Hamburg Inn owner recounts time in Shanghai quarantine

Hamburg Inn owner recounts time in Shanghai quarantine

The Hamburg Inn's owner welcomed his fourth grandchild into the world over FaceTime this week. To get more news about shanghai 14 days quarantine, you can visit shine news official website.

Michael (Tzai Tao) Lee would have liked to meet the infant in person in Taiwan, the way he did for his first three grandchildren, but instead greeted the newborn from a self-imposed quarantine at his Shanghai home.

Lee has spent the last few weeks in isolation, one of millions taking the precaution to avoid the coronavirus outbreak in China.

"I have had no visitors, no people to talk to, for almost 20-25 days," Lee told the Press-Citizen over FaceTime in what was his Thursday morning. "This virus is very, very dangerous, let me assure you. It's more dangerous than SARS."

The coronavirus is sometimes compared with the SARS epidemic that spread through China in the early aughts. To date, more than 2,000 people in China have died after contracting coronavirus; which is more deaths than were recorded during the entire SARS epidemic.

Echoing public health officials elsewhere, a local expert at the UIHC says U.S. residents are not at risk of contracting the virus unless they have a fever or cough and they have traveled to China in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Iowa Department of Public Health has not identified any cases of coronavirus in the state.The disease is largely concentrated in China. Millions in the country are under government-ordered quarantine or, in Lee's case, voluntary quarantine.

Lee took in the operating assumption of medical professionals, that the coronavirus is spread by airborne droplets, and decided in January to avoid as much contact with other people as possible. "I'm not going to go to the department store. I'm not going to go to restaurants. I'm not going to any places," Lee said. "I don't even play badminton right now. It's very dangerous. Isolation and self-quarantine is best."

Lee wore a Hamburg Inn polo during the FaceTime interview, and drank coffee out of a personalized mug touting the logo of his alma mater, the University of Iowa. He hasn't left his home in weeks. Now instead of badminton, Lee gets in his doctor-recommended 10,000 steps per day by pacing around his home.

He orders food sometimes and mostly cooks from home. The entrepreneur passes time by reading news reports, watching television and pouring his restless energy into his business overseas. He's optimistic his quarantine will end in a matter of weeks, encouraged by news reports of factories re-opening and farmers starting to prepare for the growing season.

"I assure you one thing: I think, the great majority of cities, places in China are going to be over in about a month," he said. He points to some reasons to be concerned, namely Hubei, the province where the outbreak was first identified. But ultimately he thinks the Chinese government has been careful with traffic controls and quarantine efforts.

Beyond this reasoning, Lee is also simply optimistic for the sake of hopeful thinking. "I have to be very optimistic because if I'm not optimistic, I'm not going to Iowa City to create a new Hamburg Inn," he said.

Lee recently closed his east side location, in part to free up cash for a new soon-to-be-opened Coralville location, and in part because the location did not get enough foot traffic. The Coralville opening, expected to open in late spring or early summer, is likely to be delayed by at least a month while he waits out the outbreak.

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