North Texan Working in China Shares Experience During Height of Outbreak

Jonathan Betz has been living in China for more than two years

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With fears of COVID-19 quickly spreading across the United States, one North Texan currently living in Beijing has been actively sharing his personal experience with friends and family online during the height of the outbreak.

Jonathan Betz has been living in China for more than two years.

For the last few weeks he's been sharing updates and posting videos about life in a city that was shut down for several weeks to help stop the spread of the virus. Betz posted videos showing himself venturing out at the height of the outbreak.

In the video, Betz describes businesses usually packed and booming were suddenly closed.

"It was like walking through a ghost down. It is stunning that this is a huge city of 20 million people. There's hardly a quiet moment ever. But the streets would be deserted. You walked today see anyone on the sidewalks. No stores were open. No restaurants were open. It was a very, very eerie feeling how pretty much overnight, Beijing shut down," said Betz.

He also knows firsthand, what it's like to be trapped at home, unable to leave. Although he never had the virus, Betz was put under a mandatory quarantine for 14 days. He just went back to work last week. Betz has been closely monitoring the situation back at home.

Tuesday, he posted a personal note to friends in North Texas telling them not to worry.

"I do think they are going to see more cases sadly and very likely see more deaths but don't think this is anything that anyone needs to panic about. I think people just need to be smart and safe and they should be fine," said Betz.

For Betz personally, he doesn't want friends and family to fear the virus itself, but to embrace the disruption it could cause.

"I think a lot of people may not be prepared for the impact it's going to have on their lives. Not necessarily the virus, but I do worry it's going to have a lot of disruptions. This virus has touched every single person in China and impacted every single person I know. And I don't mean the virus itself. I don't know a single person that's been infected. I don't even know anyone that's showed symptoms, but the disruptions that have come with this virus to try and bring it under control have impacted everyone I know and it's certainly had a big, big, big impact on my life," said Betz.

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