Are we freaking out yet?!?

Well, the Morris’ move to Asia and China decides to spread one of its once a decade viruses… Awesome.

I know there’s panic about the Wuhan corona virus everywhere. Singapore’s on pretty high alert right now. As of this writing, we have 7 confirmed cases. In a country the size of manhattan, that’s largest population is Chinese, there’s cause for concern. And of course it’s during Chinese New Year, where the entire point of the holiday is to spend it with your family (remember all those Chinese residents of Singapore?).

Here’s the good news, all the cases have been people who have come directly from Wuhan. They estimate that since mid January there have been about 2,000 visitors here from Wuhan. They are tracking as many as they can. What this means is as of this minute, there has not been spread of the virus with the community. This is great, hopefully it can stay this way.

This is not to say people here are not totally freaking out. People in Asia as a generality love to wear face masks in public. This is from the typical mask you see a doctor wearing to full fighter pilot style gas masks. A lot of people have the crazy masks because a few times a year Singapore gets “the haze” from burning in Indonesia to build palm oil plantations. Who knows, maybe after one big haze we will all be fighter pilot mask wearers too… right now we are just trying to be really good hand washers. We live in a city of 5+ million and take public transportation everywhere, we should do this anyway.

At the kids school and at offices here, there is a 14 day leave of absence for anyone who has traveled to China in the past 2 weeks. We also had to fill out a form stating all travel from 15-Jan to 31-mar. They also take every kids temp as they enter the school. Over 37.5 C, off to the quarantine with you until your parent picks you up. Yesterday, Avery’s class had only 9 students and Liam’s 16 (out of about 24). Yikes. Maybe we should be freaking out too, who knows….

Temp taking at school
Quarantine!! Nice to see no one there!

As an American, when you read about these “wet markets” that sell exotic wildlife if sounds crazy, right? The truth is Asian people, but specifically Chinese people, eat a lot of foods that seem crazy. Why do they do this? It seems that many people of Chinese decent, or Chinese both practice western medicine and eastern (or traditional Chinese medicine). I have only a very small knowledge of this, but they believe that by eating or drinking specific things, you can improve your health.

Chinatown dried things… seahorse anyone?

We have wet markets here. They’re called wet markets because the vendors display their food (produce, meat, fish, etc…) on ice which melts and makes the floor wet. In typical Singapore fashion, they’re highly regulated here. But you will still see live turtles and seafood that I’ve never heard of or seen… I haven’t been doing any shopping at them yet, but I want to. The produce looks very fresh and they are interesting. I haven’t yet because it’s a little intimidating. Most vendors speak very little English and I don’t know what a lot of the food even is! The kids already don’t like them. It took us a while to figure out what the smell was at the wet market. Almost like spoiling food, but it all looks so fresh. We then realized we were smelling durian fruit. Yuck. I’m pretty sure none of us will be brave enough to try that one!

For many reasons, I hope they get a lid on this virus quickly. Selfishly, we’re not sure what to do about traveling. We have a trip to Malaysia planned for February which as of now we’re still planning to take. We’d like to start booking spring break but it’s a little worrisome. We were planning to go to China in June. That’s probably tabled for this year. The fear of the unknown is for real.

For now, we are all good and have really clean hands, hopefully that’s how we stay! 💕

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