Quarantined after coronavirus outbreak, Calgary family ‘really glad to be back’

It was a joyous scene at the Calgary International Airport on Friday afternoon, as a local family caught up in the worldwide response to the coronavirus outbreak returned home.

Bin Zhang, his wife Emiley and their three-year-old daughter Aria and seven-month-old son Owen, had been visiting family in Wuhan when the outbreak began.

They were ordered not to leave that part of China, departing for Canada only after they were able to be airlifted out on a flight organized by the Canadian government.

The Zhangs, along with other travellers, were then quarantined for two weeks at CFB Trenton in Ontario.

That quarantine period ended Friday morning, after which the Zhangs boarded their long-awaited flight home to Calgary.

There were a lot of smiles and hugs when the family was greeted by longtime friends after their flight landed.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Bin Zhang said. “I never knew I would miss Calgary as much as I do now, so yeah, really glad to be back.”

Being quarantined for 14 days in close quarters with two children brought some challenges, but Zhang says it wasn’t too bad.

“There were a lot of people there to support us,” Zhang said.

“We just had to tough it through.”

Zhang is still concerned about the people he’d been visiting in Wuhan, which remains the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

“That’s the tough one, because my parents are still being quarantined back in Wuhan and a lot of my friends are doing the same thing,” Zhang said. “I don’t know if it’s getting worse and I think the uncertainty is what really bugs them.”

Zhang says he and his family will spend the next few days getting their lives back to normal.

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