Lessons we can learn about coronavirus from a Durham family living in China

As coronavirus concerns intensify across the country, we are getting some valuable advice from a Durham family living in China.

"Don't panic, because panic doesn't help anybody," Melanie Duhon said in a FaceTime interview with ABC11 from their apartment in Beijing. "And don't buy any more toilet paper."

Duhon and her family have been living through a coronavirus quarantine for the past six weeks.

"What I think you could learn from what's happened here in Beijing is that if you can just stay at home, stay put, try limit your movements, keep a little social distance between yourself and others, that you can be part of containing this virus."

The Duhon family moved from Durham to Beijing in August.

Melanie's husband, Chad, is an executive at Lenovo and is now working from home.

"Everybody is doing what they're supposed to do, and that might be a bit of Chinese culture," said Melanie Duhon. "But everybody is pretty much following the rules and it seems to have worked."

Duhon says she has not felt isolated while at home.

She walks in parks with friends, while maintaining three feet of distance between each other, and she stays connected online.

"Call people instead of going to see them, you know, video chat coffee with somebody," said Duhon. "If you can have your meetings over FaceTime, you'd be surprised how much you can accomplish without having to see somebody face to face."

Her son Jack is a junior in high school.

He is stuck at home, doing school work online, and Duhon says he's ready to get back to school.

Duhon says over the past three weeks, more Beijing businesses have been opening, there are very few new cases of COVID-19 and it looks like life will soon be getting back to normal.

"I really hope that other places can replicate what Beijing has done because it will save so many people's lives," said Duhon. "If everybody can just follow the rules and stay home, and think of it as a long staycation."
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