Kelly Ryner and her husband Paul Redding relocated to Beijing a little more than five years ago to establish a local design studio for Thinkwell Group specializing in the design and development of theme parks and other forms of location-based entertainment. She posted about her quarantine experience on Monday, March 16 and it's been shared thousands of times. The post is reprinted here with permission.
"What started as a quick update to reassure my small Facebook community of family and friends during this overwhelming time has spiraled into thousands of shares around the world. It is hard to put into words how humbled I feel from the outpouring of gratitude from people around the globe for sharing our journey," Ryner told "Good Morning America."
Greetings from Beijing! As I see all of the news breaking in the U.S., I couldn't help but want to jump in and let all of our friends know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We've been on "government lockdown" since the last week of January now and the spread of COVID-19 is has slowed proving it does work.
In the last week of January we were in denial, couldn't believe this was happening as all of the theme parks and movie theaters and schools closed until further notice by government mandate overnight. Lots of talk about overreactions because this sounded like it was just another strain of the flu.
The first week of February was fear and depression about what this meant for the economy compounded by all of the flights getting canceled and wondering if we had done the right thing staying here. Tracking down our employees, making sure they were safe and self-quarantining as instructed by the government and getting their computers delivered so that we could all start working from home.
Somewhere in the second week of February came acceptance. Everyone was following the rules, and I was doing my research to understand the facts as being delivered by the medical community rather than journalists. A tremendous help to my peace of mind.
We were assured that grocery stores would operate as normal, so nobody panicked hoarding of goods and it gave us an excuse to get out of the apartment every three days to do a little food shopping.
For those that don't love to cook, restaurants kept cooking and kept the delivery guys busy. Delivery happens a lot faster with no traffic! Everyone's temperature is taken looking for fevers as they come in and out of their communities, any shops, cafes or eateries. Starbucks closed a huge percentage of their shops for a few weeks, but they've started opening back up again for take-out.
In these last few weeks, traffic is starting to pick up as businesses start reopening. It was eerie the many weeks of silence. Peaceful at the same time.
Spring has sprung so we grabbed a little sunshine yesterday near the Forbidden City at a place that would normally be packed shoulder to shoulder with local tourists and practically had the place to ourselves. We took the opportunity to drop our masks for a bit and snagged a photo.
All I can say is, listen to the scientists, don't panic, follow the rules, and try to enjoy a quieter life for just a bit. It's a wonderful time to do all those little things around the house you never have time to do (or pick up a new hobby). It will be a few weeks. We are starting week eight now and on our way back into the office . . . .
Wishing you all love and good health!