ORLANDO, Fla. - Next Wednesday, Paul Katen and his wife will be celebrating their freedom. The couple is counting down the days until they are done doing a “self-quarantine” as a coronavirus precaution.
“It’s morally the right thing to do. To be the guy who brought coronavirus to South Florida is not the way I want to be known,” Paul Katen told FOX 35 News.
After living in Hong Kong for nearly 18 months, the couple returned home Saturday -- two weeks earlier than planned because of the potentially deadly virus.
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“This felt like the safest place for us to do this,” Katen said, keeping to themselves in their Orlando home. “We take it deadly seriously.”
Katen kept his distance from the FOX 35 News crew during the interview. His concern about being in China during the recent coronavirus outbreak started growing in the last two to three weeks.
“Everybody is masked in Hong Kong right now. This was a no brainer. We just had to get out. We didn’t want to get caught there either not being able to come back or forbidden if we got sick and had to be treated there,” said Katen.
Being home has been better than the alternative, but it's still not easy for the couple.
“Haven’t been able to hug my daughter and my son,” Katen said.
They’re doing their best not to spread germs, constantly scrubbing and sanitizing their hands, wearing gloves and masks on their only trip to the store since getting home.
“Late at night, right before everything closed,” Katen said.
The couple feels fine. They have been passing time unpacking from the trip and perfecting their ping pong skills.
“The fact that we’re asymptomatic doesn’t remove us from the responsibility of waiting this out,” Katen said.
They are thankful they are feeling good and trying to make the best of the time in self-quarantine.