'My husband was one of the first infected'

Duan Ling and her husband Fang Yushun were a typical couple.

She's a businesswoman. He's a surgeon. They were looking for an apartment and trying for a baby.

Then Fang became one of the first people ever infected with what would come to be called COVID-19.

He's a surgeon... in Wuhan, China.

Late last year he was only hearing snippets about a mysterious local disease in the hospital wards. Eventually, he showed symptoms, got tested.

Duan remembers February 3rd, 2020.

"That morning, at around 7 or 8 a.m, I looked at the number of daily infections, there were 2,388 new infections. I remember posting something on my WeChat saying that I finally felt like the numbers were not just some cold facts, because among the 2,388 people, was the protector of my small family."

About 400 people had died by that day. COVID-19 has since infected over 74 million people worldwide and killed more than 1.5 million.

Duan says Fang was lucky. The city would eventually lose 4,000 people but, Fang suffered only a moderate case.

He still had to go to work even after he began showing symptoms. Eventually, that grueling 76-day quarantine hit the city, and she was cut off from him.

"When I was alone, I would watch the video of him playing guitar in his dormitory during study abroad. Every time when I watched the video ... I … I'm sorry… my emotions would become unstable. But the epidemic didn't cause me to cry once, and I always believed that we would get through this."

Today Wuhan has largely returned to normal.

Bars and restaurants are crowded and the city hasn't reported a new COVID-19 case since May.

Now the couple is focused on the future.

"Life is actually quite short, and life is also a process with many surprises. Every day of peace and quiet is actually quite precious. So, we will cherish our time together more in the future."