Hu and another experienced doctor undertake all risky procedures, such as tracheal intubations and bronchoscopies, which may expose them to patients' bodily fluids.
Wang said, "I am also very busy with my work in the fever clinic, so I can't take care of him like the other doctors' wives and support his daily life."
Hu finally agreed to take a break after his wife asked him to see things from her point of view and ease her concerns about him, given that they are both fighting on the front line.
Hu's raised temperature had nothing to do with the new form of pneumonia, and was more likely to be a result of his heavy workload and sweating excessively in the airtight protective gowns worn by all the front-line doctors.
The last time Hu and Wang saw their 10-year-old son in person was Jan 18, a traditional holiday that falls before Spring Festival. They spent 30 minutes eating dinner as a family before Hu and Wang returned to their posts at 8 pm.
Now, the two medics, who live in isolation units after work, can only squeeze in video chats with their son, who is being looked after by his grandparents at home.
On Lunar New Year's Eve, Hu used an online chat to apologize to his son for being absent.
Wang said: "My son is proud of his father. His grandma cried when Hu Ming had a fever, and I asked our son if he was worried, too. He said his father was serving the people and making a contribution to society."
She added that she could hardly believe those words had been spoken by her child.