Megan Monroe went to Wuhan, China 90 days ago to begin work as an English teacher. Then, the coronavirus (COVID-19) broke out, leaving the 21-year-old American in quarantine for half of that period. Monroe (who uses the pronoun “they”) has taken to popular app TikTok to document their life in Wuhan’s quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I mostly just want people to know it’s not scary,” Monroe wrote to BuzzFeed News. “I’m a real person and I’m living here and I’m just continuing on with my life.”
The TikToks range in content, from cooking in their apartment to venturing outside in full protective gear to volunteer and deliver food. Together with their supervisor, Monroe is maintaining the TikTok account @prostage. Monroe is the “host” of the video as they appear on the screen and the supervisor records, edits and uploads the finished clips.
The account has garnered an avid following on TikTok, with each video bringing an onslaught of well wishes and positivity from users around the world. While fame and recognition wasn’t Monroe’s original intention, they’re thankful to see their videos reach a larger audience.
In an effort to showcase what daily life is really like in Wuhan, Monroe posts the TikToks to show how life has changed, if it’s changed at all. Wuhan, and many other parts of the world, have been the target of many conspiracy theories tied to COVID-19. From the coronavirus being manmade out of a lab in China to clouds coming up from cremating coronavirus-related deaths, theories run rampant across the internet.
“People have heard rumors about … the clouds being black from the government cremating all the secret deaths, and just a bunch of crap. I told them to follow my TikTok if they really wanted to know [what it’s like],” Monroe told Buzzfeed News.
As for plans to head back home, Monroe isn’t quite sure. When flights back to the US were available, they were over $1,000, a price Monroe couldn’t afford. Not wanting to be stuck on a plane or in US quarantine, Monroe settled for staying in China and making TikToks to make the most of their travels.