August 24: Halfway through Quarantine

I’m in Taiwan! This post is pretty long (sorry!!), but you can see what I’ve been up to each day since leaving and arriving in Taiwan.

Here’s how things are going so far:

Flight day: I flew from Minneapolis to Toronto and then to Taipei. Highlights included it taking 2 full hours to check in my bag and get a boarding pass printed at MSP, some pizza in Toronto, making a new friend in the Toronto airport who is in the same program as me, and finally a quick 15 hour flight to Taipei.

At the airport in Taiwan: I met a few other students who were on my flight/landing at similar times. Someone from the Ministry of Education met us and helped us go through all of the arrival steps. They included: buying a new SIM card for our phones (the government needs to be able to check on us throughout quarantine), changing money, then going through each checkpoint. We had to show our passports, visas, arrival cards, go through immigration, go through a quarantine check where they check your hotel information and give you a PCR test kit. Then, after getting everything checked, you go to baggage claim. After grabbing my suitcase, I went outside where I did my saliva PCR test. We were then put in a line where we and our luggage were sprayed with disinfectant. Then I got into a special quarantine taxi. He drove me to my hotel. I checked in from behind some plastic wrap and was sent to a special elevator for possibly infected people and went directly to my room. It took a few hours to go from landing to my hotel.

Quarantine day 0: The first day of quarantine in Taiwan (aka your arrival day) is day 0. My flight got in around 5:30am, so I had a very long day 0. I was pretty tired, getting used to my hotel room, messaging some of my new friends along with old friends, and a lot of sitting around. I also had three meals provided by the hotel. Each day, the hotel will deliver three meals to me at meal times. If I need, I could also order food from Uber Eats and the hotel will bring it to my room. There is a chair sitting outside my door where they set the food. After they knock, I wait a minute or two for the person delivering to be out of the hallway and then I can open my door and grab my food. There is also a small trash bin outside of my room. Grabbing food and throwing things in the trash are the only times during the day that I can open the door to my hotel room. Overall, a very boring day.

Quarantine day 1: I didn’t sleep very well last night honestly. I fell asleep by 7:45pm, was up at 1am for a while, then woke up every hour afterwards until I got up at 8am. By then, my breakfast was waiting outside my door. For lunch and dinner, they knock when they deliver the meal. Breakfast is delivered anytime between 7-8:30am, lunch arrives around noon, and dinner between 5-6pm. Today I did a lot of things including: crocheting, a workout video, talking to some friends/family, ordered some Uber Eats with my lunch, Netflix, studying, and more! I tried to keep myself super busy today.

Sorry, this should say day 2!

Quarantine day 2: I woke up at 6am and couldn’t fall back asleep. I stayed pretty busy until lunchtime. Breakfast was so good. In the morning, I made a latte (with my limited ingredients), crocheted a bit, worked on some logistical things, read, a yoga video, and a quick Chinese class. I also had to log my symptoms. Each morning, I have to send a text to the government telling them that I feel fine, then between 9-10am I have to fill in a form for my hotel telling them my temperature and potential symptoms, then at 10am I get a message and have to fill in an app for the government with my temperature and symptoms. It seems like a lot, I know, but then again at 6pm, I have to log my temp and symptoms again for my hotel. Luckily, my temperature has been normal and I feel great (other than the jetlag)! Overall, this day was pretty decent for being stuck in a hotel all day!

Quarantine day 3: Sleeping was a mess last night. I woke up around 1am, which I have been doing every night due to the jetlag. Then, from 2:30-3:30am the power in my hotel kept going on and off. Unfortunately, an alarm sound would start each time the power cut in and out, so I wasn’t able to sleep much during this time. Then, I woke up around 7am which was later than I have been waking up previous days. I worked on some stuff, talked to friends/family a bit in the morning. I also crocheted quite a bit and watched a lot of Netflix. I’ve been trying to do something active each day, but today I really wasn’t feeling like doing much, so I did a long relaxing yoga video in the evening. I’m also staying up pretty late tonight (11pm), and hoping that attempting to stay up later will help a bit more with the jet lag. Other nights, it’s been extremely difficult to stay up past 9pm.

Overall, the quarantine is boring, but I am halfway through! I have gotten used to my hotel room and have been finding some ways to keep entertained. I am getting very excited to be released from quarantine, and on Monday morning I can leave whenever I want! It’s also supposed to rain over the next few days, so being stuck inside might not feel as terrible. For reference, it rains quite a bit here and it’s very hot in the summer. Today, the temperature was 95F with very high humidity. Now, at 9pm, my phone says it’s 85F out but with the humidity, it feels like 96F.

See you for the next part of quarantine!


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