OK, back in service on the internet. I am quarantined, but allowed out of my house to go get food. I am monitored everywhere I go. Last week, about 10 days ago they gave me a card that had all the dates in the coming 3 months on it. I got a check mark every time I went out and had to wait 2 days before I could go out again. I have my temperature checked every time I go in and out. After four days, the 18th I had to line up to get out of the apartment complex. There maybe four officials checking the individuals in each room of the apartment house. I remember because I missed the bus going to the bank. It took all week to take 700RMB out of the bank, but that’s another story.
The Chinese installed an APP on my cell phone so I simply scan the scan-code and my phone records the time I left. Then when I get on the bus, I hit another scan-code that tells them I got on the bus. The net result is that the germ bags walking around town were all taken off the streets. Everybody wears masks. Streets that were in traffic jams are literally empty. All stores, except essential food stores are closed. It is amazing. It looks like I imagine Chernobyl Russia looked after the nuke event.
The Chinese have done an incredible job getting this situation in hand. More than eleven hundred health care workers have contracted the illness and there are pictures on social medial of a wife kissing their husband goodbye as if he is going to war. A small tear in her eye, but because he is a doctor he must go to Wuhan, the war zone. In the course of a couple weeks I recon, Wuhan has had every house searched, and the occupants tested for the virus. It has been a massive dragnet and cleanup. If anybody asks if all this trouble is necessary, I feel the answer is definitely YES. There have been no new cases (reported) in Guiyang for several days now.
What is insidious about this enemy is that you can be a carrier, or even a supercarrier, without showing symptoms. When somebody gets sick it is necessary to figure out who that person has been in contact with over the last ten days, track them down, and test them. I was in Guiyang 17 years ago when SARS hit. That was an awkward response because the true situation was hidden by government officials for months. Guizhou (my province) was the only province that didn’t get a SARS case. We are kind of isolated and in the mountains. In the end of January, when the first figures were published, we already had ten cases and rising fast. I believe the response was appropriately heavy handed, and seems successful. I am hoping that by two or three weeks into March that we will start to be getting back to work. The economic damage has been massive, like most wars.
I think the risk for me is quite low, but the inconvenience is high. We are all keeping in touch with each other by social media. I did take a long trip yesterday to stock up on coffee beans which are fairly rare in my neighborhood. I felt justified in taking off for a while because the coffee crisis seemed like an emergency to me.
In front of an almost vacant mall, with a METRO store where I bought my coffee, I saw a young couple nose to nose, trying to kiss with their masks on. I didn’t know whether to yell at them to be careful of the virus, or just cry. I walked quickly by to leave them to their privacy, nose to nose beside a vacant six lane street. If it sounds surreal, that’s because it was.
I will leave it at that right now. More will be forthcoming. Get ready, this has potential to be like a 1918 Spanish Flu. China had a head start on fighting this thing because people spreading false information got arrested quickly, and the government already has detailed records on where everybody lives. I worry about my countrymen. Will the People cooperate with their government when draconian government power is asserted during an election and in the summer of the ten-year census?
Will all the undocumented border jumpers come out to be tested in the sanctuary cities? Don’t cancel your cable TV just yet. There’s going to be a lot of entertainment this year for all you news freaks. Stock your pantries and pick out a nice surgical mask. This is a not so slow-moving train coming right at the human race. I hope I am exaggerating. Let’s just work together and try to get through this. Pray for good luck, good leaders, and an understanding country.
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