7/24/2021

I Opted for AZ Astra Zeneca

As an outsider biding his time in Taiwan, I am concerned about a pandemic spread out of China a year and a half ago and repercussions, the sloppy and hypocritical behavior of the government here, a virus that seems like it was designed in a lab, and so on. The first six days of the initial lockdown here in Taiwan, in mid May, 2021, the police visited my restaurant five days in a row. Government officials took an interest in my place -- they dropped by on the fourth day of that first lockdown, Tuesday, May 18. Officials did not pester the businesses around us. Not once. Both 7/11 and Family Mart were open and full of customers. We were the emptiest joint on the block; we were the only ones catching it from the cops. Since The Hammer has been open, almost nine years ago, we have been visited by the police four hundred times. No other establishment on our block has been visited, to my knowledge, three times. I talked to my wife. We know additional harassment is headed our way. We will deal as usual, because what else can we do?

*****

I Opted for AZ

Shufang declared: "I have owned a business in Taiwan for close to a decade. This virus has yet to infect me, but it has crushed my business."

I signed up for the Astra Zeneca vaccine three weeks ago. I got my first jab on Wednesday. Shufang is next Wednesday. I got my jab because I was open to Astra Zeneca. Some of my friends signed up for Moderna. They regret their decision now. Taiwan lacks Moderna shots. I was lucky to get AZ. 

Thus, I went to Cardinal Tien Hospital in Yonghe last Wednesday to get my COVID-19 shot. The man working the door told me to head to the second floor. I found chaos up there on the second floor. A line spread down the corridor and spiraled down the stairs, into the road. There was no concept of social distancing. I asked the nurse for help. I went from nurse to nurse. None of them had any time. They said "hold on." I could see how much stress they were under. I finally figured out this was the Moderna station, not mine.

There is a convention hall (or maybe a church) outside the Cardinal Tien Hospital, to the back. They are practicing social distancing inside. I spent five minutes filling out the application, 1.5 meters from my fellow applicant. I got my jab a few minutes later. No jab recipient is allowed to leave for fifteen minutes. There is a feeling of peace and dreams in that room of socially-distanced people sitting on those carefully placed chairs. For those seeking Moderna, no chair seems to await. You get what you sign up for. We leaned back to stare at the ceiling in that tomb, contemplating "what God wrought when He made the world so sad."

4 comments:

Carrie Kellenberger said...

Hi Patrick. It's been a while! I've been following your posts online and I'm so very sorry to hear what has happened to you and Shu-Fang. My heart goes out to you both. We started our business around the same time as you and we've been decimated by these decisions as well. All we can do is continue to hold on to hope and try our best to get things rolling again when things reopen. I don't think I've ever felt more undervalued and ignored as a permanent resident than I do right now.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"I don't think I've ever felt more undervalued and ignored as a permanent resident than I do right now." I applied for the NT40,000 relief money provided to restaurants in Taiwan. I was told: "foreigners need not apply." I am wondering, based on that concept, if foreigners who own businesses can get a discount on their taxes.

Anonymous said...

Hey Patrick. It's Matt from America. I was your roommate when we were both teaching English at the same school (while you were accomplishing many other things at the same time). If you don't remember me, I'm the guy that used to drink your wine and steal your laundry detergent. he he

Seeing as though you and your business are treated like 'shit' by the locals, obviously because you are a foreigner, I have a suggestion for you. Take your family to Canada and start over. It's only a matter of time before China makes a move on Taiwan; so why would you want to stay their and risk your life, and your children's lives, for a bunch of racist assholes that have treated you like a 2nd-class citizen for over 20 years?

Your friend,

Matt D.
OffGridBelowRadar@usa.com


Anonymous said...

I know... I misspelled the word there as "their" in the sentence "why would you want to stay their and risk your life...". Typical English 'teecher'. Bwaahh!

I Opted for AZ Astra Zeneca

As an outsider biding his time in Taiwan, I am concerned about a pandemic spread out of China a year and a half ago and repercussions, the s...