Coronavirus quarantine in China hits home for Box Elder family

BOX ELDER, S.D. — Wesley Sorrell thought he’d be teaching while spending a year in China, but he’s currently on day 20 of quarantine.

Wesley is a student teacher working at China Three Gorges University in Yichang. A recent graduate of Black Hills State University, he had found a job immediately that he loved. But several months in, the province in which he lived was hit with the coronavirus.

“Actually when the news first broke that the virus was more widespread, my mother was actually trying to get me to fly back to the U.S.” said Sorrell, “Right now I’m about as safe as I can be. I maybe only interact with maybe seven people, per day. Actually, seven people at most and three people at least.”

Wesley is now in day 20 of quarantine with possibly two more weeks to go and no indication of when the outbreak will subside.

“I’m expected to return back sometime, I’ll say, in early July.” continued Sorrell, “My visa expires July 10th but the virus will delay school, so that means that I’ll have to work into the summer, which means I’ll have to extend my visa here.”

His parents and siblings in Box Elder are worried but look to Wesley for any information on the outbreak.

“After talking to Wesley, hearing all this stuff that they were doing to protect him.” said Wesley’s father, Gene Sorrell, “Like, shutting down the celebration (lunar new year) let us know that they were taking this very seriously. So, that, like I said, helped make us feel better that they were taking this seriously.”

Wesley’s parents are proud of him and his resilience. He wishes to return to China after his work visa expires.

The Chinese government has quarantined the country refusing any one from entering or leaving. For now, Wesley Sorrell is safe and healthy, as well as optimistic.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, National News