She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The call from the government left her shattered. Now, they were trapped… blocked from leaving the country. She felt angry and betrayed… and the threat was growing every day.
If they stayed in Wuhan, what would happen?
If you haven’t been avoiding all news and social media, you’ve probably heard about the new virus that’s sweeping across several parts of the world – mainly in China.
The virus, officially known as COVID-19, has also begun to impact countries such as the United States, Canada, Italy, and several others. One woman experienced it firsthand. Her son’s teacher hadn’t believed him. Now, they were paying the price.
Only recently, the World Health Organization has officially declared the new coronavirus a global emergency.
Although it’s normal for most people to become complacent and believe that there is only a small chance of getting infected, this was not the case for Natalie Francis.
Living And Working In Wuhan
Miss Francis, a schoolteacher originally from York in the United Kingdom, was teaching English to students in China – specifically in Wuhan, where English teachers are in high demand.
Natalie was living with her husband and three-year-old son, Jaimie, in the virus’ epicenter. But, as the cases of the virus spiked, Natalie grew more and more concerned.
Natalie’s main concern was that the virus was still novel and poorly understood – and she was right to be worried.
Nobody knew just how devastating the virus’ spread would be just a few weeks later. So, she decided to take action. She thought that she had a head start.
Natalie thought she had been prepared, and she even got in touch with the Beijing Embassy to make arrangements to return home to the UK.
Little did she know, all the preparations in the world wouldn’t stop her life from falling apart.
Thinking that she and her family would return home for a few weeks until it was safe to return to Wuhan and resume her teaching position, Natalie never suspected that life had other plans for her.
At the time, her son, Jaime, was enrolled in a nursery school in the area.
One day, Jaime suddenly didn’t feel right. He complained about a stomach ache and a sore chest. Even though the little boy was very young, he was not oblivious to what was going on around him.
very day, he heard adults around him voicing their concerns about the new virus. Did he have it?
Telling An Adult
After a few days of feeling off, the little boy decided to confide in his teacher at the nursery school. He told her that he wasn’t feeling well.
He tried his best to articulate his concerns, and he trusted his nursery school teacher to take his complaints seriously. But that wasn’t what happened.
Laughing It Off
The little boy told his teacher that he thought he had the ‘coronavirus’ that everyone was talking about. But she laughed and fobbed him off. After all, the virus hadn’t reached their part of the city yet.
She assumed that he was just acting out, and told him to continue with his work. She didn’t think that it was necessary to inform his mother that he was feeling ill.
By then, Natalie’s arrangements to return to the UK were about to become a reality. All the paperwork was ready and the family would leave in a few days.
But then she received the phone call that shattered her world.
A Call From The Government
The chilling call was from the government, and the man on the other end of the line told her that her son was exhibiting symptoms of the virus. And, to make matters worse, her son had a Chinese passport, which put him at the bottom of the list.
Apparently, other British Nationals returning to the United Kingdom from Wuhan were top priority.
Furious And Devastated
Needless to say, Natalie was angered and taken aback. How could she leave her son in Wuhan, where the numbers of cases were growing by the day? How could they tell her that only British Nationals who only held a British passport were the only ones who qualified?
She was left with a decision, and she had to make it fast.
The Only Choice
In the end, Natalie Francis made the only choice she could: she remained in Wuhan with her son and husband. In frustration, she took to social media, and, naturally, people were outraged.
The comments began to roll in, but would someone who could help see them?
A few weeks later, Natalie had lost all hope and had resigned to stay in Wuhan. Then, she got some news.
Fans and followers waited with bated breath as a rumor began to circulate that Natalie was safely back home in the United Kingdom – with Jamie and her husband!
“Hello everyone!” Natalie wrote. “This will be my last public FB post on the whole situation.”
“In conclusion, Jamie and I have arrived safely in the UK… we had a midnight dash to the airport and arrived in quarantine yesterday night. Due to our last minute, we left with virtually nothing but the clothes on our back but the wonderful staff at Wirral are taking care of us and providing our necessities.”