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Central Ohio Man is Leaving China As His Concerns About Coronavirus Grow

illustration of coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak in China has restricted travel both into and out of the country.

A Central Ohio man teaching in China said he’s ending his contract to come home early amid growing concerns about the quickly spreading coronavirus


Galloway native Samuel Kappes said he’s been confined to his apartment for 23 hours a day in the city of Nanchung. It’s the capital of the Jiangxi province, which sits just southeast of the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan. He spent much of Tuesday looking for flights home and hopes to leave as soon as this weekend.

“It’s getting worse. More and more cases are appearing every single day. It’s starting to make me a little more nervous every day,” Kappes said. 

He said he won’t be able to say goodbye to colleagues and students since they’re also isolated at home. He thinks Chinese health officials are doing all they can to contain the virus that’s killed more than 1,000 people.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and son. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.