In China, it’s already October first, and this year is special, it’s both the Mooncake festival and the first day of the 8-day national holiday. This holiday is profound for traditional Chinese culture, a family gathering to sample the autumn harvest, eat mooncakes, and admire the fullest moon of the year. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, and this year it falls also on the National holiday.

After a muted Spring Festival holiday last year, many people on the mainland area excited to travel around, and with the epidemic for the most part under control, more than 500 million people in China are supposedly going on trips this week.

We thought about going back to Sanya (Chinese Hawai), but in the end, between the jacked-up prices this week and incredible crowds, we decided not to do it. Instead, I’ll take the time to write, read, relax, exercise, play some games. We will be taking a short 3-4 day holiday to nearby Wulong Mountain, stay in a hotel and see the incredible sights that have appeared in both Zhang Yimou’s KungFu epics (such as Curse of the Golden Flower) and Michael Bay’s Transformer movies.

Wulong Karst 武隆喀斯特

I’ve been asked what is my day to day anxiety and pandemic control rig, as in, what do I take with me into public settings such as crowded classrooms, busy restaurants, or on a weekend getaway to feel more comfortable and have some agency and control over my immediate surroundings and safety. So I thought I would share that now, plus, some tips from a Li Qin, chief physician and director of the epidemic prevention office under the Chongqing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), care of iChongqing (Chongqing Daily News).

So let’s take a look at the basics and give some idea of what these things cost since for some readers they won’t even have heard of these products.

The basics:

  • Tactical pants, lots of pockets, and I know where everything is. 60¥ or $9. Buy it on amazon.
  • Comfy T-shirt 20€ or $25
  • Silver socks, antibacterial with silver thread $10 Buy it on Amazon.
  • Wedding ring, priceless

Wearables:

  • Rave-grade neck fan keeps air circulating and regulates temp 220¥ or $34 Buy it on Amazon.
  • Necklace Personal Negative Ion Generator, Air Purifier 250¥ or $37 Buy it on Amazon.
  • Boss Frames smart glasses for mindfulness meditation 1600¥ or $236 Buy it on Amazon.
  • UA/JBL earbuds for sports, swimming, daily wear 300¥ or $45 Buy it on Amazon.
  • Smart Bag, waterproof, cutproof, USB power bank 99¥ or $15 Buy it on Amazon.
  • Portable Negative Ion + HEPA Filter Air Purifier 99¥ or $15 Buy it on Amazon.
  • Xiaomi Airpop reusable facemask $10, although my Airinum 2.0 is boss Buy it on Amazon.
  • Also pictured: laptop, strong coffee, phone, keys, and flowers.

So this gives me a lot of freedom to work, travel, keep some ‘ventilation’ about my space, purify my immediate vicinity, and maintain my zen state calm in pretty much any situation. If someone starts sneezing near me, I can either run away or turn on my fans, put on my facemask and glasses, jack up the air purifier to ‘max,’ and cross my fingers, but I’m not just a sitting duck breathing it in. Has all this made a difference? I’d say yes. Even with seasonable influenza, as a teacher of many ages I am normally always fighting something and since Jan/2020, my health has been pretty solid as a result of my mindful exercises in good hygiene and avoiding situations that might get me sick (knock on wood).

And now for some advice from a Chinese infectious disease expert, courtesy of my news agency, iChongqing. They are specific to traveling in China, where the risk is generally low, but are pretty reasonable tips for anyone to stay safe I think.

COVID-19
Li Qin, director of the Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends Monday’s press conference. (Chongqing Release)

Here are the ‘four musts and five shoulds’ for a safe and pleasant holiday, as recommended by Li Qin, chief physician and director of the epidemic prevention office under the Chongqing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at Monday’s press conference.

Four Musts:

  • Wash Your Hands

Constant hand-washing is probably the most comfortable and most effective measure you could take, yet people still tend to ignore this advice. Just because something is simple doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s small; in fact, washing your hands is never a “small” thing, especially under current circumstances.

So, please remember to use soaps and clean running water when washing your hands; make sure to rub your left hand against your right hand for at least 15 seconds and thoroughly cleanse such areas as your palms, fingernails, and wrists. Alcohol-based water-free hand-sanitizers are also recommendable when water is not accessible.

  • Ventilate Your Room

Open your windows whenever possible. Make sure to ventilate the air in your room every 30 minutes, and for at least 2-3 times a day.

  • Avoid Gathering

Keep a one-meter or more social distance when in public places, avoid touching unnecessary items when you are outside. And perhaps more importantly, avoid participating in activities of large-scale gathering.

  • Wear A Mask

Fortunately, not all people are stubborn ‘anti-science Americans‘ who deem compulsory mask-wearing a serious infringement upon their liberty and human rights. So, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But, still, one could never stress mask-wearing too frequently. It’s for the safety of your own and those around you, after all.

Remember to wear a mask, preferably surgical or medical masks, when taking metros, buses, and long-distance coaches. You might not be able to get to a theater or shopping center without a mask. Of course, avoid any contact with any potential symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers of any flu viruses.

Five Shoulds:

  • The “Right” Place

Avoid medium and high risk-level areas in terms of epidemic control and prevention. Try to determine the risk levels of the places you are heading and pay attention to the different epidemic control and prevention policies and measures. Most importantly, prepare your Health Code.

  • Hand-Sanitizer and Disinfectant

Depending on the places you are going to, and the days you would spend there, different Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) might be necessary for your specific needs. Unless you are going to the front line to save people’s lives, just normal facemasks and disinfectants will suffice your daily needs.

  • On-The-Road Precautions

Either you are traveling alone, or with someone, you should always remember to wear a mask and frequently wash your hands. Also, choose contactless electronic and mobile payment options (and avoid touching paper money) whenever possible.

  • Food and Drinks

Choose reliable hotels and restaurants for your holiday journeys, order takeout, or prepare your own food when in a new and unknown place. Do not drink raw running water (boil for 1 minute first), and do not eat game and wildlife.

  • Self-Monitoring

Keep track of your health conditions every day, take your temperature first whenever going to a public place. Self-isolate for 14 days if you just return from a high risk-level area, and notify local hospitals and clinic centers of your health conditions when necessary, that is, if you start to show symptoms of coughing, sneezing, running a fever, etc. Cooperate with medical personnel to conduct nucleic sample taking and other epidemic control and prevention measures.

Tips from iChongqing.

If you can’t go anywhere and want some inspiration check out Filmmaker Andrea Dorfman and poet Tanya Davis’s tender and profound short film: How to Be at Home.