home, sweet home

Everything goes back to normal here, at least it looks like it. 

People are out on the street again, some kids are playing around, some people are running with earphones in, some are waiting at bus station, some are riding bicycles, some are delivering food or other packages……

But every single of them is wearing a mask, even including the baby in the stroller. And they don’t interact with each other but keep distance.

Cars were driven on streets again, public transportations were back as well. Restaurants, supermarkets, malls were reopened. Schools are planning to reopen soon. Even domestic travel has been promoted now.

But no matter what place it is opened, there will be a gigantic obvious sign hanging on the door says “STERILIZED TODAY”, and there will also have a sign right next to it that says “please wait here for the health check.”

PC: timgsa.baidu.com

Disease Prevention Center developed the “Health QR code” to represent the users’ health status at the beginning of February. By now, literally everyone has their own code in their mobile phone, at least in the city where I’m living.

The code has three different colors: green, yellow, and red. Every single place requests to have a GREEN code for entering or leaving. The RED code holder is requested for self-imposed quarantine at home or mass quarantine for 14 days in a row, and shall be eligible to have a GREEN code when he/she has reported himself/herself in normal condition for the past 14 days.

The first free morning after I got out of mass quarantine, my health code didn’t turn into green from red. I had difficulty returning home, the security guard wouldn’t let me enter the community where I live after knowing that I didn’t have the correct color code. 

I thought I don’t need to take my temperature twice a day after quarantine, but it turned out that my temperature is taken about ten times a day now.

Wherever I enter, there will always be someone stop me to take my temperature first and then ask to check my health code.

PC: timgsa.baidu.com

One thing really baffled me: I don’t get it why some people slightly backed off and kept distance from me after they heard I am just released from quarantine. Although I also told them that took two testings, and both of them were negative.

I wrote a blog post about racism after virus two months ago, and now I felt a bit of discrimination in my own country. I think it originated from fear, and I don’t know what I can do about it. 

Goodbye to the Circus

As I walked down the hill, rounding the bend just before reaching the parking lot, a thought ran through my mind, but in an instant, I had expelled it. I had thought to myself, “what if this is the last time I set foot on this campus as a student?” But with stormy weather approaching and a sour mood pervasive through the student body, I didn’t allow myself a moment to linger on the idea, and left swiftly, my stereo silent, with only the mechanic hum of my engine to fill my thoughts. Why was I in such a hurry to leave?
 
I keep playing that moment back in my head. I didn’t take a moment to say goodbye to anybody, I knew I wasn’t going to see them for at least a month, even a brief farewell would be better than nothing. After all, these are the people I have cultivated strong relationships with the past seven years. But I don’t think I was ready.
 
Now that the remaining strands of my senior year are confined to a desk and I have much of the day to sit on my bed and think, I try to occupy myself with plans of the future. I committed to my college a month earlier, I’m already searching for roommates, trying to get my ideal housing. But I’m still trapped in that moment.
 
That one singular instance, an otherwise insignificant instant in time amounting to no more than a single shutter of a hummingbird’s wings, and I’m frozen in it. I stand there, Thermoflask in one hand, lunch bag in the other, backpack on, rounding the corner, staring directly at my car as if that would get me there faster. Why was I in such a hurry to leave?
 
I’ve never been in such a hurry to leave.
 
Maybe I knew this would be my last time seeing all my friends together again, and I was only trying to save myself, escaping the flood of memories that was rushing down the hill after me.
 
Photo Credit: Safe Haven Marine
 
 
The end
 
See how abrupt and unsatisfying that ending was?
 
Yeah, it sucks doesn’t it?