Travelling to a country in lockdown

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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2021 5:59 am

Travelling to a country in lockdown

Post by fred173 »

Hi all, needing some advice or reassurance.

I accepted a post for this school year for a school in SE Asia. I started work online for them already and am due to fly out later this week. The city I am travelling to is going into full lockdown, enforced by the military, from Monday. That means not going out at all and waiting for essentiala supplies to be delivered to you by the authorities. I understand the need for these measures and experienced similar in spring 2020 and felt safe then because I was already in situ, settled and happy, with different expectations from the school. However, the idea of arriving there during that situation is causng me immense anxiety. To be already there, settled into an apartment and knowing more or less how things work is one thing, but arriving in the midst of it, for a quarantine first in a hotel and then at home is more stressful.

The online teaching has been difficult in itself - I know I'm far from being the only person to do this but I'm not adjusting to the strange times I'm keeping and am feeling a distinct lack of sympathy from some at the school. I will work through the night, travel to the airport, arrive, and be expected to start classes again immediately on arrival at the quarantine hotel. There has been no mention of time to rest after the journey and I've simply been given instructions about setting suitable cover work for the time I'm travelling.

I feel very negative and more than a bit panicky about the whole situation.

Any words of comfort would be much appreciated right now.
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Re: Travelling to a country in lockdown

Post by BM12 »

There are positives and negatives about your situation and coming into Vietnam at the moment. One would hope that the situation in HCMC will get under control at some point but it has been quite a mess for a long time now and the government is making one mistake after the other, also in communication (which was really good before this new wave started). Regarding the lockdown starting tomorrow, at first they said it would be full military lockdown, then this morning they said people could get out once a week and then later this evening they said it was full military lockdown again. It's just a mess in their decision making and communication and I feel you will be teaching online for quite a while.

Having said that, if things return to normal (or relatively normal), HCMC is a great city to live in with great food and plenty to do. Vietnam is amazing too, with plenty of travel opportunities within the country and cheap living. The quarantine hotels in HCMC city are also quite decent (definitely so if you are in one of the western chain ones, with delivery menus and variety of food), especially compared to Hanoi.

If you can handle a probably situation of a (likely) few months of boring living and some form of lockdowns, I would still be very happy to be in Vietnam (at the right school) and would just hope for better times somewhere in the next few months.
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Re: Travelling to a country in lockdown

Post by brillo »

Depends on how well you'd cope with isolation.

I moved to mere 'lockdown' and it was hellish. Met 0 new people, saw 0 new places, wasn't settled for about 7 or 8 months. Still sort of hate things here.
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Post by PsyGuy »

What are your options?
If you dont go, can you continue to work online for the IS until the situation improves? If no can you find another appointment?

You dont sound happy with the IS and their decisions and approaches. Understand that how they act now is unlikely to change and is an indicator of how they will act in the future, even under better conditions.

The biggest fear a recruiter/leadership has is that the It wont get on the plane. Once youre there and on the ground, on site the IS has a lot more control over you and the costs/expenses shift from the IS to the IT.
Having to hit the ground running isnt that uncommon. Its nice if you start out with a couple weeks of orientation. Its less nice but still doable if you have a long weekend before you have to report. All that aside its not unreasonable given the situation and present scenario that you are going to be expected to travel and work at the same time. A lot of ISs given the present scenario would have similar expectations.

A bit deeper it sounds more like youre just not happy with the present situation and the things that would make it better arent going to be happening for the foreseeable future and likely to worsen given the environment. If you want out, you dont need our permission, and pulling that trigger will be a LOT easier now than when you are there.
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Re: Travelling to a country in lockdown

Post by fred173 »

Hi all, thanks for all the comments and thoughts.

In the end I decided to go for it and am now safe in my quarantine hotel. If the current situation doesn't last long, it won't affect me too much as quarantine is quarantine whatever's going on outside. Hopefully things will be better by the time I'm out.
I'll be teaching again from tomorrow but at least in the right time zone.
If the situation worsens or even if the present situation goes on for several months I might regret having travelled but a decision had to made very quickly,
I know some people who are still waiting for papers and visas and so who have more time to watch how things develop - in some ways I envy them but at least I'm here now and can get on with it.
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Re: Travelling to a country in lockdown

Post by sid »

I'm glad you made it. Hope you asked for an extra day to settle in before teaching again after flying - I would definitely have granted it if your journey was more than a few hours.
I'm an optimist and a believer in the inherent goodness of people, so I tend to think that while the situation is tough, good people will help get through it. No school leader can prevent or circumvent a lockdown, that's outside our control, so I can't ding the school for it. But good leaders will empathise and do what they can to mitigate the effects. Remembering we're all on the same side and all want the same things, goes a long way in my book.
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