“What a crazy journey.” Canadian student ecstatic as first round of Wuhan evacuees released from CFB Trenton
|Toronto Star 21 Feb 2020 at 09:16|
The 25-year-old student — who was studying tourism in Wuhan, China and flown back to Canada on the first charter flight to CFB Trenton — was released from quarantine just before 7 a.m. Friday.
She was one of 213 Canadians who boarded flights chartered by the federal government, and taken to the airbase for isolation and observation after living at the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Typing from a bus along with the other Canadians who were held at the base for the last two weeks, Larouche told the Star that her next steps are to fly home to Quebec, to see her family members who were desperately waiting for her return.
“(My mom) is going to be really happy,” she said.
The evacuees will be dropped off at Pearson airport, and from there, passengers will make their own way home. For Larouche, that means flying into Montreal, and then her hometown of Saguenay, Que.
How did she pass the time on the base?
“I have classes online, so I was studying and doing class assignments,” Larouche says. “I started working on my thesis as well.”
She says that she plans to return to Wuhan once everything gets back in order.
“Whenever I think about all those people that are still in China and have no way out, it makes me sad,” Larouche said.
Government officials say none of the evacuees has shown any symptoms of the virus during their stay at the base.
The passengers were evacuated from the base just hours after a new planeload of people potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus called COVID-19 arrived from Japan overnight.
The Star’s Alex McKeen has been following Larouche’s journey since early February — tracking her experience flying from China to Canada , making it to the Trenton base , and the time during her quarantine.
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“First thing that pops into my mind (now that I’m going home) is what a crazy journey. Even though it was a tough situation, we managed to get out of it,” Larouche said.