January 2020 found the country I live in with a virus outbreak. Over the course of TWO WEEKS mass panic took over. I was on holiday break in Bali. I was not gonna give this issue much thought because I was in BALI. I was not gonna ruin my holiday stressing about what was going on.
However with 3 days left the situation escalated quickly. Emails from work were asking us to return as normally scheduled. Be back by February 3 and self quarantine. School will begin February 17. Stay outside of China or come back became the question I had to answer.
I looked at my bank funds FIRST how long could I really afford to stay out? What happens if I can’t get back into the country? What happens when the money runs out?
I don’t have a ‘home’ in the states. I would have to take myself and my child into other people’s homes until it is okay to return. But when will that be? I know family and friends would let me camp out with them but I HATE LIVING OUT A SUITCASE!!!!! I hate that displaced feeling.
I looked at my child who was slowly going stir-crazy in Bali in the heat. Go figure.
My flight was scheduled to leave 1:30 am January 31. I was to fly from Bali to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong to Shanghai. I was to take a private car from Shanghai to Hangzhou.
I packed enough for two weeks.
It’s crunch time.
I head to the airport.
I am still unsure of what to do.
I look at Elise. I look around me.
We head to the mall. We had LOADS of time to kill. Go to the mall. It rains. I buy two books. We have lunch. I still don’t know what to do. I grab some masks just in case. I look around and all I see are masks and Chinese folks. I’m aggravated just because I don’t know what to do.
Being an adult sucks.
Flight prices were slowing rising.
The city I live in is not highly effected. I can stay inside right?
I get in line to check in for our flight. MASKS EVERYWHERE!!!!!
A calm peace comes over me as I make a decision.
We board our plane.
We are safely back in China in our apartment. Anytime I leave my temperature is checked. I have to wear a mask. Deliveries are being left at the front gate with the guard.
I legit LIVE here. It’s not so simple to just pack up and leave your home. I gotta worry about a dog and a child. Stress cannot control me and my decisions.
I do not regret returning. I have things here I can catch up on that I have been putting off. I am not worried. I have not been contact with NOT ONE SOUL from Wuhan. I couldn’t even tell you where that place in relation to where I am.
SO please take a deep breath and relax. Stop watching the news. Check your sources before contacting me in a panic. I love you all. I am fine. Elise is fine. I came back for my sanity. I did not want to keep hopping countries. I did not want to keep checking in and out of hotels. I did not want to stress and worry my child or myself.
If the US evacuates my city I will get myself and my child on the flight out. Currently they have only evacuated ground zero.
The end of the first week finds my city on “lockdown”
Lockdown definition: an emergency measure or condition in which people are temporarily prevented from entering or leaving a restricted area or building (such as a school) during a threat of danger
Yeah I am not prevented from entering or leaving my apartment complex. They have restricted movement. Meaning I get a pick slip marking how many times I allowed to leave. On the 5th of February it was every two days by the 7th it was twice a week. Only places that are open are grocery stores. I can still order items online and have it delivered to the apartment building and as long as that is allowed, that is what I will do. If I do not need to go outside I won’t.
I send work home to my kids online. Elise completes her work online as well. Cabin fever has not set in yet.
The number of airlines no longer flying in and out of China is growing by the day. The number of countries that will allow me to visit coming from China is also growing by the day.
3 Weeks Later
So it’s been 3 weeks since I returned. Some people have left. Some have stayed. Some are returning. We have stayed put. The city is slowly coming back to life. They implemented a health code via QR code. Basically you answer a few questions and you either get a green, yellow or red QR code that let’s people know if you are healthy, at risk, or sick. If you are wondering the validity of this, there were a few cases of folks who lied and they were discovered. (I think this effects locals because of their ID and being connected to the system better than expats. However our passports get scanned as well when we enter and exit at the airport. The point is don’t think you aren’t being tracked) Any who I was gifted with a green QR code. This means I can enter and exit my apartment complex with no issues. Restaurants are open for delivery only. A few restaurants have opened for dine-in service. You still are required to wear a mask. Stores are slowly opening back up. People are outside walking around the apartment complex. School is still scheduled to re-open March 16 pending government approval and the logistics are figured out about how to return to school and keep everyone safe and healthy. It’s complex. We are still doing online learning. This comes with its own set of problems with slow internet speed when you have a billion people using the same platforms roughly at the same time.
We are relaxing working, watching TV, reading books, doing puzzles, cooking….you know trying not to be bored and go stir crazy. LOL
School will not start on the 16th. No idea when school will reopen. We are now bored. Things are slowly re-opening with limited hours. The virus is now spreading across the world and things are getting downright ridiculous. I watch the news now even less than before . The numbers are dwindling in China so maybe life will be back to normal sometime in April.
Life will go on.