Central New York Native Describes Life in China Under Coronavirus Quarantine
A Central New York native who now lives in China is sharing his experience living under the coronavirus quarantine, and it's fascinating.
This CNY native grew up in New York Mills, and after visiting in 2011, now lives in China, an hour outside of Beijing. He lives there with his wife and two-year-old daughter. He works as a school teacher.
This man and his family are headed into the fifth week of quarantine, as the Chinese government attempts to stop the spread of coronavirus, now officially called COVID-19. As of this writing, the China's National Health Commission says there have been 1,770 deaths, and 70,548 confirmed infections.
We've heard the word 'quarantine' thrown around - but what does that really mean for day-to-day life in cities?
He says he and his family have been confined to their apartment for most of the 28 days of the quarantine. He says the biggest challenge is keeping his two-year-old entertained.
"All entrances into the apartment are blocked off. The only way in or out is through a guarded main gate. Each household is allowed to choose one person to leave every two days. You can go to the supermarket, but you can't leave the neighborhood for more than two hours. There are security checks and temperature checks everywhere."
"When leaving the neighborhood you submit to a temperature/security check. You must have your neighborhood entry exit card. You can't get in or out without it. Supermarket entrance has another temperature check, you have to write down your name and telephone number. Then on the way back to your neighborhood, there's another check coming back in."
A trip to the grocery store - in fact, anywhere - means you have to wear a mask. "It's now illegal to go outside without a face mask. If someone sees you outside without a mask, they'll call the police"
"I was wearing that mask and helmet indoors. And I wasn't the craziest looking person"
We asked if families within the apartment buildings get together to keep each other entertained.
"No one talks to anyone. The (Chinese version of the) CDC has warned everyone to not talk to anyone. No shaking hands. No going to friends' houses. No visiting family."
"They have loudspeakers all over the city, telling people to wash their hands, wear a mask, don't shake anyone's hand, Don't go to crowded places, don't visit friends or relatives etc." The Chinese government is taking the coronavirus threat very seriously, taking every step to stop the spread.
Our CNY native says right now, the hope is that the quarantine will end sometime in March. "I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to get back to work"