First Quarantine Experience


[by teo cheng huat, beijing]

We had to get a COVID swap test 48 hours before we take the morning flight from Singapore to China. Went to  a nearby clinic appointed by ministry of health to do the test and result came back ‘negative’ so we are all clear to fly.

Changi Airport is pretty much empty as there is only 1 flight  a week flying from Singapore to Shanghai. Flight time was push 1 hour earlier and in-flight meal was canceled for health safety reason. Arrived in Shanghai in the afternoon on the 8th of October 2021 at Shanghai HongQiao International airport. Upon arrival, we were directed to take temperature check, we produce vaccination proof, VISA clearance, medical clearance and documents. Took 2 hours to clear the customs and 2 hours to reach the designated quarantine hotel of which will be our home for the next 14 days. All of us including all the luggages and bags are spray with bleaching liquid before entering the hotel lobby. Temperature check and swap test was again conducted before we check in. Each of us are given a small plastic pail and disinfection tablets (fill up water for disinfection tablet to use when flushing), sterilize tissues to clean the furniture in the room, a thermometer(we had to do 2 temperature check per day), a pack of garage bags(clear rubblish every morning at 9 am), 3 ball point pens(lots of declaration forms to fill up). My wife and myself got a room with 2 single beds and our daughter, Amanda was check into another room. 3 meals will be serve everydays at 8am, 1pm and 6pm. Temperature checks will be conducted before 8am and 1pm. There will be swap test for day 1, day 4, day 7 and day 14 in the morning between 4 am to 5 am.

Everyday after each meal, we will start walking inside our room from the entrance door to the window. We complete an average of 13,000 steps daily and by day 14 , I had completed 147,945steps , recorded in my cell phone. I had never walk so much in my life but it helps to relax and sleep better in the 20 sqm space every night. Every morning I will stand by our window to sketch the outside views and at the same time i can get some sun too which lasted about 2 hours. However there is lots of raining days too in Shanghai during this autumn season. It will rain the whole day. As we were told to leave the window half open to constantly air the room, it gets really chilly cold at night. Our bedroom actually face a row of residential blocks and sometime i could notice some residents looking toward us watching us walking in the room. Then at sideway of our window, we are able to see some roads and a spa clubhouse. I started to sketch the nearby buildings  a few time over. I started to sketch residents bringing their wet clothes to dry when it was sunny and trucks, bus and car stopping by the roadsides. After the first week, I was sketching the snacks , fruits and biscuit we order online. Everyday, we will call friends and relative a few times, video chat and send messages to  friends and loved ones. Other time, we will watch movies, drama and youtube channels. By the end of the first week, my cell phone inform me of my screen time usage had increased. So much for stage 1 quarantine activity and we are looking forward to our stage 2 where we are to select designated hotel approved by health department for next 7+7 days city quaratine. During which there are few more swap test to be done and hopefully our health code APP on our phone be green color by then as currently the color is yellow. Only when we had a green color health code then we are allow to book a flight to return to beijing.  So much for now, i shall be posting the next stage 2 quarantine in the city of Shanghai. Hope to sketch more interesting and happy stuffs and to enjoy good food and weather. Beijing shall be very cold when we return at the end of November.                              

These are our windows views. To the left is a stretch of trees and resident blocks. To the right is a busy roads and more resident blocks. And right in front is a resident block that is as tall as this hotel and pretty close up too.

These are some of the older resident blocks. Usually they are 5 levels so there are no elevators and slowly these buildings will be replace by new development.


On good sunny day, you can see the resident bringing out their clothes to dry, most unit has this retractable clothes bar in front of their windows.


These are snacks and food we got from our flight and online.


Every week day the roads are jammed with traffic, these taxi, trucks and bus are constantly passing by everyday, queing up for the lights and access to the highways ahead.


There is SPA clubhouse on the other side of the road.


Drew a floor plan of our room. The dotted lines on the plan indicate our daily walking path up and down the room.


From the side of  our window , we can see this stretch of trees and landscaping garden. Nice to look at in the morning and relaxing.


Our quarantine items in a plastic pail, it contain 3 pens, a thermometer, a small bottle of disinfection tablets and a pack of garbage bags.

These are typical breakfast combo , there is buns, soya milk, porridge, etc.



A view of the resident block opposite our room, I guess because it is so close to us, their windows are closed all the time and I had never seen them open.


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