(Vic Carder, in Jan. 29 photo)
Vic Carder, formerly with the Countryside and Pelican’s Nest clubs in Southwest Florida, became the golf pro at Foshan GC in China’s Guangdong Province nearly 10 years ago. He returned to work on March 14 after following China’s self-quarantine procedure, and offered a message of hope in an interview with the Naples (Fla.) Daily News.
Vic Carder went back to work on March 14 in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus that was labeled a global pandemic three days earlier, the Naples (Fla.) Daily News reported.
The former Southwest Florida golf club professional has lived in China the past 9 1/2 years, the Daily News reported, so he had early knowledge of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak that started there around the new year.
“Let people know we will all get through this—[but] please take this serious[ly],” Carder, now the club professional at Foshan Golf Club in China’s Guandong Province, told the Daily News in an e-mail on the day he went back to work after spending 14 days in self-quarantine, to follow China’s mandated procedure for mitigating the spread of the virus.
In Florida before moving to China, Carder worked as a club professional at Countryside Golf & Country Club in Naples and at Pelican’s Nest Golf Club at Pelican’s Landing in Bonita Springs.
Carder told the Daily News that he did not know anyone who has contracted the virus, and that in Foshan, the city of 6 million where he lives, there had been 84 cases to his knowledge, with no deaths.
Carder told the Daily News that he was happy to get back to work and that on the day he returned, there were 90 golfers at the club and the driving range was busy. He gave four one-hour lessons, when on a typical Saturday he will give eight or nine.
“All my lessons are with children, and some of them are still staying inside,” he explained. “All of the kids are [still] taking school online.”
(In 2017, the Daily News reported, Carder came back to Southwest Florida with a group of eight of his golf school junior students from China. They visited Florida Gulf Coast University’s Professional Golf Management program facility and played with The First Tee of Naples/Collier golfers at four clubs in the area, including Heritage Bay, Grey Oaks, Hideout and Countryside.)
Carder can take a golf cart to his apartment, so he did not leave the golf community property after returning to work on the 14th, he told the Daily News.
“I’m hoping that by April 1 we start to get back to normal, but the government will go slow, to make sure they have this contained,” he said. “They are even starting to open Disneyland in Shanghai, and I read that all Apple stores are closed everywhere, but in Mainland China they are open [again]. So slowly it’s getting closer to normal, but it was a massive shutdown.”
Compared to its usual pace, Carder said, Foshan still remains fairly quiet. But it is now showing more life compared to the height of the coronavirus crisis in China, the Daily News reported. When Carder sent a mass e-mail to friends on January 29th that included a photo of him wearing a mask (see above), he described the city as being as quiet as after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. in 2001.
“It’s still quiet,” Carder said on March 14th. “No construction going on, and [usually] there is always construction going on—think of Naples, 2004-2005.”
Carder, 64, returned to China on February 28th from a trip he had planned on January 31st to Thailand, the Daily News reported, and then began the mandated 14-day self-quarantine. “I can’t go out at all, my staff brings me food, and I have to have someone walk my dog Casey,” Carder wrote in a mass e-mail on March 7th while halfway through the quarantine period.
While in Thailand, Carder told the Daily News, he ate street food and went to the night markets without any issues. “I think Thailand has less than 100 cases now, so [it’s] pretty safe,” he said. “It seems like Southeast Asia is doing a good job of controlling the virus.”
When Carder returned to the airport in Guangzhou, he told the Daily News, his temperature was taken three different times, he had paperwork to fill out, and was asked if he had been to Korea.
“The drive home is usually about 1 1/2 hours; it was only 45 minutes,” Carder said. “Once I got to the main gate into my apartment, the guard stopped us and checked the driver and my temperature.”
After getting in his apartment, he was asked to fill out more paperwork and downloaded an app to check where he had been the past 28 days.
Foshan GC’s General Manager went to London when the outbreak first started and flew back on March 6th, Carder told the Daily News. Passengers were kept on that plane for three hours because some people who had been in Italy were on the plane, and those passengers were taken off first and separately.