East vs West

Mad Chaos: January 28, 2020 – Carving Out A Coronavirus Escape Plan

Dinner was a bowl of rice, a dish of green vegetables, and scrambled eggs.  I have lived in China, Guangzhou for seven years, and I still do not know the Chinese dishes by name.  I sat down next to my wife, as we both ate.

In that time we discussed the novel coronavirus outbreak again.  On our sixth day of self-quarantine in China, Guangzhou, the coronavirus has undoubtedly become topical.

The Power Of Self-Quarantine

At one point my wife mentioned, “Tomorrow I want to go to the mall to get chopsticks.”

Straight up I told her, “Nah, don’t do that.  It is too dangerous.”

She said, “Even for chopsticks?”

I said, “But if you go to the mall, catch the virus, and we get sick, we still have to go to Australia in a month and a half.  What happens if you get sick?  The Chinese government will not let us onto the airplane.”

She said, “You are right.  Okay, I won’t go to the mall tomorrow.  I will stay home.”

I suggested, “Just order it online.”

I also mentioned to her, “Every time a delivery driver brings takeaway to our door we need to wear a mask so we do not potentially contract any latent virus that they may have.”

She agreed with me.  In China, we now have to make these choices.

Discussing The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

When I see the coronavirus survival rate beside the death toll, based on those figures, it seems to be that one in five patients die due to coronavirus complications.   I am worried also about reports that 20%-25% of patients have serious health complications, so we need to treat it more seriously.


It sounds pretty awful what is happening to people infected with the coronavirus.  There is no official information coming from the government.  Nothing is really transparent.  You never see what actually happens to the patients in hospital who have the coronavirus or those who are subsequently discharged.

Unless someone in the hospital takes photos or video evidence, the government does not come out domestically to tell the actual situation to its people, so the whole international and domestic community do not get a chance to assess the entirety of the threat for ourselves.

I need to know for my own sake and for my family’s sake how bad this is.  I cannot sit here in my apartment in China, Guangzhou and blindly trust the official line to keep me safe.  I need to be informed to be able to make an informed decision.  I cannot do that watching Chinese news.  Information transparency is not like that of Western governments.

I am growing frustrated that we are officially three weeks into this novel coronavirus outbreak and we still do not know what is going on.  We know that they are building a hospital in five days, and spending 50 billion yuan to contain the virus outbreak, but those are things the Chinese government is doing.  Those are all good news positive stories, but we need to know why.

Our Independent Daily Rituals

Soon after dinner, I was able to put our son to sleep.  My wife was happy about that.

She exclaimed delightedly, “Whoa, I can sit down and watch the TV show!  Oh, I can do some things for myself!”

I think I am getting bored at home too.  I have nothing to do  I sat next to her on the blanket to scour news websites using VPN, as she watched her TV show.  The VPN was so slow.



An hour later our son began to cry from the bedroom.  Our attempts to rock him back to sleep proved unsuccessful.  I came to the study room, as she continued to take care of our son in the bedroom.

After half an hour I heard her laughing out hysterically.  It sounded like she was crying and laughing at the same time.  Curiously, I walked over, to see her and our son on a WeChat (微信) video call to her female cousin.  They were talking in Cantonese.

She said, “He did not want to go to sleep.”

Soon I came onto the exercise bike.  I sweated a lot over an hour on the bike.   I weighed 88.1 kilos before I began.  I weighed 87.2 kilos when I measured my weight in the bathroom later.  I was proud of that.

Late Night Snack Run

From then I donned a face mask to come to the corner convenience store downstairs.  I purchased some snack food.  I know, bad idea.

I am grateful these days that my wife had the presence of mind to order two packages of face masks a week ago before the novel coronavirus outbreak became common knowledge.  We are lucky to have face masks because now you cannot buy face masks in pharmacies, supermarkets, or online anymore.  They are sold out everywhere.

When I returned upstairs I had a hot sensation in my forehead.  I think it is because it was so cold outside.  I was getting accustomed to the weather change.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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