Category Archives: fear of the unknown

TULSA WOMAN Released from Quarantine by the Tulsa Health Department


Breaking News:

A Tulsa  woman recently home from Beijing, China has been in quarantine in her home and has been symptom free from the coronavirus during her 14 day quarantine. 

Today, she is a free woman.

Oh goodness.  I’m now the “Tulsa Woman. “

I’m a free Tulsa woman! 

 I’ve completed the mandatory quarantine established by the CDC, which was monitored by the Tulsa Health Department. As of 4:40 p.m. on Friday, February 28, I took my final SKYPE monitoring call for a temperature reading for the health department.  

temperature monitoring form, 14 days complete, no fever, no symptoms

I was told as long as I remained symptom free through the rest of the day, I would be released from quarantine and free to go on the 29th.

Would I go out at midnight and drive around the city?

They wished me well and I knew I wouldn’t have further contact with them unless there was an emergency.

During this quarantine period, I discovered that at a local hospital in Tulsa, administration, infectious disease specialists, lung specialists and others were being briefed on a contingency plan for the local coronavirus case quarantined at home in Tulsa in case treatment is needed for that individual. 

 ME!  That individual is me!

This was in relation to me choosing this hospital when asked by health officials where I would like to go should I have an emergency.

Then they contact that hospital to notify them of my selection. Lucky hospital.

 The good news is I’m not infected and that local hospital is prepared with a contingency plan for anyone who may become infected later on.  It’s great to hear our local health care providers are talking and prepared for an emergency such as the coronavirus. 

How do I feel?

It’s great to know I can come or go as I please. 

However, with the increase of Coronavirus cases in the USA and two more people being investigated for the virus in the State of Oklahoma, and with the flu season at its peak, questions from friends regarding the incubation period, and finally upon receipt of some hateful messages, I have chosen to stay homebound for just a bit longer.

I do not have symptoms!

People say masks don’t work, even though they are sold out across the globe. Surgical masks don’t keep the smaller airborne particles  from sneaking through and around the non-fitted areas around the mouth and nose and N95 masks need to be properly fitted, but I will keep my masks handy and wear them in larger groups of people for a while when I do finally go out in public, anyway.  The mask may just stop that one, large droplet expelled from someone’s mouth when someone sneezes or coughs my way.   Can you imagine if I caught the flu now after being released from quarantine? People would worry it was “The Virus.” What a panic that would be!  I didn’t escape the virus only to come down with the flu.

There have been questions in regard to the incubation period.  I have had several friends asking if the period had been extended from 14 to 24 days and suggested I stay inside longer.  I can guarantee you I have contacted the health department and asked these questions.  They are in constant contact with the CDC and they have been told the 14 day period is sufficient.

I am honestly doing my due diligence as a citizen and following all protocol and guidelines, even beyond the established quarantine period to ease the minds of people in Tulsa.

Finally, the last factor that determined my extra stay in my home are the messages I have received via facebook messenger. I imagine these people saw a story on one of the local news stations, or googled my name and took the time to look me up on facebook and sent me a message filled with questions of hate. I did not bother to respond and only deleted the messages.  

Am I letting this final factor bother me? 

I wouldn’t say I am staying home because of the ugliness, but I do understand the fear.  I lived it everyday for 4 weeks in China. The difference is I channeled these fears into something more positive and tried to help others rather than criticize or judge them. 

I understand people are scared and as humans, we often fear the unknown. However, this fear can manifest into other strong emotions, such a hate, but should not be directed toward people of any race.  The virus is the problem. 

How about turning this emotion into something positive to help and support people?  I have seen support beyond measure from my friends during this crazy time in my life.

My SKYPE APP is calling.

Who could that be?

As of right now, this minute, it is 6:00 p.m. on Friday night.

It is exactly one hour and twenty minutes after my release from the Tulsa Health Department. 

The only calls I receive from SKYPE right now are from the Tulsa Health Department.

 It is the Tulsa Health Department. 

My heart is jumping out of my chest right now!


Will the Fear of the Unknown break us?

Will the 5 positive reasons for staying in Beijing that we mention every time we walk the park keep us here through the virus outbreak or will the virus eventually break us, due to the fear of the unknown? Riding this wave of the unknown is mentally exhausting.

Are we living our lives to the fullest by being locked in our apartments day after day? We do take a stroll around the park once or twice a day, but then we retreat back inside to check the death toll and watch and read what we can about the virus. Healthy?

Friends are beginning to leave Beijing now, one by one, two by two….we aren’t going to be able to have our walks in the park any more and come up with our list of 5 daily positives about being here.

This is sad, but understandable.

We walked the park today and it is becoming more active with people as many are starting to filter back into the city of Beijing, though there were very few people wearing masks.

I dont understand. Ting bu dong (that is about the extent of my Chinese)

Maybe they haven’t heard the news?

I do know there is a shortage of masks world wide so maybe they don’t have masks. So why not stay inside? Perhaps they don’t think the masks really work. 

There are different types of masks that may be more effective than others.

N95 masks vs surgical masks

There is the N95 mask which is a three dimensional mask that is supposedly ideal for protecting against the coronavirus. 

Surgical masks are two dimensional and allow for air to get through, in and around the gaps since they don’t fit securely on your face, so maybe they deem them pointless. Ok.

Is covering one’s face and nose necessary if there is good ventilation? I don’t know.

The death rate is rising daily, as of this writing more than 900 have died and the infected are 37,000 worldwide. Most are dying here in China. This death toll exceeds the SARS outbreak of 2003.  

With so many dying and infected, why is there so minimal protection? Not only no masks, but no gloves or glasses are seen on the people at the park.  Some of these people are children.

When the foreign teachers go outside, we are protected up! We have our N95 masks, gloves and I even sported a pair of goggles on top of my glasses today to avoid any cough and spittle entering my eyes with the addition of so many people now in the park. Plus it is a practice for a potential plane ride. 

I do have two pieces of luggage packed to 50 pounds each, sitting by the front door. They have been in my living room for two weeks, just in case. I’ve packed and repacked. I put things in and take things out, replacing items with something else that might be more important. I have packed all my winter things as I’m not going to need those for much longer, but then I pull out all of the winter-wear  and pack all my better clothes in case I leave and don’t come back.  All electronics are packed along with anything of value.

On the other hand, I’ve washed the sheets on my bed so when I go to bed tonight they are nice, clean and smell fresh, or did I wash them so they will be clean upon my return to China should I  leave? It’s always nice to come home to clean sheets on a bed. 

I’ve sorted the cabinets, thrown things out, given stuff away and am ready to leave China, or is it just Spring Cleaning and I’m going to stay? 

 I went to the grocery store twice this week and stocked up. With 8 million people returning to the city of Beijing this week after their extended Chinese New Year,, I thought I should get a few things before the crowds descend upon the stores. With two trips to the store, maybe I am going to stay after all and I can unpack the luggage at the front door. I certainly have enough food to last a while.

I’ve put chicken in the fridge to thaw. It is a big package and it will take several days to eat it. So I have plenty of food for the week. Or, did I get the chicken out of the freezer because I’m cleaning it out before I leave?

It is a constant battle, and a continued conversation between the remaining few foreign teachers here.  More and more people are becoming infected. The WHO director is tweeting “we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.” and they are sending their top experts to China to learn about the virus.

How many of you have masks, gloves, and alcohol wipes at your front door?

Is trying to save money a good reason to stay here with so many unknowns?  What would the flight be like on the way home? Will I be quarantined upon arrival? Is it still a self imposed quarantine of 14 days in my own home?

I have no fever, I have no cough, though I coughed several times on Saturday and panicked for a moment. But I was only cutting up a very strong, red pepper and some onions. I couldn’t help but think, “Oh no, I hope no one hears me cough!” I was doing everything I could to conceal my coughing spell.  I didn’t want the government to pound on my door again and ask, “Are you sick?”  There was no way I could hide my watery, red eyes and continued coughing spell should that happen again.  I would only be able to bring the pepper to the door and let them have a deep inhale and hope for the best. Difficult and costly decisions lie ahead. 

Stay Strong Wuhan-Stay Strong China (written on one of my student’s papers on Friday during online learning)

%d bloggers like this: