Five-year-old in Wuhan gets help while family is isolated for treatment

A photo essay from the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak

UNICEF China
Five-year-old Yuanyuan* looks out the window of her room in a hospital affiliated to the Wuhan University of Science and Technology on 17 February 2020.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng

25 February 2020

Five-year-old Yuanyuan* is from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19. Her parents and grandparents tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to a hospital. She was the only one in her family not infected with the virus and was left behind at home.

Medical personnel in the hospital decided to look after the girl, and a volunteer helped keep her company.

Yuanyuan walks the corridor of the hospital.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng

With tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases reported in Wuhan, the city has been under lockdown since 23 January as authorities work to contain the spread of the disease. Most of the city’s hotels were shut down, so the hospital vacated a room for Yuanyuan and the volunteer to live in. The hospital staff provided regular meals and some of the medical personnel taught Yuanyuan how to protect herself from the virus.

Yuanyuan looks out the window of her room in a hospital affiliated to the Wuhan University of Science and Technology on 17 February 2020.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng
Yuanyuan jumps around in the ward.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng

Yuanyuan has been separated from her family for days but keeps a positive attitude. She follows the advice of the medical personnel looking after her to eat healthily, rest well and go outside for some sun. And with the help of the volunteer, Yuanyuan telephones her mother and cheers her up.

Yuanyuan drinks water with a cup.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng
Yuanyuan peels an orange in a ward, where she now lives.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng

Yuanyuan has made a series of drawings during her stay in the hospital. Some of the drawings are of her playing with her mother in a park and swimming with her grandma. The novel coronavirus is a frequent subject in her drawings.

“These are viruses. The sun is scorching them.”

Yuanyuan

She said while pointing at her drawing.

A painting drawn by Yuanyuan depicts the sun in the centre surrounded by viruses.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng

She pointed to another drawing of a virus that is surrounded by a dozen hammers.

A painting drawn by Yuanyuan depicts a novel coronavirus surrounded by little hammers.
UNICEF/China/2020/Cui Meng

“The hammers are striking the virus.”

Yuanyuan