Coronavirus | Voluntary quarantine in Madrid after traveling to China: “I lock myself in responsibility” | Society


When Nan Yong landed in Madrid on Wednesday, his relatives were waiting for him with masks and the keys of two cars. In the first, everyone who welcomed him returned after Having spent several weeks in Wenzhou (Zhejiang, China). In the other, Nan returned only to the house where he will be locked up for at least two weeks. “It is the only way to prevent a possible infection,” says this 49-year-old wholesaler. Although he doesn’t believe he has been infected with the coronavirus, the epidemic that has caused more than 560 deaths and that affects more than 28,100 peopleHe says it’s the most sensible thing. “I lock myself in my house for responsibility. If I’m sick, I don’t want to infect anyone,” Nan explains by phone. On its calendar, it marks the second day of voluntary quarantine in black. Like him, dozens of Chinese remain isolated in their homes for 14 days, the incubation time estimated by scientists. They are at least 61, according to a list handled by those affected, mostly in Madrid. For now, none has presented the symptomatology of the virus.

The calendar of the voluntary quarantine of Nan Yong. So far, there are only two days crossed out.


The calendar of the voluntary quarantine of Nan Yong. So far, there are only two days crossed out.

Nan has not yet had time to get bored, he says from his apartment in the center of Madrid. Read everything related to the coronavirus daily, measure the temperature three times a day, eat and rest. He went to China to visit his elderly parents, when the news had not yet reached the front pages of all media. Once there, the cities began to shield themselves and chaos reigned. To return to Spain, where he has lived for 30 years, he had to ask for three permits. “I told the authorities that I had not even left Wenzhou but it was not enough. My neighbors had to confirm it. And they tested me before getting on the plane.”

At that moment he realized “the magnitude “of the epidemic and He decided to mobilize his relatives based in Madrid to prepare everything. Masks, food and thermometer: all ready for a homemade quarantine. In your suitcase, books and clothes for the next few weeks. And if you need to buy something? “I am in virtual contact with my family,” he replies. “You can leave it at the door, as you will do with food.” Everything is planned: every three days the telephone will ring, Nan will wait a reasonable time for them to have room and can move away and then open the door. Hanging on the handlebars, a package with food for the next few days or any last minute order.

Nan Yong's provisions during his quarantine.


Nan Yong’s provisions during his quarantine.

“I’m not worried. I know I don’t have the symptoms, but it’s what we should all do,” he adds. Chen Enguan, vice president of the Chinese Association of Spain, disagrees. Although he thinks he is very responsible for his part, he does not believe that everyone who comes from China has to do the same. “We don’t force them, it’s voluntary. We would only force them to do so if any of them had symptoms.” According to Chen, this association has been advising those who come back from China for weeks about the preventive measures they should adopt and has even helped pay the rent of a house to members of the Chinese community who wanted to isolate themselves and did not have a second home in the To be able to complete the quarantine without putting the rest of the family members at risk.

A He Shaoqin her husband did not go to the airport to find her in order to avoid danger. So this 50-year-old woman took a taxi with her sister as soon as she landed from Wenzhou to her home in Parla, where she lives since she arrived in Spain in 2007. Her husband had left before with relatives, who they will host while the quarantine lasts. They are already halfway to normal. They only have one week left. “Here we only eat and sleep,” says the wholesaler, laughing. He had traveled to his country to visit his parents. They are not nervous or worried. Although they are cautious. Twice a day they take the temperature and inform their relatives. They also ration the food supplies that his sister-in-law left prepared.

None of them have been victims of racism and the wave of discrimination suffered by the Chinese community, against which it has begun the #yonosoyunvirus campaign in social networks. Nan remembers how he crossed customs with fear of being arrested. A large number of agents waited with face masks. “They were very kind. They gave me good morning and I smiled at them.” Chen adds that discriminatory comments are not as frequent. “In Spain they have always treated us very well.”

The thermometer of the sisters He.


The thermometer of the sisters He.

The social networks of these Chinese are a comings and goings of quarantine photos and messages of support. In the pictures, boxes full of fruits, cereals, eggs and drinks. “My family and I have arrived safe and sound in Madrid. The food is prepared for isolation. It is everyone’s responsibility and task. Cheer up, Wuhan!” Reads one of the messages published in Wechat, the main Chinese social network. In another photo, a bag with food hangs on a door. “Thank you for the great service,” says one user alluding to volunteers who distribute food to some of the compatriots without family in Spain.

And between messages and images, the list of isolated. Here are both the He and Nan sisters. Those who have joined the voluntary quarantine have been enrolling. Name, date of arrival in Madrid and number of people with whom they are locked. For now, the list has been filled up to number 61, but remains blank until 70, as if expecting new additions.

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