Wellington barrister JD Dallas, a frequent China traveller, is in lockdown at his mother-in-law’s apartment, relying on colleagues to handle is legal work at home.
He has been mostly confined to an apartment by order of officials in the city of Shiyan for more than a month.
The couple have been in the city, about 400km northwest of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, since January 23.
The couple arrived on the overnight train from Guangzhou then headed to the apartment.
The next day they learned the outbreak had stopped all planes, trains and buses.
By January 25 even private cars had been forced off the roads.
Shiyan was a ghost town, he told Stuff.
As the days turned into weeks, their world grew even smaller.
Masked “guardians,” mostly young and, according to Dallas, unfailingly polite, patrol the streets.
“They will allow you to put your rubbish in the communal rubbish bin, but that’s all.”
Dallas, who is 67, said he was even told to wear a mask when he ventured onto his balcony.
“I’ve had other lawyers acting as agents for the criminal cases that I’ve had, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for the care that colleagues have been extending to me.
“You’re waiting almost for the inevitable to arrive.”
Despite the disease closing in, Dallas said he is not scared.
He recognised the efforts made by the Chinese population which has infected 80,000 to date in China.
“The stoicism is wonderful. You get on with life and hopefully you can get through it.”
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