Super Exclusive: Chennai man in China shares his survival story

Chennai: When Sanoob Thambi, a resident of East Tambaram, bid adieu to his family at the Chennai airport in December 2019, little did he know about what he was going to face in China.

The 29-year-old who left for Zhejiang with high hopes for a bright future had to confine himself for 17 days due to the coronavirus outbreak. In an interaction with News Today, he speaks about the days that he had to spend in lockdown and how things are there at present.

Q : How did you feel when you heard about the virus?
A: When I read news about the virus in the first week of January, it was just an information and never took it serious. But as days passed, by third week of January, intensity of the news was becoming very serious. Chinese government slowly started making lockdowns in the epicentre (Wuhan, Hubei), which is a little far from where I reside. Then the lockdown was implemented here as well from 25 January till 10 February. Since I was living alone, I felt a little worried. My marriage was planned to be held in my hometown in Kerala in June but as responsible citizens we have called it off.

Q: What did you do during the lockdown?
A: In the initial days I was very much frustrated since no one was there even to speak. I wanted some diversion, so I learnt how to engage myself by cooking and cleaning. I started reading a few books and engaged in exercising to ensure that I stayed healthy. Eventhough I was able to go out without much restrictions, I used to go out only once in 4-5 days to get the provisions that were needed. However, passing each day was a tough task. I had seen such things in Hollywood movies, but never thought I would live to see one.

Q: How did it work?
A: When China government introduced the lockdown, I was in an impression how this was going to work. But much to my surprise after just two weeks of lockdown we saw sharp decrease in confirmed cases within China. With no cure yet, lockdown is the only choice to safeguard us. All the areas were sprayed with disinfectant. Neighbours were not allowed to visit their friends. Only people living in their respective apartments were allowed inside. Temperature check at the time of entry in all the places (apartments, supermarkets, factories etc.) was introduced.

Q: How did you feel when you were allowed to go outside?
A: I was very happy when they allowed me to roam freely and meet my friends in office. That was a huge stress reliever. All these 17 days I was all alone and frustration was in the peak. I think I am not the same person I was before the lockdown.

Q: How is the situation now?
A: Now the situation has improved a lot when compared to two months back. Life has become normal, though there are a few restrictions. Everyone has started doing their day to day activities.

Q: What do you want to say from you experience?
A: To win this war we should be a responsible citizen joining hands with the government. People need not panic. Don’t believe any hoax news. Maintain personal hygiene. I request all my friends to consider lockdown very seriously which will help us in fighting this virus.