East vs West

Mad Chaos: February 1, 2020 – Travel Restrictions From Mainland China

The World Health Organization (WHO) labeled the novel coronavirus outbreak in China an international emergency.  You cannot get any more severe than that.  Now the world does not have an excuse to stop travel to China anymore.

The news last night that airline carriers Scoot and QANTAS had both cancelled direct flights from mainland China was a blow to our family plan to leave China mid-March for a new environment in Australia for our child.

We can no longer travel to Singapore with Scoot airlines on March 13, 2020.  We had to come up with a new backup plan.

As all this news came in, I knew that the prices of airplane tickets would go up.  I knew the door was closing on my trip back to Australia with my family.

I was worried that if I go back to Australia by myself then I might not be able to come back into China as a foreigner.  That would devastate me if my family cannot come to Australia and I also cannot return to China.  We would be stuck in an impossible situation.

Now, there is a morbid deadline in our desperation to buy new airplane tickets, all the while fearing that other airline carriers may also cancel flights out of mainland China, rendering our new exit route void.  With people all scurrying to leave China, jostling to secure three new airplane tickets for my family will be all the more difficult.  Our options are becoming more limited the more we wait.

The international media has played this up into fever pitch for more than a week.  The consequences of such sensational news reporting for myself and millions of other people in China or hoping to travel abroad have been severe.

With the novel coronavirus outbreak infecting people throughout China, and with people in China all stuck indoors in various levels of self-quarantine due to the country-wide lockdown, the global panic about a looming epidemic fanned by international media has allowed the introduction of such drastic measures to isolate China.

Mainland Chinese Denied Entry Into Australia

Today, on our tenth consecutive day of self-quarantine in Guangzhou (广州市) due to the coronavirus (冠状病毒), I woke up very late in the afternoon.

My son came into the bedroom and over to my legs hanging off of the bed.  He hugs them, and arches his back backwards onto my legs.  He was smiling, having a lot of fun.

I came out to play with my son in the living room.  That is when I found out about news reports that mainland Chinese tourists had been blocked from entering Australia.  The news immediately upset me.

I think those overreactions are going to have implications for China and other countries around the world.  You are not going to get tourism into Australia if you discriminate against tourists that come into that country.

It is a good measure, to be honest, to temporarily stop people coming to Australia to visit the country for the sake of tourism.  Tourists can come back to Australia another time when everyone is safe.  But people on tourist visas also come to Australia for other reasons.

Rumor Quickly Spreads On WeChat

On WeChat, I found out from one friend – who is a student in Australia currently in China – that she believes she cannot come back to Australia because these new Australian border security measures block her re-entry.

Coronavirus Memes On WeChat Moments

I tried to tell her that the ban only applied to tourists, as was reported in the Australian news, but it turns out that any mainland Chinese including those on student visas will be denied re-entry into Australia.  She is really mad because she believes she cannot go back to Australia to study for a bachelor degree that she is already in the middle of.

There are hundreds and thousands of international students from China who study in Australia, and so many of them would have returned to China for Chinese New Year in early January 2020.

It would be irrational to assume that every single Chinese person who travels from China to Australia is a carrier of the novel coronavirus.

I felt ashamed once again that the Australian government would pass judgement on innocent people.  It reeks of racism from our Australian government, once again, and there will be repercussions and blow-back I am sure.

Making A Baby Face Mask

Soon, my wife asked for my help to make a face mask for our son.  We were unable to find any baby face masks online or in local shops, so we need to make one ourselves.  It is a good initiative.

I told her, “I will go to Rock Square (乐峰广场) to get coffee first.  Are our N95 face masks coming soon?”

She said, “Yeah, the APP tracker shows they got sent today.  They will come  tomorrow.”

We had ordered a pack of N95 masks during the Spring Festival.  Chinese workers should begin to return to their manufacturing jobs in these next few days, which is good news for us because our face mask supply is running low.

Brisk Trip To Rock Square In Guangzhou

I came outside in Guangzhou today to a pall cast over China.  However, despite the doom and gloom, I am treating outside as if it is not a big deal anymore.

I am still taking precautions but now enough time has passed, a majority of people have been staying indoors in China, so I am confident that the spread is not going to be so severe.

As I walked up the main road towards the bank of China I was seeing a lot more females wearing short shorts.  Fashion is making a comeback.

I continued into Shayuan metro (沙园站) and came out of A exit and up the stairs to Rock Square (乐峰广场) up to Costa Coffee.

In there I ordered a tall cappuccino for myself.

There was one lone buxom Chinese female seated down inside Costa Coffee, wearing jeans and a white open-chested top, feverishly playing a video game on her mobile phone while she obliviously munched away on food.  It was nice to see some people in China buck the self-quarantine trend.

And so, having spent half an hour on a brisk walk outside of the safety of our apartment, I returned back home, content to have been outside for some fresh, Guangzhou air.

Diary Of A Mad Chaos: Coronavirus In China
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