Saturday 4 April 2020
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asiaone - 9 days ago

Expat in China: I told my friends to wear face masks, but they just laughed

I finally landed in Shanghai on March 16, two days after I departed from Copenhagen, the Danish capital. I returned as work in China was gradually restarting, while Europe faced the prospect of a two-month lockdown. Ten of our employees from Denmark had already returned and were in quarantine, as on March 17, Denmark had been added to the list of countries severely affected by the pandemic. Scores of employees, including some returning from overseas, have resumed work at our Shanghai office. But in Denmark, about 90 per cent of people are working from home under enforced social distancing as the contagion escalates. Before I came back, many of my European friends had returned to China for work. On Jan 29, I flew to Copenhagen, as I was afraid that the outbreak in China might lead to border closures. I have to travel a lot in my role as global chief commercial officer for the company. I told friends in Denmark to wear face masks, which have been used in China to help contain the virus. But they laughed and continued to meet in bars and to go skiing. The outbreak escalated dramatically in Europe soon afterward.


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