Local law student cannot return to studies in China due to COVID-19

Cash Barnes and his mother Carmen.

GORE BAY – Cash Barnes, who is originally from Manitoulin (and now lives in China where he attends university), will have to extend his visit to Gore Bay a while longer than he had expected due to the effects the COVID-19 outbreak has had on his travel plans. Mr. Barnes is also making plans to take online courses from his university to keep up his studies while he remains on the Island. 

“I arrived here in Canada on January 14 and I was supposed to return on February 20, but Air Canada cancelled the flights to China because of the outbreak (COVID-19),” Mr. Barnes, who is the son of Carmen Runnalls of Gore Bay, told the Recorder earlier this week.  

Mr. Barnes, who is 22 years old, lives in Shanghai, China with his father Lorne Barnes, a former resident of Evansville, and attends Jaiotong Law School in China. “Originally, Air Canada cancelled flights to China until the end of January but this has now been extended to April 10. I am in my third year at law school and in my second semester of this (school) year.”

“Originally, I should have started the second semester of the school year on February 24 but (with not being able to travel back to China) it (the school) is providing for some of my courses to be taken online,” Mr. Barnes told the Recorder. “I only have three or four of the 12 courses I signed up for online. I will have to take courses online three days a week. The school is offering the courses online at about two in the morning here in Canada. I’m talking to the school to see if they can record lessons for me so I can access them here during the day.”

Regardless of his being able to take some online courses, it will likely mean Mr. Barnes will have to extend his education. “It probably means I will have to continue my education about a year and a half longer than I had expected,” he said, pointing out the outbreak of COVID-19 is having its affects on people and businesses everywhere, like France, Iran, Japan, Korea, Italy, the US and Canada.” 

“I was lucky I left China when I did,” Mr. Barnes said. “I travelled to Canada before the outbreak occurred.”