****My COVID experiences in China since the last post at xmas 2019*****
Well it’s been nearly half a year since my last post. It’s safe to say things got pretty “real.” My last post was written as my band Grass Mud Horse prepared to release our first Single “Christmas time in China.”
Right around the time the single went live on spotify and all that, me my wife and our one year old daughter took a train to Hohhot Inner Mongolia to spend Christmas and Chinese New Year with our inlaws.
What was supposed to be a 3 week vacation, turned into over four months of quarantine, checkpoints, lockdown, social distancing, food shortages and basically a lot of frustration, confusion and fear.
This purpose of this blog is to document my songwriting and musical career, but I will use this first part to explain virus affected us all here in China.
We (foreigners in China), had very little information about all this when it first reared its head. We had only rumours, and contradictory stories. The Chinese government and our employers where downplaying (even denying) what was happening. Foreign media however was reporting that Doctors and journalists from Wuhan where being silenced and even disappearing.
Spreading these kind of stories in China became illegal, and as our own governments began strongly advising we leave China asap, our employers began making threats and laid on guilt trips to dissuade us from leaving the country (all just panic about losing money invested in foreign talent).
The bass player from my band Grass Mud Horse followed UK government advice and returned to Scotland. His employer accused him of dissension and fired him. To rub salt in the wounds they had him blacklisted (can’t work in China again).
Things are slowly getting back to normal in China, but it’s a new normal. The fallout for me personally has been that my best mate and bass player is no longer in China and may never be again.
Many businesses and restaurants in China have been forced to close. Our communities are still surrounded by temporary fences with checkpoints, but coming and going is now much freer (not all cities have relaxed this stuff).
People are more nervous in public and the Chinese governments push back against Trumps “Chinese Virus” bullshit has resulted in a xenophobia and mistrust of foreigners in China.
None the less after nearly five months me and my family where able to leave Hohhot and return to our city of Qinhuangdao, our arrival was met with scenes reminiscent of the movie Outbreak and we where kept in the cold and rain for two hours with people deemed suspcious and from Wuhan.
Eventually however we made it home and we’ve been settling in over the last month and a half. Alarmingly however a second wave seems to have begun in Beijing (much much closer to our location than Wuhan was) and panic buying of items such as face masks and disinfectant has begun again. Many businesses are once again being forced into lock down, but our communities remain partially open at the moment.
We are doing our best to remain positive and enjoy life as much as we can in case things get ugly again. The weather is beautiful, sunny and warm and we’re making the most of it. Whilst we’re preparing for the worst once again, our previous experience has taught us a valuable lesson about living in the moment and enjoying as much as you can, while you can.
In my next post I will start to discuss everything that has happened with my band Grass Mud Horse since we released our first single last Christmas. We lost a possible big touring opportunity, and our bass player, but we released a lot of new music and it has so far been very well received.
Cheers for now