SICHUA, CHINA — A north-central Iowa native now living in China encourages everybody to stay at home as much as they can to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Ian Schact graduated from Northwood-Kensett High School and Luther College, and eventually moved to China after being involved in the natural products trades business. He currently is in Sichua, about 800 miles from Wuhan, where the outbreak of COVID-19 began.
Schact says at the start of the outbreak, he says many of the restrictions we are seeing here in the United States were happening in China. “No public transportation, you weren’t allowed out, restrictions on movement, even from the community you are living in. Restrictions to one person every two days can leave an apartment and go out to get groceries. Shops were closed, and you couldn’t go out to dinner, there were no restaurants, no fast food, everything else was closed.”
Schacht says the city went from bustling to a lockdown quickly which was surprising to see as an Iowa native. “Over time some of these things have gotten better as the number of cases have gone down, but there was definitely a much bigger threat in those first few weeks when it started to get really bad.”
Schacht says you may feel a little stir-crazy staying at home complying with the advisories of not being out and about, but he says this is the time to let the virus run its course and make you and your loved ones be safe. “I’ve told my parents to restrict the amount of travel you are doing, go shopping once a week, and enjoy the time you can working around the house, working at home, because once this is over, life will return back to normal, it just takes a while. If we don’t do that, what’s going to end up happening is we’re going to see an increase in cases that are not going to stop anytime soon.”
Schacht says people should listen to then recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and local and state health officials. “I think it’s very important to take this time to take a step back, stay safe, reduce travel, reduce parties, reduce gatherings, and really understand that the end is in sight, we just have to flatten that curve.”
You can listen to our full interview with Ian Schacht by clicking on the audio player below: