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News of the Coronavirus is just about everywhere at the moment. It has truly taken the entire world by storm now as more and more cases are found each day. But how is this affecting the world of online ESL teaching today?

Coronavirus - what is it?

The Coronavirus as I am sure you will now know, is a Zoonotic virus meaning that it is a virus that is only transmitted from animals to people.  It is reported that this transmission occurred in a food market in Wuhan in China where bats and Civet cats were being sold in a Wuhan food market as a Chinese delicacy to celebrate Chinese new year.

The family of Coronaviruses

What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus?


The current known symptoms of Coronavirus are a severe cough, fever and a difficult to acute problem with breathing, indicated by a shortness of breath. Currently the incubation period is reported to be two weeks, however due to the speed at which the Coronavirus has spread, medical experts and the World Health Organisation in particular are suggesting that it is quite possible that this virus which they thought maybe just ‘ a spark could possibly become a fire’ and quite possibly, if this grows to that size, impossible to track for the process of isolation and incubation at pre-detection stage. The World Health Organisation has now given the Coronavirus it’s own name which is COVID-19.

The new coronavirus now has it’s own name because the name Coronavirus actually relates to a family of Viruses. This new name is COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 is the new name of the virus in China.
  • The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease.
  • WHO officials wanted a name that doesn’t refer to a geographical location, animals, an individual or a group of people.
Source- Center for Disease Control and Prevention:USA Today

How is the Coronavirus affecting China?

People in China in particular have been heavily affected with now over 40,000 cases and almost 1000 on the death toll which continues to rise as this International epidemic with no current vaccine continues to sweep the world. 

All people within Mainland China have to now:

  •  Stay inside, with only one visiting household member being allowed to exit the household to make food purchases, in what is now a legally obligatory population of surgical mask wearers.
  • Wear a surgical face mask, at all times in public.
  • Must not leave China.
  • Must wash their hands regularly.
  • Must stay at home, inside until further notice is given.

Reported deaths from the Daily Mail

All people within Mainland China have to now stay inside, with only one visiting household member being allowed to exit the household to make food purchases, in what is now a legally obligatory population of surgical mask wearers. All children in China have been given extended leave at home as have most employees and workers whilst the emergency services of China continue to bravely manage this International epidemic. This has been exampled by China building a hospital in just ten days to respond to the growing number of people, falling ill with the  Coronavirus.

Hospital construction in Wuhan on Jan. 24.Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The same site on Sunday.Credit...Getty Images

China has now launched an official Corona app which shows the updates hourly of the situation surronding the Coronavirus.


Coronavirus and the world outside of China

The Coronavirus has spread to many countries outside of China. In Britain, a business man has survived the Coronavirus after leaving China and returning to the UK where he was quarantined and treated for the virus. 

Coronavirus in the _UK

Other reports from the UK have been that schools and doctors surgeries have closed, after British children returning from a school trip to China. 

But how is this affecting the ESL workplace and should you worry about your job?

Well as China finds itself in Coronavirus crisis, now the rest of the world has followed. 

Many ESL platforms have been showing signs of economic deflation, laying off lots of teachers and others just not getting the bookings. Some companies have suspended teachers being able to book lessons altogether with clients cancelling contracts due to huge medical bills and job losses. But this is not just affecting China.

Schools, shops, Universities and many more everyday establishments all over the world have closed. The window to most countries in the world right now is through online technology, online lessons and social media and because of this pandemic, how people interact and more importantly how learning is being delivered now and in the future is already changing.

Private online tutors have been inundated with work, bookings and requests for larger educational bodies to provide resources for them. Students all over the wold who were formely learning in languages schools are looking for online classes that are both: 1) affordable and 2) Specific to their learning needs.

You can find out more how private tutors find their clients here.

Many of the top, ESL platforms are using this awful epidemic to give students even more opportunity to practice and expand their English learning but in a bid to keep their businesses going they are offering the classes for free.  For foreign ESL teachers this has had consequent affects on their income.

Being in quarantine  has enabled many families and students to do their own research on classes and families and students are finding that taking more online lessons has given them an opportunity to focus on something else other than the Coronavirus as well as the perfecting solution to utilising all that extra time currently at home. You can check out the Digiteachonline pathway to getting started yourself if you haven’ t done so already  and don’t forget to subscribe as we also email our private job listings and student requests to our subscribers only 🙂 

So what's the general message?

The general message that the top ESL companies are asking that online English teachers do are the following: 

  • Be happy, positive and encouraging as always. 
  • Ask the students to keep washing their hands and to remind them to wear their masks if in public. 
  • You can discuss the illness ny showing warmth, kindness and giving helpful reminders, such as:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with sanitiser or alcohol.
  •  Cover your mouth if inside with your hand or cough into a tissue.
  • Wear protective clothing if handling livestock.
  • Make sure you wash your food thoroughly.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have flu like symptons.

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