The NZ crowd outside the country are in a bit of a tizzy about the MIQ situation. All quarantines are not created equally and not all countries with quarantine have uniform policies by any stretch of the imagination. My hotel isn’t great but at least it’s not a repurposed youth camp or some other facility like some of my colleagues were stuck in last year. The fact of the matter is that if a country decides to go the quarantine route, they really do need to make sure there are enough facilities available.
But then comes the question as to what is suitable. As you can read from this article New Zealanders have pretty high expectations of their facilities including help with their mental health during the 2 week stay. Now I know quite a few people from NZ and to a person they’re all pretty resilient folk given to climbing mountains, trail running and all sorts of rugged activity, so the article rather surprises me. Personally I think MIQ sounds pretty cushy compared to Quarantine here in China. They even get to walk around, access to care packages from friends, and a bottle of wine per day!
Judging by other friends in quarantine in various countries at the very least they seem to be able to choose the type and price point of the hotel they’ll be staying in. One of the most frequently asked question in our quarantine group as people get ready to arrive is how to “game” the system – primarily to avoid the Vienna Hotel (which seems to be the current contender for bottom of the pile). As far as I can tell, there are 3 groups of people in the “sorting hat” of the airport:
- those destined for Shanghai – in which case they turn left and get allocated according to their district. Now rumour has it that they don’t actually check that you live in Shanghai, just check that it’s a valid address – I don’t know if it’s worth risking
- those who are “special” usually they’re already marked as special in the plane and they’ve pre-arranged their specialness and are called out before others disembark, are guided through the testing process and whisked out of a different gate – from my plane it seems that they may have been diplomatic types and one couple had a young baby (and perhaps also diplomatic)
- The rest of us. We’re just herded into pens according to our final destination and they seem to have a very special place in hell for those destined for Beijing for some reason.
So what to do? I kind of wish I’d still been on crutches or a wheelchair on the route back because that may have made me special. It seems some people in nicer hotels had special dietary needs which may mean their needs could only be met by a higher class hotel – who knows. If you find a formula, I’m sure there are a lot of people who’d like to be informed.
It’s Friday, so I decided to do a bit of cleaning – since vacuum cleaners are rather scarce on the ground in my hotel, used a bunch of dettol wipes to do the floor – there’s something a little disconcerting finding dark straight black hairs when you have brown curly hair, and toenails that you didn’t clip when doing this exercise! I also found a bug – it was dead, but one wonders. And then I made my grains and quinoa mix for lunch instead of the white rice which I’m getting really really tired of. I miss Southern and Northern food – am craving noodles and dumplings right now.
The blanket is growing slowly – too much work work and no time for crocheting!