Self-Quarantine Story of a Chinese Family Infected by Covid19 Virus

wanqianSource: Personal Weibo of QianWan, instructor of architecture

Translated excerpts from Phoenix TV Starface, written by YeShan, translated by Xiaotang Jiang, lightly edited by Max Kesin

Published on


Qian Wan (Wan), an instructor of architecture, in his mid 40s and lives with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law.

Wan’s wife is a doctor in a Wuhan hospital. At the beginning of the epidemic, his wife was doing virus infection testing at a hospital.

On January 23, in order to prevent problems beforehand, the director of his wife’s department, asked the staff and their families to get tested. Unexpectedly, her entire family has been diagnosed positive.

At the time medical resources were limited and hospital beds were in short supply. Since they were lower risk patients, they decided to quarantine at home and take medicine as prescribed by their doctor.

The diagnosis of the entire family meant that the patient cannot get all of the family’s attention and sometimes has to face difficulties alone. Wan, as the head of the family, can also sometimes be weak and self-doubtful. However his performance was exceptional. He and his family demonstrated a “textbook-like self-quarantine”

Wan is a rational person. He set himself a goal: “Protect yourself, in order to protect your family and others. How do I do it?”

“To protect yourself, first be calm and rational. Calmly analyze your illness, review the conditions of your family, analyze the various coping strategies, and make the most reasonable choices.”

First of all, they made an inventory of home supplies. Even before receiving the diagnosis the doctor wife had prepared enough toilet paper, alcohol, bleach, masks, and large garbage bags.

Then, Wan thought: a family of four are all patients, and whose fitness is relatively better?
Wan exercises regularly, swimming 4 times a week. Good exercise habits allow Wan to maintain good fitness and immunity.
Naturally Wan took the responsibility of the kitchen and bathroom cleaning.

In addition, while their symptoms were still mild, Wan and his wife made many plans.
The wife printed a sheet for taking medicine. It is marked with the times of medicines taken each day, hour and precautions. Tick it every time you take medicine. This is especially necessary for the elderly and children, to avoid forgetting or taking the wrong medicine.

Wan was also wondere: if the whole family gets worse at the same point, how to ensure the nutrition of the whole family? So he prepared a big bucket to prepare a large chicken soup. Without appetite, chicken soup can ensure basic nutrition and everyone has energy to carry on.

Extraordinary times also require extraordinary measures. To avoid cross-infection, the whole family decided to live separately. The mother-in-law lived in a separate room downstairs, and Wan and her daughter lived upstairs (wife was also isolated at home at the beginning, and then admitted to the hospital for treatment due to bilateral lung infection).

The washbasin, water cup and tableware used by everyone should be strictly distinguished, and to be boiled in boiling water. Mobile phones should also be disinfected with alcohol everyday. They wore masks even at home to prevent droplets from staying on the air and objects.

Wan video chatted with his mother-in-law every day to confirm her physical and mental state.

He paid great attention to disinfecting the toilet. There was research at that time that showed that the waste contained a virus, even aerosol transmission was suspected. A large amount of virus is excreted every day by his family. In order to prevent the virus from spreading, Wan strictly disinfected it according to the guidelines.

Masks and used paper towels will not be thrown into the public trash bins. Because tons of droplets on the masks and domestic garbage, once people touch it, the consequences are severe. Wan asked the entire family to use bleach to disinfect used masks. The small bag of garbage containing domestic waste is then packed and placed in a large garbage bag, to be disposed of after 20 minutes of disinfection.He also reminded the sanitation workers about the garbage bag: it is disinfected, still do not touch the inside.

A small move, rigorous and caring, to protect others.

January 24, Wan was diagnosed and started racing against time.

He tried to prepare everything he could before the worst onset. Arrangement of room, medication plan, diet preparation, disinfection and sanitation ……. While supplementing nutrition, he insisted on bed rest. Because he knew it would be a hard battle, he had to save energy.

January 28 was the hardest day for Wan.
A high fever started in the early morning and lasted for more than an hour. The body was out of control, but the consciousness was sober.
When someone asked him if he was worried about a high fever, he said lightly: I was never very worried because I have confidence in my body.

After the fever had gone down, he knew the worst was behind him.

From January 29th through February 4th, the virus and his body function continued to fight. Body temperature was continuously high and low. He stabilized the mentality of his family, watched his favorite movies, his daughter watched cartoons, his mother-in-law was bedridden, and his wife was treated in the hospital … He believed that as long as he followed the steps to live a good daily life, he had hope.

On February 4, the temperature of Wan and his family began to return to normal, and his lungs also recovered. This positive feedback continued from there.

Throughout the whole experience, Wan faced mood swings and self-doubts.
It’s not that he had no break down moment which is more due to his distrust of himself. He suspects that the knowledge and common sense in the brain will be overturned by this epidemic. But after hesitation, he figured out the nature of fear. “Fear is the most terrifying existence for everyone in the community. Facing panic, you will lose all reason, and only rely on the original desire to survive. The most important thing is the mentality. Don’t let anxiety get you while you are sick.”

He told himself: “Hope always exists. Once the medical system eases from the initial overload, it can play a normal role in dealing with the disease, and the vast majority of patients will be cured.”

Fate continued to play a joke on him. On February 15, the whole family went to the hospital for a nucleic acid test. The results remained positive, and they were still carriers of the virus. Wan had to move to a designated isolated hotel. He himself knew very well: “Whether it is negative” is only a matter of time, because the whole family was indeed recovering. The wife treated in the hospital is about to recover and be discharged.

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