mandag 12. juli 2021

Helen Davidson: My time in Taiwan shows the virus will exploit any hint of complacency

For much of this year, I’ve lived a mostly Covid-free life. Taiwan wasn’t just lucky. It had been traumatised by Sars, which it didn’t handle well, and established comprehensive epidemic plans for the next time. There was no talk of herd immunity or accepting mass deaths as inevitable. As far as Taiwan was concerned, Covid-19 wasn’t getting in, and if it tried they were ready. Taiwan took full advantage of being an island to quarantine itself from the world. It funnelled entrants through a tightly controlled system defined by extreme caution.

In October 2020 I flew in from Sydney and took a subsidised quarantine taxi to the basement of a Taipei quarantine hotel. An employee in full PPE took my temperature, checked me in, gave me plastic shoe covers, and sent me up the service elevator to my room, where I spent 15 days alone.