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Wuhan to Trenton to Calgary: Alberta family experiences coronavirus quarantine 3 times

Wuhan to Trenton to Calgary: The experience of isolation for a third time
WATCH: A Calgary family is more experienced than most when it come to isolation. Bin Zhang and his family have been through several stages of quarantine in three different parts of the world. Jill Croteau reports.

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.

READ MORE: Quarantined after coronavirus outbreak, Calgary family ‘really glad to be back’

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.

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The Zhangs, along with other travellers, were then quarantined for two weeks at CFB Trenton in Ontario.

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“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.”

READ MORE: ‘I definitely fear for their health’: Young Calgary family trapped in Wuhan faces being separated

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.

Calgary family prepares for long trip back from Wuhan
Calgary family prepares for long trip back from Wuhan

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.

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READ MORE: Alberta has 195 COVID-19 cases; some child care centres to reopen for essential service workers

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.