Category Archives: Beijing virus

The Journey Home..Part 2

Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Stay in Beijing   VS    Fly home

Continual Debate in my head:


Go Home:


No Internet

Work From 10pm-5am (online teaching 14 hour time difference)

14 day quarantine

It’s cold there

Who would I sit next to on the plane? Where have they been?

US Embassy says go home

No Medical Insurance

Stay Here:


Can take the DK’S (daughter’s kids) on a fun trip (maybe Disney would be fun) with the money I save by not going home

Safe in the Apartment

Listen to the kid upstairs all day long

It’s cold here, but I don’t mind it

I have medical insurance

Help Heather with the baby

Daily walks in the park with friends

Risk temperature being high, becoming the first older, white female quarantined due to hot flashes and can’t explain otherwise : )


Back and forth everyday, it’s like a tennis match in my head.  It’s boring being cooped up all day, but is that any reason to fly home?  I chose not to go anywhere for the Chinese New Year Holiday this year to save money.  I was originally going to go home for this holiday, but those plans changed back in September, so I decided to go to Italy during this holiday, but those plans changed in December. So, here I sit.


It’s hard to explain the feelings and emotions of being in China right now.  Yes, it is a tragic turn of events for the thousands who have been infected and those who have died leaving their families behind. I understand the pain and suffering that goes along with being the bereaved.  Nothing compares to the anguish, desperation and sadness of losing a child, nothing!  So I wonder why I have this debate knocking around in my head?  I can do this.

I have a decent pay check each month and a gratuity at the end of my contract so I just need to keep my eye on the prize and stay put!  I only have 181,188 minutes to go!

But tomorrow when I wake up, I will be looking at flights home again, and so the debate continues. 

life sucks if you let it, but I have options so it’s not all that bad!

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!


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