A Close COVID Contact Sent to Jiangsu to Quarantine.
The last few weeks have seen Shanghai experience an unprecedented number of positive cases, leading to thousands of people in one of the biggest cities in the world being displaced and separated from their lives and family.
In this interview series we explore the first-hand, personal experiences of those among us that have been directly affected by they themselves or those around them testing positive for COVID-19.
A Close COVID Contact Sent to Jiangsu to Quarantine
This is an interview with a male, 31, who was a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. On Monday, April 4, he was taken to a quarantine hotel in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, where he will quarantine for 14-21 days. Here is his story.
Ask: How were you notified that you were a close contact of someone who tested positive?
I was notified that I was a close contact via our community representative who made contact with our landlord. I then connected that person to one of our operations managers at work who then relayed the vast majority of the communication from that point on.
Ask: What was going through your head when you found out?
I had a fairly good idea I was a close contact already, so I was not particularly stressed about the situation. They weren’t able to give too much clarity on what it all meant initially, besides the fact that I was going to need to quarantine for 14-21 days.
Obviously, that was frustrating as I continued to test negative every day. But as the rest of the city was headed towards a lockdown anyway, I wasn’t too annoyed.
Ask: Describe the timeline and experience of how you were picked up and brought to centralized quarantine.
I was told on a Sunday, April 3, that I would be transported to a hotel to quarantine in either Zhejiang or Jiangsu province that day and that I needed to prepare immediately.
After waiting all day, no one came to get me or called again. At 2pm the next day, I was told that I would be picked up at 2.30pm to be taken to the hotel, with still no answer on where it actually was.
I was then taken in a minivan to a larger bus and told to put on a full hazmat suit with face shield and gloves. Myself and around 30 others were then taken four hours away to Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province.
It was an interesting experience – to say the least – to be on a bus and not know where I was going.
Once we arrived at the hotel, we were each given a key and headed up to our rooms. Throughout the trip the volunteers were all respectful, patient and had a reasonable level of English.
Ask: Did you have any COVID symptoms?
I am still negative on all tests and have no symptoms at all.
Ask: What are the living conditions like?
It is a 4-star hotel, twin room with two single beds, a large desk and two lounge chairs. There’s also a 2×2-meter floor space to work out on, a nice bathroom and one of the windows can open for fresh air.
There were also various snacks in the room when I arrived and lots of water. We get three meals per day that are of reasonable quality (if you’re not picky) and a WeChat group to ask any questions in.
I assume it is a very similar set-up to most (better quality) quarantine hotels used for international arrivals.
Ask: Are you able to move around much?
There is more than enough space to move around in the room, and space to exercise in.
Ask: Have you ever felt unsafe during your experience?
Never. While frustrated at the lack of information about where and why I was being transported, I never felt unsafe at any point.
Ask: Overall, what are your thoughts on the current situation?
The zero COVID policy just doesn’t seem to work against this variant of the virus and seems unnecessary due to the very low mortality rate at the moment.
But this did somewhat seem an inevitable outcome having seen what’s happened throughout the rest of the world; it’s better to get it out of the way now than to still be living in limbo in six months’ time…
Hopefully we can get through this tough period in the next few weeks, see a policy change and get back to both normal daily life and international travel sooner rather than later.
Related: Covid-19 in China