Wuhan couple describe life in quarantine amidst coronavirus

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  • Business Insider spoke to a couple living in Wuhan under strict quarantine, who described what their life had been like since the coronavirus epidemic.
  • As of February 15, the death toll worldwide has reached more than 1,500, including more than 66,000 people infected.
  • The majority of the cases are concentrated in China, but the virus has also spread to 25 other countries.
  • The couple stressed that it is important that the world does not panic. The virus is one thing, they said, but fear of the virus is another epidemic in itself.
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.

Eleven million people live and work in Wuhan, China. But as the coronavirus epidemic continues, Wuhan - the epicenter of what is now known as the COVID-19 virus - has become a ghost town. Chinese authorities do not allow anyone to exit or enter, according to the rigidity of the city's quarantine protocol, which began in late January.

Since December, the coronavirus has spread around the world. As of February 15, the death toll worldwide has reached more than 1,500, including more than 66,000 people infected in 25 other countries.

Business Insider spoke to a couple who prefer to remain anonymous, live in Wuhan and have been quarantined in their home for 23 days. They said they lived a life of uncertainty - no one knows what to do or how long they will be forced to stay at home.

The only contact with the outside world is via the Internet, they told Business Insider. It was also how the couple discovered that three of their friends had died of the virus - among them, one of their oldest friends.

To pass the time, the couple said that they watch a lot of television, but what is broadcast there does not correspond to their reality, they said, noting that the Chinese media mainly convey positive reports and say that everything is under control.

If there are people in a building who are infected with coronavirus, the houses are marked and the doors locked like a prison, they said.

At the start of their forties, the couple said they could make a living from the food they had bought for Chinese New Year in January. But as resources have been depleted, they depend on ordering food online, and it is delivered right outside the door. One of them puts on protective clothing - a mask, gloves and goggles - to pick up the delivery at the entrance and carry it around the apartment.

However, this is not the case for everyone in Wuhan. Some still go to supermarkets despite the increased risk of infection.

The couple said the Wuhan government would likely impose a strict ban to prevent people from leaving the home, with police patrolling the streets to enforce it.

However, the couple stressed that it is important that the world does not panic. The virus is one thing, they said, but fear of the virus is another epidemic in itself.

Lauren Frias contributed to this report.

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