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Watertown woman stuck inside her China apartment amidst coronavirus outbreak

“Life has changed a little bit for us because we can't go out like we used to. They limit who goes in, who goes out of the community."

HEBEI, China — Libby O'Connor from Watertown, Connecticut, has been teaching in China since July.  She’s been living with fellow teacher Emily Francis and Francis' husband. 

Since the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus has halted life in China, the three have been holed up in their apartment in Hebei Province, which is about four to five hours by bullet train outside of Wuhan. 

“Life has changed a little bit for us because we can't go out like we used to.  They limit who goes in, who goes out of the community.  We have to wear face masks, be really careful about washing our hands and who you come in contact with,” said Libby O'Connor.

“It's just to keep people safe, you know, to contain the spread.  Our city is not in any big danger.  We're pretty far from the outbreak, so there's not a lot to worry about over here,” added Emily Francis.

Provinces in China aren't taking any chances.  O'Connor and Francis shared their journey to the grocery store on YouTube, showing a temperature block.

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“Before you go into a community, they need to check your temperature to make sure you don't have a fever and a lot of them now have to have a little form that you fill out to say that you left or you came in,” said Francis.

When they got back to their apartment, O'Connor and Francis wiped everything down, washed their hands and washed their clothes.  Since they can't go to work because schools are closed, they're making the most of being home.

“We have to do video calls with my students, like I have to set up lesson plans, set up the camera, send over we chat videos to the students or set up times to video chat with them because we can't go to classes like we used to,” said O’Connor.

They’re working from home to make sure everyone stays healthy.

“We're being cautious, not anxious.  You take it one day at a time because you live here, you have to do what you have to do,” said O’Connor.