I'm sitting in my father-in-law's house with the morning sun shining in on me. I have coffee, a cozy chair, upcoming plans for the day. I am in Portland, OR and not China right now because of the Corona Virus outbreak last month. With the outbreak and the global scare that it has caused has been a mixed blessing for me.
It was Chinese New Year when news of the virus made headlines, and my husband and I were in Hawaii visiting friends for our this vacation time. The news was unsettling. All of it: the virus itself and how it was spreading, the implications for work and our life there, our dog Dolly who was staying with a colleague. There was so much unknowns and so many decisions that we needed to make without any good information, and my imagine was running wild, especially around the safety of our dog and my responsibility for her.
We stayed in Hawaii for over a week longer, waiting to hear news about if it was safe to travel back, if our school would postpone it's opening, fretting about decisions over losing our tickets, lack of equipment to work remotely, where to go that felt safe and not cost a lot more money. We ended up each buying Chromebooks so we could work, we bought plane tickets to Portland, we accepted we wouldn't get a refund on our tickets to Guangzhou. We bought winter clothes and shoes. We will have to buy plane tickets back to China. We will probably loose money from our planned trip to Japan in April. But it is just money after all.
We have been blessed that we have been able to stay places rent free and with the use of a car. We have friends and family who are thrilled to have us nearby. I have been able to interview in person for a job in Portland (totally worth buying a suit)...I'm waiting for the news about next steps since I learned yesterday that I advanced to the next round. I can work remotely with ease. I reactivated my library card, I've been hiking in the woods, going to yoga classes and balancing the work with the play. I am okay.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp