A dream to work in Seoul, South Korea was cut short for a UTRGV alum, after the city turned into one of the central locations for the coronavirus.
“I left just in time before my flight was suspended. I was lucky there was a lot of people that did not make it out in time,” said Catherine Frazier. “I decided to come back when the numbers started to hit around the 600 hundreds–I pretty much came back before the number hit one thousand.”
The 22-year-old Brownsville native was teaching at a public school in Seoul under a teaching contract with the South Korean University.
After finding out teachers and others were placed under quarantine, Frazier made the decision to return to the Rio Grande Valley.
Frazier added that the majority of passengers on the flight back to the Valley traveled from both China and South Korea.
“I decided the best thing to do was to go under a voluntary quarantine because they didn’t test me. There was no way to get a test. I’m trying to see if I have symptoms. I don’t think I do. I’ve been cautious this whole time,” she explained.
UTRGV Associate Vice-President for Marketing and Communications Patrick Gonzalez said in a statement:
UTRGV continues to monitor the progression of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our local state and health authorities have relayed to us that currently there are no cases in the Rio Grande Valley and the risk to our campus community remains low. UTRGV will continue to coordinate with our local and state health authorities, so that we are prepared to mitigate the potential impact of the virus on our campus community.
Frazier says she has been in constant communication with UTRGV on her health. Her hope is that the virus gets controlled so she can resume her teaching.
“I think they’re definitely doing their best to make the faculty and students feel safe. I think that they’re just doing their best with the situation,” she said.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, all international and study abroad programs at UTRGV have been placed on hold for the semester until further notice.
Editor’s note: UTRGV has verified Frazier is not a currently an enrolled student, but is an alum.