WMU student stuck in China overcomes food shortage

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Western Michigan University student remains stuck in China as the country tries to contain COVID-19, a virulent strain of coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands and killed 1,100.

Dylan Tulett, a Grand Rapids native, has been studying Mandarin in the country for about a year and a half.

He was on break from his program in Beijing when travel restrictions went into effect, keeping him trapped in a village of 200 residents in southern China for nearly four weeks. The village has not had any suspected or confirmed cases of the virus.

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Dylan said that at one point, the family he is staying with ran out of food, though that is no longer an issue.

“We had to go like forage,” Tulett said. “We were climbing banana trees trying to get the flower buds to eat, which gave me a massive stomachache. And yeah, I can say I was pretty hungry for a couple days.”

Tulett was allowed through a checkpoint on Wednesday to purchase food from a nearby village and has a supply he says will last a couple of weeks.

Officials took his temperature at the roadblock and gave him surgical masks.

He was wanting to leave the country when food became scarce but now still plans to wait until his program starts up again in Beijing.

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