Cycle through the eerily empty streets of a city in coronavirus quarantine

Steven Li had spent 11 days holed up in his apartment in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

So on Sunday, he decided to take a short bike ride to pick up groceries.

“I just wanted some chocolate to be honest,” Li told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning today.

The experience was like being in a movie about the apocalypse, he explained.

“I saw probably 20 people,” he said from the city of 11 million. “I saw maybe three, four cars.”

The video shows Li, who is from Toronto but currently teaching in Wuhan, cycling through the eerily quiet streets.

“It feels good to be outside,” he can be heard saying. “There’s not a lot of people. It’s kind of scary though.”

Every now and again, there are signs of city life. Li encounters a woman skipping rope, and others giving out bags of produce. Everyone is wearing masks and protective gear.

The Chinese government has reported that at least 427 people have died from coronavirus and more than 20,000 have been infected.

Global Affairs Canada has chartered a flight to get about 300 people, including Canadian citizens and some permanent residents with children, out of Wuhan and Hubei province starting Thursday morning.

The plane will land at the Canadian Forces base in Trenton, Ont., where all passengers and crew will spend 14 days in quarantine.

Li says his spot on the flight is confirmed and he’s looking forward to heading home.

“It feels good,” Li said. “It feels like the government is caring for their citizens. It’s a nice feeling.”


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