‘This disease is frightening:’ Neenah man works to get family home from coronavirus epicenter

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NEENAH -- A Fox Valley woman and her two children remained on lockdown Tuesday, Jan. 28 in Wuhan, China -- the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. FOX6 News spoke with Sam Roth in Neenah Tuesday night -- working to bring his family home.

"This is not the ideal situation, but I'm trying to think positively," said Sam Roth. "This disease is frightening. People are dying and getting very sick from it."

Daisy Roth, 10-month old Adalynn, and 5-year-old Abigail boarded a flight to Wuhan, China on Jan. 19. They were headed to visit Daisy’s family for the Lunar New Year and spring festival; Abigail would even attend kindergarten there because they would be there until April 8.

Daisy, Adalynn, Abigail, Sam Roth

Daisy, Adalynn, Abigail, Sam Roth

Sam Roth said he and Daisy knew about the coronavirus, but the risks looked completely different then. Just days after landing, Roth said the lockdown began; Abigail was at a sleepover with a cousin.

“Her cousin’s father drove her to my in-laws place where my wife and other daughter were,” Sam Roth told CNN. “They have stayed there since.”

Adalynn and Abigail Roth

Adalynn and Abigail Roth

Coronavirus (Getty Images)On Saturday, Jan. 25, he heard about a potential flight organized by the United States State Department that would evacuate Americans stuck in epicenter of the coronavirus. Sam Roth also sent his congressional delegations emails asking for them for help getting his family on the flight.

"What is stressful is the uncertainty of how long the city is going to be on lockdown," said Sam Roth. "They're spending time watching movies, reading books, just trying to wait until this virus is quelled."

Unfortunately, his family was not picked to be on board the flight. Roth remained hopeful, though,  that he would be able to bring them home.

"Right now, I'm not as afraid of the virus as I am anything else my children can catch," said Sam Roth. "I would love if I could just snap my fingers, and this disease was gone, and they could just go outside, and get back to enjoying their vacation."

Roth said his wife lived in China during a previous SARS outbreak and she was on lockdown for two weeks. He said Tuesday he was continuing to work with local lawmakers to help find a way to get his family home safely.

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