2020/04/06 - Log book - A true story

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They have been living in Hong Kong among so many other foreigners for 2,5 years, one ordinary family coming from France for father’s job.

When the coronavirus started spreading in China and Hong Kong, and after the school closure, they decided to split the family on February 1st: he remained here working, whereas she went to France with their three very young children (6y, 3y and 18m old) and helper. They stayed in the family house in the countryside and she was able to keep working as usual from home for her company based in France. The kids started to go to school there and enjoyed the company of their grandparents.

The painful separation lasted until March 18th, and when the schools started to close in France because of the arrival of the virus, they decided to reunite the family again in Hong Kong. They traveled by train and then by plane with masks, gel and antibacterial wipes, but during the journey she noticed that a sick lady sat just behind her in the plane. 

They started the strict 14-day self-quarantine at home and unfortunately, 4 days after their return, she started showing symptoms: a big cold first, and then she lost her sense of smell and started feeling shortness of breath. However since she had no fever whatsoever, she did not believe it to be the COVID-19 Virus at this stage, since it was said that fever is supposed to be the universal symptom. On Sunday 29th, she collapsed with respiratory distress syndrome and asked her husband to call an ambulance. 

She was then hospitalised with a diagnosed bi-lateral pneumonia, and the test for covid-19 confirmed the infection by the virus. Her doctor told her, since she already had pneumonia, that the virus could evolve either way at this stage: take a turn for the best, or for the worst. A few days later, as it is the rule for “close-contact people”, her husband, children and nanny were placed into a government quarantine center, locked in a small and dusty flat, and forbidden to go outside.

This has been a very challenging situation for all the family. Her anxiety diminished with the improving of her health thanks to the oxygen-therapy and drug treatment, but the lack of the Holy Communion has been very hard to bear. So many people have been praying for her and for the family in Hong Kong, in France and in other places throughout the world, and a few masses were dedicated to them. A real chain of spiritual support was spreading.

After being separated from his family for seven weeks, the father has now been separated with his wife, and taken care of the children in a very small confined apartment, and still has had to work remotely as well. Both have been very deeply involved in the faith throughout the Catholic Church. The lack of the community's life has been a real source of suffering. They have been trying  to compensate it by daily prayers nourished by daily gospel readings.

Last Sunday they joined the video conference dedicated to the Palm Sunday liturgy, separated by the epidemic, but  technically united by Internet, in real spiritual communion with the French speaking community. They were separated by the necessary law of confinements, but united by a  desire to be a part of the community as much as possible and thus taking their part in the mission of the whole Church, which is to be together through the Holy Spirit as children of God for his glory and the salvation of the world. 

Now the situation is much improved: despite the fact that they were quarantined all together and shared family life for 8 days before she was sent to the hospital, none of the other members of the family caught the virus. She and her husband are convinced that the Lord heard their prayers. She is now waiting to be 100% negative before being able to be reunited with her family, hopefully within a week or two.