• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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Complements of the swine flu/H1N1

I’ve noticed that hand soap has appeared in our school bathrooms. Posters in Chinese have also been posted on the walls, which are all in Chinese with caricatures in nursing uniforms. Some boxes – gifts from our school – unexpectedly appeared in our hallway the other week. Upon closer inspection I found hand soap, masks, and antibacterial laundry detergent. Yes, China is panicked about H1N1.

My students are genuinely worried that I’m going to get the flu when I leave for the States on Saturday. They are scared about vacationing this summer with their families. The government is similarly concerned and has taken action to prevent SARS 2.0 from spreading unchecked in China. There is an open letter written to Beijing schools requesting that no one be allowed on school campuses within one week of entering the country.
• This has affected my students – several of them were quarantined for a week upon returning to Beijing after traveling to Singapore for a school competition.
• When the mom of one of my teammates arrived in Beijing she had a cough. This was enough for officials to quarantine her at a hospital facility for 24 hours until her test results came back negative.
• Another one of my teammates has family visiting, but they cannot visit her classes or go to her apartment until they’ve been in Beijing for seven days.

The Wall Street Journal Online published this article on China’s handling of the flu: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124137876507580987-email.html. The following are news articles from various state-run media in rebuttal to the WSJ, and you should read them because it’ll help you understand China a little better.
• China Daily: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2009-06/04/content_8242279.htm
• Xinhua: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-05/31/content_11458248.htm
• People’s Daily: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6663403.html

Anna, Andrew, and I are returning to Beijing early to take fulltime language classes during the month of August. So now we’re all wondering if we’ll be quarantined when return to China from the States, or at least if we’ll be prohibited from living in our apartments which are on a school campus.


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