Coronavirus a lesson in compassion: Recovered patient

Taiwanese businessman reminds public to be compassionate with those who have fallen ill


(AP photo)

CoroTaiwan's tenth confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), who was released from quarantine on Thursday, issued a statement that day thanking his medical team, while saying the experience of becoming ill and seeing his family treated as "public enemies" taught him the importance of having compassion.

According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the patient is a Taiwanese businessman who became ill after returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 12. Although the man initially tested negative for the virus, he subsequently infected his wife, and was later confirmed as Taiwan's tenth coronavirus case on Jan. 31.

At a CECC press conference on Thursday, however, Wang Pi-Sheng (王必勝), the director of the Hospital and Social Welfare Organizations Administration Commission, said the man is now in good health, and has tested negative for the virus three times in recent days.

A panel of physicians approved the man's release from medical quarantine on Thursday, and he will soon be discharged from the hospital, Wang said.

The CECC also played a recorded statement from the man, whose voice was altered to protect his identity.
In the message, the man described the shock of finding out that he had infected his wife, just days after receiving test results which cleared him of the virus.

"It came out of nowhere," he said. "I felt extremely guilty."

The statement continues: "After I was admitted to the hospital, my whole family became public enemies, and I felt powerless to stop it. I understand that it's human nature to look out for oneself, to be afraid of catching a virus, but only after becoming ill did I really learn to have compassion for [sick people]."

Despite the experience, the man said he felt lucky to be born in Taiwan, where he could be confident in the quality of the medical care, and expressed his gratitude to the doctors and nurses who cared for him during his quarantine.
The man's wife, the ninth of Taiwan's 18 confirmed cases, remains under medical quarantine.