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A tale of separation
For Shaw Wan, 28, who works on short documentaries in Beijing, the epidemic has separated her and her boyfriend -- who is in Taiwan -- indefinitely. "I don't really want him to return either -- what if he gets infected on the way back?" she told AFP. But there is some silver lining to the COVID-19 outbreak. Li in Beijing said staying cooped up at home had meant more time with her boyfriend -- in the past, their busy schedules meant they only saw each other after 10pm on weekdays. And for Miao and her girlfriend, who are in a long-distance relationship, volunteering in epidemic relief work has brought them closer together. The two students help residents and communities in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, with remote tasks like calling to arrange car transport. "There is a feeling of working together," she told AFP. "Even if we cannot be together physically, in some sense we are."