- An Irish teacher living in Wuhan, China, has been chronicling life under quarantine for Channel 4.
- In a video posted on YouTube this week, Ben Kavanaugh walked through deserted streets while venturing to the store to get food.
- He wore two masks, goggles, and gloves for the outing and picked up only processed food to avoid coming into contact with infected people or animals.
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An Irish teacher’s video blogs from within quarantined Wuhan, China, are giving outsiders a look at what life on lockdown is like.
Chinese officials put Wuhan – the nation’s seventh-largest city – on lockdown last week to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
Ben Kavanaugh’s first video about life under quarantine was posted by Channel 4 on January 26 and shows him venturing out into the deserted city to stock up on provisions at a grocery store.
Before leaving the house, Kavanaugh took precautions by doubling up on face masks, then putting on goggles and gloves.
He then met up with a friend and the two ventured to the grocery store with suitcases, so that they could stock up on enough food and household items to last them “weeks.”
On the walk to the grocery store, Kavanaugh noted that Wuhan is a city larger than London, and yet almost no one was out on the street in the morning. The roads were empty because drivers have been told they will be fined or have their licenses taken away, he said.
At the grocery store, he skipped the meat and produce aisles, likely because the virus has been traced back to a food market in Wuhan.
Instead, he stocked up on cookies, cereal, chips, eggs, soda, beer, and bacon.
The lines for the check-out are the longest he’d ever seen them, and customers were only allowed to do self-checkout.
On the way back to his apartment, Kavanaugh passed a pharmacy with a line of people out the door – one of the few signs of life in the city.
In his second video for the news outlet, which was posted on January 28, Kavanaugh cooked a bleak meal of pasta and hot dogs and talked about how foreign nationals like himself have been in constant communication with each other and their respective governments.
At one point, he talked about how American friends in a group chat were discussing their flight out of Wuhan.
Later in the video, Kavanaugh said he, too, was considering leaving, since the British and Irish governments are looking into evacuating their citizens.
He also revealed that it was his birthday, and cracked a joke about treating himself to a beer.
“Also it’s my birthday – what a fun birthday in quarantined Wuhan. It’s 9 o’clock in the p.m. so I think after almost a week of quarantine I deserve a birthday beer,” Kavanaugh said. “I thought Corona, maybe not given the situation, so I went with a different beer. Not Corona. To good health!”
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