Galway Working Professionals in a Besieged City

By Han Guo

Many cities and towns in China are quarantined due to novel coronavirus. The Novel coronavirus outbreak coincided with Chinese New Year. Many workers who are working in overseas returned to China and wanted to celebrate Spring festival with their families during that time.

Now, the problem they face is how to get out of China.

Mr Lee is a working professional in Galway, he went back home on January 18. How to return to Galway and return to his job is the biggest obstacle he is facing now.

“I’m an IT engineer and I have been working at the company in Galway for more than a year. I was a graduate student in UCD. In fact, I have not celebrated the Chinese New Year with my family for two years. My parents and grandparents miss me so much. That’s why I decided to go home this year,” Mr Lee said.

When he left Galway he didn’t realize how much trouble he will be facing. Actually, he really appreciates that his manager allowed him to work in China for two weeks.

“I did see the news about coronavirus when I left Ireland, but I didn’t particularly care about it. My hometown is far away from Wuhan, I thought we would not be affected,” said Mr Lee.

However, as many cities in China began to be quarantined, the fear in his mind widened.

“The city I lived is being isolated as well, even though there are only three coronavirus patients. I should have taken the flight back to Dublin on the 8th of January, but the flight had been cancelled.”

Many people believe that the appearance of novel coronavirus arised because someone ate bats.

“It’s ridiculous that I might lost my job due to a bat. I seem to live in a fantasy novel.”

“Thanks for my kind manager, I’m permitted to work at home till I can find flights back to Galway. I bought flights from Russia Airline. If everything is fine, I’ll take the flight from Guangzhou to Dublin on 14th Feb. Hope I can go back to Ireland smoothly.”

However, according to the company’s regulations, Mr Lee would need to be quarantined at home for two weeks before returning to the company.

“I’m lucky enough. At least I can go abroad, I know some people can’t even go out of the residential buildings where they live.”

At the end of the interview, Mr. Lee insists: “I would follow HSE’s requests if I have to live in a hospital. I don’t want to bring the virus to Ireland.”

We’re kindly advising all travelers from China should wear face masks and gloves during flights. If a traveler feels unwell, please contact the airport staff or call 999/112.

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