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#COVIDCatLady, Day 49

A little bit more normal everyday. After a couple of warm days, Shanghai is suddenly rainy and cold. Had to pull out my parka today before heading to a clinic for a routine checkup. That’s about how normal it feels now, normal enough for me to consider going to the hospital for something not at all urgent or mandatory. Still had to have my temperature checked and write down my ID number and contact info to enter the building. I was having trouble pulling up that QR code on my phone (the green one that guarantees that I haven’t left Shanghai in the past 14 days, or been in contact with someone who’s been diagnosed), and the security said, “forget the code, as long as you’re not a foreigner.” Two months ago, it was “as long as you’re not from Wuhan.” I rolled my eyes and look forward to the day when all of these restrictions are dropped. The fear and labeling are making us jerks.

Just this morning, I had commented on a friend’s post about how a Taiwanese American (without Taiwan citizenship) got her and her elderly parents back to Taiwan because she was scared of the virus situation in San Francisco, saying she felt like a “refugee” running from a war. She plans on overstaying her 3-month visa. Taiwan very well may let her. I got angry and commented something along the lines of “just stay home, the virus isn’t going to kick down your door.” It’s bugged me, how casually people have used the word “refugee” for a virus that you can very well protect yourself from by staying home, unless you’re a medical or care professional on the front lines, or can’t afford to stop working. Anyone who can fly off to another country with the intention of “hiding” for a few months without worrying about their livelihood isn’t a refugee with no options in the face of impossible circumstances. And then I changed my mind. A shower will do that to your head. I went back and replied to my own comment: I don’t actually know what options she was facing. And I of all people should understand the desperation you feel when you’re scared of losing your parent.

That’s sort of been the daily emotional exercise. Get angry. Ask myself if it’s fair. Try and not add that to the world. We’ve got enough to deal with now.

My resolutions this year were to refrain from self-righteous anger and comment more on things I love than things I hate. I picked a hell of a year for these resolutions. On a brighter note, 2 out of the 4 books I ordered from Bookdepository had arrived, having been securely jammed into my mailbox by what appears to be a very strong mailman. Had to put my foot on the door for leverage to pull one of the books out with both hands Luckily the book was undamaged. I’d make a joke that relates to my birth story but... Yeah nah.


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