.
Anna Yemelianova, another student, said the Veritas community is like family.
“She is like a sister to us and the whole student body and faculty. We need to help them and we need to help all these people there,” Yemelianova said.
School leaders said what’s happening overseas goes beyond their connection to the crisis.
“I think this is a humanity thing,” said Dr. Leon Xie, a board member for the Chesapeake campus. “If China successfully contains this virus, then the whole world will benefit from this.”
They’re optimistic about the future.
“We believe everything is in God’s hands. We’re making the most of it,” Elgut said. “We’re going to get through this together.”
Veritas is working with a charity called Hungarian Baptist Aid to get the supplies purchased and delivered to China.
If you’d like to help, click here.
You can check out the coronavirus tracking map here.
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