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Lifelong Muskoka resident teaching in China caught in quarantine

A Muskoka resident is caught in the middle of the Novel Coronavirus quarantine in China.

Dan Kretschmer of Severn Bridge has been in China for three years teaching Kindergarten English. He is living in a city of one hour west of Shanghai and describes the experience as unprecedented.

The government has shut down the highways and subways into Shanghai. Movie theatres, cultural centres, and other public gathering places are also closed.

In order to stay safe, Kretschmer is limiting his contact with others as he ventures out of his apartment wearing gloves and a mask.

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When he returns, he leaves his gloves and shoes outside his home to reduce the threat of contracting the virus and he washes his hands and face thoroughly.

Kretschmer has been documenting his time in China during the Coronavirus outbreak with his YouTube channel. In one of his videos, he shows his walk to the grocery store during the quarantine. In the video, he mentions how the city has a population of one million but notes how quiet the streets are even though it is Chinese New Year.  He says the city is relatively new and that a lot of its residents are not from there and have travelled to their home provinces for the holiday.  Kretschmer pointed out that even with the holiday the empty streets and stores are very different because of the outbreak and described the city as being a “ghost town.”

On Tuesday Kretschmer told the newsroom he is currently not overly concerned about his health but if the situation worsens, he would be ready to get on a plane and head somewhere. He said that he doesn’t want to leave because if he is infected, he does not want to spread the disease, because it can take up to 14 days to show symptoms.

In a follow-up Facebook message on Wednesday when asked if the Canadian government were to evacuate Canadian citizens he said he is monitoring the situation closely, “If they are going to evacuate citizens from all of China I would certainly register,” he said. “As of now, countries are only evacuating citizens from Hubei province and Wuhan.” Kretschmer added that he will decide in the next few days if he will buy a ticket on his own to come back home.

He notes the quarantine has affected his work life as well. Usually, he would return to work at the school after Chinese New Year on February 3rd. The government has, as a precaution, ordered schools to remain closed for another two weeks.

Kretschmer says he is healthy and will continue to record his experience in China during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you are interested in following Dan check out his YouTube channel.

Written by Nathan Shubert

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