East vs West

Mad Chaos: January 30, 2020 – Airline Enforce Wuhan Travel Bans

Today is our eighth consecutive day of self-quarantine in Guangzhou (广州市) due to the coronavirus (冠状病毒).

I woke up in the afternoon with a dry feeling at the back of my throat.  It is not from a cold and it is not hard to swallow but is the kind of dryness you get if you have been jogging in pollution and the back of your throat chokes up.

My wife was in the kitchen making food.  My son was also playing around her.

I screeched, “Hello!”

He came out of the kitchen and said, “Ah!”

Discussing The Coronavirus Outbreak

Soon, my wife and I talked about the coronavirus again.

I said, “Do you know how many deaths there are now?  Over 170.  It has climbed by 40.”

But maybe those measures of locking everyone down in Wuhan city has worked because the total number of infections has slowed.

The news reports on CCTV13 conflicted with the news that filtered through WeChat sources and international news.  The disparity creates a big sense of frustration in China.  The rest of the world understands it as well.

International reports mention, “China is not being very transparent at the moment.  We just have to rely on their figures.”

A Sense Of Inevitability In China

Then I asked, “Did you see the videos I sent to you last night?”


I saw a video montage of what has been happening in the Wuhan hospitals.  The video footage showed the hospital hallways were more packed than a Guangzhou metro train.  The scenes of exhausted hospital staff, hallways choked with patients, and staff on the phones desperately asking for more resources were crazy.  I would hate to get sick and have to go to a hospital because it looks like pandemonium and chaos.

Hearing this, my wife told me how the Chinese government is never transparent.

She said, “Wuhan hospital had to ask the people of China for donations because the government was not helping them.”

I said, “But the government is helping now with 50 billion dollars, and they are sending military personnel to the hospitals.”

I had a sense that people in China feel powerless.  There is no consultation with the people.

It is not like the Chinese people can say, “Hey Chinese government.  We need you to come to the Wuhan hospital.”  Then there is a dialogue between the government and the people.  It does not work like that.

The people’s needs is not being discussed on TV for 3 days, and then – based on consensus – it happens.  The executive branch makes an executive decision in China.  It gets implemented, and people have to accept it.  That is Chinese politics.

Scoot Airlines Wuhan Travel Ban

We also discussed the recent travel bans that airlines had put in place.

Last night I discovered that Scoot airlines has cancelled airplane tickets for passengers flying directly from Wuhan  to Singapore.



If they extend that travel ban from anyone from China, that means we will not be able to board an airplane on March 13, 2020 to go back to Australia.  That spooked me into action.

Then we also have citizenship problems.  My wife and son are both Hong Kong citizens.  I am an Australian citizen.

Hong Kong has already barred mainland Chinese and visitors coming to Hong Kong from China.  That means I cannot go to Hong Kong to live with my son and wife.  That exit route is out of the question now.

If our airplane from Guangzhou to Sydney via Singapore gets cancelled, then we cannot travel to Singapore.  We will once again be stranded in China because Singapore do not want us either.

I can travel back to Australia and get quarantined for 14 days, but with my wife and son both not being Australian citizens they possibly will not be allowed to enter Australia with me.

Hong Kong  does not want me, Australia does not want my family.  We essentially have nowhere to go if things get worse.  The only option to keep our whole family together is to remain in China, but we would not be able to pay the rent, the bills, and feed ourselves if we were in lockdown for an indefinite period of time.

Helping With Proofreading Tasks

Soon, my wife returned to prepare lunch.  We also ordered two coffees for 50元  via the Lucksin Coffee WeChat APP.  I continued to play with our son.

Also, a student asked me to proofread one of her English documents.  I gladly obliged and received money online via WeChat Transfer for the task.  My student wants me to proofread a few other documents, which would be nice pocket-money.

Lunch Time Coffees And WeChat Updates

Moments later our coffees arrived.  I donned a face mask and nipped downstairs to pick up the cappuccino and latte that we ordered.

Chinese Lunch In GuangzhouLunch was a cooked egg and tomato dish, a dish of green leafy vegetables, and bowls of rice.  My wife also had her own meat-based dishes, and cooked food for our son too.  She sat him in his dinner chair and fed him first.

I used WeChat (微信) to browse news and chat to friends.  A local Chinese friend of mine who works in a hospital came online and said hello to me.



She works as a nurse in a local hospital.  We chatted about how the coronavirus has spread, what the Chinese government has done, the lack of transparency, and how her hospital does not deal with coronavirus patients..

We also mentioned how hard it is to exercise now because people in China are all encouraged to stay home.

She joked, “If you do not get exercise you can run up and down the stairs.  I run up to level six and then back down to level one.”

I laughed, “I have thirteen levels to run up and back down.”

However, her joke to run up and down the internal apartment block stairs was actually good advice for people locked down in their own apartments.

Too Bloated To Be Active

After dinner, our son looked tired.

I unbuckled his chair straps, took him out into my hands, and span him around the television room.  He had that blank stare where he looks up at me.  You could already tell he was zoned out.  I walked him into the bedroom.  He cried a bit, but soon fell asleep in my hands.  I rocked him into the cot and put him down.  He went straight to sleep.

Now we both had time to ourselves.  However, I was also drowsy after lunch.

I said, “I am going to the bedroom to have a nap.  Our is asleep in there, so I can take care of him.”

She floated the idea, “Okay, I am going outside to get some fresh air.”

Instead, she played Mahjiang (麻将) online with her three relatives for the hour and a half I was asleep.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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