The Zhang family has been through so many stages of quarantine in recent months that it’s become almost too familiar.
Bin Zhang, along with his wife Emiley, their three-year-old daughter Aria and seven-month-old son Owen, had been visiting family in Wuhan, China from Calgary when the coronavirus outbreak began at the end of December.
“China is fighting this virus outbreak. They played the first half and the rest of the world is taking over the second half and my family — we are playing the whole game,” Zhang told Global News on Friday.
Zhang, who was born and raised in Wuhan, he said they were trapped indoors for weeks before being airlifted out on a flight organized by the Canadian government.
The Zhangs, along with other travellers, were then quarantined for two weeks at CFB Trenton in Ontario.
“We have been quarantined in three different places and with three different mentalities,” Zhang said.
“The one in Wuhan was the most scary because there was a lot of unknown. Once we got to Trenton, to the military base, we were quite relieved. But little did we know, once we got home now we are going to start in the third period.
“Our family is very resilient.”
The continuous cycle of the quarantine mindset has become routine and almost familiar to them.
Social distancing is their normal.
“To be honest, we had preparedness on our mind long before anyone else was thinking it because our mind was never off it,” Zhang said.
Zhang’s parents are still in Wuhan and now their focus and fear has shifted to Canada.
“They started to worry about us. My parents seriously said, ‘Maybe you should come back to Wuhan now,’ and I said, ‘No we are not,'” Zhang said.
“I try to block the panic and paranoia from my mind.”
The Zhangs, along with many other members of the Calgary Chinese community, raised $45,000 to help ship medical supplies to China when they were stuck in Wuhan.
They are working with the same group trying to secure supplies from China to Canada now, hoping for federal government support to help them with the border restrictions.