Day 29 SLOLC: Hope

It’s vaccination day! Well, almost…sort of…kind of….possibly. We received an email saying we needed to sign up-for which one? Who knows? We know it’s local and it could be one of two. We know we pretty much have to have it because the government says so. Other than that…it’s anyone’s guess. Here’s what we do know: on Thursday morning, we will head out to get the vaccine. Three weeks later, we’ll go for the final dose.

It’s been a long year-for everyone, I know. I remember heading off to Chinese New Year break and the nurse at school running up with a bag of masks and hand sanitizer. I laughed and he said, “No, really. Wear these on the plane. Change them frequently. There’s a virus in Wuhan and it’s serious.” See, this is the place where SARS shut down the country years ago. Here in China, we don’t mess around with viruses. Masks are handed out and 100% of people wear them. We are told to stay home and everyone stays home. So off we went, armed, as we walked into the airport.

Once we landed in Dubai, off came the masks. Upon arriving in Oman, it was as if we were in a different world. No masks, no hand sanitizers, no fear. I’d like to say we forgot about the virus, but the situation was rapidly escalating in China and so we were glued to our phones throughout our trip. It was the final few days in Oman where we received the message that school would begin online in just a few days. Teachers were fleeing Beijing and we were contemplating whether we take our flight back the next day, or stay away as so many had suggested. Ultimately, we flew to France and had a few lovely days with family. Three days of online learning keeping Beijing hours wore us down and we hopped back on the plane to return to Beijing.

Arriving in Beijing, the city seemed to be at rest. Everything was closed, no one was out on the streets, the cars were parked. I remember feeling hopeful that in a few weeks, all would be back to normal. Here we are over a year later, conducting conferences online. But in two days, things will begin to turn around again. It’s almost vaccination day!


  1. Chris

    So much stress and unknowns last year. I’m happy to hear you will get your vaccination! Be well!

  2. Sonia Jaffe Robbins

    I like how you structured your slice, so we didn’t know until the second graf that you were (and still are?) in China. I understand your impulse to return home last year. I’m in New York City, and at the height of the pandemic here last year, my niece in Salem, Mass., offered to drive down and pick me up so I could stay at her house. But I preferred to be at home where all my stuff is.

  3. Kristi Lonheim

    So happy it’s almost vaccine time for you. I will always remember those of you living in China peering at your phones over those days in Oman. It’s because of you all that the rest of us had a sneak peek at what was about to happen.

  4. Suzanne

    It is incredible what changes we have all been through. Here in the states we heard about the virus in Wuhan. It seemed so far away but I remember thinking to myself that a virus is not going to stay put in this global community we find ourselves in today. Next it was Italy, then Washington state… It was a wave just crashing across the world. But vaccines are here. Things are changing for the better. We are all a little smarter (I hope) and worldlier (is that a word?). Good luck with your vaccine. I get my second dose today!

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