SACRAMENTO, Calif — Jeffrey Ho has been keeping busy this week documenting his life on Instagram. He's sleeping in a hotel room, receiving three meals a day, and has time to do various activities in case he gets bored.
Ho is one of more than 233 Americans quarantined at Travis Air Force Base after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the novel coronavirous outbreak that has killed more than 1,100 people and sickened 45,000 others.
"I have family asking me about how I am doing, what's going on here," Ho explained to ABC10 in a Facetime interview. "So I might as well write a daily diary on Instagram with pictures to show what's happening here."
Ho and his wife took their one-year-old baby to Wuhan to see her grandparents. After Chinese New Year, the city in which his family was staying was put on lockdown, so he reached out the U.S. for a possible flight back.
For some time, Ho said he wasn't sure that he would even be able to get a flight back. It did, but he was the only one of his family on it. His wife decided to stay in China with their one-year-old and their family.
"I was quite on edge during the whole time," Ho said of trying to get back to America. "I couldn't even get a straight answer on whether or not the flight would happen or how they would deal with the road blocks."
Last week, in two separate trips days apart, Ho and 232 people were flown from China to Travis Air Force Base for quarantine. Five of them were taken to the hospital after showing symptoms of the virus, but tests came up negative and they have since returned to quarantine.
Thirteen people in the U.S. have confirmed to have the virus, a small number compared to the 44,730 confirmed cases in China.
Only 441 cases have been confirmed outside of China, and only one death. The place with the second most cases of coronavirus is the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship, which is currently under quarantine while docked in Japan.
Thousands of passengers are days into their quarantine, including a couple from Sacramento.
Matthew Smith and his wife, who are both attorneys in Sacrametnto, did not hear about the coronavirus until they were already aboard the cruise ship. Now, a more than a week into quarantine, Smith said they are just trying to get through each day by staying busy.
"You know, if there's anyone on the planet who ever imagined a situation like this, I'm going to shake their hand, because no — there's no way," Smith told ABC10 in a Facetime interview.
Despite the situation, Smith said that he considers himself one of the lucky passengers, because some on board are staying in interior cabins with no windows, natural light or fresh air.
So for now, they wait.
"We're just padding around our cabin, trying to keep busy and trying to hold out," Smith sad. "So hopefully we get released next Wednesday."
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Fairfield, California, Jeffery Ho is trying to keep the same mindset while quarantined at Travis Air Force Base.
"Whether you like it, hate it, scared of it — might as well enjoy it," Ho said. "Just think of it like a vacation for two weeks, having everything prepare for you. It's more relaxing to think of it as a vacation then thinking that I am trapped."
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