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How much will my life change?


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@anonymoose --


How come you've had such a change of heart about living in Kunming? I mean, you've been there or elsewhere in China for several years. This virus thing is no doubt an inconvenience, but the restrictions associated with it cannot last indefinitely. 


That is a thoughtful and intelligent question, @anonymoose -- one which is difficult to answer. It's entirely possible that I am overreacting and seeing the future as more bleak than it truly is. I don't claim expertise in this matter. Am open to correction; am open to reassessment.  I would love to return to Kunming if that were possible. It has become my home and I have enjoyed living there off and on since 2007. 


Three main considerations have led me to doubt I will ever be able to return to the life I had there before this epidemic: 


1. Travel restrictions. From what I have read, international travel will be severely affected through the end of year 2020 and possibly beyond. Not only because of countries wanting to protect their borders, but because of travel industry cutbacks and consolidations. I anticipate fewer transpacific flights, and I anticipate they will come at a higher price. One will probably need various health certifications, and possibly health insurance as well. I anticipate increased likelihood of quarantines, some applied with short notice. 


2. Visa restrictions. I think it is likely that China will undertake more stringent enforcement of existing visa regulations. Tourist visas, in particular, will be available to people who want to visit for a few days and see the Great Wall or a few weeks of touring around to take in the major sights. But they will cease to be an option for people such as myself who want to actually live there. It's possible I can study part-time and thus obtain a student visa, but these might also become harder to get as other "loopholes" are closed. 


3. Anti-foreigner sentiment. I expect there to be some degree of backlash against countries in the west which are perceived as having done a poor job of protecting themselves during the epidemic. This will probably be masked as concern over re-infection of the homeland by foreigners arriving from overseas "hot spots." In the case of the U.S. these sentiments may amplified by the ongoing trade war and the accompanying unfriendly rhetoric. 


Wish I were able to take a more relaxed long-term view and just say, "Oh well, it will all blow over in 8 or 10 years." But, due to my advanced years that would not be a realistic position.  For better or worse, in 8 or 10 years I don't expect to still be above ground.  



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