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Quarantined SWFL Woman Shares Story of Traveling to the U.S. from China

Emily Glazier (right), poses with her mother while on vacation in Vietnam.
Emily Glazier
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Southwest Florida woman and her mother are quarantined in their home after recently traveling from China.

Emily Glazier is a first-year English professor at the University of South China in Hunan Province, located a few hours south of the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Glazier shares her story of traveling to the U.S. from China with WGCU’s Andrea Perdomo from her home in Bonita Springs.

Transcribed audio:

“We flew back to my province in China from Vietnam. And when we stayed there, we were staying at this Hilton, and they had like a continental breakfast. So we went down to get our breakfast, and they were telling us like, ‘oh, can you just eat it in your room?’” And we were like, ‘what?’Anyways, we found out that they were handing out the breakfast to people. Because they were, like, trying to limit contacts because of the virus.

When we got back to Hengyang, which is the city that I live in, that's where they took our temperature. So as you walk out of the train station, there's just some things where you normally like slide your ticket in, or you show your ID or something like that. And so they were just off to the side of that, and people were queuing and they were just checking everyone's temperature before you could walk out of the station. By the time I was flying home, that's how it was at all the airports, all the train stations.  

We pretty much stayed in my apartment for that entire week that she was supposed to be in China because most people were staying in their homes. Even after the Spring Festival celebration, like, they would normally start to open things up around Feb. 1, but everything was still closed. Most people were off the streets and people that were on the streets, were wearing masks and everything.

And then my mom was supposed to fly back to Florida, but she was supposed to fly back with American Airlines. And they suspended her flight, because American Airlines stopped flying to China. So, I had to get a new flight and we both flew back on United.

So what we ended up doing is we took a train to Changsha, which is only a 40-minute train ride. Then we took a train from there to Shanghai, which was about five hours and we were, like, the only ones on that train.  I think during that whole five hours, only four other people or so, came into our car to sit down. Normally those trains are fairly full.

Once we got to Shanghai, we had a direct flight from there to Newark, New Jersey. And that's where we were taken off the flight like 40 people at a time, to go into the customs area. And in the customs area, there were officials from the CDC, and they handed us some papers. They asked us if we had been in Hubei Province within the past 14 days, which we had not. So in that case, they handed us this paper that basically told us to monitor our temperature twice a day for the next 14 days. And they were advising us to avoid crowded places, limit our activities in public, and keep a distance from others about six feet for the next 14 days.

The paper also says that a health official will contact you to give you additional instructions, but no one's contacted us. So I guess in our case, it was just the CDC man that was at the airport in Newark. You know, we haven't gone to church recently or gone to any place that has large crowds, but mostly because the flu is also going around. So we don't want to catch the flu because if we get a fever or something, then we have to go to the hospital because we could technically have the coronavirus, you know?”

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.