T-0: Haikou - China Blues - CycleBlaze

August 17, 2020

T-0: Haikou

CDC Staff giving me my last but one nasal swab
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I'm not going to re-revise the "T minus however many" count again since I currently don't know when I'm leaving. When last I spoke to my bike shop (on Sunday in the car back from Wuzhishan) they thought my bike should be ready "in a day or two". While I'm glad to have things pushed back to the point where I get to go to Sushi Trivia Night at the awesome sushi restaurant just down the street from my apartment, I'm less thrilled about the typhoon that's about to make landfall and that's likely to both cancel the ferry to the mainland and make for shitty riding even if I could get there.

This morning I did another couple hundred characters on the Big Municipal Government Project, finished the formatting on the certified translation of a marriage certificate, wrote up my really quite impressive bill to the government, and got a Covid test.

This is my third 'sharp pointy thing up the nose' style Covid test and (I think) my fifth Covid test. Possibly my sixth. It depends on whether or not they tested both the blood sample and the snot sample which were taken at the airport and if you consider the CT scan I got when I was still a suspected patient.

Since echoes of the Incident from 2018 have recently been rearing their ugly head once again, let me say that if anything which has happened to me in the past decade and change was scarier and more stressful than being arrested on drug smuggling charges, it was being flagged as a potential Covid patient when I came back to China on March 14th (2 weeks and 3 cancelled flights after I was supposed to be back from my Chinese New Years trip to Thailand).

15 nights in this room. It seems quite nice until you realize I couldn't open the window, didn't have air conditioning, and had no control over my food.
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It turns out that if I hadn't been flagged, I probably would have gone for in-home Quarantine and probably would have been picked up three days into my Quarantine period for the now mandatory centralized quarantine at a hotel which I would have had to pay for. Instead, I arrived at the Quarantine Hotel six and a half hours before they switched from "free" to "pay" and not only didn't have to pay for anything, but was also able to claim a small subsidy from the Labor Bureau as a returning employee "resuming work and restoring production".

(As my work has been fully remote since always, I never actually stopped working but that's neither here nor there.)

I don't really need a Covid test to travel but, even with the doctor's visit to get a prescription, it's only a bit over USD 20 and - as the Travel in China During Covid group on WeChat has reported - having a relatively recent clean bill of health can make certain things easier. Possibly things that I won't run into because I don't go places where tourists go but still, it's twenty bucks well spent.

Consider it a purchase of peace of mind.

As a voluntary "I want to get tested" station, things are very relaxed.
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