What Life is Like for Expats Living Under Quarantine

Source: TheSouthAfrican

A South African expat living in China amid the coronavirus outbreak says that the South African community there are scared and unsure of what lies ahead.

Jordan Hill, 30, who works as an English teacher in the Jiangsu province just four hours away from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak has been under quarantine since late January.

He had decided to remain in China during the school holidays, and the virus broke out shortly thereafter.

I chose not to travel this holiday. And it was a decision I regret making. Within days, the roads were beginning to close. Public transport was shut down as needed. Security checks and medical checkpoints across the city, province and even the country, and as we have seen, even flights in and out of China have been cancelled.

Living Under Quarantine

Speaking to TheSouthAfrican, Hill said that he has been holed up in his apartment for weeks, and when he leaves, he is subjected to having his temperature checked almost everywhere he goes.

I have isolated myself from pretty much all human contact. I stay away from public places and dont leave my apartment unless absolutely necessary. If I do, I wear a mask, gloves and take precautions as necessary to reduce the risk of infection.

I wash my hands on a regular basis so much so that they are actually drying out. I also keep myself updated with all the current affairs and situation of the virus in my city and China as a whole.

Hill said that the school where he teaches has called off classes, and many of his students are also living under quarantine.

I am not working. There is the possibility that we will continue to work from home at some stage via online classes. I am, however, still waiting to confirm this, and this may well vary between different schools, he said.

I miss my little students and I just hope that they are all safe during this time.

He said he is becoming used to the isolation, and has ensured that he is stocked up on provisions.

There is certainly not a food shortage from what I have experienced. People are scared, expats have evacuated and left their lives behind here for the time being. This is a decision that they have made based on their situation. I, however, have everything I need and I am going to wait this thing out. Netflix, PS4, food. Sorted.

Chinas Response Tremendous

Hill said the response of the Chinese government and its civil servants has been impressive.

China has done an incredible job building 1 000 bed hospitals in just 10 days, limiting public transport across regional networks. From what I can see from my apartment block, the public servants of China have put in tremendous efforts to help resolve this pandemic. They deserve our support and positive wishes.

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Related Links

As of 2020 Feb 1, around 20,000 expats are using WeChat groups to share tips and information regarding the outbreak. Scan the QR to join.