When 2019 turned into 2020 none of us had an idea of what kind of a year this would be like. In January I still visited the Huangpu Old Village with my daughter and had a great time without having to wear a mask all the time.
End of January we started to realize how serious the situation was and I wrote about living in China during virus outbreak and then about our 29 days of staying mostly at home and avoiding others. In March I was writing down all the things I wish I would have done if I knew a pandemic would hit, not long after that the virus spread to Europe and others parts of the world.
In March China closed it’s borders from foreigners, only diplomats could enter the country. I remember thinking this will probably last a month or two, who knew that still in July the borders are still closed. Though more and more companies seem to be going through the process of trying to get their foreign staff back to China.
Personally those three months I remember only concentrating on how to provide for my family when so many of our customers were out of the country. Worrying about the business was a constant source of stress.
In April Guangzhou went through a time of uneasy weeks for foreigners living in the city. Many foreigners were feared to be virus carriers and businesses started to prohibit foreigners from entering. I didn’t personally get unwelcoming treatment, but I know many who did. And still it’s true that people might treat you differently based on your passport and skin color, in this regard there is still a long way to go. But me and other expats still see Guangzhou as our city.
In May things got back to almost normal here in Guangzhou and we started to live our normal lives, in June kindergartens finally opened and our daughter went to school for the first time in 4.5 months. She was so happy to go back and see her friends again!
When our daughter got back to kindergarten, me and my husband finally got time to work on our brand new YouTube channel! Time of uncertainty can truly make us more creative and get us to start new exciting projects!
In my personal life I had stopped following the statistics of people infected or dead, saving a lot of mental energy for my self and my family. Stress over work got a little bit easier, though things will probably only get back to fully normal once the borders will open and our old and new students are able to return.
As a family we have been fortunate to spend quality time with other families like ours, even having our very first friends as neighbors! Together we have been exploring fun places in Guangzhou, going to indoor playgrounds and just hanging together and letting our kids play.
Now in July we would normally be going for our once a year trip to Finland, but of course that isn’t possible right now. Even the hope for Christmas trip back home isn’t very optimistic as we don’t dare to let our selves assume we can go back then either.
Things are well in our family, we are lucky to all be healthy and our relatives too. We have also welcomed a new furry family members into our home too! During the Chinese New Year we were dog-sitting three dogs and one of the families is still stuck in India without knowing when they can return. As we have had the dog now longer than they did, we decided it’s best for the dog to stay with us. So now with one kid, one dog and three cats, we certainly have our hands full!
For the second half of the year, we try not to plan too much, but make the best of what we can do. Our new exciting project keeps us busy and hopefully the whole world gets better news soon!
Sending lots of hugs to everyone!