‘Don’t panic and it will be gone in no time’ – Wicklow man sends message of hope from China
A Wicklow man who lives in China has sent a message of hope to Ireland as his and his family’s lives begin to return to normal.
Last month Mark Murray, who is from Blessington, spoke about his fears for his wife and newborn son if the coronavirus outbreak worsened in Jilin Province.
But the father-of-two has said they are now over the worst and sent an inspiring message back home urging us not to panic.
Mark, who has lived in China for the past decade, said: “Don’t panic and it will be gone in no time. Stay safe Ireland.”
The coronavirus originated in China, which has been the worst affected country so far.
But the 38-year-old director of studies in a school in Changchun city, said he can now see light at the end of the tunnel.
In a social media post tagged “Just To Keep Your Hopes Up” he writes: “I live in Jilin Province in China.
“About the same size as Ireland but with a population of 23 million people.
“This time last month, we had 93 cases. One elderly man died, 91 have recovered and now we only have one case being treated in a hospital.”
At the height of the crisis Mark feared he would be sent home and forced to leave his wife Harper Tang and 11-week-old son Miles behind.
But he said people obeyed the social-distancing and self-isolation rules and the country was now getting back on its feet.
He said: “The lockdown for me personally was just going out to a public place (like local supermarket) if really needed.
“Wearing a facemask and gloves when in an indoor public place. Washing hands immediately after being outside – just normal soap and water.
“Nobody over here stockpiled anything. I don’t even know why this has become a thing. We didn’t run out of anything in the shops.”
As parents here face a lockdown with their children off school, Mark urged them to make the most of the quality family time.
He added: “Staying in most of the time, it’s boring for sure, but probably the fastest way to beat this thing and have it over with is to avoid public places, especially indoors, unless really needed.
“I’ve never felt the need to panic. Binge watch TV shows, start trying different dishes to cook, start a little project for yourself at home. Use this time to do something you wouldn’t normally have time for.
“As of now, two weeks lockdown in Ireland. Don’t fight it, there is nothing to be fighting about.
“The more you ignore it, the longer it will take to stop spreading, in turn lengthening the lockdown.
“So just follow what is being said from the reputable sources. Be smart, don’t panic and it will be gone in no time.”
There has not been a new infection in China in over a week and most restaurants have since reopened.
Mark said: “We hope to be returning to normal very soon. China took it seriously from the beginning and took immediate action.
“It’s up to you guys to do the same now. I just want to give you guys hope. Things are getting much better and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“This is the progress in under a month. Just follow the instructions being issued in your community and it will all be over soon.”
PHOTO: Mark Murray and his wife Harper Tang