The Ridiculous Times That We Are Living In

Tomorrow I will finally leave my hometown Shanghai for Switzerland. I’ve never looked so much forwarded to it like this time. Although some Shanghai-based colleagues have kindly warned me not to be so happy yet, until I have really departed. Right, in this ridiculous time, you never know what is going to happen.

Ever since I started the journey to the East – to this ridiculous part of the East – I’ve been monitored, tracked and controlled. Every now and then I receive messages and phone calls from local authorities asking me if I’ve reported myself to the local COVID prevention office and done the 3-consecutive-day-PCR tests.

I keep hearing things from people around me how suddenly they have been put into a lockdown or a quarantine. In order to carry on my professional mission and keep myself available for it, I have had no (social) life at all. I work until late (22:00 or 23:00) from Monday through Thursday and afterwards go straight to bed. No gym – all facilities have been closed in the hotel since I landed in China. No travels for pleasure – it has been meant not to be any pleasure for anyone in the last three years in China with the zero-COVID policy.

I had to travel to visit customers and prospects in China – it had never been so difficult in my professional life. It also had (still has) never been so complicated in my professional life as I had (still have) to explain to my bosses in the headquarters in Switzerland what was (and is) going on in China. Something totally beyond their imagination.

Now we’re seeing the break of the dawn. The zero-COVID policy is loosening up, slowly but finally.

But just four days ago I was rejected at a pharmacy shop near my hotel for buying eyedrops, as my holy divine Health Code just reached 48 hours. It was still green. But my latest PCR test result was not out yet. (the “shelf-life” of a Health Code is shorter than some food’s)

Cool, if everybody in China would implement what each policy said…

In the same neighbourhood, each time crossing the street I have the much higher life-threatening chances of being hit by a car or an e-bike than being hit by COVID. Pedestrians simply have (absolutely) no privilege. Sadly, nobody implements the basic traffic rules.

I’m glad that at least I have an option to leave this living environment. An option I’ve been working very hard on. Most people don’t have such an option. They are used to it. They have developed certain skillset to survive and even thrive in such a living environment.

Back to my eyedrops story, I was then kindly suggested by local friends to download some Apps and order them online. I did and it worked perfectly.

A new norm has been established in this modern city.

I hope I will go BACK to Switzerland as planned. I should definitely go to the most expensive temple in China – Jing’an Temple to pray again, for having a normal life, for everyone.

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