And keeping myself safe. And not panic ing.
“Go home and wash with hot water, wash your nasal cavity, rinse your mouth with a hairdryer. Prions will lose transmission at 56 ° C”
This is the google translation of a message sent to me by my sister in law and just one of the many pieces of ‘advice’ I have had.
The news comes thick and fast. Carrie Lam, under pressure to close the border with China has sort of half done it by suspending high speed rail and cross border ferry services.
Government workers are ordered to work from home and private companies are following suit. Public facilities are all closed indefinitely including swimming pools (had decided this was a bad idea anyway and glad I didn’t get in that day) and museums etc. Schools are shut for 2 weeks beyond the normal lunar holiday.
Ironically the centre I got my weekend job at is still planning to open and asked me to go in saying the children would wear masks and use hand gel. I have politely declined, as I have to use crowded public transport systems to get there, which is a definite no no.
I had a long chat with my hosts, Mr and Mrs Leung this morning and asked them if they would prefer me to move out. Their daughter and son in law are both doctors, living and working in London, and very worried for their parents. Mr and Mrs Leung spend 6 months in the UK each year and this means that their English is great and also they don’t think exactly the same way as traditional HKers. This has helped hugely when trying to have such a conversation and making some plans. We have agreed that for now, none of us will go out unnecessarily or have contact with others. We will take walks out within the area which is rural compared with TST where I stayed last. I am not going to see my family for a few days. Yesterday I walked to see them, rather than using public transport and we ate in a very quiet private type restaurant and they gave me a lift home. But even so it is really hard to totally relax and enjoy myself and also return back to here wondering if I have brought the virus home.
I never imagined when I set off that I’d end up having to think about all this stuff. Whether to stay, or come home, from these people, this place, that I am trying to get to know better. Coming home, whilst sounding good, also has some downsides. Being confined in a plane with a couple of hundred unknowns for 13 hours has limited appeal. And then on arriving back in the UK, I’d probably self quarantine for 14 days and would definitely not go near a vulnerable 90 year old mother in law or a little young grand daughter, well anyone who I care about really.
All food for thought. Quite different from my visit a year ago. But important to not panic, take in as much reliable information as possible, and keep reviewing the situation.