If the resident Business Insider spoke to had returned from China’s Hubei province, he would have been given a government-mandated quarantine.
But what he was given instead was a verbal recommendation to stay home and avoid going in public for 14 days. CDC officials also gave them info cards with guidelines on how to self-quarantine and told him, should he visit a primary care doctor, to give them the info card. Thousands in California and beyond are self-quarantining in response to the virus, regardless of if they are experiencing symptoms are not.
He said the CDC never contacted him during his quarantine to check in on his and his family’s health, and there was no form or any kind of documentation to submit at the end of the quarantine.
“I’m seeing reports now that the CDC is monitoring, but what are they monitoring?” he said.
He worked from home, but his son went to school the day after the family returned to the US, despite the man’s request to allow his son to stay home and for his absences to be excused. It was only after concerned parents learned of the son’s trip to China that the school allowed the boy to stay home.
“If we had the virus, it would have already been out,” the man said.
He completed his quarantine on Monday, February 17, but concerns over the virus are still looming as it spreads throughout the US. Based on his experience in both China and the US as the coronavirus has spread, he said his family is actually considering going back to China since they felt safer there.
“As someone who was in China during the initial outbreak/lockdowns and restrictions and seeing the situation develop here in the US I am 100x more concerned for my own safety during this crisis than I ever was in China,” he told Business Insider in a message.
There are now 130 confirmed cases in the US across 16 states, including New York and Washington State. There are cases of “community spread” in the US, meaning patients are contracting the virus despite not traveling outside the US. And CDC test kits for the virus are limited.
“We’re the richest country in the world,” he said. “We should be the most prepared.”