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China Daily Global / 2020-02 / 14 / Page004

To Wuhan boy, his doctor mom is a superhero

By ZHOU LIHUA, LIU KUN in Wuhan and LI HONGYANG in Beijing | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-02-14 00:00

In the eyes of 5-year-old Youyou, his mother is like the Ultraman cartoon superhero who fights bad guys every day.

His mother, Lu Jingjing, a dermatologist at Wuhan Children's Hospital, is now working at the mobile cabin hospital at the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center, taking care of novel coronavirus-infected patients.

Since Lu left home for the cabin hospital on Feb 4, Youyou has kept asking his mother through video chat: "Mom, how many viruses did you beat today?"

Lu, who also has a 1-year-old daughter, was sent to do support work at a community quarantine center on Feb 2 and then to the cabin hospital two days later.

While she was packing to leave for the cabin hospital, Youyou cried and tried to stop her from leaving, knowing he would not see his mother for a long time.

Lu patiently explained to him what the virus is and told him that she would fight it with the cartoon superhero, Ultraman.

"He then calmed down and let me go because in his mind, Ultraman is the strongest in the battlefield and could definitely help me win," Lu said.

Since then, her son has asked her every day through video chat how many viruses she has killed and helps her add them up.

"He may not know clearly why I'm away from home, but he knows that I'm fighting against the super virus with the weapons of doctors," she said.

"He told me that he had planted a cherry tree and would reward me with cherries when I get back. Every time he said 'Mom, I miss you', I couldn't stop bursting into tears."

Lu and her husband had planned to visit her parents in their hometown in Shandong province during Spring Festival, but after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, they chose to stay.

Her husband, who is serving in the army, is taking care of the children at home now and voluntarily helps with disinfection around their residential community.

Lu did not let her parents know she is now working with novel coronavirus-infected patients.

"I am a dermatologist, so my parents think that the virus has nothing to do with my department and that I'm staying away from infected patients," she said.

When they asked for a video chat, Lu would say she was working in the dermatology clinic and instead let her husband and children chat with them.

"We should win the battle with the virus as soon as possible, so that medical staff and patients can go back home," she said.

Lu is one of the 24 medical staff from Wuhan Children's Hospital now working as support at other hospitals. Besides working at the mobile cabin hospital at the exhibition center, others are at different quarantine centers.

The Wuhan Children's Hospital is receiving children that are infected with the novel coronavirus.

Lu Jingjing

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