torsdag 2. april 2020

Leaving Hong Kong to Escape Coronavirus Didn’t Work

In January my 16-month-old son uttered one of his first words: “mask.” We were living in Hong Kong, which had gone on de facto lockdown to limit the spread of the new coronavirus that had infected thousands in China. The whole city had covered their faces with blue surgical masks. Schools, offices, and playrooms were shut. We holed up in our tiny apartment, leaving only to get food. Tensions at home were rising. And then there was the guilt I felt.

My parents back home in the U.S. pleaded with me: What kind of parent forces their kid to suffer in this kind of isolation, risking a deadly disease, when there was the option to escape? Now was the time for my family to end our three-year stint abroad, my parents said, asking us to come back to the U.S., where my physician father assured me I’d be safer from the rapidly spreading virus and had access to “the best health-care system in the world.”