Being quarantined in China shouldn't be so much fun, but it is!

Being quarantined in China shouldn't be so much fun, but it is!

I live and work in China for most of the year. During the Chinese New Year's break, I usually go on holiday – needless to say, events overtook me

By Jeremy Giles

My two weeks holiday spent back in the UK became extended to two months. Just last week I finally got a call from my Chinese employers to say they would like me to return to work.

    I believe it will prove to be the beginning of a beautiful, 2-week relationship with an isolation room that I will probably cherish for the rest of my life.  

I ordered a pack of facemasks (now mandatory outdoors wear in China) and booked a flight. The price of facemasks was artificially inflated, as was my plane ticket. In order to catch an affordable flight, I booked an indirect one stopping at Bangkok, Thailand. The total journey time was more than 20 hours. 

When my plane landed in Shanghai, we were told not to get up straight away. It was going to be a long wait. The staff had many procedures to attend to. They needed to make sure that everyone was safe. After two hours of waiting, I was finally allowed off the plane.

After being interviewed three times it was determined that I was outwardly healthy and was permitted to get on the bus to the place where I will be quarantined. The bus trip took two hours. When I finally walked into the room that will become my home for the next two weeks (it was 2 am), I simply collapsed into the warm, comfortable hotel bed. I believe it will prove to be the beginning of a beautiful, 2-week relationship with an isolation room that I will probably cherish for the rest of my life.

And that's where I am now, about 4 days into that relationship. As a creative person with indoor hobbies, (reading, writing, music, art) being confined to this room feels strangely liberating. It's obviously fun to have my own space, but it's also more than that. My needs are catered for. I don't have to go shopping, or even think about going shopping. My food is provided. I won't have to work until the two weeks is over. I can watch movies and browse Wikipedia for hours, knowing that the time is mine. It's blissful.  

Being quarantined in China shouldn't be so much fun, but it is!I have been provided with everything. My meals are brought by people in hazmat suits who leave food on a little table outside my door. I don't even have to interact with them. Breakfast usually comes with an egg, fruit and steamed buns. Lunch and dinner are generally rice-based (this is China, after all) and also come with a variety of fruit, meat, and vegetables. My supply of water and instant coffee is also replenished daily. As is toilet roll. (Another worry off the list.) 

Admittedly, the relationship hasn't come without issues. The Wi-Fi is free, but in constant use by the entire hotel, and it is therefore unusably slow. It could have been a serious problem since I rely on the internet so much for learning and entertainment. It was an easy fix in the end though - I set up a wireless hotspot with my unlimited data plan. Sorted.

I also have to take my temperature every morning and every night. I've been provided with a little mercury thermometer. I use the armpit method, and I've also have been given wipes to disinfect it. It takes a twenty-second phone call to report it to the front desk, and then it's done.

I thought socialising might have been a problem, but it hasn't been. I've had many meaningful and fun conversations, more so than I probably would have had in any normal week. It's convenient to call friends and family via phone or video chat. I have colleagues who are also in quarantine right now, and we've been sharing ideas about how to entertain ourselves, from exercise routines to word scrambles. Some of the ideas are pretty eccentric. Learn to yodel. Design a new Mario Brother. Write a rap battle.   

It's not what I expected. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't as good as this. It feels like being on holiday. I may not know exactly what the coming days will bring, but I can honestly say that it's been a positive experience so far. I think I might even miss it when it's over. Being quarantined in China shouldn’t be so much fun. But it is. 

Published: 27 March 2020

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Just gardening: what to do in spring

You may also enjoy: Inspirational People


Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site


  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more