Isolation Diary | The Sudden Outbreak of the Epidemic

This is the second isolation this year, only four days have passed since the last isolation, and it has only been four months this year.

I plan to use simple words to record my experiences - from the perspective of an ordinary person.

22:00: Surrounded Neighborhood#

On Friday, the company's ping pong club organized a game from 20:00 to 21:30. After it ended at half past nine, Aria and I took the bus back together. On the way, we discussed the messages in the group - there was already information in the afternoon that there were close contacts with positive cases in our neighborhood. Some neighborhoods have already been sealed off. At this time, I was still optimistic because I heard that it was just close contact, and it was relatively far from my neighborhood, so it shouldn't be too serious.

Around ten o'clock, we arrived at the bus stop in the neighborhood. After getting off the bus, we went to the supermarket tacitly because we didn't know what would happen next. The supermarket was already crowded, and there was a long queue at the checkout counter. I quickly grabbed some daily necessities and food and went back.

When we arrived at the west gate of the neighborhood, we could see a crowd of people from a distance. People wearing protective clothing and ordinary people were mixed together, black and white. There were also many people standing across the street, presumably here to watch the excitement.

The entrance of the neighborhood had already been cordoned off, and it was also filled with staff wearing protective clothing. Protective clothing from the vehicles was being handed out and distributed to others - I didn't know if they were volunteers or people being taken into isolation. In a short while, people in white clothes had filled the entire entrance.


22:30: People Lingering#

I approached a few people with staff badges to inquire about the situation, but to my disappointment, they didn't know either. It seemed that they were also brought in temporarily.

Two girls outside the fence were standing there with worried expressions, presumably knowing some news, so I messaged them to ask.

"Excuse me, do you know what the situation is now? Can't we enter the neighborhood?"

"We can only enter but not leave. I don't know how long it will be sealed."

"Then why don't you go in?"

"We asked the leader, but they didn't agree to work from home, and we didn't bring our ID cards... We can't stay in a hotel..."

Suddenly, it dawned on me that those who were standing outside the fence, looking inward, might not want to lose their freedom for various reasons. Like those girls who couldn't work from home and needed to see a doctor...

I told the girls that I could help them get their ID cards. They immediately showed joyful smiles and excitedly told me where they were. It was as if they had caught a lifeline in a torrent.

Originally, I thought it was just a matter of getting two ID cards, but after I arrived at their place, they asked if they could pack their luggage together. I agreed without hesitation. I thought they were prepared for long-term accommodation outside.

I live-streamed the process of packing their luggage through video calls to make it easier for them to check if they had missed anything. More importantly, it made them feel at ease. After all, it's a bit unsafe for strangers, especially men, to enter their rooms. The girls' room was really messy. I used to think it was just a joke, but it turned out to be true. It looked neat and tidy on the surface, but it was actually quite "messy" in private. This time, I experienced it firsthand (of course, I don't mean to criticize them). It's easy to imagine how much time she spent before I went to Shero's place to make her room look neater.

After helping them with their luggage, I suggested that we remove each other from our contacts. On the one hand, I thought it was a small favor and there was no need for any further involvement. On the other hand, I believed it was out of respect for them. After all, a stranger had seen a private side of them that they didn't want others to see, and we would never have to face each other again. So, out of courtesy, after solving the problem, I removed them from my contacts.


Although it was a small matter, in this absurd era, every little help counts.

01:00: Late-Night Nucleic Acid Test#

I returned home after eleven o'clock. After a simple wash, I wasn't sleepy because I knew that someone would knock on the door and go downstairs for nucleic acid testing - just like during the last isolation period.

I opened the downloaded movie, "Serving the People 2022," and started watching it while munching on peanuts. This movie is adapted from Yan Lianke's novel of the same name, "Serving the People," which tells the story of the wife of a division commander seducing a model soldier. "Soldiers serve the commander's wife, and the commander's wife serves the soldiers," which is called "serving the people."

At one o'clock in the morning, there was a hurried knocking sound on the door, and the community notified us to go downstairs for nucleic acid testing.

When I arrived downstairs, there weren't many people, and I only had to wait for about twenty minutes in line. The nucleic acid testing process is now quite efficient - register information, scan ID cards, and then get a throat swab. It takes less than a minute per person.


After finishing the test, I looked at the line, which had already reached near the entrance of the neighborhood. At this time, it was only a little past one o'clock, and there were only people from our building downstairs. The neighborhood has more than ten rows of buildings, and there are dozens of such neighborhoods in this area.

After two o'clock, Ma returned from a gathering and told me that there were still a lot of people downstairs - they were almost going to do nucleic acid testing all night.


When I woke up in the morning, the group notified us of the epidemic control message:

Dear residents:
According to the notification from the disease control department, on April 23rd, there was 1 confirmed case in xx area, xx community, xx district. After preliminary assessment, Building 1 has been designated as a sealed-off area, implementing "area closure, staying at home, and door-to-door services" from today onwards. Other residential buildings outside Building 1 in xx district will implement "not leaving the area, not going downstairs unless necessary, and no gatherings are allowed." Currently, the east gate of the neighborhood has been closed, and entry and exit are prohibited. The west gate of the neighborhood serves as the entrance and exit for basic living supplies and will be closed and managed 24/7. If you have any special difficulties, please contact the community xxxx and the property xxxx. We will inform everyone of the latest situation regarding the neighborhood closure through the property, community, and building WeChat groups as soon as possible.

xx Community Neighborhood Committee
xx Property Company

The second round of isolation officially begins.

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