Monday, February 17, 2020

Alexander Lee Returning to USA

In an effort to be as responsible as possible, I have come from Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport (CAN) to Beijing’s (PEK) this morning and should arrive at 1:30 PM on Monday at New York’s JFK Airport (JFK), where I shall rent a car and drive northwest for several hours. I will be staying for two weeks in Upstate New York within a four-and-a-half hourdrive of Toronto, where I expect six year-old Naomi to arrive on or after March 2—the end of my two-week quarantine and what will be the beginning of hersMy journey is contingent on a promise from Yaya that she will fly Naomi, a Canadian citizen, to Toronto as soon as practicable, and today, Monday, February 17, visit the Canadian Consulate in Guangzhou to obtain a visa to accompany or come join her daughter, of whom I am not (yet) the legal guardian. Please keep her and Harry, who we do not believe will be able to leave Guangzhou, in your prayers.

I believe that the Chinese government is doing its darnedest to contain this, as the economic effect and political fallout from failure to contain the coronavirus known as COVID-19 could well be catastrophic for vast swaths of the population and the regimeThe Guardian continues to be the best source of information for me and many othersAgain, I encourage a contribution to this British newspaper. The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet (also British) have published peer-reviewed articles that I commend. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is a reliable governmental source for a lot of important information about the disease, its prevention, and treatment, as well as important updates.

Most restaurants in Guangzhou are on a take-out and delivery basis only; the streets are quiet and everybody is wearing a mask in public (notably not the recommendation of CDC even in Trump’s America, which I am sure is chummy with 3M, the major manufacturer of the coveted N95 type facemask). School will not resume without a week’s notice and no earlier than Monday, March 2, the end of my self-imposed quarantine period. Our island, where Yaya, Naomi, and Harry will remainuntil they are able to depart, is in great shape with no reported illnesses. We have been watching movies almost daily since returning from a five-day vacation to Sabah, Malaysia, during the Chinese New Year holiday, baking and cooking a healthy diet of mostly vegetables, and taking long walks or bike rides along the surrounding abandoned riverside pathsThe Year of the (Metal) Rat has come in like a tiger, let’s hope it goes out like a ram.

I will be doing a Forks Over Knives diet for my two weeks of self-imposed captivity, as well as teaching on-line for two sections of AP US History, one section of AP Environmental Science, and two sections of English Language Arts for my very understanding employerZhixin High School. This will keep me busy on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings for the next two weeks or beyond. As the Chair of Social Studies Department, I will carry out my other duties from afar as best I can until such time as I deem it safe to return. In the meantime, I am doing a fund and materials drive to get 110 washable, re-useable N95 masks for when everybody reconvenes on campus. Please let me know as soon as possible if you want to contribute or help with the procurement or mailing part of this effort, especially since the postal services and airline cargo services are slowing down.

2 comments:

  1. We love you and your family, Alex❣ Please be safe and know you all are in our hearts & minds always my friend.

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  2. Are you in upstate NY yet? Is Naomi on her way? Hoping Yaya and Harrybwill remain healthy.

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