Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, April 19, 2021

Covid Screening in China 

Click for larger image

I have been hearing a lot about the possibility of having Covid “passports” in America. The picture you see above is not a passport. It is the standard Covid screen that comes up on my phone in China. I don’t need to use it all the time, but if I try to enter a government office I do, and sometimes when I go to the partk they will make me bring it up on my phone.

As you can see, the color is green. That means that I have only been to green areas—in other words, areas that have no known cases of the corona virus. That’s mainly because I have stayed here in Kunming since I arrived the end of May last year. If if ever showed up red, I would probably be quarantined. But I don’t expect that to happen as long as I stay right here for the duration.

So what’s the difference between this and a “passport?” A passport requires you to do something. You need to get vaccinated before you can get your passport. This screening only requires that you not to do something—namely go to an area that is not “green.” So it is much easier to comply with as long as you don’t move around too much.

But many Americans would object even to something like this. Why? Because they don’t like the feeling that the government is tracking them. But in China, especially when you’re a foreigner, it is actually a benefit to be able to show that clearly that you have not been to a dangerous area.

When my landlady informed me last spring that the police had told her I had to leave my village in the Western hills of Beijing, I decided to move to Kunming. I didn’t know it at the time, but fortunately, last spring there was a period of fifty days when there were no new cases in Beijing. Being able to prove that I had been in Beijing continually since bcfore the virus started really helped me. Three different government officers came to me during the night of my train trip. But in the end, they allowed me to get off the train, because I had been in an area where there was no corona virus.

Every once in a while I hear about a case here in Yunnan Province. At Christmas time, there was a case at a local hospital. Someone had flown in from Chengdu. The police actually came to the church I go to and shut down the Christmas service and told everyone to go home. But they managed to get this person isolated, so there were no more cases. A week or two ago, there were some laborers who came in from Burma and I guess one or two of them had the virus. But they get it taken care of quickly.

A Canadian friend of mine told me that actually all of Yunnan is green, so I guess I could travel within this province. But I am strongly disinclined to do that. Better to stay put on this virus free island until this is over.


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