Staying Safe in Taiwan

What are we doing in Taiwan to prevent the spread of the Corona-virus Covid-19? 

Mandarin Monkey Tom

BY TOM CAIN

At the time of writing this we have 100 cases of Covid-19 in Taiwan. We did have 47 last week but some devilishly selfish people decided to go on holiday to Europe for a week and then return to Taiwan with the virus. 

In addition to a French tourist who had the virus and traveled all around Taiwan before getting tested and confirmed with it. 

So, with that in mind we are yet again stuck indoors trying to make sense of it all. 

The national healthcare is taking a hit with people who legitimately have the virus and others who are worried they might have it. 

With only 100 current known infected Taiwan isn’t under too much pressure. But with the figures doubling every 4 – 6 days we certainly may be overwhelmed soon. 

Compared to other countries we have been really lucky. Considering how close Taiwan is to the place of origin. 

So, what have we been doing to combat the virus? 

I cannot speak to the overall governmental strategy here as I believe this is still being formulated. 

But I can tell you what the local areas are doing and how the people have taken the news. 

Obviously, like the world over now, people in Taiwan are taking the spread of the Corona-Virus very seriously. I would say, although perhaps i’m slightly biased, excellently. 

Why? 

Because within two weeks of there being a know potential threat in China, the government was on the TV and telling everyone to wear face masks, specifically N95 masks. Also locking down incoming infected from China. And stopping outgoing and incoming tourism from Wuhan. 

N95 Respirators. An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The ‘N95‘ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles.

fda.gov

Also, the sale of alcohol based sanitizer. I don’t mean squeezy bottles of gel stuff you chuck on your hands. I mean actual bottles of 90% alcohol in large brown glass bottles. 

The kind of stuff that can take paint off walls and make milk curdle. 

After announcing this there was a quick fire rush to buy the items. People where being sent face masks and many Taiwanese were trying to send boxes and boxes of masks to China in order to help family members and the victims and of the virus there. 

These practices were shut down within a week of the announcement as mask and alcohol stocks plummeted. 

The government declared that pharmacies will only be able to sell masks, and those masks where to be given to health card holding individuals only. And those health card holding individuals will be able to get 3 masks, per week. 

Surprisingly, this works pretty well and the crazed purchasing of masks stopped. 

The alcohol was next on the list, falling under similar rules. 

Current SitRep

After these rules were put in place, we could actually find some masks for ourselves and were able to purchase some for our children. 

The schools where closed down in week 3 of the outbreak and shut for 14 days. 

They are currently open, but with strict rules. 

At our daughters school, parents are no longer allowed onto school property and must deliver their children to the front gate where they are greeted by some teachers and school staff. 

The staff then take everyone’s temperature to make sure no-one has a fever and spray the child’s hands with alcohol. 

You child, cries a bit (sad about leaving mummy and daddy), accepts their fate and skips off into school. 

Same routine when you pick them up, but in reverse. And less crying.

If you go to any restaurant here or any public area now there is plenty of automatic alcohol dispensing machines. I don’t mean it will give you a free beer. I mean, to wash your hands. 

Also, pretty much everyone wears a mask here. So coughing and sneezing on each other rarely happens. 

Although, I did see an older lady sneeze into her hands the other day and then use the same hands to check if the avocados in the local supermarket were ripe. We put our items back and went somewhere else. 

I will say, sneezing into ones elbow is a new thing for me. I am usually a hand then tissue person, or occasionally an imploding sneezer. Trying to get used to the new format. 

We haven’t yet had the toilet paper frenzy here yet. There are plenty of bums here too but no-one seems to be buying up too much roll. I am still unclear on why that’s a thing in the west. 

Entertainment or Education

While people are inside wondering what to do with themselves. We thought you should be looking at a couple of things. The first is Entertainment. Netflix is going to be high on your list of things to do. 

So many options on the Netflix front. We have burned through Locke and Key, Blacklist, October Faction and You 1 & 2. All very entertaining. 

On the education front, if you are learning Mandarin, we can only help by giving you a couple of free online lessons. You can book your two free slots at the bottom of the page on our calendar or here.  

Good News!

All those busy places you put off going to are now not so busy. Problem is, you can’t really go there else you might see someone with the same idea and they could give you a horrible bug. 

Looks like we have a new paradigm shift occurring. Were we all stay at home. 

Hopefully this will push companies to adapt and provide more home based solutions. 

You go online to order your food, which is brought to you by autonomous cars and dropped on your door step.

You speak to your friends via face-time or virtual reality and use haptic feedback gloves and suits to simulate touch.  

Dinner out dies, but dinner in becomes the norm. Takeaway skyrockets and getting all your friends over inside a virtual environment. 

In other good news, it’s a great time to be buying up stock as long as you are in it for the long game.

Stay Safe

Please stay safe, stay inside. Find a mask. and don’t go to that 42nd birthday party you were invited to. It’s not worth the risk.