Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
The dozens of Americans quarantined at a US Air Force base in California over the coronavirus have described taking boxing, Zumba, and even accounting classes as ways to pass the time, The Washington Post reported.
The 195 US citizens were taken from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus broke out, and flown to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, on January 29. They are under a mandatory 14-day quarantine, meaning they would be released on February 12.
They are not allowed to leave the base and have been subjected to frequent medical tests for symptoms of the deadly coronavirus. So they are turning to their own sources of entertainment.
The entrance to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside on January 29, 2020. Matt Hartman/AFP/Getty Images
Here's what they have been up to, according to The Post:
- A boxing enthusiast is teaching boxing classes.
- Another workout fan is teaching Zumba classes
- An accountant is leading a seminar on how to prepare their income taxes — just in time for Tax Day.
- A theme-park designer is planning classes for kids on how to doodle on the sidewalk.
- Jarred Evans, a professional football player who moved to Wuhan, has been running through every part of the air base to keep fit. (You can also watch his videos of Wuhan under quarantine and his evacuation flight here.)
“When people hear quarantine, they think of the zombie apocalypse, movies like 'World War Z,'” Matthew McCoy, the theme-park designer on the base, told The Post. “But the reality is it's what you make of it.”
People checking temperatures while riding on bikes in China. Getty Images
The 195 people at March Air Reserve base are a fraction of the total number of Americans the State Department is flying out of Wuhan to take back home.
Two more planes arrived at Travis Air Force Base and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar carrying 350 passengers on Wednesday, and more are expected.
All of them are subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine, and the Department of Defense has set aside six military bases in California, Texas, and Nebraska for the lockdown.
Americans flown out of Wuhan have also given harrowing descriptions of some parts of the evacuation and quarantine, like being flown in cargo planes with flight crew wearing full hazmat suits, being told to stay six feet away from one another at all times, and not being able to eat for hours on end, The Post reported.
Another woman and her 15-year-old daughter, who are observant Orthodox Jews, also said they couldn't eat for 40 hours because there was no kosher food available on board the cargo plane and at the March Air Reserve Base, The Post reported.
Deserted streets in Wuhan amid its quarantine. Getty Images
Many countries are imposing 14-day quarantines on people coming from mainland China, while the city of Wuhan and at least 15 other Chinese cities have had their transport links shut down.
A group of Russians quarantined in Siberia have been livestreaming their workouts and posting photos of their food and “prisoner clothes.”
Chinese citizens are making memes and sharing their innovative — but not necessarily helpful — ways to shield themselves from the virus, including wearing inflatable costumes to minimize contact with other people.
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