Mid-way point

I started my 2nd week in quarantine today. I can’t wait for it to be over. It’s not so much the monotony of my daily life. Having a routine helps with that. It’s the lack of interacting with actual living and breathing human beings. One more week to go! I did WeChat with the medical/security team about when I would be released? They confirmed that it would be Saturday May 22nd, even though I arrived in the hotel on Sunday evening at 2:30am. It’s the day that you arrive in the country that counts, not when you arrive at your hotel.

Last night Shanghai changed the quarantine requirements. Instead of just 14-days in a quarantine hotel it has changed to 14+7. That is, in addition to a mandatory 14-day hotel stay you now also have to stay put for 7 extra days either at home or in a hotel. Apparently, the number of COVID19 cases have been increasing in China after Golden week. Golden week is the time of the year where everyone goes home to visit their family. Fortunately, because I arrived before May 16th this does not apply to me. I’m still a free man this Saturday.

That this extra precaution isn’t unnecessary was made clear to me by a friend. Apparently, the same flight I took but then the next day had one COVID19 case on board. That’s quite surprising to me given the precautions they take. Perhaps it was a false positive. In any event, I’ve been told that if that happens all folks who shared that airplane need to stay in quarantine longer. I lucked out there too.

I’m not quite sure what the release process will be on Saturday. According to the instructions I’m supposed to go downstairs after 7am to settle my 7000元 hotel bill. After that I will get a health certificate and I assume I’m then free to go. A friend of mine has already informed me that a getaway car will be ready at that time and that he has the weekend planned for me. I guess I won’t make any appointments for the following Monday.

The same evening of the day when I posted my working from quarantine post, my VPN to Hong Kong broke. The timing is somewhat suspicious but I’m sure it was coincidence. I suspect Saturday evening is prime VPN time in China. I tried different VPNs on different devices, but they all failed. The WIFI still worked, and I was able to get to local Chinese sites such as Baidu and Bing. I tried my corporate VPN and that worked. This (Sunday) morning (~5am) everything started working again. I was all prepared today to go figure out what’s going on, but I guess I have to do that another rainy day.

Talking about rain, the weather has been pretty impressive lately. With thunderstorms rolling in the last few nights lightening up the entire city. I’m on the 19th floor in a corner room and I have an 180° view of downtown and its quite a spectacle.

Other than that, Saturday can’t come fast enough.

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