PETALING JAYA, Feb 19 — A Canadian woman living in the virus-hit city of Wuhan has refused to evacuate because she does not want to leave her pet cat behind.
After finding out that the emergency charter flights provided by the Canadian authorities did not allow animals on board, YouTuber Kristina Shramko turned down her seat out of a sense of duty to her furry friend Kitya.
“I don’t know when the epidemic will be over so it’s kind of abandoning her in a way, even if I give her to a friend,” Shramko told Business Insider.
Shramko, who grew up in Vancouver and studied fashion marketing, met her boyfriend during a trip to Wuhan and moved there last year to be with him.
When the city went into quarantine last month in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, Shramko’s boyfriend was on a business trip in another province and has been unable to return since.
Shramko currently resides in the Hanyang district of Wuhan and said that the sprawling metropolis has been transformed into a “ghost town”.
“I live directly across from a huge mall and this mall was always packed with people.
“Even the street to get into the mall’s parking lot was always busy. Now, there are no cars at all and nobody outside.”
With nothing much to do and nowhere to go, Shramko said she spends her time at home working on her YouTube channel, watching films, and playing with Kitya.
She also keeps in touch with her boyfriend and has been talking to her family every day to assure them of her well-being.
“They update me on what they’re hearing about the coronavirus in Canada and I let them know what’s going on in China,” she said.
While she commended the Chinese government for doing their best to contain the epidemic, Shramko hopes that the Canadian authorities will eventually allow her to evacuate with her feline companion in tow.
“She’s been there for me throughout this whole quarantine. I should be there for her, too,” she said of her cat.