Two people shouted at me this morning…in Chinese. I didn’t recognize the new set of words the security guard was shouting…could have been curse words for all I know. He may or may have not said something to this effect:
“Hey! Hey! What are you trying to do dummy?! Are you trying to bring the coronavirus into this apartment complex? Huh?! Whats wrong with you? Don’t you know how to properly put on a surgical mask? Think man! Put it on correctly before you kill us all!”
I had literally just completed a morning jog in a peaceful park nearby and had stopped at the front gate to regain my composure before entering.
I turned away from the mad security guard to get a few good breaths in. Should I put my hands on my knees while leaning over? It would be a good way to communicate (non-verbally) that I was a bit tired and needed oxygen – the reason why my surgical mask was not covering my nose and my mouth.
Nah, I thought. I’m not about to use theatrical measures to ‘explain’ my reasoning. I’ll leave that to the real actors.
“Dui bu qi” (apologizing in Chinese) I tell him as I scan the QR code (which is now mandatory) that records my entry.
At a nearby table, security guard #2 then checks my temperature with a digital thermometer pointed at my head like a pistol as security guard #1 shouts over to her…
Now she begins shouting at me about my ‘sin’. More unrecognizable words… the few people in line looking on as she made her point.
Give me a break I thought…
The truth of the matter is that these security guards are under a lot of pressure. They are literally the gate keepers of this 500+ unit apartment complex – the protectors of this community. If the coronavirus infects us, it entered via the front gates – on their watch. Even though this is an invisible enemy, they take their jobs seriously against the threat. Therefore, every measure is taken to track and record the movements of all the people who live here as well as checking body temperatures of everyone upon arrival. So, I can’t be upset at them for doing their job and enforcing the rules.
This virus has everyone on alert. Especially here on mainland of China. Wearing these surgical masks are now mandatory. If your not, you are denied entry into any building or mode of public transportation – bus, taxi, metro, train, horse carriage…nah, just kidding on that last one.
Well, now that I think about it, that may apply out in the country side or in some mountain village somewhere within the vastness of this country.
I can’t help but wonder at the effectiveness of these surgical masks being able to block a virus from entering someones body…Effective or not, it does contribute to an overall collective ease of mind for the people. -Very important
On my next arrival into the community, I’ll have my mask on properly and I’ll give the guards a gift.
This will show my apology and let them know I have changed my ways. Arriving with a bag of fruit is a courteous gesture here. Chinese gift giving culture
Especially now more then ever since vitamins strengthen the body’s immunity. If there is any person who must keep their immunity up, its the citizens who serve the public that are at the forefront. Guards, nurses, paramedics, doctors, police officers, public transportation drivers, and all other citizens who serve are all at a higher risk.
Being honest with myself, my action is part apology and part support. I could have lost my cool when they were scolding me but I didn’t (thankfully).
I learned a lesson today…while in a foreign country…once again