SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — China reported no new cases last week for the first time as the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak – is close to lifting lockdown orders.
On Thursday, KRON4 spoke with a Marin County man who has been living under quarantine in Wuhan for more than two months.
He said life is slowly getting back to normal and there may be a glimmer of hope for us here at home.
“The situation has been improving a lot,” Doug Perez said.
Speaking from Wuhan, China – ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perez has been living through the height of it all.
“Knowing what you know now, what you’ve been through, what can you tell people back home?” KRON4’s Gayle Ong asked.
“Definitely take this seriously,” he said.
The Marin County native is referring to the stay at home order guidelines.
Perez has been living and working in Wuhan the past two years.
KRON4 spoke to him last month after the number of cases started to rise, then prompting a state – imposed lockdown on Jan. 23.
Rather than flee, Perez stayed behind with his girlfriend.
They’ve been living under quarantine for more than two months.
“In Califorina, if you just take that quarantine very seriously, if compliance is high, maybe two months, it will be a completely different story,” Perez said.
Last week, China reported no new cases for the first time.
Restrictions are starting to get lifted.
“A lot more people, a lot more activity, even some light traffic, deliveries,” Perez said. “We can order food. the food will arrive in 15 minutes, even groceries.”
As the novel coronavirus spreads, countries around the world are looking to China.
On Thursday, the United States surged past China and Italy with the most COVID-19 infections.
“That’s not necessarily that surprising,” Nicholas Jewell said. “We’re the third largest country in the world for population.”
Jewell is a Professor of Biostatistics at U.C. Berkeley and an infectious disease epidemiological statistician at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
He said while the U.S. may not have strict rules like China, people need to get ready for the unknown.
“You need to prepare for the long haul. These orders in California and elsewhere around the U.S. have been put in place for a few weeks,” Jewell said. “I think we need to prepare for much longer than that.”
Perez said the situation there is a sign of hope.
“I think compliance is really important,” he said. “If you just want to get this over with, just stay at home and I guarantee it in two to three months, you’ll be through that’s at least the way it seems now in China.”
China will lift Wuhan’s lockdown on April 8. Doug is looking forward to that.
Professor Jewell said in a week or two, we can expect to see if social distancing here is having an impact on flattening the curve.
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