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How long should I wait before going back?


abcdefg

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abcdefg

During this last week or ten days all my energy has been spent trying to figure how to get home. I have neglected the larger issues of how this virus is spreading and whether the efforts at containment are having the desired effect. 

 

Now that I've made it back to Texas on the one-way ticket I bought in a pinch, I need to start thinking about when it might be realistic to return to Kunming. I will need all of February and March here in the US to get essential things done, as planned. But I still have an apartment in Kunming and I also still have a life there. I will soon begin missing my friends. Kunming still calls my name. 

 

Since I have not been keeping track of the prognostications on when a return might be safe, can any of you who are better informed hazard a guess? All things being equal, and pretending for a minute that there were no epidemic, it would suit me just fine to head back in mid to late April. Early May at the very latest. 

 

Would prefer to not simply take a "wait and see" attitude and book on short notice. Now, while China is an "unpopular destination" (to put it mildly) I might even find a discounted fare. 

 

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? (I don't mean to appear stupid. I know I will need to Google this in some depth. Just thought I would start by asking here.) And I realize nobody has a crystal ball. 

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I’d tentatively plan for your preferred date of mid April. That’s a solid three months since things kicked off, I think. Maybe look at picking up a refundable or cheap ticket if you spot any. And then I’d have a Plan B. As the man says, no one here knows. 

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realmayo

Speaking from as much, or likely more, ignorance than everyone else: I saw something that said warmer weather basically stopped Sars, the same way it stops typical winter respiratory viruses, so the seasons are worth bearing in mind too.

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Shelley

I can't add any advice about when to return, but I am so glad that you are considering returning.

 

I feel that so much of you is in Kunming, you would miss it a lot.

 

Well done on arriving safely, hope your missing bag follows you.

 

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Flickserve

It’s all guesswork. Warmer weather and control measures could mean late April to mid May. But the scale of infections and lack of testing kits make it unpredictable. 

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It's SO hard to say:   Let's say people stay home for another week, 2 weeks or 3 weeks.....  What will happen when people start to go back to work?  It just takes a few people to restart an epidemic, depending on how infective the virus is.  

 

The number of people who've become immune from the current outbreak could influence any subsequent ones.  However, the number of people who've had the disease is still quite small.  A vaccine (if one is possible) won't be available at least 1 year (the studies might find one quicker that this, but vaccine manufacturing typically takes a long time).  

 

I'd like to think the epidemic would just stop, but I see it as too complicated to guess.  A friend who is an epidemiologist agrees that there are too many factors to predict the future.

 

This said,  could this coronavirus become the new normal?  i.e., during peak flu season last year almost 19,000 people/day got the flu in the US.  About 190 died/day. During the flu season 2 years ago, it was ~330 deaths/day.  And this was just in the US.  We accept this as normal.  We go about our daily lives not worrying about flu.   

 

The coronavirus has a higher mortality than the flu, so this might not happen.  However, if we find it impossible to control (i.e., keeping people in their homes isn't sustainable), it may become the new normal.  As context, before the smallpox vaccine, smallpox had a 30% mortality, yet society survived (a time that antivaccination groups would like to return to).    

 

Under current conditions if a coronavirus vaccine is created, at least there is an obvious prioritization strategy, i.e., anti-vaccinationists can be the last people on earth to get the protection.   (my soapbox for the day...)  

 

 

 

 

 

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abcdefg

I understand. Thank you for the input. I didn't expect it to be easy. 

 

I will probably just pick a date arbitrarily in mid-April and purchase a ticket that allows changes without a large penalty. 

 

Don't have to do it today. Will mull it over and do a bit of research for another week or so. 

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker

If it was me, I'd just come back , i am not worried at all about this and not concerned about catching it. It's realistically like a bad dose of the flue. I am in quite good health. 

 

HOWEVER you mentioned your age and health in another thread so that totally changes things. I think waiting for a few months is not just "playing it safe " but actually a very sensible thing to do. Waiting a few months although maybe an annoyance (?) or undesirable but the worse case scenario might be pretty bad for you hence on a risk/reward basis it seems not worth it. It's not as if you're never coming back, right?

 

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anonymoose
48 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

Don't have to do it today. Will mull it over and do a bit of research for another week or so.

 

Is there any need to book a ticket so soon? I have no idea about flights between the USA and China, but from the UK to China, cheap tickets can be picked up even a couple of weeks prior to departure, especially if you are flexible with date and routing.

 

With so much uncertainty regarding the current situation, I'd be very hesitant about booking anything yet.

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abcdefg
11 minutes ago, anonymoose said:

With so much uncertainty regarding the current situation, I'd be very hesitant about booking anything yet.

 

Yes, good point, I will wait a while. Was just thinking ahead. 

 

13 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

If it was me, I'd just come back

 

As mentioned, I need 8 or 10 weeks stateside to take care of business. 

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Jan Finster

I would not buy a ticket at this stage. It is too unpredictable.

No one wants to fly to China at this stage and maybe for some while even after the epidemic is over.

Thus, I would expect that even last minute tickets would be reasonably cheap. No need to book now.

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