No doubt about it, Coronavirus has changed our outlook on everything. Joseph from Desperately Seeking Adventure shares his opinion on lockdown while in China:
I started my initial Chinese lockdown in a Beijing hotel room after finishing my previous teaching post. I had also recently moved out of my Beijing apartment of almost 2 years because I had accepted a new post in Ningbo (a city in the South of China that is near Shanghai). The first hotel stay was only intended to be for ten days until after the Chinese Spring Festival holiday had concluded, as to get the paperwork together and to then take a train down to Shanghai to start the conversion of my work permit. I had a few battles with the HR of my previous company but little did I know that a friend told me after I had checked into my second hotel it had been put into quarantine by the local police, nobody could check-in but I was able to stay for my reservation length, phew! Humanitarian Visa sorted, the new company was still trying to figure out a plan to welcome me with the option to convert my new visa/work permit. Unfortunately, due to the local government of that city being under lockdown by local policed standards I had to leave my third hotel for a one-way flight back to my family home in England, to later return to China once the situation had improved.
Back in England, the idea of Corona was very much ‘oh it’s not going to get us!’ I managed to get up to Nottingham for an overnight trip because after 3 weeks spent in hotels in a desolate Beijing I had been climbing the walls. When I say lockdown, the operation in China was slick, masks were a mandatory fixture from day one and people didn’t contest that because masks were already normalised due the pollution levels. Back in England when I had gotten a little drunk, I thought it was a bright idea to book a trip to Benidorm, Spain for a weekend, that weekend happened to be a few days before Spain introduced its ‘Stay At Home’ order. In the grand scheme of things I wasn’t mad that it all got cancelled because I wasn’t prepared to be trapped in a third country, no second lockdown I wanted but as it happened to unfold at home I had no choice but to go with the debacle of the first stages with the UK ‘so called’ lockdown.
I was disgusted to see my own countrymen and women lord about during the first throws of the lockdown with no regard for anyone but themselves. The exercise waived by the UK government was a license to take liberties, in China no such thing was allowed because the government had each community managed with preventative Corona proof solutions. In China people were only suggested to have one person in each household who would go and do food shopping every three days, similar with the French and Spanish models, things worked that way and the virus could be contained well.
Backtracking a little bit, it was tough to get to grips with the pandemic whilst I was back in China. Seeing Wuhan go into lockdown first with an absolute travel ban for the city had me in my feelings, I had worked in Wuhan during 2015 til 2017. Wuhan had been the first city I had really got know and work in during my first stint in China. I recognised the scenes from underground trains, the empty streets and the goings-on that were being brought to a certain western social media platform, I was saddened and disturbed.
2019 had seen me travel to some immense places, from North Korea in the February for Chinese Spring Festival, a few short weekends here and there within China were lovely to experience. For my summer holiday I was able to get about also, if truth be told I felt a certain air of calm whilst I was in New York City before Christmas, it seemed like a clinical kind of calm. 2020 had me practically trapped, in my second hotel I was able to work on extra posts from my USA trip, the four to five post limit had me shelve blogs past my initial December holiday. Creating series like ‘This Departure Lounge..’ I started to recount my previous travel experiences for 2019, then in England I had a false sense of security with no lockdown imposed after my unplanned arrival. My ‘Destination: Nottingham, England’ post had me feeling that I could travel around in England throughout my stay but how wrong I actually was.
Feeling some kind of way about 2020 as I sat in my third Beijing hotel before my UK bound flight I kicked off my first blog in retaliation to Corona. ‘2020: The Story So Far: Part 1’ had me feeling all kinds of feelings, I had had some guy drama during the start of the year so that added to my silent outing to Beijing Railway Station, I was about to go into the unknown and my year had been totally turned upside down. I wanted to use my blog to channel world events that were relevant, I didn’t appreciate those basic blogs during the lockdown that reflected bloggers beauty regimes or Netflix choices, I was frustrated with the daily government briefings as to how the politicians bumbled their words and messed up the figures of the daily cases and deaths from Corona. Turning the fire up with ‘2020: Coronavirus Has Changed My World! I had unknowingly created a monster, almost on my fourth part of that blog series I have thrashed out the current world issues that have impacted the world and the UK more closely during the lockdown and a bit after the first set of relaxations were allowed by Boris and his gang of questionable employees.
No plane would be taking me to China without my visa, the 29 of March 2020 brought news that I really didn’t want. The Chinese border would be closed to foreigners with immediate effect, rightly so because they wanted to domestically contain the virus. I wasn’t mad with China, I was mad with ‘Little Miss Rona!’ Even though the border had been sealed for foreigners, China’s slick operation had me feeling optimistic. I kept the faith that things would open in the Summer as I sat emotionally exhausted in the Spring of 2020. I was so over 2020, but knew that my blog would give me an anchor, something to look to and it could act as a tool to help people take their mind off the UK government’s shortcomings. Making a futuristic extension to my semi-successful ‘This Departure Lounge…’ blog series, I did some extensive research to create six ‘My Coronavirus Travel Plan’ orientated posts. My aim was and is still to inform readers how we could look forward during the deepest depths of the lockdown, to get those ideas in our heads, knowing where to go when the time is right. I blogged about the online socially distanced ‘Eurovision Song Contest’, being cancelled by the virus it was cathartic to see the remembrance show that almost gave me chills, in blog form it was received favourable views due to the competition having never previously been cancelled.
Coming out of the lockdown, my blog has remained at five posts per month as a standard. The impact of the virus and the lockdown continues to be fruitful with content that might not be cheery, from a personal point of view its been a source of post-lockdown therapy. I am awaiting my path back to China, in the meantime, I am able to express how I feel about how 2020 continues to be a kick in the teeth to put it politely.
About the Author:
I’m Joseph! I adore travel! Blogging helps me capture my many travel experiences. I’m currently on lockdown at home in England due to the Coronavirus outbreak!