When little Jaime suddenly fell ill, he began to worry that he might’ve caught COVID-19. He complained about a sore chest and pain in his stomach.
After a few days of feeling sick, he decided to confide in his nursery school teacher in hopes of getting some advice. But the teacher’s reaction wasn’t what he expected…
Jaime told his teacher that he thought he had the ‘coronavirus’ based on the symptoms that he was experiencing.
But the teacher didn’t take him seriously and just laughed it off. After all, the virus still hadn’t reached their part of the city yet. Jaime and his parents were living in Wuhan at the time, where Natalie was teaching English to local students.
The nursery teacher didn’t think it was necessary to inform Jaime’s mother that her son was feeling sick. She thought he was just lazy and told him to get back to work.
But unbeknownst to her, Natalie was in the process of arranging their return to the UK. The family was planning to leave in just a few days. But then, she received the call that turned her life upside down.
Natalie received a call from the government, and the person on the other end of the line informed her that Jaime was showing symptoms of COVID-19.
And, to make matters even worse, Jaime had a Chinese passport, which made the situation even more complicated.
British Nationals returning to the United Kingdon from Wuhan were top priority at the time. Jaime didn’t have a British passport.
Natalie was devastated. There was no way she could travel back home without her son. So, in the end, she remained in the city with Jamie and her husband. In frustration, she shared her story on Facebook, hoping that someone would be able to help them. But what did people think of her story?
It didn’t take long for the comments to roll in. People from all over the world sympathized with Natalie and her family.
Soon, a rumor began to circulate that the family was back home in the UK. And Natalie took it to Facebook to update everyone on the situation. “Hello, everyone!” she wrote. “This will be my last public FB post on the whole situation.”
“In conclusion, Jamie and I have arrived safely in the UK… we had a midnight dash to the airport and arrived in quarantine yesterday night,” she continued.
“Due to our last minute, we left with virtually nothing, but the clothes on our back but the wonderful staff at Wirral are taking care of us and providing our necessities.”
Another teacher who was living with his pregnant wife and child in Wuhan also got stuck at the epicenter of China’s coronavirus outbreak.
Tom Williams is a British expat who has been living and working in China for over five years.
His wife Lauren was about 35 weeks pregnant when she found out she had to quarantine in the city.
“We’re due to give birth in Wuhan. That’s becoming a little bit more risky as time goes on,” Tom said.
“It’s a changing picture. It’s changing everyday. New stuff and new guidelines going on.”
The couple contacted the emergency hotline for the Canadian embassy and was told that they would have to remain in Wuhan.
“There are no imminent plans to evacuate Canadians from the city,” Tom recalls, adding that they wanted to leave the city “as soon as possible.”
“If I have to stay behind, so be it. As long as my wife is guaranteed a safe birth.”
China had reported over 2,700 cases of COVID-19 at the time, with at least 80 deaths. Fortunately, local shops were still open and well-stocked, and Tom and his wife could buy all the necessary products.
However, some of the roads only allowed approved vehicles.
“If you are more central in the city or closer to the epicenter of the virus, then there are only approved vehicles allowed on those,” Tom said.
The Williams family wasn’t in the central part of the city, so cars were still allowed in their area.
Although the situation was “sad and upsetting,” Tom and his wife remained positive and kept themselves occupied with work during the lockdown.
“It is what it is. You can’t control these things sometimes,” he said. But what about the baby?
Tom’s wife gave birth to a healthy baby, and the family was able to return home a few months later.
After months of stress and worry, they finally sighed a breath of relief when they landed in Canada.