Mason Student Jiahao Guo uses international connections to aid in crisis

Hannah Libby | Staff Writer

Junior Jiahao Guo has been spending his break at home looking abroad for ways to help with the COVID-19 mask shortages. 

Guo started this project when the COVID-19 outbreak was escalating to international concern in China back in early March. He initially posted large dark intentional posters around the school trying to gain traction to help donate medical supplies and masks to China. 

“Before school was let out in early March, our goal was to gather medical supplies to donate to Chinese hospitals to help with the outbreak,” Guo said. “But with China going back to their everyday lives we decided we needed them here more considering the massive shortage of medical supplies.”

Guo is working with fellow Mason Junior Rogkai Yu in order to gather donations and help their entirely student-led and student-run organization called the Coronavirus Relief Project. He also has been working with his friend Haoyang Tian of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China to receive supplies.

They have been receiving three types of medical-grade masks: N95 masks which are what the US uses generally, K95 masks, which the FDA recently approved for medical use here in the United States, and general procedural medical-grade masks. 

“Haoyang Tian is buying masks from medical grade stores in Beijing and shipping them to us here because ironically the only place you can buy them now is China,” Guo said. “Right now we have over 500 N95 and KN95 masks and over 2,000 general procedural masks to donate to UC (University of Cincinnati) Health.”

The dedication and effort put into this organization is put in by students. Guo and his cohort need all the help they can get in order to keep the pace going on this project.

“We have a website, an Instagram, @coronavirusreliefproject, and a GoFundMe that we would appreciate any support on,” Guo said. “ It can take up to a week for packages to arrive, but our goal is to keep them coming.”

Photos contributed by Jiahao Guo.