COVID19: Isolation & Quarantine for Cabin Crew In HK
My last flight was a quick turnaround to Manila, Philippines on July 2. Exactly 93 days after enjoying my time off in quarantine.
It’s been— three months since I’ve had a hair and makeup session for work— three months since I’ve queued up for airport security check— and three months since I’ve boarded a plane.
My roster for July looked promising until I received a call a day after my last flight. I could recall being highly strung as I had this intuition that it was going to be about COVID-19, and I was right.
If a flight attendant is identified as a possible close contact of a person who has tested positive of the coronavirus (upon arrival), the Centre for Health Protection will contact them via phone and probably send them to a government quarantine camp.
Surprisingly, it took CHP four days to come to a decision for self-isolation hence the late arrangement proved to be inadequate.
Truth is — I was more concerned about possibly infecting family members than being diagnosed with the virus itself.
I was told to self-isolate for 11 days in Lei Yue Mun Park, and had to pack my luggage with essentials to stay healthy (and sane) as I was going to be picked up from home that evening.
The CHP arranged a quarantine minibus with a medical worker in full protective gear, and you can’t imagine the attention that was drawn from that; what a walk of shame.
Before being escorted to the camp, the medical worker would have to take an ear temperature for safety evaluation.
If I suddenly develop a fever above 38°C, that’s hello to the hospital.
Given the reason that I was OK, we went straight to the camp that looked somewhat like a prison and had a second temperature check. Then, the medical staff offered instruction sheets to remind us of the quarantine rules during self-isolation, a 7-day menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner of your own choice, as well as a contact detail of the medical front office staff for questions or any requests. This also included a number to call if you have health concerns or develop coronavirus symptoms.
It was a short briefing but welcoming enough.
Stories from people who have been quarantined in Hong Kong described conditions within government facilities as unwholesome, but it was comfortable, clean, and safe. You can exercise or walk outdoors, so long as you wear a mask and avoid large social gatherings.
The airline I’m working for also sent a care package which was very thoughtful, and an unlimited data pocket Wi-Fi which made time go by faster. I owe you one!
During this quarantine experience, I have been fortunate to test negative twice for the coronavirus. Taking our temperature everyday at 8h00 and 16h00 turned out to be a haven and security theatre. Reinforcing preventive measures to contain the pandemic should be taken positively by the community because it’s your health that’s on the line.
Let’s all stay safe.