Something Wacky Happened

CHINA – [Joyce Slayton Mitchell, a part-time resident of Hardwick who has done business in China, received this letter from a Chinese friend. Mitchell also resides part-time in New York City.]

Hoa bu Hao my dear friend!
Something wacky happened in the past few days…
As a direct contact of a COVID positive person (car wash in the underground car park in my apartment building), I am qualified as the “primary suspect” and the rule is to quarantine me in a hotel room for 14 days, after all the testing negative, I get to go home, and stay home for seven days for observation, and they test me for a few more times negative before they can set me free. Lets’ call it 14+7, that means I will be prisoned anyway for total of 21 days! I bet you can’t imagine how strict the rules are here, and they are crazy!
After I was sent away from my apartment to the hotel, the rest of people in my apartment building (nearly 100 people I suppose) were all qualified as “secondary suspect,” they were all sent to a different hotel, a much bigger hotel, for quarantine, without telling them how many days, of course none of them were happy. They’ve been trying very hard every day calling and writing to communicate with the “authority” and see if they can come home earlier, but no, no one in the authority was able to help them, and told them clearly that they have to follow the 14+7 quarantine rule (14 days in hotel + 7 days at home).
Fast forward to the seventh day, the hotel called me and said I can go home, and do seven-day observation at home. It was such a pleasant surprise, at home I can do so much more, I can cook, I can walk around, I can do calligraphy blablabla … but remember I was supposed to do 14+7? Why am I sent home on the seventh day? Clearly it’s a mistake someone made.
When I returned to my apartment, guess what, NO ONE WAS IN THE BUILDING! Every single person, all my neighbors (as secondary suspects) are all still kept in the hotel cell and still fighting to get out, and I (the only primary suspect) am home!
Almost the end of the story, fortunately I have stored enough food at home, the district also send me a box of veggies, so I have plenty of food to survive for the time being.
It is really crazy for what’s happening in Shanghai since late March, most of people are kept at home, sometimes they get food, sometimes they don’t, the situation is terrible, and they don’t know how long more they have to suffer from this. I’ve been communicating with my friends there and they all have different complains, some of them you know, Victor Li, Louis Chu, April Zhou…..they are all kept home for almost a month now. I heard many American teachers from international schools are trying to run away from China to escape from all these chaos.
I have four more days to go to fulfill my seven days at home (but I don’t know if they are going to add my sentence back if they found their mistake?) anyway, I am happy to be at home if they want to keep me here seven more days I am fine, but really hope that I can get out sooner than that!
Wish me luck my friend, are you on your way to Hardwick already?
Best,
Lucy Guo