I don’t think anyone could fully understand what it is like to literally be stuck and not allowed to leave unless you have been in this situation.
The anxiety of is food going to run out?
Considering the options for deliveries were growing slimmer, this was a real panic.
How long are they going to keep us here?
Will I have enough money to pay to stay? What if I run out of money?
What happens if someone in our hotel tests positive?
What happens if someone in my “testing group” tests positive?
The “what ifs” go on and on.
On Wednesday it was announced that the government was taking over the flights. They would begin to Charter tourist off the island, granted they met several conditions: They were in a “low risk area” and had 3 tests in 72 hours. The process for this was to apply for flights in the health code app in Alipay. The problem was if you were a foreigner, you could not apply on Wednesday.
Thursday – August 11th the app was updated and foreigners were able to apply. You would have to reapply every day if you were not “chosen” for a flight home.
After 7 days there was no hope of leaving. Airports were still closed and tourists were applying daily for flights to leave.
As of today, August 15, commercial flights have resumed and many are trying to get on flights home after 10 days of daily testing, minimal food and delivery orders, and just waiting.
The feeling of Sanya, the once bright and sunny destination, is now darkened with feelings of anxiety, frustrations, and hopelessness.
One day, maybe the sunshine will return to this island, but for many this will not be an island they return to.
It’s December now. I never actually finished this post. I think I had to process so many emotions from that time, and then got busy with school and my job.
We eventually made it back. We arrived and did an additional 3 days of home quarantine – which honestly I didn’t hate.
I was HOME and I think that made all the difference.
Looking back now August felt like years ago.
Soon after we arrived, the entire city went into lockdown due to rising covid cases.
Again, compared to Sanya it wasn’t that bad.
I was home.
I hated not knowing if or when we were going to return in person.
It was also difficult as I lost my Aunt Pat during this lockdown.
That did add a layer of unexpected grief and loneliness.
It’s hard to really share and express the feelings and experiences I have had here in China the last 3.5 years. Most of my experience has centered around Covid.
Despite the negatives and stressors living here has added I have stayed.
I know I can go back to the states. But the fact is China is my home right now. This is where my life is, and yes it is sometimes hard as hell. And I get homesick and desperately miss traveling.
But I know these pains and hardships are temporary. And if I was in the States I would be facing different challenges.
I accept that this is a conscious I have made – even if others have not.
Because at this point in my life I am accomplishing A LOT.
I am ACHIEVING my goals.