An auto exec’s ordeal to flee coronavirus, stranding him far from home

Andrew Parrish, his wife Meng Lu (front), son, Aaron, and daughter, Shirley, at Shanghai Pudong International Airport heading to the United States for Christmas in 2019.


Andrew Parrish; his wife, Meng Lu, front; son, Aaron; and daughter, Shirley, head to the USA for Christmas from Shanghai Pudong International Airport in 2019.

Imagine leaving home for a brief family vacation and 45 days later – you’re still gone.

That’s what’s happened to auto industry consultant Andrew Parrish and his family. 

The family lives in Shanghai, but they are stranded in Dallas because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

“We really, really, really want to go home, but we’re not sure when it’ll be a good time to go back,” Parrish said. “It’s kind of like being a refugee.” 

There are others in Parrish’s  predicament, people, many of them his friends, who  fled China in late January for refuge in Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom and Italy.

They have no idea if or when they will see home again, said Parrish, who keeps in touch with them.

Fear of the unknown

Parrish, 41, is a U.S. citizen who’s lived in China for nearly 20 years. He’s general manager for CMD Consulting, a Chicago consultancy to companies doing business in Asia. He has several auto industry clients including auto parts supplier Lucerne International in Auburn Hills and four other Detroit-based auto suppliers.


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