Arriving at an airport in another country -- especially one that speaks a foreign language -- is always an adventure. You just never know what is going to happen! This trip holds special promise because of the concern over the H1N1 virus. I've heard of an entire plane being quarantined because of someone coughing. Maybe a rumor, but you get can an idea of the level of concern. Here are some of our instructions, based on government requests:
For the first 7 days, we will take these measures of precaution by staying together as a team, living and holding training in 2 buildings (attached with interior access) on campus. We will keep ourselves from coming into contact with the other students on campus (these are Peking University students, not our TIP students. Our TIP students will arrive after the 7 day isolation period). We won’t do any site-seeing or city exploration until after these 7 days, as we want to stay away from crowds. If we do need to leave the campus for any special reason, we will go as organized and planned groups, but when we are out of our isolated area, we should keep a distance from others outside our group of about 5 feet.
Also, some specific practices that we will be encouraging each other to do in those 7 days are the following:
- get lots of rest after travel
- take vitamins and drink lots of fluid
- wash hands at least 6 times a day (2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, 2 in the evening)
- use paper towels on public doors and faucets
- bring your own tissue supply
- don’t touch your eyes or nose
- don’t shake hands
- do not sneeze without covering your mouth
- wash your hands right away after sneezing
- use disposable plates and utensils
- keep record of body temperature
- report any cough or discomfort immediately, and go to hospital/doctor
- wear mask when in doubt
- sterilize the dorm twice a day
That is, if we get out of the airport without being quarantined.
We will be leaving home about noon today. Our first stop is in LA to pick up 5 cases of Uno cards, then on to Irvine, where we will be staying tonight. Our flight leaves LAX about 1pm tomorrow. We are flying All Nippon Airpines and will have a very short stop in Tokyo -- just enough time to change planes. I think I can add Japan as a country I've visited, though.
Getting the Uno cards have been quite an adventure, too. I know our students will appreciate the cards, even if they don't realize the effort to get them there.
Next stop -- Beijing!