‘There is no going out’: US man stranded in China since December describes intense quarantine

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EVANSTON, Ill. — An Illinois husband and wife haven’t been home since December after making their annual trip to China.

Kurt Mitenbuler has been in nearly eight weeks of quarantine about 300 miles west of Wuhan — where COVID-19 originated, WGN reported.

Mitenbuler said he’s one of the luckier ones. He’s getting regular meals and is generally pretty relaxed about his extended stay in China.

“I knew a month ago that nobody was paying attention in America,” he said.

Mitenbuler has said it has gotten worse in the area he’s in since he started his quarantine.

“There is a gate. Initially we could go out a little to the grocery store, go for a walk, down by the river,” Mitenbuler said. “Like people just walking in circles in the parking lot. That’s our exercise.”

His village, with a population pushing 1,000,000, is on total lockdown in the Hubei Province.

“There is no going out,” Mitenbuler said. “If you decide to push it, the blue light specials would show up and you would be taken to jail.”

Over loudspeakers, the Chinese government has been blaring messages in the streets to stay home, avoid all contact with others and don’t talk to people.

Indoors, fog machines are blowing disinfectants.

“We’re lucky,” Mitenbuler said. “There are people stranded, sleeping under bridges.”

Mitenbuler said cabin fever doesn’t begin to describe what they are going through.



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