Coronavirus - Taiwan Developments Feb-Mar 2022

same with my Taiwanese wife, she doesn’t want the cases to go down and be in an eternal loop…

I’m not sure why some here say Taiwanese are willing to go with these restrictions indefinitely and are still shit-scared of COVID. That was the case last May… frankly, I felt that way as well. But a lot has changed and people aren’t stupid. They’ve been vaccinated, they know this is a milder variant, they see how other countries have opened up, they know there’s bigger societal problems to address… and they’re tired. I haven’t met one Taiwanese person (and I interact with quite a lot) who thinks we should go to Level 3 or is really that afraid of contracting COVID. If anything, they’re afraid of being quarantined and the social stigma and possible loss of job that comes with a positive COVID result. And that stigma is the government’s fault.


While I was waiting for my wife last night I took my kid to a small park. There we were running around with our masks on when I stopped and looked across the street at a wine bar full of people. They were petrified, shoulder to shoulder. The big smiles on their faces and laughter couldn’t mask their true feelings.

Nobody is scared and I felt like a right melon wearing my mask outside with only my kid within 50 yards when 30 odd people were basically sitting on each other’s laps.


Unfortunately the only ones scared (besides the CECC and a couple posters on Forumosa) are the really young kids who have been traumatized by this whole thing. They’ve basically been conditioned to think that if they take off their mask outside they’ll immediately get sick with some mysterious plague and die. For many of them they have no living memory from before COVID. My own 4 year old daughter gets freaked out even if I pull my mask below my nose for a second and gets worried about taking off her mask at restaurants. I know many of my friends with kids have the same experience. They’ve been robbed of learning social cues from each other’s expressions and I think it’ll have an effect on their development later on.


That matches my experience as well: but there also doesn’t seem much will for opening the borders up yet. I have no clear idea how attitudes will change when/if there’s more spread and more cases, and when the media inevitably go insane over the (probably small) number of deaths.

I do think the media will go insane. I don’t know what the government will do, but I suspect they’ll be more measured about it.

Caveat: in a lot of conversations people do tend to give me the answer they think I want to hear, especially when I’m talking to my students. So I don’t entirely trust my anecdotes.


I thought the Government would have at least reduced the quarantine period after CNY, but again over caution is setting in and the goalposts are getting changed. I think we’re gonna be stuck in an increasingly frustrating cycle this year. It’s ok for people who don’t have travel plans but the ones that have are going to have to keep living in limbo for alot longer yet. I completely understand how those people are feeling. I was lucky in a way, my dad came to visit here a year before the virus and in hindsight I was so glad he did because last year I lost him. All I can say is to those who really need to visit family abroad is just go, find the way to do it. Don’t wait for the government here to change their policy.


Sorry for your loss @gareth186


Guys we are not over the LNY hump. One more week at least after Lantern Festival. Then we can relax.

Two goalposts: enough vaccinated not to overwhelm the medical system if TSHTF and that outside the numbers of infected and serious cases do reach palatable levels. 3000 dead a day is not it.

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This is Omicron, not Ebola. I’m not sure what the hell is happening in the states (lots of very unhealthy people who refuse to get vaccinated), but that’s not reflected in any other country.


I couldn‘t agree more on the fear of quarantine and stigma at work. One my my Taiwanese colleague’s son has a fever but she is not getting a Covid test for her son nor her family for exactly those reasons…


Sorry to hear of your loss, but also glad to read he managed to visit you here.

And yes, I’ve booked to go to Canada this summer. I’ve missed the past two summers but I just can’t stay away any longer - parents are getting quite old, and my niece and nephew are growing up fast. I’m hopeful that by then the quarantine upon return to Taiwan will be less of a hassle (and less of a financial cost!), but if it’s not, I’ll just have to deal with it.

But I’m lucky in that I’ve got a university teacher’s schedule, so I’ve got a lot of time to work with, and plus I’m only booking for one, which makes so many things both more convenient and cheaper.

At least now I’m reassured that Taiwan will let APRC-holders back in if there’s more of an outbreak - something I wasn’t sure of at all two years ago, and still had some wariness about last spring.


@lostinasia I’m surprised to hear you booked already, only because the return conditions for quarantining that far out are not quite clear yet. Have you already booked a quarantine hotel for your return? Do you think there’s a risk of waiting too long and everything getting booked out like during CNY? I think many of us are in the same boat. I’m also determined to visit my parents this summer for the first time since before the pandemic, even if it’s much shorter than I’d like. But I’m considering holding out on booking until April or so, when there might be more indications of how long or short the quarantine will be over the summer.


As someone remarked on a video somewhere: if omicron had been the first manifestation of COVID, we would have even noticed or cared.

This is precisely why people warned right back at the beginning “masks are dangerous”. The politicians mocked them and said “it’s just a mask. How dangerous can it be to wear a mask?”


It would’ve been treated like a bad influenza season, like the Hong Kong flu in 1968

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Sorry to hear that gareth. It was something, I guess, that at least you did get to see each other. I took the same attitude last year: just go, because you might not have another chance. It really, really sucks that the government thinks it’s OK to separate families and let old people die alone because of this.


I actually booked back in December, but that was mainly because I’d accumulated enough points for a one-way business class ticket on EVA and I wanted to get that while it was still available - seats bookable with points often disappear fast.

I know there are still too many questions about returning to Taiwan, but I’m flying to Canada in mid-July, earlier than usual, which means I’ve got a big stretch of time to figure out how and when I’ll come back. Because I booked a one-way ticket, I haven’t had to book a ticket back yet; in June or July I’ll start trying to figure out quarantine hotel bookings, and probably arrange my flight back around that. For ticket pricing, this should be OK because usually tickets out of Canada are cheaper than tickets out of Taiwan.

I think the biggest risk is if the upcoming university semester is once again delayed - and prolonged - by a few weeks, meaning my booking is before the semester finishes. That would screw me (and many others!), so each day with low counts I’m reassured.

And again, I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I’ve got a lot more flexibility than others. I’m OK to fly back here early, mid, or late August, although the later that gets the more irate my wife will be!

Oh yeah, also lucky in that parents and brother are all well off and eager to see me, and the slightest smallest whinge from me about the cost of a quarantine hotel would lead to financial help. I currently have no intention of making that whinge, but knowing that safety net is there certainly helps make decisions easier.


Thanks for your kind words. Yeah I’m really happy my dad got to come here. At least I don’t have that regret. Obviously I had to go back to the UK last September, it was ok getting there it was just when I got back here. I just hope for your sake and Drew and anyone else that quarantine is at least reduced to make things easier.


It sucks and it has been totally unfair that the so-called leaders around the world forced this on the very young children for so long.

There’s a well-known report on this.
It is named the Still-Face Paradigm.
It matches quite well what has happened to children and moreso to those just born during COVID, who saw fewer positive expressions of their mother/father due to mandated masks in public.
As a father, I hope this can be overcome for any parents of babies in the last 2-5 years, who potentially may be facing this.

In 1975 Edward Tronick described a phenomenon of an infant after a few minutes of sitting face to face with a expressionless or covered mouth mother rapidly sobers and withdraws orients his face and body away—with a withdrawn, hopeless facial expression.”


The stats from the US are worthless.


Yep but it is the key destination for business and pleasure, not to say transportation hub. Not to mention the road warriors who come to make business deals all over Asia. Hence, the pickle.