Coronavirus prevents Chinese woman visiting son in Harrisburg from returning home


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As coronavirus cases climb in China, a woman in Harrisburg has become its latest captive.

On Jan. 21, Lotus Ho arrived to surprise her son who attends Bishop McDevitt through a foreign studies program. Two days later, her home near the center of the outbreak went on lockdown.

“I saw a person coming out of maybe the sofa and I went, ‘Oh, that’s my mom!'” Bishop McDevitt senior Hiain “Stephen” Wu said.

Another surprise followed her arrival at the home of Hiain’s host family. Two days later, their hometown was also placed on lockdown due to coronavirus.

Four-hundred-twenty-five people have died to the outbreak to date. She realized she wasn’t going home any time soon.

“I just realized, ‘Oh it’s pretty bad,'” Wu said.

“This is the best way I will keep myself safe. [It’s] the best way to keep everybody safe,” Hu said.

No major airlines will fly her back home — and won’t until March at the earliest– but she doesn’t mind and neither does her son.

“Some of my family members are still in China, but I can see my mom is still safe with me,” Wu said.

“They keep me here and supply the room for me and the car for me. I say, ‘it’s a wonderful life here,'” Hu said of her son’s host family.

She has a wonderful life but, it’s far from carefree. Her friends and family are locked down, unable to leave their homes. Meanwhile, fears are running high throughout China and supplies to fight against the outbreak are running low.

“They don’t have enough protect clothes, surgical masks and maybe the glasses,” Hu said.

“They don’t know anything about the virus, and they just maybe shopping and having good times with friends and they got infected,” Wu said.

The virus is vile, but it’s the people on the front lines fighting against it that Hu believes will restore hope.

“Doctors and the nurses in my country are the toughest ones,” Hu said.

Hu hopes that the arrival of spring will bring warmer weather and hopefully slow down the spread of coronavirus. In the meantime, she will visit her other son who is studying in New Orleans and continue cooking for her host family.

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