1. Are you an essential worker?
No, but i worked full-time throughout the lockdown because tech company.
2. How many drinks have you had since the quarantine started?
Countless. I got blackout drunk at least once a week. I did not cope well at all.
3. If you have kids... Are they driving you nuts?
No kids, still got drove nuts.
4. What new hobby have you taken up during this?
I didn't take up any hobbies, i just sat around despairing for the world.
5. How many grocery runs have you done?
During the lockdown i was going out once every 3 days like clockwork. The irony is that now we are no longer locked down, i am doing grocery runs less often, because by the time i get home from work the supermarket is already closed. Plus the fence around the village has made going to the wet market into a big, checkpoint-crossing pain in the ass.
6. What are you spending your stimulus check on?
China didn't get a stimulus check. What do you think this is, a socialist country? Ha!
7. Do you have any special occasions that you will miss during this quarantine?
Well, i missed my own 40th, so there's that.
8. Are you keeping your housework done?
No more or less than usual. Cook. Wash dishes. Take out the trash. Sweep the floor every few days. Laundry once a week. I wish i had used the lockdown time to scrub the floors and wipe down the surfaces, but i did not.
9. What movies have you watched during this quarantine?
This is an interesting question because i never watch movies, but during the lockdown i thought i would definitely have the time to do it. So i downloaded Parasite and the new Terminator and the new Ghostbusters. Of those, i only watched the new Ghostbusters. Yesterday. Not on lockdown. Hungover. I fell asleep.
10. What are you streaming with?
Nowadays i only pirate shows because foreign streaming sites are not available and local streaming sites are aggressively censored. When i moved to China i subscribed to iQiyi but since then the government has censored gangster rap, tattoos, gay dancers, pride flags, earrings on pop idols... It's exasperating. For a short while streaming sites and short videos seemed somewhat free of the party influence, but now it's all the same Disneyfied pap.
11. 9 months from now is there any chance of you having a baby?
12. What's your go-to quarantine meal?
Same as normal, mostly two-dish Chinese, one dish something with tofu, the other dish greens. I did eat a lot more saltines and spring onion crackers while the 锅盔 and 馍 bread vendors were away. They are back now.
13. Is this whole situation making you paranoid?
Not paranoid, but very upset.
14. Has your internet gone out on you during this time?
No, but the electricity went out twice. Didn't make too much of a difference to internet since my laptop kept going on battery and i always tether to my phone.
15. What month do you predict this all ends?
It already ended here, theoretically. In reality, there is still a fence around my village, there are still checkpoints, racism is on the rise and traveling is contingent on having a green health code, so we are still living an authoritarian nightmare.
But, insofar as when i predict the rest of the world will allow people to hang out in public again, i think that'll be in the next few weeks. I don't think governments will be able to continue forcing everyone to stay inside for much longer than two months. I don't know when we'll ever get our human rights back, though. I never expected the west to go full-on authoritarian but now even Germany is planning a people-tracking app. It's so depressing.
16. First thing you’re gonna do when you get off quarantine?
I want to fucking go outside without a mask. I want to walk around and not have to show my id to police in my own fucking village. I want to be able to jump on a greyhound and not worry that i won't be allowed to check into a hotel at the other end because i am a foreigner.
17. Where do you wish you were right now?
On a bus, without a mask, looking out the window, going anywhere.
18. What free-from-quarantine activity are you missing the most?
Freedom of movement. Shops are open, bars are open, offices are open. But there is still no true freedom of movement until we can go anywhere without being made to show id and/or health code. Not to mention crossing borders between countries. I miss diversity. I miss cosmopolitanism.
19. Have you run out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer?
Never used hand sanitizer. Didn't run out of toilet paper. China didn't run out of anything except vegetables (first week) and facemasks (first four weeks).
20. Do you have enough food to last a month?
Don't make me laugh. I never have more than about 3 days of food in my house. Plus some noodles, i suppose.
1. So, how are things with your job? Do you still have a job?
I still have a job. Our company asked for volunteers to do reduced hours or furlough for 3 months. So many people applied that most (including me) were only granted a 4 day week. Guess from the point of view of the leadership we're "essential" workers after all.
2. What's it like in your neighborhood? Are people wearing masks in your area?
We are unlocked. Old folk are dancing in the squares and people are playing badminton and pool on the sidewalks again. The difference is that there are fences and checkpoints, which has changed the pedestrian flow. Businesses next to the fences never reopened. Street vendors are parking their carts in other locations, unfortunately much further away from my house. There are less outsiders around because people can't visit other neighborhoods. But the streets are bustling, which is much better than it was a couple months ago.
The government here mandated everyone wear a mask for 2 months straight. Now it's no longer government mandated, but some shops still require it, and public transport does too, so most everyone is at least half-heartedly keeping one dangled under their chin.
3. How are your parents dealing with all this? How long did it take for them to start taking this seriously?
My mother is dead. My father has decided that everyone who is not 100% pro-lockdown is a psychopath, engaging in eugenics and sacrificing old people on the altar of capitalism. It's shocking to see him so vitriolic about it, there's no reasoning with him.
4. Besides job/economy/virus, tell me something you're worried about.
Politics. The local propaganda organs have ratcheted up the anti-American rhetoric, and more and more people seem to be buying into it. Censorship keeps getting worse. The government does not allow even a peep of dissent. International organizations like the WTO and the WHO and many governments and large companies around the world are all self-censoring to avoid getting blasted by the army of nationalist trolls who will cry racism at any critique of the CPC. It's so frustrating. I know i can "escape" by leaving the country, but so many here are suffering under the jackboot of this regime, and billions more around the world are affected because of how much economic power it wields. I'm worried that the only people in the west who seem to care about this are right-wingers.
I guess it's very on-brand that now i am in my 40s, politics is the most worrying thing. If i had kids, they'd be writing a LiveJournal entry about how shockingly vitriolic i am.
5. Tell me about something you're really enjoying right now.
Back when i was working from home every day, i really enjoyed cooking lunch. It is so much nicer to prepare something delicious while it's still light outside and not after 8pm when it's dark and you're exhausted.
Now i am back in the office, that enjoyment has gone.
I do get to sit on a chair again, though. That's one small pleasure i don't have in my apartment. Last week i spun round and round, thoroughly enjoying not working on my stomach.
6. Tell me about something that changed for the better. Or something you changed that wasn't actually a forced change.
All Elite Wrestling. They have dealt with the no-audience shows by putting together some spectacularly hilarious promos, most notably by Jericho. The main reason i watch wrestling is the promos, so getting this surreal goldmine of comedy bits with selfies and drones and hot tubs... it's a highlight of my week. The in-ring stuff is great too because they are stuck with a hodge-podge of talent, including a lot of indie guys and jobbers who would normally never get TV billing. It's given the whole thing a far more raw and wacky vibe.
Aside from AEW, nothing in my life has changed for the better. Everything is worse now than it was 3 months ago.
Well, at least i have a 4-day week.
7. What do you hope won't go back to the way it was before?
Two months ago i hoped that the world might come out of corona caring more about the millions who die every year from pollution, that they might feel inspired to keep the skies and rivers clean. As it turned out, people just doubled-down on private vehicles and industrial pollution as soon as the lockdown was lifted, so, fuck. I hope AEW doesn't go back to arena shows?