A few weeks ago when I heard about a mysterious virus from Wuhan, I did not anticipate entire cities with tens of millions of people being quarantined. I did not anticipate the virus spreading throughout China, and talking with students who were clearly afraid of the situation. However, as the virus has continued to spread, it spread to Taiwan and has so far infected about eight people.
After visiting a local night market, I was reminded of the perfect conditions for a virus to spread here. I love night markets and the public transportation in Taiwan, but it seems perfect for an infection to obtain targets. People are in close quarters talking, breathing, and eating on top of each other. The atmosphere in night markets is awesome, just not during an unknown epidemic from China. Since I do not have a long-term place with good food and water supplies, I have decided to return to United States in case the outbreak here becomes worse.
It pains me to leave Taiwan after being here for merely a month. My plan was to stay for at least six months. While here, I planned on working on my Mandarin, meeting interesting people, and having novel experiences. I have successfully been accomplishing those goals, but the Coronavirus has changed my trajectory. For now I will assess the situation until I leave, and I hope to return soon.