We Have Each Other

grey skies in Beijing

“Let’s look for something positive,” we say as we stroll around the park while the skies are blue.  Good thing we strolled then because the skies are now grey as I look out over the subway into the park from my Beijing bedroom window.

Jayne, Simon, the boys and I think about the positives as we walk around the park.  It takes a while to think of something but we come up with the following:

  1. The skies are blue
  2. The birds are chirping
  3. There is new growth on the rose bushes
  4. Not many people are outside
  5. We have each other

We have each other!  There are a handful of us (teachers) who stayed in Beijing for the Chinese New Year for various reasons and now often times feel “Stuck,” which is hard to explain and understand unless you live here, I guess.

We talk about leaving but then where do we go? The virus is spreading beyond China.  As long as we avoid crowds, wear our masks and wash our hands, maybe we will be ok. Besides, is it safe to fly with other people sitting next to us? Have they been to Wuhan? Have they been near people who have been in Wuhan? Did they eat bat or snake?  

If we leave, the smart thing, (maybe?) would be to go somewhere in the same time zone as we will be E-Teaching beginning Monday February 3.  If I went to the USA, I would be working online with the students from 10pm-5am due to the 14 hour time difference. But it is an option. Though it may be a time-limited option as flights are being cancelled out of Beijing.

All teachers are supposed to be back on February 10th for a 14 day quarantine period in case school starts again.  So if I left now, I would have to return by the 10th. So, I’m not sure going home is the smart thing to do at this point.

But on the other hand, we are not allowed into the school to get supplies unless extreme precautions are taken, such as: wearing a facemark and goggles, disinfecting hands and shoes, narrowing the area we will walk to and when leaving follow the same path as we used when we came in. The cleaning lady will sterilize the area behind us as we leave.

I can’t imagine school opening any time soon if they have to go to these extreme measures for just one person picking up a few things. So will we report to school anytime soon? Too many unknowns.  From what I understand, Beijing Public Schools are closed indefinitely. We are not a public school. 

If I do go home there are some positives:

  1. I’m home
  2. I can work on the house 
  3. I don’t have to listen to the people above me in this apartment
  4. Braum’s milk 
  5. So many good things!

No, I didn’t list seeing family and friends or most importantly, my daughters kids (the DK’S).  I wouldn’t want to risk seeing anybody without a quarantine period. I wonder how all the people who were evacuated from Wuhan are doing?  They were right in the center of the outbreak.  If they seem to be ok, then maybe I can go home, too.  

Or, maybe I will stay here and wait it out.  As mentioned earlier, we have each other and that is worth more than the price of tea in China.  I’m thankful for my friends here who are experiencing the same emotions and feelings as me.

I am running short of masks, so I guess this is an option

I will continue to ponder these things as I listen to the ambulance pass down the street with the sirens blaring, which is unusual. I don’t think I have ever heard an ambulance siren here.  I can’t help but think….is that number 214? 

life sucks if you let it….find a friend and think positive thoughts!


About cessley

I am a bereaved parent. I write to give hope to other bereaved parents who are fresh in their grief. I want them to know life begins again. It (life) is forever changed, as are you, but one day, you will smile again. You may travel, you will make new friends, your heart will mend, though never heal and it will be a painful ride. It is one step at a time....sometimes, even one breath to the next is all we can seem to live through each day. But each day will be a new beginning, a different beginning, a different you. I have two surviving children: Amy, who is married to Brandon, and they have one daughter, Avery, and one son, Dylan. and Eric who is a doctor and is Clifton's twin brother. Clifton passed away when he was nearly two years old. As any bereaved parent knows, it is tough, REALLY tough trying to live after the death of a child. I lived in Shanghai, China for three years after the death of my son, and then lived in Beijing for two years. I am discovering life again, one step at a time. I returned to Oklahoma in February , 2020 due to the uncertainty of the virus. Little did I know the uncertainty would follow me across the ocean. This is nothing compared to the death of a child. I will survive! View all posts by cessley

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