Man from North Alabama comes home from China during coronavirus outbreak

Daniel Isaiah Williams lives in China but says he is glad to be home in North Alabama.

Posted: Feb 19, 2020 8:22 PM
Updated: Feb 20, 2020 7:37 AM

One man forced out of China by the coronavirus is back in North Huntsville.

“Five years of living in China in that city, never seen anything like it," said Daniel Isaiah Williams, who left China during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Daniel Isaiah Williams is a math teacher and soccer coach in Dongguan, a city in China near Hong Kong.

"One morning, one of my students came into my classroom and he said coach Williams there’s a possibility that we may get out of school for this virus and I said oh you’re just wishful thinking," said Williams.

He said weeks later, the restrictions started and happened very quickly. They started with wearing masks everywhere to travel restriction even quarantined to your home in Doungguan.

"To get to the school I have to ride the subway. To get to the subway, that day that I went back to the school, I had to have my temperature measured and they made sure that I had my mask on," he said.

"Went from normal life to everything shutting down. Restaurants, movie theaters, all the sports events in the city," said Williams.

Once travel restrictions to other countries started, he knew he had to leave. So Feb. 4 Williams boarded a plane to come home.

"Each of the three countries, China, South Korea and the United States, I went through a medical assessment through each one of those countries, because they knew where I was coming from. I had to wear a mask the entire journey and then when I returned, I had to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

Williams says he can't wait to return to China but says he is glad to be home during this virus outbreak.

"And I’ve got a lot of friends that are still there, that are doing OK. They are safe. They have everything they need but the chances of them getting out of there if they need to are slim to none," said Williams.

Dougguan is about an 11-hour drive from Wuhan where the virus is believed to have started.

Williams says he does not know when he will return to China.

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