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Canadian writer in China shares advice on getting through the COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO -- As people across the country near the one-month mark of physical distancing and home isolation, one Canadian living in China has some words of wisdom for how to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kai Wood, who lives in Chongqing, about 800 kilometres west of Wuhan, says the last few months “have been straight out of a sci-fi horror movie.” After spending more than 70 days in lockdown, Wood is finally free and publishing a book called “The Invisible War,” his diary from quarantine.
Wood says he began keeping a daily log after he heard Wuhan was going on lockdown.
“We were paralyzed by fear and panic,” he wrote in an email to CTVNews.ca. “I couldn't sleep and just absorbed news all day instead. I started to write, going back to a baseline of Jan. 20, how it all began, (recording) my journey, whatever happened, so the people would know I was here.”
His blog, parts of which he wrote for CTVNews.ca, documented his daily triumphs and challenges, research into personal protection and the spread of the virus, and his meditations on how to stay happy and healthy while stuck at home.
“We need to be mindful, move our bodies, engage in meaningful social outreach and use this time for profound reflection and self-mastery,” Wood he told CTVNews.ca. He also recommends working on your hobbies.
Life in isolation doesn’t come natural to many, which is why Wood is reminding people to be patient.
“If you're an early adapter, you need to be gracious with those that take longer to get up to speed.”
As someone who has made it through a strict quarantine, his advice is to follow the rules set in place by public health officials.
“Put off any non-essential outings,” he wrote in the email. “You are saving lives by binging Netflix and playing your guitar.” He also promotes wearing a mask in public, which public health officials in Canada are also recommending.
“We need to find agency in our lives, whether that means getting sun and vitamin D and seven to nine hours of sleep a night to keep our ‘army’ in ship-shape.”
Wood uses words like “army” because, as the title of his book suggests, he sees combating the virus as a war.
“The closest comparison we can make is that we’re fighting an alien invasion, a virulent host that we can’t see (an invisible war) and it uses us as carriers against our families, against our communities,” he wrote.
Wood’s book, “The Invisible War,” will be available digitally on Amazon later this month, and the blog associated with the book is available online, here.