ANDERSON, Ind. – An Anderson couple is worrying about their family in China as the number of coronavirus cases goes up.
Their daughter-in-law, Diana Kirchenbauer, and grandchildren are on lock down in Wuhan, the epicenter of this outbreak.
Diana is from Wuhan. Her husband, Chris Kirchenbauer, grew up in Anderson. Diana traveled to the city to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her parents. Now, she and her two young children are cooped up in an apartment as they try to avoid the virus.
Harry and Maureen Kirchenbauer, Chris’ parents, live in Anderson. They anxiously wait for updates from Diana and Chris via email. They hear from them a few times a week.
Diana only ventures out to the empty streets of Wuhan to get food and water.
“Try to stay safe, not pass the virus to other people. Now we are healthy, so we feel pretty lucky now,” she said.
They always wear masks to stay healthy. While she stays in the locked down zone of the deadly coronavirus, she worries someone in the family will get sick.
“And the people in the hospitals are a lot,” Diana said. “The doctors and nurses are crazy busy every day. They do not have any rest.”
Chris is still in Nanjing, China, where they work and live. He stayed behind as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
“That is probably the biggest problem we have is we have no idea how long this is going to last,” said Chris.
A state department chartered flight evacuated hundreds of Americans out of Wuhan to California. Chris said his kids were offered a seat on that plane, but his wife could no go since she is not an American citizen, so they decided to pass on the offer. Diana also wanted to stay behind to take care of her parents.
“It is not really life-threatening for them, but it could be life-threatening for my father-in-law cause he has health issues,” said Chris.
Maureen said Chris’ father-in-law had lung cancer, so she worries he might be more susceptible to the virus.
Right now, the family does not have another plan to get out during the lock down. Diana said the quarantine is also delaying school for her two kids, so they have started online classes.